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Saddle advice needed!

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  • Saddle advice needed!

    So I need some advice from you saddle fit guru's out there.

    I have a TB mare who is a bit of a tricky fit for a jump saddle. I got her this spring and she had NO muscle tone because she was in no work. She has a high wither, and a long sloping shoulder. Right now I have an Ovation 4 Star event saddle. The fit has deteriorated recently and is making her uncomfortable so we need a change. I have to set the saddle fairly far back to not have it on her shoulders and withers, which makes her happy, and this sets the girth about 4-6 inches behind her elbow which also makes her happy. Well after about 10 minutes or less of riding, the saddle slips forward onto her shoulders and withers, and puts the girth right behind her elbows. I have a contour girth and a pro-choice girth. she prefers the contour, but the saddle slides faster with it, but it still slides with the neoprene on the pro-choice.

    I am going to try a nunn-finer anti slip pad, but we still have a fit problem. She has gotten fussy saddling and a little girthy which she wasn't before, and she's not with my dressage saddle which fits her well. I already use a wither relief half pad. I have had accupuncture done and she was more comfortable for a couple days but she was concerned about the lack of muscling through her back, possibly due to saddle fit.

    I would like to have a saddle fitter come out and have a look and see if there's anything they can do to my saddle to improve the fit, or try out some other saddles. The other problem I run into is that I need a forward flap because of my long thigh but small seat (16.5") The Ovation fits me well there, so it has to be at least as forward as that.

    So who has any recomendations for saddle fitters in the Harford County, MD area? I would prefer one that works with multiple brands, and brands that are reasonably priced. I can't afford a $5000 saddle, no matter how wonderful it may be. Or does anybody have any suggestions for off the shelf saddles that they have found to fit similar horses?

    Sorry for the novel.

    And here's a photo of her:
    Last edited by kkindley; Oct. 20, 2010, 10:05 PM. Reason: added photo

  • #2
    What is your price range?


    • Original Poster

      under $2500. Possibly more depending on work schedule. lol


      • #4
        I am not a saddle expert my any means, but I just got a Bevel saddle. My TB loves it! It was one of the only saddles brands I I tired that clearer his withers and his shoulder.
        Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC
        Society of Master Saddlers trained saddle fitter


        • #5
          Saddle size has virtually nothing to do with the size of one's rear end, and much to do with the length of the leg. My trainer is very tall, wears like size 2, and uses an 18" saddle.

          There is no substitute for proper saddle fit, and horses certainly change as they grow up and grow fitter. Sometimes "in between" saddles are the way to go before settling on a long-term relationship.

          This girth is supposed to be really good for making saddles not slide forward. Don't know if there is a jumping (short billet) version or not. I tried one this weekend and it sure is nice!
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            Black Country is an option that many have found works on the high-wither/big shoulder horse. They will be at Waredaca this weekend if you can make it over there.

            Jeffries makes a high-wither of the Falcon event saddle and these are nicely made reasonable priced British saddles

            I have had good luck with saddles with a cut back head and on these types of horses. BT Crump Eventer is an example, very reasonably priced: http://www.goldenroyal.com/english-crump.php

            The Kieffer saddles also seem to work well, though they are harder to find in the us. Pelham saddlery used to carry them, and may still.

            Ashley and Clarke (available through Gayers in MD) is another: http://www.gayerssaddlery.com/page5.php
            OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


            • #7
              Both my and Jeff's horses are withery TBs and they both love their County saddles. Ann Mary Bettenson is the fitter for VA (I don't know if she goes into MD but she would be able to put you in touch with the rep who does if she doesn't) and she is fantastic. Both our horses have new jump saddles, but we found Jeff's dressage saddle used online for $2200 and Ann Mary fit it for us (a new, custom model would have been in the mid $3000 without shipping). They are fantastic saddles that hold their value and our horses certainly seem to love them. Ann Mary's contact info is on the County website: http://www.countysaddlery.com/index.html. Good luck!

              PS your horse is adorable!
              Balanced Care Equine


              • Original Poster

                Thanks guys! You have given me so many ideas! Ugh, why must there be sooo many kinds of saddles out there! lol. Someone just pick one out for me.


                • #9
                  Good saddle fitters in MD (or who come to MD) include Susie Coffey and Bill Wood.

                  I'm pretty slim with a long thigh although only 5'7", and my County jump saddle (also a big hit with my big withered, big shouldered horses) is a 16" with an extra inch, extra forward flap, and much to my surprise, my saddle fitter (Bill) put me in an 18" dressage saddle...and it works great.
                  The big man -- my lost prince

                  The little brother, now my main man