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Saddle fitter says one thing; County rep says another

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  • Saddle fitter says one thing; County rep says another

    My usual saddle fitter recommended the County Innovation and said my horse will need the medium tree with the "skid row" panels. County rep came out, tried that size, measured, etc and said she was sure said horse needs narrow. She agrees with panel choice for tb dip.

    What say you?
    Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
    Ms. Brazil

  • #2
    I can sort of see the narrow working for him (if it's the grey in the pic that we are talking about).

    Comment


    • #3
      What does your horse say? Were you able to ride in a demo saddle?

      I know County trees are very wide compared to other saddles. So if your horse is a medium in most trees, he may be Narrow in a County. To give you an example, I am switching my horse's saddle from a Beval to a Innovation. His medium in the Bevel is slightly too tight. He could very easily get a Narrow in County, but I am going with a Medium Narrow with Mattes pad for resale ease.
      Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC
      www.thesaddlefits.com
      Society of Master Saddlers trained saddle fitter

      Comment


      • #4
        Most of my Tb's go in a narrow county (mine has skid row panels which are very helpful for those with hollows near withers and down the back). They have a nice wide channel and the panels allow contact on the back while giving spine clearance. However, if you thought the horse would change than I may go up a bit in size and pad up in the meantime. My medium county does fit some of the wider/rounder Tb's but I have that stuffed closer to the narrow side as well.
        http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          did first saddle fitter actually see either saddle on horse, girthed up, and you riding in it?

          I would go with the person that has seen the saddle on the horse, girthed up, and then I would ride in it w-t-c, perhaps a few jumps, make sure it fits and that the horse likes it! There is no use in guessing at a size of a tree for a horse without seeing these things, it would be like saying I'm 5'6'', what size shoe should I wear?

          I tried a few different CC saddles last year (I was coming from a MN county stabilizer). I felt different and my horse definitely had an opinion on different trees. I ended up going with the close second (We both loved the Amerigo DJ, but it was like $1500 more than the Vesuvio I ended up getting - which she goes much better in than the too narrow County and I feel secure in it)

          Comment


          • #6
            My County Innovation is an XN because the tree runs so wide (my horse is a true narrow). I would go with what the County rep said since they are more familiar with their brand.

            Comment


            • #7
              Listen to the county rep...County saddles in general run a lot wider than most other saddles....I've got 2 Innovations, my narrow with skid row panels-which would really be a medium in other brands is for my Tb's-, and my other Innovation is a medium which would be considered a wide in most other brands-is for my Wb's and my one exceptionally big/wb bodied Tb

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                My regular saddle fitter has seen her a couple of times. She tried my trainer's County dressage saddle (medium) and said it would fit with stuffing where the hollows are. They're using a shim instead.

                The rep put a medium demo on her and said she needs the narrow, also with the SR panels. She's bringing a narrow later this week.

                My horse is narrowish an i can certainly believe she'd take a narrow but she is not 100% filled out. I don't feel competent to judge which person has it right.

                What do you think about my asking to keep the demo for a day and hoeing the fitter for a second opinion?
                Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                Ms. Brazil

                Comment


                • #9
                  My regular saddle fitter has seen her a couple of times. She tried my trainer's County dressage saddle (medium)
                  Which dressage saddle? the Perfection fits a bit wider, more compareable to the Innovation tree ...


                  My horse is narrowish an i can certainly believe she'd take a narrow but she is not 100% filled out. I don't feel competent to judge which person has it right.

                  What do you think about my asking to keep the demo for a day and hoeing the fitter for a second opinion?
                  How old is your horse?
                  You should definitely be able to arrange multiple rides on however many demo saddles as needed, some reps are able to leave saddles with you, others not so much depending on what's in their demo kit ... County head office can usually help track down a suiitable demo that you can have shipped in (just talk to your rep or call directly - you do need to pay shipping, but get to keep the saddle for several days, these are usually saddles on the "Demo List" but sometimes come out of "retired" demo kits).
                  You may want to try the Sensation if you haven't already.

                  If you're able to shop used, really try out the Stabilizer & Conquest as well, so you know what your horse needs in each saddle: sometimes you'll find that with more saddle time, your preferance changes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gr8fulrider View Post
                    My regular saddle fitter has seen her a couple of times. She tried my trainer's County dressage saddle (medium) and said it would fit with stuffing where the hollows are. They're using a shim instead.

                    The rep put a medium demo on her and said she needs the narrow, also with the SR panels. She's bringing a narrow later this week.
                    Well, that right there could explain the confusion. It's likely that your fitters aren't disagreeing at all. They're actually saying the same thing. County builds a variety of saddles on a variety of trees, some A-shaped trees and some U-shaped trees. The U-shaped trees tend to run considerably wider than the A-shaped trees. It is not only very possible to have a horse who wears a medium A-shaped tree and a narrow U-shaped tree, it's downright common. There's a horse in my barn with a similar split: his jump saddle is a U-shaped medium wide and his dressage saddle is an A-shaped extra wide.

