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Jump saddle suggestions for shorter backed horse?

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  • Jump saddle suggestions for shorter backed horse?

    Hi All,
    I have a new horse who has a normal to slighty short-ish back length, whereas the horse I lost had a very long back... (To give an idea, the new guy, Sport, wears a 75/76 blanket, whereas General wore an 80/81).

    That said, we have come to the very unfortunate conclusion that my current jump saddle (Courbette Vision) does NOT fit my new horse in terms of 1. the deepest part of the saddle - where you sit - is not in the middle of his back (the "sit" spot is behind the middle of his back) and 2. the saddle extends past his last rib to rest over his kidneys. *sigh*

    So, that said I am looking for a new jump saddle for Sport... Any suggestions? I can't afford alot (no more than $1000), and am open to new or used. TIA!

    Last edited by Moderator 1; Apr. 25, 2011, 12:08 PM.
    View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com

  • #2
    I am struggling with this same problem since I now have a 14.1hh pony (with a short/flat back). What I found is a ancient (20+ year old) Pessoa seems to be most comfortable for her. Unfortunately the saddle belongs to a riding school so I am trying to find something that works I can actually buy. My pony HATES my lovely County saddle

    The important thing is to look at the more old school type saddle if you have a budget, you do not want a saddle with a wide panel/gullet and gussets. Try some of the older saddles like the Pessoas, Crosbys and Beval saddles. You can find them pretty cheap as well if you keep your eyes open.
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


    • #3
      God I hate the Vision. I haven't seen a horse those damn things fit appropriately yet. And they are the heaviest SOBs on earth.

      Anyway, how big of a seat do you need for your leg/ thigh?

      We have one rider with a 19" thigh bone who has a 17" backed horse. Another has a 17.5-18" thigh bone who has a 16.5" hony. Both of them have Albion jumping saddles (tall skinny has a Kontrol, shorter with pony has a K2) with extra forward flaps. The Kontrol was also ordered with the cantle laid back to increase the horizontal space in the saddle.

      I am a shorty but I think my K2 is not really much less secure than the Visions I've ridden in.

      If you don't need a seat size shorter than your thigh length, or don't need extra space to accommodate junk in the trunk , I would imagine any saddle that fits your horse well could work for you.


      • Original Poster

        A 16.5 hh hony?!?

        Funny, I don't find the Vision all that heavy. I have an average length/ size thigh. The current saddle is a 17.5" (and *I* definitely need a 17 - 17.5"! ).

        So, suggestions so far:
        Albion (Kontrol or K2)
        Older Pessoa

        Any others folks?
        View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com


        • #5
          Originally posted by texang73 View Post
          A 16.5 hh hony?!?
          No no no! Hony is 14.2ish, his saddle/ back is 16.5 INCHES.

          And you must have big muscles! Those dang things are beasts!


          • #6
            agree with the Albion Kontrol. Several of the Walsall made saddles could work, County and Black Country on the more expensive side, but there are many others such as the Kent and Masters that are less. Check with Trumball Mtn and with www.classicsaddlery.com (Lynda) about whether they think anything they have in stock would fit well. Both are good about which saddles fit what type of horses.
            Last edited by scubed; Apr. 25, 2011, 02:47 PM.
            OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


            • #7
              Please avoid references to saddles you may have for sale to comply with our posting policies.

              Check out www.cothclassifieds.com for free text-only ads.

              Mod 1


              • #8
                I owned an Albion Kontrol, it is the LAST saddle I would recommend for a horse with a very short back. Ditto all the Walsall saddles, they all have long, wide panels with gussets that do exactly the opposite of what the OP is looking for.

                None of them will be in the OPs budget either.
                On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                • #9
                  I don't know, I used them on my very short backed one (16+ hands and 74-75 inch blanket size) and they fit really well. She describes her horse as 75-76 inch blanket, which is not super, super short and I think these saddles work well for those. The panels are wide and gusseted, but not long IMHO.
                  The pariani maximus here was recommended to me for my 74 inch blanket, very uphill, wide guy and fit him quite well though I didn't find it comfortable for me http://www.classicsaddlery.com/close...nsignments.htm
                  OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                  • #10
                    I had the same issue with my new horse, plus the fact that he has a wide/long shoulder and virtually NO muscle over his back when I got him :/

                    Ended up with a used Black Country Quantum, a little out of your price range but LOVE it!!! Nancy at Trumbull Mountain is fantastic...I sent her back pictures and she recommended saddles to try. One of the main things to look for is upswept panels in the back to keep the saddle "short" lengthwise. How about the shape of his back? Is is more flat or slightly curved? The Walsall/English made saddles are great for having a slightly more curved tree that seems to fit shorter backed horses well.

                    Older Pessoas also work well and can be found on Ebay for less than 1K...I was using an older Blyth Tait Event model before I found the Black Country. Only problem is it's more of a minimalist saddle with small blocks and a shallower seat. ETA - Stubben Roxane is another one to try.

                    Good luck!
                    No Trouble
                    2/2/05 - 7/29/13
                    Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.


                    • #11
                      ya just need a saddle with banana shaped/upswept panels.

                      I have to ride my horses in an 18" seat and all my horses have very very short backs. I use prestige jumping saddle. LOVE them!

                      prestige saddles: upswept panels.

                      wide weight bearing panels that will bridge on short backed or croup high horses:
                      Albion saddle:

                      do you see the difference in the panels?
                      The Tollhouse (sorry, I call them Tollhouse saddles because I can't read and that's what the spelling reminded me of...)
                      seem like they might work.
                      They have a new genesis tree which might be cool...and they won't break the bank.

