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Need Saddle fitting advice

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  • Need Saddle fitting advice

    The day before my horse was laid up for 5 months, I had a saddle fitter come out and reflock his saddle. It was sitting too low on his withers at the time. The saddle fitter said he would re-stuff the saddle to where it was originally. It looked fine when placed on his back with no rider and no girth.

    Now 5 months later I have started him back under saddle. The saddle is still fine with no girth, but once I girth it up, the panels come slightly off his back. I am also now trying out a different saddle on him and it is doing the same thing, particularly when his head is low.

    What is causing this? Thanks!

  • #2
    It seems very possible to me that your horse lost topline/condition with 5 months off. The best bet is to have the saddle fitter back out. Or at least take good photos so we can help you a little better.
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


    • #3
      It sounds like the saddle is rocking on his back -- probably because (as mentioned above) he has lost his topline during the time off. Best to get the saddle fitter back out so that your horse doesn't end up with a sore back while you're bringing him back into condition.
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


      • Original Poster

        Agree that saddle is rocking. But I am wondering if it a tree issue rather than a matter of restuffing it again? The saddle fitter did not check saddle fit girthed up so I don't know if it was doing this same thing 5 months ago. My guess is that it was, as the horse was not all that fit when he reflocked the saddle. I wasn't too happy with saddle fitter and he has a big trip charge so I am not sure if I want to bring him back out. I could take pics tonight if they would be helpful.


        • #5
          Yes, photos would help. It's hard to find someone who you trust. Some fitters don't actually leave you any better off than you started.
          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


          • #6
            I only found a satisfactory saddle one month ago and that was after more than a year of looking. One tip I found out about during this discouraging period, was to press straight down on the pommel while the saddle is sitting on the horse's back without a girth or pad. A saddle should not flip up in the back if you do this; it should remain firmly settled. A saddle that is going to rock more than a little while being ridden in, should not pass this test.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks! I have had 11 saddles on this horse and none have met to his satisfaction for more than a couple of months. I will try to get some photos tonight.


              • #8
                Assuming it really did fit after the reflocking, and you're just dealing with a loss of muscle at this moment, there are many good shims you can use up front to replace where the muscle isn't, and then thin/remove the shims as his muscle comes back.

                It's not just a matter of using another pad, not all the time. In this case it could be, if he's got more or less equal muscle loss on his whole topline. But if it's just at his withers, then another pad all the length of the saddle will make what's behind there not quite right.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • Original Poster

                  So are you thinking I should shim up the front and not the back?

                  I got so engrossed in picking up the other horse at the clinic and getting him settled that I forgot about saddle issues! Will try to remember to get photos tomorrow.


                  • #10
                    If the tree fit before he was out of work, the tree fits now, but the flocking is now out of whack with the amount of muscling. So yes, shim the front, which will raise the front and get rid of the rocking.
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET