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New Saddle, pictures, calling for fitters advice-UPDATE, new saddle with pics

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  • New Saddle, pictures, calling for fitters advice-UPDATE, new saddle with pics

    Ok, so I had another saddle on here a couple months ago, now I have another one I am thinking works but just not quite sure before I spend the money. This saddle is a courbette vision. Now, clearly from pics the horse has some muscling and weight to put on (for those who read last thread, JB, I had to cut his feed recently due to a lameness so we are behind on the the weight/muscle building!!). There are several views to see and the front view you can see through to the back if you look closely. The back view may look off because he is resting his hind foot. Also, normally I ride in a 17.5, but this is an 18 b/c i will be using it for xc with super short stirrups, but am not sure if its hits him too far back on the sensitive area as he has a short back.










    This saddle has a more cut back pomel to better fit my shark fin. What do you think?
    Last edited by Cheval Gris; Mar. 22, 2009, 09:40 PM.
    Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

    "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

  • #2
    I'm not an expert by any means and I'm sure others will chime in, but I don't think the saddle fits at the cantle. The panels don't make contact with the horse's back (the seem to fly up away from the back) and that means that weight distribution of the saddle won't be good. My guess is that the tree shape (from front to back) is too curvy for your horse's back.

    JMO, though.

    Good luck in the saddle search.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

    Comment


    • #3
      I tend to agree - a little too curvy. I'd like to see it girthed down, but it seems to curve up too much at the back. That's better than not curving enough, for sure. But it means there is less panel in contact with the horse, therefore more psi over the panel that is, and it means the saddle could bounce at the back.

      As for the rest, given that we can't see if it's bridging, it seems to fit in other areas - looks wide enough at the shoulders, has good wither clearance, I even like how the lateral shape of the rear panels appears in the pictures.

      I think i would like to see it slid back a little though.

      I would also like to see a better 3/4 front view. The ones you have show the withers, but not the shoulders. That's just as important.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with JB about the lack of pics showing the shoulders.

        The back of the saddle is a bit too curvy, but I too would like to see it girthed with a rider. If this saddle is new or almost new, the flocking may settle enough to allow for a better fit at the back. How soft are the panels?

        It just looks to me like it will settle some, and I bet putting a girth and rider on it would show that it's not nearly as curvy as it appears.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I borrowed it from a friend to try it on for size. I am surprised that it fits up front as i tried another model in the same brand and found it to be too wide up front, but some flocking had been removed. I tend to agree with the back panels sitting a little high. I wonder if putting a fleece or poly under neath would help that? I really love the saddle. Maybe taking some flocking out of the back? The panels are a tad bit hard. So its not too wide? That was my first concern. I hope not too close to perfect up front as he will build muscle and I don't want it to end up being to small up there. After sitting in it though i still had good clearance, unlike the last one I tried which almost gave me none when I sat in it.
          Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

          "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

          Comment


          • #6
            Painted - do you have a saddle fitter that can check the fit for you? It just doesn't LOOK right to me, but not BEING THERE I would hate to say go for it. Does it rock front to back at all? I would expect it to based on your pictures.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you start taking flocking out of the back, not only does that not change the curve of the tree, it will, based on what I see here, cause it to sit downhill, regardless of fitting well up front.

              Move the saddle back a couple of inches, girth it up (still not pad) and get a couple of new pictures. 1 from the side, one from the rear, one from 3/4 front view - all of them showing the whole saddle, girth, and shoulder, at least.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

              Comment


              • #8
                Taking flocking out won't help much. It looks like you would have to take out enough flocking that then the whole saddle will sit wrong.

                Have you tried a Bates Event or Momentum? I have an Event and really like it. It fits my high-withered beastie very well with a half pad. The back of the saddle is made to lie a bit flatter than the Courbette, which is why I mention it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Getting closer!

                  I was in the peanut gallery for the last round, so I just wanted to say that I think you are getting closer! Your horse looks a bit better, and I think this saddle fits better than the last one.

                  I'd ride in it hard enough to make a sweat mark. Otherwise, here's what I think and why I'd actually ride in this one.

                  I can't tell just how well it fits in front. I try to take 3/4 pictures that show the angle of the point of the tree (roughly indicated by the leading edge of the sweat flap) and the angle of my horse's body below it. They should be parallel, or pretty close.

                  Fitting this saddle or any one in the back of this horse could be tough--he looks like he want to be an A-frame through his back. You can modify that with work for him, but chances are he will always want to return to this shape when he's out of work or as he ages. So you could chase down the saddle that has gussetted panels that make the bottom surface conform to the angle of his back.

