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dreaded saddle fit thread...again! need a jumping saddle

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  • dreaded saddle fit thread...again! need a jumping saddle

    ok- trying to keep this concise so as not to bore you into oblivion

    we have this problem:

    jumping- stubben roxane S
    -i love the narrow twist and feel of this saddle
    -the flap is about 1.5 inches too short for my upper thigh length (knee hangs over when stirrups are correctly adjusted)
    - according to saddle fitter, the tree of this saddle is too curved for my horse's back (she is flattish behind the withers) and it's slightly too wide for her in the front gullet width ( it's a 31cm tree, size 17.5 seat, flap measures 14.5 inches from stirrup bar to tip, gullet width is 4.5 inches from dot to dot)
    - bottom line is, i need to sell this one and get something that fits her better

    What we like and what DOES work:
    - OLD pariani monoflap- fits her VERY well and i love the close contact feel and narrow twist- the flaps are long enough for my leg and i dont feel trapped in it by a bunch of knee blocks and pads etc.- the panels are flat, but there isn't enough leather to re-flock and it's in a delicate condition so i pad up with a half pad and only ride in it for XC and occasional foxhunts to preserve it. If it were in better shape i would never get out of it!
    - Passier GG Nicole dressage saddle- again, love the narrow twist and flatter seat of this saddle- it doesnt throw me forward and the flap is pretty straight and long. It fits her well enough but the gullet is a tiny bit too wide- again we pad up with half pad. we are keeping this one though

    SO, we know:
    1. she is kind of narrow behind the withers, has a little "dip" in musculature behind each shoulder (high up) and flattens out behind withers- needs a flattish tree
    2. i need a long flap- longer than a stubben roxane s- which is supposed to be long in the grand scheme of saddles
    3. I HAVE to have a narrow twist
    4. no super deep seats and tons of blocks and pads on flaps- i don't like to feel trapped and sucked in

    We are looking for an every day jumping saddle for schooling and basic riding over fences and for the stadium portion of shows.

    What doesn't work:
    County anything- twist too wide for me

    M.Toulouse- i liked the feel of a few of them, but they are too curvy for her (like stubben tree)

    Circuit everything- twist too wide and hated the feel, flaps too short

    New Pessoa's- not keen on the construction and foam flocking but liked the feel and forward flap- sat one on her and it looked like it fit decently

    HDR- hated everything about every one i have ever sat in- you could blindfold me and put me in one and i could tell you it was an HDR

    Bates- haven't sat in one, but have been told there won't be a flap long enough for me

    Saddle fitter suggested:
    - Forestier long flap (similar to antares- which fits her like it was made for her back) can't find one
    - stackhouse

    Am I doomed to go custom? I will save up as long as necessary if need be. Anyone have a Stackhouse that would be willing to share thoughts on twist width or measure it for me?

    ANY ideas are appreciated, I am tiring of musical saddles.
    Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
    Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

  • #2
    I just got a used Ainsley Pro National. Leather is quite nice, the flocking on mine was soft with no bumps. Tons of room for my leg (5'9" long thigh). The medium is fitting my new OTTB nicely - he is a little thin right now, shark-finned, but flat in the back. Not sure the twist will be narrow enough for you, but might be worth a try.

    Comment


    • #3
      Saddle

      I have an Ainsley Pro National to sell. It sounds like might work for you. I love this saddle but the lines are to long for me. My trainer is a big fan of Ainsleys, especially xc. It is a 17 I believe but since these saddles are very forward flaps and rather flat it rides big. My thigh is just short .Is in wonderful condition. I work at a tack store and bought it used for a really good deal. I am asking 600.00 which is actually less than I paid but I need to pay for the short flap Albion I bought. Let me know if you are interested. I am out of town til Sunday helping my daughter who just had twins! I can send pics when I get back.

      Comment


      • #4
        I also have an Ainsley Pro National for sale. LOVED it, but haven't used it since my horse tore a suspensory and had to be retired It's a 17.5'', let me know if you're interested!

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, you're probably not going to like what I have to say, but here's what I see.

          Your saddle is too small for you. By a lot. I looked at all the pictures linked in your signature line, and there is absolutely nothing unusual about your thigh length. But the whole saddle is too small, which makes it LOOK like your thigh is freakishly long. Add this to the fact that the 17.5" Stubben Roxane is also going to ride small due to its very deep seat (which will push anyone with an even remotely zaftig behind forward in the seat), and you've got a recipe for disaster.

          If I were you, I'd be looking for something in a generous 18" (really I'd like to see you in an 18.5" but that's asking for the world) with a moderately deep seat and a forward flap. No question you will still need a forward flap, but going up a seat size or two will really help matters.

