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New saddle too wide :( Any suggestions? (Now with pictures...)

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  • New saddle too wide :( Any suggestions? (Now with pictures...)

    My new (used) saddle arrived in the mail today. It was so beautiful that I got butterflies just looking at it. Obviously I had to ride in it immediately, so I carefully set it in a safe spot in the car and off to the barn my new saddle and I went. Gave my pony a thorough bath so as not to soil my new toy and set it on his back. The pommel sank super low and it was apparent immediately that the saddle was too wide . I ran my hands between his back and the panels and the saddle seemed to be making good even contact, with the exception of this one not so minor problem. I decided to ride in it anyway, just to see. He went fine, was the same naughty pony he always is, and I was VERY comfy. Every now and then I'd stick my fingers under the pommel as we went along to see what I thought, and unfortunately it was always too close to his withers...I'd say about a fingers width at most.

    This saddle is non-returnable, so I'd like to try to make it work, at least while I look for something else. Any suggestions, aside from another pony ()?
    Last edited by redsky; Sep. 3, 2009, 11:14 PM.

  • #2
    Get a saddle fitter out and have it adjusted. It may be that all you need is a little flocking added.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._


    • #3
      If it's only a tiny bit wide, you MAY be able to get away with a half pad to take up some of the space. Look at the Mattes, or the Thinline w/shims, which will give you a bit of adjustability.


      • #4
        Can you take pictures so we can see how off it is?


        • Original Poster

          I will take pictures today. I'm also going to try a thicker pad for my ride today and see if that helps at all. This is so frustrating!


          • #6
            I have the same problem with an older mare and her saddle that fit fine when she had a nicely muscled topline. Since mare isn't ridden very often (1-2 times per week) I had saddle fitter add some padding plus always use a folded towel as described below.

            He had shown me how to fold a hand towel and place it under the pommel to "elevate" it as a temporary measure when I used this same saddle on a different mare (when he took her saddle to widen the tree).

            Hard to describe but you fold the hand towel so there are 3 layers at the front part of the pommel which go down to two than one layer when moving from pommel to cantle (fold in three unequal size parts with "thickest" part up front by the pommel and the thinnest part back towards the cantle. Realize you're folding the long side of the towel.

            Pre-folded towel (left side underneath pommel)
            | xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx|
            | xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx|
            | xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx|

            Folded towel (left side underneath pommel)
            | xxx| xxxx|
            | xxx| xxxx|
            | xxx| xxxx|

            If you still don't understand I could take a picture of the steps for folding the towel and show it's placement under the saddle. PM me if you're interested.
            Last edited by Valentina_32926; Sep. 3, 2009, 10:22 AM. Reason: added "x" to make line placement correct in drawing
            Now in Kentucky


            • #7
              When I bought my last saddle for my growing 3 year old we decided to go with a saddle that she will grow into so that meant it was too wide for her in the beginning.

              I ended up purchasing the Thineline saddle fitter half pad. This pad is awesome it comes with shims that you can remove or add more if needed. This pad worked perfectly to help fill in where the saddle was too wide.



              • #8
                Be happy - unless it's just TOO too wide, you are in a great position to use some proper padding to correctly balance the saddle and give the horse's back and withers room to grow muscle

                So, get some good pictures of the saddle - girthed and unpadded. Take one directly from the side, one from a 3/4 front view - make *sure* to show the whole saddle, shoulder, and girth area - it doesn't help tooo much to only see the saddle - need to see it in relation to the horse/saddle position.

                Also get one directly from behind to clearly show how the rear panels lay on the back. This means the panels have to be clearly visible - not butt in the way

                Make sure the horse is standing on a flat, level surface, and standing squarely.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  Just save yourself the trouble, time and future vet bills and get a saddle fitter.
                  ... _. ._ .._. .._


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by JB View Post
                    So, get some good pictures of the saddle - girthed and unpadded. Take one directly from the side, one from a 3/4 front view - make *sure* to show the whole saddle, shoulder, and girth area - it doesn't help tooo much to only see the saddle - need to see it in relation to the horse/saddle position.