                  As to the tree being too curved (I assume everyone means front to back) that may not be so. It may be that this saddle is built with "upswept panels" (they curve up toward the cantle rather than flaring out to meet his back.) If you are worried about a long seat reaching too far back, this may be an acceptable compromise, even it if diminishes the weight-bearing area.

                  The big problem with a tree that is, indeed, too curved, is that it will roll back and forth, especially as you post and that will cause lots of pain really quickly. At least that's what I've found. You might want to sit in it, raise up into a two point (with your hand on the cantle) and see if you can feel it rolling. Then ride at the posting trot and to the same. If this saddle passes those tests and you can ride in it for real, I'd do that, make a sweat mark and then look. It should be even under the panels, no dry spots, no kinked or rubbed hair.

                  Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps!
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                    I was in the peanut gallery for the last round, so I just wanted to say that I think you are getting closer! Your horse looks a bit better, and I think this saddle fits better than the last one.
                    Agree, much better starting point than the last one

                    Fitting this saddle or any one in the back of this horse could be tough--he looks like he want to be an A-frame through his back. You can modify that with work for him, but chances are he will always want to return to this shape when he's out of work or as he ages. So you could chase down the saddle that has gussetted panels that make the bottom surface conform to the angle of his back.
                    I don't think it will be that tough. The back looks like it's a "lazy" A frame shape. Not flat, but not terribly A framed. It really is too bad he doesn't have more weight on him right now (I know we've already discussed that, so no need now), as it's very likely that with a change in diet, etc, he may really need a flatter panel. You should go *slightly* flatter than ideal for now, especially if the entire fit is on the wider side (which, based on the horse's current condition, I'd really recommend) and then use some thicker padding. That would all you to thin the padding as he gets more bulk, then add it back if he gets out of work for long enough, and not have to have a "fat" and "thin" saddle, or keep buying/selling to fit his different shapes.

                    As to the tree being too curved (I assume everyone means front to back) that may not be so. It may be that this saddle is built with "upswept panels" (they curve up toward the cantle rather than flaring out to meet his back.) If you are worried about a long seat reaching too far back, this may be an acceptable compromise, even it if diminishes the weight-bearing area.
                    I agree, which is why I'd like to see it girthed up. Depending on how the billets sit, they might, or might not pull the back down a little. I think there's a difference though between panels that fit correctly but are also upswept (my guy has to have that) and a tree that's just too curvy to start with. I'm afraid this might be in the latter category, but it's not fair to say for sure until it's girthed (and slid back a little). I wouldn't even base anything on having the rider sitting in the saddle. If things settle down with the rider's weight, they'll just pop up again when posting or whatnot, and the up and down weighted and not weighted motion can really bother some horses.

                    The big problem with a tree that is, indeed, too curved, is that it will roll back and forth, especially as you post and that will cause lots of pain really quickly. At least that's what I've found. You might want to sit in it, raise up into a two point (with your hand on the cantle) and see if you can feel it rolling. Then ride at the posting trot and to the same. If this saddle passes those tests and you can ride in it for real, I'd do that, make a sweat mark and then look. It should be even under the panels, no dry spots, no kinked or rubbed hair.
                    Exactly, sorry, didn't read this before posting above
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Unfortunately I only had the saddle for a few hours (friend was in town, go figure I missed a good picture). With all that I have read here, which has been extremely helpful, and promising that this seems to fit much better than the last, would adding a thick pad help balance the back (since I can't get back into it and check for rocking while posting/two point)? I have a fitter that I have been working with but was unable to get her out today in short time. She will be able to get one for me to try out and she can see it, but I would like to know I am going in the right direction. Also, does the tree look wide enough that he has some growing room? The last saddle of the same brand I tried was a 32 but had flocking removed it was too big, but this saddle is an original 32. I am not sure if you can tell from the one picture from the pomel, but I can't get a shoulder view because the saddle is gone. And I thought I had taken the right pics.
                      Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

                      "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, try a pad

                        I didn't want to offend the Saddle Fit Purists who might be reading and would (correctly) point out that buying a saddle that needs padding is deeply, deeply wrong.

                        But here on Earth... and for a fit that's close... and for a horse who has a back that will hopefully muscle up and fill in the gap between the cantle-end part of the panels....and if you don't have forever, plus lots of saddling options... then try a pad.

                        The only problem you might have is getting a half pad that is thick enough behind to do what you want, but will still fit up front. If you can borrow one of these, I think you will still need to ride in the whole combo for real. You may be solving a problem in back and creating one in front since the front seems to fit him when he's nekkid.