          For the other armchair saddlers who want to play, I assume this is the horse (a very nice one indeed!):
          http://jazzandellie.shutterfly.com/74#146
          http://jazzandellie.shutterfly.com/74#65

          And I assume this is the rider in her too-small Stubben Roxane (lovely position, but the saddle is holding you back):
          http://jazzandellie.shutterfly.com/139
          http://jazzandellie.shutterfly.com/139#142

          - OLD pariani monoflap- fits her VERY well and i love the close contact feel and narrow twist- the flaps are long enough for my leg and i dont feel trapped in it by a bunch of knee blocks and pads etc.- the panels are flat, but there isn't enough leather to re-flock and it's in a delicate condition so i pad up with a half pad and only ride in it for XC and occasional foxhunts to preserve it. If it were in better shape i would never get out of it!
          You should seriously consider having this saddle restored. A good saddler can essentially rebuild it from the tree upward. It won't be cheap, but it may be the same cost or less than buying a new saddle.

          If not, then you might look at some of the older brands that are built similarly. Ainsley is one of them, but watch for curvyness--personally for a flatter-backed horse, I'd be more likely to look at the Ainsley Chester than the Pro National for that reason. There's one in 18" at Pelham Saddlery, pity that it's a wide tree, but their video tab will give you a very good look at it:
          http://www.pelham-saddlery.com/saddles/Used2302.html

          and sometimes you find gems of old saddles that are similar in concept to your Pariani: http://www.farmhousetack.com/servlet...ddle%2C/Detail

          3. I HAVE to have a narrow twist
          4. no super deep seats and tons of blocks and pads on flaps- i don't like to feel trapped and sucked in
          Remember that blocks can be removed from most saddles. Break out that seam ripper and go to town.

          I won't fight you on the narrow twist as that's personal preference.

          M.Toulouse- i liked the feel of a few of them, but they are too curvy for her (like stubben tree)
          Please be more specific about which ones you tried. That may help the rest of us recommend some alternatives.

          New Pessoa's- not keen on the construction and foam flocking but liked the feel and forward flap- sat one on her and it looked like it fit decently
          Again, please be more specific. That's like saying "I test-drove a Ford," which could mean anything from the Fiesta to the F-150.

          That said, a Pessoa Legacy Event in 18" might suit you nicely. It's wool flocked and has an even more forward flap than the other Pessoa Legacy saddles. I really think you belong in an 18" but if you insist, you could try this very reasonably priced 17.5" from VTO:
          http://www.vtosaddlery.com/Merchant2...Category_Code=

          or perhaps you prefer a Blyth Tait Event. This 18.5" medium might suit nicely:
          http://www.saddlesource.com/proddeta...d=USED00000212

          Bates- haven't sat in one, but have been told there won't be a flap long enough for me
          Again, that would surprise the hell out of me. THIS guy is squinched in an 18" Bates Caprilli with the forward flap, but he's also 6'2" and I suspect you are not:
          http://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w...y/IMG_5582.jpg

          A Bates Caprilli with the forward flap would probably "do" for you, but I would be extremely surprised if it fit your horse. That's a pretty flat horse and the Bates Caprilli is moderately curvy--not as curvy as your Roxane S but again, about 7 out of 10 on the Curvy Scale. Too bad the good ol' Bates Event (pre-Momentum model) isn't still around as it probably would have worked well for both of you.

          Here's some other possibilities, all narrow-twisted with forward flaps and reasonably likely to fit the horse you've pictured (and for the millionth time, my caution that you really need to go up in seat size to see positive results):

          Ovation 4-Star Event (about $1600--I'd be concerned that this will be too curvy for your horse it's not SO curvy that it's beyond possibility. If you can get your hands on one fairly easily, it is perhaps worth a shot)
          Courbette Vision (about $2000, almost guaranteed to fit horse, very likely to fit you too)
          Frank Baines New Elan (about $2800 retail, but occasionally available in demo condition around $2300, would shock the HELL out of me if you and the horse didn't both love this saddle)
          Stackhouse, if you can find one. Like this one: http://www.allthebestusedsaddles.com...house-697.aspx
          Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            From my own experience (I do have a super long femur),

            I prefer the old Ainsley Chester over the Pro National. I regret selling mine, but it went with the horse it fit.

            I really like my Stackhouse - Bought it used for less than $1K and it has an extra forward, extra long flap that fits my leg perfectly.

            I think the Courbette Vision looks like it would fit. Haven't had the chance to try one.

            As for the seat size? I ride in either a 17.5" or an 18" saddle depending on the depth of the seat and the cut of the flap.

            @jen4jnny - I did once try a 19" saddle to get the length for my femur (it was a Jeffries) and the saddle was just too darn long for my horse. It dwarfed him. Don't you think that if the seat is flat enough and the flaps are forward enough that you can get away with a smaller seat size?
            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm in an 18" Chiberta...

              ..with an extra forward flap to accomodate my very long femur - fits perfectly. Different saddles fit differently. For what it's worth, I'm 5'5" and weigh about 102 lbs (unless I've been to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants )...
              ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                @jen4jnny - I did once try a 19" saddle to get the length for my femur (it was a Jeffries) and the saddle was just too darn long for my horse. It dwarfed him.
                I wouldn't try a 19" on my own 15.3hh horse, but the horse in these pictures is wearing a 17.5" saddle in the pictures and clearly has room to spare behind the saddle. If you've got the room, why not use it? Yes at some point you're going to have a stirrup bar placement problem, but we could say the same of the "flat seat/smaller seat size/forward flap" strategy.

