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Saddle fit- K panels, Trapezius panels, found photos

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  • Saddle fit- K panels, Trapezius panels, found photos

    There are a couple of saddle fit threads and I didn't know where to put this so I started a new one.

    I am looking at the Trumbell Mountain Tack Shop website and they appear to have a very generous demo/fitting/return program.

    They also seem to have the types of saddles that JB, MVP and the other armchair saddle fitters have been talking about a lot.

    If any of y'all care to comment on this photo - the K panel, and tell us how it differs from the 2nd photo, the trapezius panel - and what sort of horse would do well with each one?

    K Panel - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...ics/Kpanel.JPG

    Trap Panel - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...oppedpanel.JPG


    Same thing with panels - gussets versus upswept/traditional panels

    Upswept - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...sweptpanel.JPG

    gusseted - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...setedpanel.JPG

    wither gusset - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...hergussets.JPG (can y'all explain, again, the relevance of this?)



    Any experience with this tack shop?


    Thanks!
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling

  • #2
    Originally posted by JSwan View Post
    I am looking at the Trumbell Mountain Tack Shop website and they appear to have a very generous demo/fitting/return program.
    They do. Search the forums for their name, spelled correctly (Trumbull Mountain)--they are widely lauded and praised by previous customers.

    And the reason they have so many of the saddles often discussed on this forum is they're one of the few saddleries with staff members who understand saddle fitting fairly well and comprehensively--they go way beyond "Looks like your horse needs a medium tree". Thus, they carry brands of saddle that are likely to fit many horses and riders and to solve many common saddle fitting quandaries.

    If any of y'all care to comment on this photo - the K panel, and tell us how it differs from the 2nd photo, the trapezius panel - and what sort of horse would do well with each one?

    K Panel - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...ics/Kpanel.JPG

    Trap Panel - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...oppedpanel.JPG
    I am not an expert, but I've been told that the K panel is mainly for horses who tend to be pear shaped, meaning narrower up near their shoulder and withers than they are where the rear panels rest, meaning you need more panel up front to hold the thing in place and keep it from scooting back. The Trap Panel tends to accommodate a very different kind of horse: one with huge dips in their wither pockets right behind the scapula (dips so big that a wither gusset isn't going to get the job done).

    You will also hear the term Skid Row Panel tossed around. That's the term County uses for its custom drawn panels that look a lot like a trapezius panel. It was named after the first horse they built the panel for (Skid Row).

    Same thing with panels - gussets versus upswept/traditional panels

    Upswept - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...sweptpanel.JPG

    gusseted - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...setedpanel.JPG
    Just picture it on a horse's back and the answer should be fairly obvious. Upswept is a better choice for a curvy topline as it will keep the rear of the panel from sticking into the horse's back in motion. Upswept is also a good choice if the rider needs a saddle that's longer than the horse's back can comfortably accommodate--you can buy back an inch or so of "back real estate" and still get a slightly longer seat with an upswept panel. The danger, of course, is exactly that you're filling up less real estate on the horse's back and pressing more weight on it. But if there's enough real estate, that shouldn't be an issue.

    Gusseted is the preferred panel shape if you're looking for maximum weight spread-out across the back real estate available, but on a less-than-flat-backed horse, you could get poking in the loin area.

    wither gusset - http://www.trumbullmtn.com/Saddle_Pi...hergussets.JPG (can y'all explain, again, the relevance of this?)
    Wither gussets can do two things for you: if you have a horse with small dips on each side of the wither, and you anticipate that those dips will gradually go away as the horse gets into serious work and/or grows up, the gussets will fill that dippy space and thereby keep the saddle from tilting forward. If the horse starts to fill out in the area, the soft wool flocking in these gussets will gradually and naturally compress until they're practically not there. Another reason you might have these wither gussets is to prop a saddle up and off a shark-fin wither (although for that job, I'm a much bigger fan of using a sheepskin half pad. JMHO.)

    Just a tip: You could have had all of these questions answered on the phone with Trumbull, probably more thoroughly and better than it will be explained here. Call them. They're very nice and very low pressure.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Panels and anatomy

      Some stuff to add:

      TM will tell you that K-panels-- the long triangular looking ones-- can't be done on a Quantum tree (their/Black Country's lotta saddle impression of a close contact saddle). TM says this is because the Quantum tree doesn't have "enough room" for them. I'm not quite sure that that means since County's Skid Rows look like something in between the T-panels and K-panels. From the outside, a County tree is any taller or broader than a Quantum tree, so this amateur doesn't get it.

      I also think T- and K-panels are meant to do versions of the same thing-- fill in missing muscle behind the wither. That is primarily missing trapezius (techically, lower trapezius which extends from the scapular spine (the bony ridge you can feel) and the spinal processes down the length of the withers. The trapezius is a relatively thin sheet of muscle which does not repair itself quite as well as horses age.

      But the same part of the horse-- below (sternally) the trapezius consists of part of the latissimus dorsi. I suppose these can get thin, too. I think thin lats can contribute to wither hollows in the old horse or the narrow bodied, "not well-sprung ribs" kind of animal.

      So the big question is about how "wide" (front to back) and "long" (top to bottom) are the "wither hollows" you are trying to fill? To me this seems the right question to ask when you are choosing among T-, K- and Skid Row panels.