                    So if your saddle fitter was talking about an A-shaped medium dressage saddle, and your County fitter was talking about a U-shaped narrow jump saddle, they may be talking about saddles that would fit exactly the same horse.
                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Having been through a custom saddle with a County rep, and then more recently using a saddle fitter that was not brand specific, I would probably lean towards the medium tree depending on the age and muscle of your horse. The medium with a mattes pad will help with fit, and allow his topline to fill out as his back changes...but if he's at his peak, then he may be a true narrow.

                      Just based on my experience, and a few friends that have bought County - It seems County tends to fit TB's into Narrow trees, the County saddle I had fitted to my TB was a Narrow with SR panels - I bought the new custom saddle. Fast forward 3 years, and now the saddle fitter I am using (non-County) said both my TB's need a medium-wide! The narrow was way too tight on both, including the one the saddle was originally made for.

                      Narrow trees are much harder to resell...so keep that in mind too.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks, everyone. This is a lot of good stuff to go on.
                        Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                        Ms. Brazil

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It seems County tends to fit TB's into Narrow trees, the County saddle I had fitted to my TB was a Narrow with SR panels - I bought the new custom saddle. Fast forward 3 years, and now the saddle fitter I am using (non-County) said both my TB's need a medium-wide!
                          How old was your TB when fitted for his custom? did you have the tree re-assessed close to the 1 year mark (County will change out the tree at minimal cost if a tree change is needed within the first year BUT this does not apply to any saddles off the Demo List).

                          I have a Welsh Cob who went from a med-narrow to a med between 3 & 4, then from a med to a wide between 4 & 5 ...
                          Trainers "rescue" OTTB went from a N to MW between 3 & 5 ... (& that was with minimal work as his feet were a disaster) ...

                          I would probably lean towards the medium tree depending on the age and muscle of your horse.
                          A Medium Innovation on a "narrow" TB with a high wither would likely result in the saddle sitting down on the wither when horse canters etc - especially after the wool settles, if OP wants to go with a Med tree on this horse, a Sensation or Stabilizer/Conquest would likely be a safer choice ...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gr8fulrider View Post
                            Thanks, everyone. This is a lot of good stuff to go on.
                            I just realized this is (maybe) for Brazil W - lovely, lovely horse

                            If so, I'd assume that she will likely build a fair amount of topline (I don't think you've done much intensive training yet) - going back to Sarah Andrew's photos I'd encourage you into the Sensation etc, if you stay with the Innovation, really grill your County rep about the suitability of that tree with her wither & watch for any impingement over time.

                            (of course I can't see much from that single photo so I'm making some pretty big assumptions here )

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by alto View Post
                              I just realized this is (maybe) for Brazil W - lovely, lovely horse

                              If so, I'd assume that she will likely build a fair amount of topline (I don't think you've done much intensive training yet) - going back to Sarah Andrew's photos I'd encourage you into the Sensation etc, if you stay with the Innovation, really grill your County rep about the suitability of that tree with her wither & watch for any impingement over time.

                              (of course I can't see much from that single photo so I'm making some pretty big assumptions here )
                              Thank you. Yes, it's for Ms. Brazil. She has a lot more topline since that picture was taken. She's not all of the way there, but if you see her now and in six months you would not say 'I can't believe that's the same horse!" She does still have what I call the "valleys" though. My regular fitter thought she was developed enough for me to get a forever saddle.

                              So, after trying a bunch of stuff on her on Monday, the County lady came back last night with several saddles she thought could work. I mixed the Conquest because I could tell it would be wrong for my conformation. The Stabilizer just did not work on Brazil at all. It bridged weirdly. She has a narrow innovation with SR and shoulder gussets that really makes sense for her conformation. At this point it actually ran a tad wide on her but was perfect with a shimmed Mattes pad- which i think bodes well for her as she fills out, as does the fact that the shoilder gussets can be adjusted. I have it on trial.

                              It's nicer than any piece of furniture I've ever owned. My horse has a tough life.
                              Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                              Ms. Brazil

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have it on trial.
                                best words ever when considering saddles

                                Now do a lesson followed by a cooling hack so you're in the saddle for a couple of hours - that will usually clarify any fit issue for you


                                She has a lot more topline since that picture was taken.
                                & where are the photos!!!
                                I bet Sarah would love to come out & do some
                                - except she's likely m.i.l.e.s away


                                Did you try the Sensation? I now it's $$ more BUT several people have gotten them from the Demo List at the 20% sale ...
                                (anyone that has the right horse shape for the CS , has raved about the difference in their horse between the CS & the CI)

                                jn4jenny would absolutely counsel you to try some of the Hastilow or Black Country etc saddles that also offer similar panels, especially if you want to consider used (Hastilow usually has a considerable used selection).

                                I didn't seriously consider any saddle that didn't have a real local rep (travelling though once a month during show season was not my idea of "local")

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Keep in mind that you can also have the tree adjusted if she needs something wider.

                                  I bought a used County that had been widened before I bought it. While it worked fine on my WB Next spring I'm having it narrowed to fit my TB.

                                  You just need to be careful that you use someone who knows what they are doing.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                  Comment

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