                        It's kind of scary and imprecise, but if you can try the pad and saddle on him and then feel around under the panels and pad, you might be able to see if you have created a saddle/pad combo that's too tight up front.

                        I think I'm in the same position as you at the moment. I'm having a saddler out to help me with padding or rearranging flocking or starting the he!! over next week. I'll pass on what I learn.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          PH. How far are you from Aiken, SC? The Custom Saddle company is there & they have fabulous fitters or so I've heard. Maybe they can help. In case you haven't looked, see www.mysaddle.com for their information. They also have some great jumping saddles. The quality is fabulous on their saddles but I'm sure they'll help you with the fit of any brand if they can. Just FYI.
                          I have to agree. It just doesn't look right at either end to me.
                          Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                          www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I actually usually like the idea of taking a saddle that is too wide and padding it to fit, particularly if you're dealing with a horse that you're trying to get weight and muscle on and you don't want to keep buying saddles every six months.

                            But if the tree is truly the wrong shape, padding will not fix that. And if the problem is that the back is too upswept on the saddle, then particularly on a jumping saddle that is going to result in some pretty big time back pain for the horse. Even in a well-fitted saddle there's going to be additional stress under the points and stirrup bars when the horse takes a jump and lands; if the panels aren't taking enough weight you're going to get even more pressure right underneath the bars (and even more if the stirrup bars are recessed as most are in newer saddles).

                            Honestly, I would keep looking. Back pain costs more than a new saddle to fix. JHMO.
                            "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree that going a bit too wide, and padding up, is a fantastic way to deal with a lot of horses. If your horse is as wide/filled in/muscled up as he is EVER going to be, at least with you, then go for a saddle that fits with just a regular pad - makes life easier. Then, if he does lose condition, you can use the same saddle, add another pad or just a shim, and still be in business.

                              But with a horse who is growing, or who is in training from out of condition, or who is gaining weight, if you fit a saddle *just right* now, you are in trouble in 3-6 months, tops.

                              I would not use a pad with more in back on this saddle. It looks balanced right now, and padding more in the back will tip it forward.

                              I WOULD slide it back, as already mentioned, and then if you are a little pommel low, then try a shim up front. Yes, I think this saddle is likely a wee bit wide right now, but that's perfect for this horse. Sliding the saddle back and shimming a little up front might make that extra curve in the back a non-issue, at least for now. Just guesstimating based on what I see in the pictures.

                              If you really want to try this saddle, then get it back and ride in it a few times.
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Padding or changing the flocking is not going to fix a tree that is too curvy for your horse. The goal is a saddle that is overall a good fit- just a bit wide. That you can put a nice thick half pad under while your horse fills out. The only way I would go forward with this saddle is if sliding it back a few inches made it have better contact in back, without knocking the balance too far off. Otherwise, keep looking for something similar up front and similar width but on a flatter tree.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If the panels don't make contact in the back of the saddle, a half pad isn't going to fix it. A half pad will fix some things such as a saddle that fits a bit too wide, or one that is wide enough but sits too low on the withers, or panels that are pretty hard but fit well. But it's not going to make the panels have contact in the back.

                                  Have you tried the Stubben Roxanne? I'm not sure how the panels are made, but the saddle is similar in how it fits the rider. I still say try the Bates Event or Momentum though. Lovely saddle and the panels are flatter in the back. If it sits too low on the withers, try it with a half pad.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    different saddle. I think this one fits perfect. Doesn't fit me.

                                    this is a county eventer, but it does not fit me. I think theirs run more like a 17.5 runs like 17. Of course. But I think this is the closest fit so far. What do you think? Not sure that there is any growing room in this one.





                                    Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

                                    "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      It's either too narrow or set too far forward, or a little bit of both. You can see that the lowest point of the saddle is in the back half of it - pommel high. Put a pencil across the seat and you can see it easily.

                                      Personally, I don't think it is so far forward as to account for how much the front-back balance needs to be fixed, so I'd say it's too narrow, despite there seeming to be a proper amount of wither clearance (which is why that's not a single-deciding factor in fit ).
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I definately intially thought too narrow. This is a medium and he really needs a medium wide, but they are all different so I figured I would give it a try. My fitter keeps sending me pics of saddles that aren't what I am looking for. I wont keep the saddle, but am debating sending it back or trading it in for a higher value than I paid for it to get a better saddle. I am learning a lot from this process though! I thought this one was set more back than the last one, so I agree, JB. Would you say this one or the last one was a closer fit?
                                        Honey Badger don't give a s*#^!

                                        "..a three-day event is not a test of speed and endurance, it is a test of character" ~JW

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