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Swaybacked mare. Crosspost since you guys probably know more about Arabs ;)

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  • Swaybacked mare. Crosspost since you guys probably know more about Arabs ;)

    I'm about to take a friend of mine's mare for a few months of legging up after a year + off. Mare is a National Show Horse .. therefore a Saddlebred/Arab cross. She is super cute... but being in ZERO work for almost 2 years, she is insanely chubby and very swaybacked. Some of it is lack of fitness and some it is breeding/conformation.

    So, I'm having a HECK of a time finding a saddle to recommend the owner buy. Mare is pretty big moving and has ENORMOUS shoulders, and with the chubbiness factor, she has completely covered her withers in flubb and is SO broad backed.

    My instinct is some super wide saddle with a back riser.. but I dont want to pinch her shoulders.

    Here is the mare: http://www.spirittxarabians.com/angel.html

    Obviously, that was a long time ago, so I'm fighting age, long weak back, breeding, lack of fitness, etc. She's fabulous to ride, so I dont think the swayback really gets in her way. But if I'm going to ride her everyday, just an "okay" saddle fit isnt going to do it. Plus, the owner needs to buy a saddle for her either way.

    Ideas??
    Open to saddles, saddle pads, or a combination..
    Rural Property Specialist
    Keller Williams Realtors

    TexasEquestrianProperties.com
    Email Me for Horse Property!

  • #2
    Stuebben?

    I'm riding my Arab mare, who has a long dippy back (and I thought having two kids did a number on MY back!), in a Stuebben. It was the best I found for her at the best price, though Black Country had a few saddles that might have fit both of us just as well or perhaps a shade better (but there was a big break on the Stuebben's price). She has a huge shoulder, but she's nowhere near as wide as your girl.

    Good luck! Lovely horse.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I think we might have to go with the Wintec Wide series all purpose, since she is so broad backed. But, the owner would really like an Aussie type saddle or a 'light' endurance saddle (something with a narrower twist than you're average endurance saddle), so I thought Id see if you guys had any ideas. Ideally, I'd like to see them in a dressage saddle or a deep seated all purpose, since she is interested in working on equitation and taking riding lessons.
      Rural Property Specialist
      Keller Williams Realtors

      TexasEquestrianProperties.com
      Email Me for Horse Property!

      Comment


      • #4
        Just a thought..

        You can always go with a treeless... that way there is no chance of pinching her shoulder and when she gets back into work and you get more muscle tone and less chubb on her you wont have to go through saddle fit all over again..
        *Shrug* I use one for my trainers horses..of course I have an old crosby just waiting for my perfect horse *sigh* but until then it's treeless for me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Find a saddle that has a decent amount of "rocker" to the bars of the tree, versus a flat tree. Get the appropriate width, don't go wider than you need otherwise the gullet of the saddle will sit on the horse's spine at the cantle and make a sore. Make sure you are putting the saddle in the correct spot, not too far forward where it would interfere with the shoulders. The Low Back Pad here http://www.nationalbridle.com/english-pads-s/76.htm is pretty standard for low back horses, it slips into the gullet of the sadlde with the flaps on it and stays in place well. Then if needed the fit can be augmented with a Cashel pad depending on exactly what the horse needs, or if the low back pad takes care of it just use a decently padded regular saddle pad with it (again watch the gullet at the cantle, a lot of low backed horses get saddle sores there). Low backed horses can be comfortably ridden for years if you are very diligent about saddle fit, use pads well and adjust the pads as the horse's condition changes.

          Comment


          • #6
            What about one of Hillview Farms saddles?

            http://www.american-flex.com/system%20discription.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              Duett saddles come in a few different styles, I think they are all english trees but some are for dressage and some for trail, ap, etc. They are designed for the very wide-backed horse. Not sure about the degree of sway back, but using some shims/pads while she re-builds muscle would make sense, as Renae suggested.

              I have had some good success with the "Little Joe", it's basically a bareback pad but somehow it does not slip (well, it could, but I have had saddles slip too). It uses a regular english girth (or dressage length) and is constructed so that it will support stirrups. Put it over a good pad like an Equipedic or a Skito, and you distribute the weight pretty nicely. http://www.better-horsetack.com/lj/

              I once had a really chubby horse to leg up and slim down, and the owner had no saddle that remotely fit, so I rode her in just a regular bareback pad. Between diet and exercise we were able to get her in good shape and lo and behold, her saddle fit again!

              Just a few thoughts, good luck and have fun, she looks like a nice mare.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Just looked up the Duetts.. those are cool!
                And thanks for the suggestion on the "low back" pad...
                Rural Property Specialist
                Keller Williams Realtors

                TexasEquestrianProperties.com
                Email Me for Horse Property!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would suggest a Skito pad. Well, personally, I'd suggest a Sensation Treeless saddle AND a Skito pad with the bridge inserts. the Sensations have a pretty decent twist to them, super comfy, numerous models and the Skito pads have memory foam inserts which can have thinner bridge shims added to them to fill that dip.

                  Wintec saddles are notoriously flat treed. A friend who had a dippy backed older Andalusian kept trying Wintecs, with Cair and the horse's back was hurting so badly. I took a couple of treeless saddles over and she ended up buying a Barefoot. Not my prefernce as it's awfully wide and flat seated for the rider but was in her budget.

                  Sensation makes english model saddles that can be used for showing. and various trail and western models.