                    Also get one directly from behind to clearly show how the rear panels lay on the back. This means the panels have to be clearly visible - not butt in the way
                    I wish I had these guidelines before I took my pictures, but here is the link to the pictures I took today:

                    I realize that the saddle pad is super thick and undesirable, but it was the thickest one I have and I wanted to see what kind of a difference it made. The saddle is girthed in the padded pictures.

                    So what do you think?
                    Last edited by redsky; Apr. 16, 2011, 08:37 AM.


                    • #11
                      I think it looks pretty darn close, and you bought a Frank Baines that is wool/gusseted so you can have it fitted. I bought a used County that was a bit too wide, I used a Mattes pad for a while until I could get a really good master saddler to do a proper fitting, now it's fits like a custom.
                      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                      • #12
                        I agree that it looks pretty darned close as well. It seems like it sits perfectly balanced with the thick pad (without having the floor it's hard to say for sure). A bit of adjustment in the flocking should have it fitting very nicely. Until then, the thick pad, or even that thick pad over a thinner pad if you need a bit more lift, should work just fine.

                        Just make sure you like how it sits you with the thicker pads. Sometimes changing the flocking in front will change how it sits just enough to make certain saddles not work for certain riders. Not usually an issue, but everybody is different.


                        • #13
                          i would say that it fits pretty well in front..... the back looks to be overstuffed and the channel appears to be narrow-ish.

                          while i am not saddle fitter, my bet is that if the saddle is new, ride in it for a could weeks so the flocking settles then re-evaluate.

                          i would NOT ride with a puffy pad as that is just making the saddle fit too high.

                          after a couple weeks dbl check the fit and you might have a fitter change the back a tad as like i said i it looks too high, tilting the saddle forward.

                          but the front look spot on, good wither clearance, points look the correct angle etc.

                          what kind of saddle is this?

                          oh! eta, if the saddle fits too low in front, you might try not using the point billet, as those tend to really pull the front of the saddle down.....

                          sorry, eta again to say.... look at the pic from the back.... the right side is not stuffed properly for his back.... look at the weight bearing surface, it is quite small and appears to be on the outer curved part of the panel - this will create pressure points and perhaps cause a sore back. the left panel while overstuffed has more weight bearing surface. also the two panels sit very differently on his back.

                          you might PM Karoline and ask her to take a look for you. she isn't a fitter but a body worker with knowledge of fitting and might be able to help you with more diagnostic tools.

                          also be sure you can see daylight all thru the channel.


                          • Original Poster

                            It is a Frank Baines Reflex.

                            I'm so glad to hear all these positive thoughts! It sounds like a good saddle fitter should be able to make it work . I agree that the back appears overstuffed, and I was kind of hoping that rather than bulk up the front too much, the fitter might take some of the flocking out in back...and maybe move some of it to the front... I can definitely see daylight through it.

                            Also, the flocking is really soft so I kind of wonder if any pressure points sort of even out with my weight in the saddle? I don't know enough about saddle fitting, but I'm learning.

                            Yay! Thanks for your help!
                            Last edited by redsky; Sep. 4, 2009, 09:00 AM.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by redsky View Post
                              I wish I had these guidelines before I took my pictures, but here is the link to the pictures I took today: http://picasaweb.google.com/megca9/S...2NWf3gE&pli=1#

                              I realize that the saddle pad is super thick and undesirable, but it was the thickest one I have and I wanted to see what kind of a difference it made. The saddle is girthed in the padded pictures.

                              So what do you think?
                              From the picture, your tree width is actually pretty good. If any, you might want to remove the flocking at the back side of the panel a little bit. I think the reason it may tip down at the front is because there is too much at the back. A good saddle fitter can get your saddle fixed very nicely I think.


                              • #16
                                When it's not placed as far forward on the shoulder, it looks pretty good.