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Saddles for wide back - no big knee blocks

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  • Saddles for wide back - no big knee blocks

    I've tried the Albion SLK's and Prestige recently. The Albion's put my leg in an awkward position and makes me tilt my seatbones backwards.

    I really like how the KN symphony and older Kieffer Wein fit me and keep me in a neutral position. I like the minimal knee rolls.

    My horse's back is fairly wide and the Albion shape seems to fit him nicely and he likes it. He got very sore with my KN Symphony - so that is a no go. I have the Kieffer Wein to try, but it does not have wide panels and I'm worried it would make him sore as well.

    What other saddles are good for wide backs, but help the ride keep a neutral pelvis?

  • #2


    • Original Poster

      What style?

      The saddle fitter brought one out and it did not fit him. I'm not sure what type it was.


      • #4
        Have you tried Lovatt & Ricketts, AKA Arabian Saddle Company saddles?

        They have some VERY wide options and are well-made saddles. A friend with a Warmblood bought one a couple of years ago. Loves it.


        • Original Poster

          No I have not.

          He's not super wide. Between a medium and wide according to the saddle fitter. His back is more like a warmbloods as it gets wider further down. He has TB type withers.


          • #6
            Custom Saddlery, County and Black County (and I'm sure others) should all be able to make a saddle to fit, including changing out the knee blocks for smaller ones.


            • #7
              I haven't looked at Friend's saddle in a while, but I think they're built with enough room for shark-fin withers. She uses it on her elderly TB, come to think of it. I used to know the L & R dealer here and she had some uber-wide ones for her Arabs.

              I think her model is the Berkeley, for what that's worth. Can''t recall what the blocks were like.

              I have an old Albion (Original Comfort??) with a med/wide tree and modest blocks. Do the older models put you in that awkward position, too? I got mine for a song...


              • Original Poster

                I have not tried the older Albions, but was told that they work better for low withered horses.


                • #9
                  Have you looked into Reactor Panel

                  Perhaps take a look at Reactor Panel saddles:



                  • #10
                    hmmmm, withers like a TB but back like a WB, minimal saddle with small to non-existent blocks: ansley, rembrandt, some older courbette, tad coffin, passier
                    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                    • #11
                      Balance saddles: www.balanceinternational.com
                      "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."


                      • #12
                        Try a Kieffer Rhein - it is quite a good match for what you are describing. I have one I am no longer using that fit a very WIDE no wither horse, I did not like it because it has such minimal knee blocks. My long legged friend found it extremely comfortable.

                        These are older, so may not be the easiest to find. PM me if you care to see pictures of mine.
                        Horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                        ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                        • #13
                          passier antares is a no frills dressage saddle. semi shallow seat with nubbys from blocks, if you can even call them that!
                          chaque pas est fait ensemble


                          • #14
                            I was thinking the Grand Gilbert without freedom panels. can't tell whether you would need a med or wide tree but passiers are adjustable in a press.


                            • #15
                              Also, blocks are quite easy to remove, and far cheaper to remove than to add.

                              If you find something you like but has big blocks...

                              Passier & Prestige are the two my wide-back-with-withers horses like best. As stated above, the minimal Passiers. I have the old PTs, with just the moulded flap.

                              Stubben might be worth a look, the Schultheiss model, in the WB tree. BUT, their trees are not adjustable at all.
                              InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                              Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                              • #16
                                I am honestly not sure if it neutral for pelvis position, but the saddle I ended up with for my wide backed high withered OTQH I ended up with a Barnsby. It does have bigger knee blocks but unlike the Prestiges and Albions I tried on my horse (disliked the knee blocks thoroughly) I tried they don't force me somewhere....not sure why. I think they have some with smaller blocks too but on my budget I got the first Barsnby that was in the right tree size and seat size (happened to be the Richard Davison) ended up loving it.

                                Also, not sure how they work on horses with higher withers, but for a super, super wide horse (widest prestige wasn't wide enough) a friend of mine got a Frank Baines that I just love. Doesn't have large knee blocks and is second only to my own saddle in comfort for me.

                                So...not an expert but based on my own experience, maybe try some saddles that even by appearance you think you may not like- they may surprise you...I decided in desperation to just worry about fitting my horse and ended up with the most comfortable saddle I have ever had. Not sure if I just got lucky though.
                                My blog:



                                • #17
                                  I had a similar problem when I was saddle shopping. I ended up buying a County Warmblood and I love it. I was liking the Bates Caprilli (flocked, not CAIR), too, but I couldn't find one in my budget.


                                  • #18
                                    Duett Saddles

                                    I'm surprised no one has suggested Duett's to you yet. They are made with the wide/flat backed horse in mind. I have the Fidelio - which is their deep seated dressage saddle, but they have several models from which to choose. Love, love, love my Duett. I find it puts me in a good riding position.

                                    My Appy doesn't have a super flat nor wide back, but the 34cm fit him well and he's been happy with it.

                                    When I first got my Duett Fidelio, it tilted me forward slightly, but that was simply a matter of having the flocking slightly adjusted for my horse. Once that was done, everything fell into place perfectly.

                                    The Fidelio has removable blocks that are underneath the saddle flap. Personally, I rode with no block.

                                    The panels on the saddle are nice and wide. Nancy at Duett saddles has a generous trial policy as well. She's great to work with. The saddles are reasonalbly priced and have some nice options to choose from.

                                    They also have a cutback model - the Largo - for those who need more wither clearance.

                                    A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                                    • #19
                                      Good point, I usually recommend the Duetts for the super-wides. I forget they do go down to MW and "normal" wide.
                                      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                                      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SirGali View Post
                                        I had a similar problem when I was saddle shopping. I ended up buying a County Warmblood and I love it. I was liking the Bates Caprilli (flocked, not CAIR), too, but I couldn't find one in my budget.
                                        I also like Counties. The Connections and Competitors don't have big blocks. The seat should let you sit in a neutral position....if it doesn't the flocking needs to be adjusted
                                        I wasn't always a Smurf
                                        Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                        "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
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