                  I think they are great for trainers as it allows you to have a saddle that you can put on horse after horse without having fit issues. Must be used with an appropriate pad.

                  Bonnie S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The low back pad someone posted above is great for low/sway backed horses.
                    You know, everybody thinks we found
                    this broken-down horse and fixed him,
                    but we didn't. He fixed us. Every one of us.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, if she's intersted in an Aussie, mine works well on my wide dippy backed 22 yr old Morab mare. Have to get the serge panels. Not the best for working on equitation though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't have a swayback horse, but I have a buckskin propane barrel who runs 3 inches downhill. I use a Cashel swayback pad and a treeless saddle (Bob Marshall) for her http://www.cashelcompany.com/Product...roductID=10608#

                        http://www.hphoofcare.com/M%20(3).jpg

                        There is not a treed saddle on planet earth that fit that mare. The closest I came was a wide treed Aussie, because they have such a rounded, banana shaped tree and stuffed panels. I have one of those that fits just "ok" for short rides. If you have a hard to fit horse, definitely take chicamuxen's advice and go treeles You will save yourself and your horse a boat load of misery, trust me!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IrishWillow View Post
                          Just looked up the Duetts.. those are cool!
                          And thanks for the suggestion on the "low back" pad...
                          I tried a 36 cm Duett for my Arab -- think whiskey barrel, but flat on top. It was wide enough through the gullet, but had too much rock for him, so one might work well for this horse. They're also nice saddles for the money.

                          You could try here Trumbull Mountain Tack They have quite a selection of used saddles, including endurance and all-purpose. They're very helpful folks -- if you describe the horse's back or send them a tracing, they can recommend brands that might work. They also have a lenient trial policy.

                          Good luck.
                          __________________________
                          "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                          the best day in ten years,
                          you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chicamuxen1 View Post
                            I would suggest a Skito pad. Well, personally, I'd suggest a Sensation Treeless saddle AND a Skito pad with the bridge inserts. the Sensations have a pretty decent twist to them, super comfy, numerous models and the Skito pads have memory foam inserts which can have thinner bridge shims added to them to fill that dip.

                            Wintec saddles are notoriously flat treed. A friend who had a dippy backed older Andalusian kept trying Wintecs, with Cair and the horse's back was hurting so badly. I took a couple of treeless saddles over and she ended up buying a Barefoot. Not my prefernce as it's awfully wide and flat seated for the rider but was in her budget.

                            Sensation makes english model saddles that can be used for showing. and various trail and western models.

                            I think they are great for trainers as it allows you to have a saddle that you can put on horse after horse without having fit issues. Must be used with an appropriate pad.

                            Bonnie S.
                            I agree 100% I have one of the Sensation saddles....specifically their G3 Hybrid and love it. It is comfy, secure, stable and beautiful. The thing that sets the Sensation saddles apart from other treeless saddles is that there are absolutely NO hard parts. The whole saddle is soft and squishy yet structured enough the disperse the weight of the rider...in conjuction with a proper treeless saddle pad. I demoed and purchased mine from Melissa at www.freedomtreeless.com
                            "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Looks like perhaps this could help:

                              http://www.cashelcompany.com/product...roductID=10355
                              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Duetts

                                Duetts are comfy and well-made, but they are HEAVY and I could not feel my horse at all with a Duett dressage saddle. Absolutely zero communication coming from the horse to my seat. Also, aesthetically, it way overwhelmed a fine-boned 15hh Arab. Would reserve the Duetts for the really beefy beasts (just my opinion). With a beefy or big-moving horse, you might be able to feel something through the saddle.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I had pie and ice cream moments ago, but that's not really relevant....

                                  National Bridle has some low back pads, and Dave Genadek at About the Horse sells shims and shim pads. She can certainly wear a treed saddle- riding a treeless on her is going to truly sink your weight into the bottom of her already low back, I can't agree with that approach.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                    riding a treeless on her is going to truly sink your weight into the bottom of her already low back, I can't agree with that approach.
                                    For a low-backed horse, it didn't make a whole lot sense to me either. I'm not bashing treeless saddles -- I've ridden my trainer's Ansur and liked it. And if it's the best solution for horse and rider, fine.

                                    But I think some people go treeless because it's just easier than getting a treed saddle for a hard-to-fit horse.
                                    __________________________
                                    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                    the best day in ten years,
                                    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My swaybacked critter does best in a Thoroughgood?sp saddle, he is pretty dippy in the back and has a lot of shoulder movement. I actually take the front billet over the front of the saddle and use a County Logic girth. With this combo he does not get girth rubs, the saddle is very secure front/back/sideways without an overtight girth. He has been trail ridden (about 50miles over a weekend, I was tired, he thought it was great and also does dressage at the FEI level. The saddle is LOW maintenance, inexpensive.

                                      Previously he went in a Karl Niedersuss and did well with it too. I just could not get rid of the girth rubs, but I also did not know about the County Logic girth then.

                                      Even though the set up sounds awkward, it really works (for him and me at least) and looks normal.
                                      You can see for yourself in his clip here:
                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmC4_EcnWBY
                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I also ride in a Thorowgood (the endurance model) -- I use a thinline half pad over a square cotton pad and put thinline bridging shims on top of the half pad. The adjustable gullet gives great wither clearance, and the movable billets allow you to customize girth placement so the saddle doesn't slide around.
                                        RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

                                        Comment

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