                      I think Lynda (mentioned above) has them.
                      I was talking with her last week. She has a 18.5" Annice DL model with the genesis tree that I would have looked at if the horse I need a saddle for was not a 40cm. I don't remember if you said you were super tall or not...
                      Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                      • Original Poster

                        All great suggestions, thanks! I'll have to get pics of his back etc. and send them to Trumbull Mountain.

                        Though I know his back will change since he is young-ish and currently in training (just for six weeks, but I know his back will continue to change as he and I progress further with lessons, etc.)

                        Thanks all!
                        View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com


                        • #13
                          There are some saddles that have trees that can be adjusted.

                          VTO and Dover can adjust the trees of the Prestige saddles up to 3cm.

                          I bought mine when my TB was 4 y/o.
                          at age 6 I had it stretched 3 cm for him.

                          There are other saddles that have this type of adjustment.

                          Then there are the saddles with the key adjuster like the Tollhouse and Lazer.
                          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                          • #14
                            I would contact a custom saddle fitting company my preference is CWD and tell them you are looking for a used saddle and would like them to evaluate your horse's back and help find you the right saddle fit. A lot of times when people get a custom saddle they trade their old saddle in for some money off or they tell the company they have to sell their saddle before they buy one of theirs. So there are a lot of nice used saddles they have access to but do not advertise. They know how a lot of saddle fit so they can give you a check list for what to look for if they don't have something immediately. Good Luck!
                            Dacia Peters-Imperato
                            Standing FOR PLAY, Hanoverian Stallion - Style of a Hunter, Scope/Power of a Show Jumper, Balance/Cadence of a Dressage horse. California


                            • #15
                              I had this problem with my 14.2 QH mare. I had an 18" Collegiate Diploma that was much too long for her back. I like to ride in a saddle with a half inch bigger seat for my long leggs. I bought a used 17.5" Passier that fit her prefectly, and fit me pretty well too. Its could have been more forward, but it worked out well.
                              I have a friend that had an Arab/QH gelding that passed for 15hh with shoes on. He had a pretty short back and she rode him in a 17" Crosby which worked out great for both of them.


                              • #16
                                hmmm...I've ridden a lot of itty bitties over the years, including ponies, and I never seem to deal with this. I rode a 15.3h (3 inches of that was withers)/69" blanket mare for a few years and my biggest issue was finding saddle pads that didn't swallow her whole. I ride in Berney Bro. saddles. The biggest issue I've ever had is on the current itty bitty I'm riding; a barely 15h arab cross. But my issue with her is my xc saddle feels like it sits so far forward over her shoulders that I'm perched over ears...I ride her in a less forward show jumping saddle, instead. Maybe you should investigate a Berney Bro. I ride mostly in a TW.


                                • #17
                                  My trainer rides a number of her clients ponies including mediums. She loves the Beval Devon. However that might is a really close contact saddle. The Devon's with the padded flap go for more money. I just sold mine for $1,300 it was in pristine condition think Demo model. Ridden in enough to be broken in but that is about it. I have seen them used in excellent shape for more like $1,600. However the older ones without the padded flaps I see for $600-800.

                                  Trainer also uses a Arc de Triumph that has a bit more to it but I think that one is pretty expensive and I don't see them used.
                                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                                  • #18
                                    Same issue (but pony has Shoulders) - definitely easier to find 16 1/2" seat saddles that fit his back length: have not tried a single 17 1/2 saddle that is not too long to actually ride in/ really assess fit (for some reason this size is very popular with local tack shops & online demo saddles).

                                    Sit in as many saddles as you can find - some saddles are much more generous in seat fit than others.

                                    Pessoa Gen X & Equipe did fit the length of his back, just not shoulders or curve/shape of back; have tried a couple of County saddles that did fit back length just fine (rep fitted a used dressage saddle that currently works) - I'm just not keen on spending that much on a saddle for a 4yr old; also tried a 17" Antares Spooner which was fine lengthwise, actualy a little wide then but likey has future potential (at a nice used price ).
                                    Really liked an older Beval Devon but need a wide tree & that's rare in used Bevals.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by alto View Post
                                      Really liked an older Beval Devon but need a wide tree & that's rare in used Bevals.
                                      There is a really nice one on ebay. I need a medium tree!

                                      Jake's Place in Petaluma California has a 16.5 wide tree Beval Devon 2000 with suede knee rolls but no blocks that she will sell for $500. I took it on trial but it is too wide for my pony. It is in good shape and will be nice with oiling.
                                      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by texang73 View Post
                                        I can't afford alot (no more than $1000), and am open to new or used. TIA!
                                        I'm kind of charmed at how many people on this thread missed this statement. Lots of good saddles mentioned here, but almost none under $1000 new or used (excepting older Pessoas, Berney Bros, Passier.)

                                        When you're in this situation--short backed horse, rider needs a seat size that's close to the horse's "safe" limit--it's even more important than usual to *start by considering the horse*. Can you tell us more about the horse's back? Or ideally show us a picture? Or, barring that, at least tell us whether he was a good fit in the Vision *except* for the length issue?

                                        Yes, in most cases, you will need an upswept panel in the rear--but you can easily make a short-backed horse backsore by choosing a saddle that upsweeps too dramatically for the horse's topline, meaning that the weight-bearing surface for the saddle is small and concentrated behind the shoulders. So it's a delicate calculus.
                                        Last edited by jn4jenny; Apr. 26, 2011, 04:09 PM.
                                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/