                Don't you think that if the seat is flat enough and the flaps are forward enough that you can get away with a smaller seat size?
                There's "smaller" and then there's "way the hell too small." Like I said above, I am not disputing that this rider needs a forward flap. But this rider is already in one of the most forward flaps on the *entire market* and look at how squinched she is in that 17.5" saddle. In this particular case, I don't think 17.5" with an extra forward flap would give her nearly as much breathing room as an 18" or 18.5" with a forward flap. In other cases, for example with a rider who's deciding between a 17" with a slightly forward flap and a 17.5" with a regular flap, I'd say it's a tossup and the rider could probably go either way.
                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  FWIW, I tried the Parker BD on my horse, and it was too banana shaped. I have an Ainsley Chester and an Ainsley XC that I love. Oh yeah, and one semi-retired semi-sound horse that I hack around on until my kids are out of college.

                  I pray one or another of these saddles fits the new project that I get when tuition payments are done.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    thank you all for the suggestions and ideas thus far! i have put a few more things on my "to sit in" list

                    Jn4jenny- no worries! you are not offending me in any way at all and i appreciate you obviously taking the time to put thought into your response! after looking at those pics- you might just be dead on. my pariani is an 18 and i schooled in it today and we took lots of pics- i will post some on the shutterfly site asap! i would be interested to see what you think of the fit of that one in contrast to the stubben. i would love to have it restored but our local fitter didnt say she was able to do it- so any suggestions about who to talk to about it would be appreciated.

                    to answer your questions/provide more details:
                    i am 5'8" and she is 17h- well 16.3 and 3/4 to be exact
                    i measured my femur from hip joint to knee and it measured 19 inches

                    i sat in the pessoa a/o and gen x
                    i sat in the m.toulouse- annise, premia, celine and others, and i am not impressed with how they wear either because a few of my friends have had them for about two years now and sitting a new one and sitting in theirs is NOT the same- i just don't want one of those after seeing how they wear.

                    i sat in an ovation and instantly hated pretty much everything about it

                    i did sit in a courbette vision one time and LOVED it- will look for that as well and everyone seems to be suggesting ainsley's so that's the next thing i will try!

                    pics to come from today to see about proper seat sizing
                    Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                    Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Don't know if it would be useful for you to try any of the newer Parianis. Good prices here www.classicsaddlery.com
                      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by skip916 View Post
                        i did sit in a courbette vision one time and LOVED it-
                        Make sure you try the "Extra" version which has an extra forward flap.

                        Originally posted by skip916 View Post
                        everyone seems to be suggesting ainsley's so that's the next thing i will try!
                        Look for the older Ainsleys, especially the chester. It's a completely different saddle now and not as nice (IMO) as the ones that still were branded "Toklat". I owned both the Chester and the XC and loved the Chester.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bogie View Post



                          Look for the older Ainsleys, especially the chester. It's a completely different saddle now and not as nice (IMO) as the ones that still were branded "Toklat". I owned both the Chester and the XC and loved the Chester.
                          Completely agree. Both of my Ainsleys are older. The XC was for my daughters, but since they are in college, I have co-opted it, and I like it a bit better than the Chester, but I like them both better than most other saddles that I have sat in, and I have sat in A LOT of saddles.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Try a Prestige eventing. Reasonable price, well under custom. Also, try a Legado (designed by Stackhouse) as an alternate to Stackhouse. The trees are a little different, and I find curvier than the Stackhouse, but worth a try. The Courbette Vision is nice, but has knee rolls, rather than blocks. I prefer blocks with a long femur so that your knee can go in front if necessary and not get pushed out of position. The Vision is nice, though, and so forward, that you may not run into the rolls.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Stubben now owns Courbette (as of Mar 2011) so it'll be interesting to see what's done with the saddle line ... Courbette usually does an anual clearance sale on overstock/discontinued saddles so maybe check with them.

                              The new "Pariani's" are name only (bit of saddle politics there & I don't know the details beyond "gossip" so...) & look to be Toulouse with nicer leather ie definitely not the Italian saddle that your ancient is

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                pariani

                                it makes me very sad to see the "new" pariani's. boo. not the same.

                                i really like the older models of everything it seems! the new two tone courbette vision extra is lovely though- just haven't sat in a new one in person.

                                i am a little bit of a collector and usually have about 6 on hand and they come and go depending on what fits who and who needs a good home where it will be appreciated. i just really do need a jumping saddle to use "everyday" so i am not quite used to being in this predicament! haven't bought a saddle "new" since i was 13 so i am hoping to find an oldie but goodie!
                                Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                                Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  FWIW, years ago, OK decades ago, I used to ride in a Pariani Milano that was old then. I loved that saddle. Really well balanced. Sad to hear that the current Parianis are not the same.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If you like you Stubben, you might consider the Siegfried CS. The seat is flatter than the Roxane, and I found the flap to be quite forward. I can't figure out how to cut and paste yet on the iPad, but there are a couple of Ainsleys on eBay now for good prices.

                                    Comment

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