      From the "Compendium of Measurements" post in Risk-Averse Rider's thread, "Dryspots...." I noted that for my horse, that diagonal measurement-- from the panel's "dot" near the withers back to the edge of the sweat flap when the tape measure is about at 45 degree angle-- had to be at least 7 inches. The other way of saying this is that his wither hollows-- like a lake bed-- are long and wide. It says nothing about their depth-- how far "in" to the horse's body they go. The BC Quantum's regular panels are 5" measured this way. I don't know how long the T-panels are. Anyone? The k-panels, now that you can visualize all this, will probably be much, much longer in this diaganal dimension.

      What panel do you need? You know this by feeling around under the bottom edge the panel. You are not only feeling for "suddenly less pressure" anywhere (this means not enough padding so that the panel meets your horse's back), but also for whether or not the panel comes down to the bottom edge of the hollow trapezius/lats.

      Try all this with different shaped paneled saddles, then measure the panels of those and you will know just how much you wish saddlers had invented these "special" panel shapes long ago or not.

      If you haven't guessed already, shoulder gussets and T-, K-, S R- panels are separate things. Shoulder gussets do fill in "wither hollows" but they do so at the front of the saddle (and back to some point in the panel like a wedge with the fat end at the front of the saddle and the point back in the panel). Horse's like mine who want pure air on the sides of the top-part of his wither hollows in front do want T-panels, but don't necessarily want shoulder gussets. Get it?

      I will try a shoulder-gusset paneled saddle on him this weekend/early next week and report back his official ruling.

      Nice thread-- thanks!
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

      Comment


      • #4
        mvp, the reason a K panel can't be done on a Quantum is basically that the tree is too small - just not enough room for the panel. The solution to that is the Ricochet, which is the Quantum built on a Wexford tree, with the Wexford panel, which is kissing cousin to the trap. panel.

        If you'd like to contact Nikki Newcombe (who just finished her SMS QSF) at Black Country, her e-mail is nikki@blackcountrysaddles.com; she might be able to explain it more clearly.

        And thanks to everyone for the kind words regarding Trumbull Mtn. - MUCH appreciated!
        Kitt Hazelton
        Saddle Fitter
        www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
        www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Kitt--

          I assume the "problem" with a Quantum tree is that it is not a deep seat as the Wexford tree would be. That might mean that with the higher pommel, the rails of the tree are higher up off the horses back, creating more vertical room for the flocking involved in a K-panel?

          I wish I could see a Ricochet. From the pictures they look like a deep seated, square cantle close contact show jumping saddle. But its tough to tell.

          I think a trip to England is in order. Now if I hadn't spent all the money on shipping candidate saddles to me.....

          Thanks for the info. Let me know if I have got all this geometry right.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat

          Comment


          • #6
            Oooh! I just ordered a Ricochet, I can take pictures from all kinds of angles when it gets here if you guys want to see it. I got it with the gusseted panels and the wither gussets along with the K-Panel. I have a 16.1 TB with high withers, but a little bit af scar tissue around them from previous owners poor fitting saddle. His back is wider (well sprung ribs I guess?) so he needed the extra wide padding that the gusseted panels offer. I tried almost every saddle out there and this seemed to be the only one wide enough in the back and narrow enough in the front.

            I worked with Trumbull Mountain and they were absolutely wonderful. I would highly recommend them to anyone. I also have a local saddle fitter helping me here and they worked together very well to get the best fit for my horse.

            Comment


            • #7
              Folsom, that would be awesome!
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

              Comment


              • #8
                Will do, as soon as it gets here I'll post a ton of pictures (on and off the horse). You might want to bookmark this thread if you want to see them, cause it's not due in for another 3 weeks or so, but I'll post them as soon as I get it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just want to say that Trumbull Mtn. is really great to deal with.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just bought a Wexford from Trumbull Mtn, and the folks there were tremendously helpful, and patient with all my questions. They took a look at some photos of my horse, wither tracings etc, and were able to make some recommendations of different saddles to try. They specifically had ideas of tree shapes that would (or definitely wouldn't) fit her. They also have a great website, with lots of info regarding differences in the panel shapes. Check out the blog that is associated. There is some good discussion/photos of different horses and fitting solutions that worked. Good luck!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      They have a Wexford you can demo???????

                      How did you like the Wexford - and do you mind if I ask you what your build is? I'm tall and have long legs and prefer a very forward flap and a seat that places you farther back in the saddle. The Wexford seems to be built like that.

                      And this may sound odd but I don't like a narrow twist. My pelvis isn't suited to it and all these darn saddle makers seem to harp on how narrow the twist is. I feel like I'm straddling a fence board in that design.

                      Did you do all the measurements and photos they suggest?
                      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                      -Rudyard Kipling

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        They did have a Wexford for me to try. I ended up with a 17" and its perfect. I'm 5'7" and about 130 lbs. My legs are very long for my height (I have a very short torso) and the saddle fits me like a glove. The twist is less narrow than any other a/p or cc saddle I've tried. I wanted a saddle I could do a lot of flatwork in too, and its quite comfortable to sit in. The seat is soft, and the twist is wide enough for my butt bones to have a place to go when I'm really sitting.

                        I emailed the photos they wanted, and I mailed the wither tracing to them. I was fortunate to be driving by the tack shop on a LONG road trip, and I sat in a bunch of different saddles. The Wexford was by far the most comfortable.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I bought a Wexford from TMT almost three years ago. My old, shark-fin TB put the staff through their paces - I tried about six different saddles, both new and used; submitted wither tracings, etc. I cannot say enough about the staff at TMT - my saddle search lasted for about three months, and they were incredibly patient, informative and helpful throughout. I also sold an old saddle through their store - again, a wonderful experience. You can feel utterly confident you are in great hands with this store (and the Black Country saddles are the best I've ever come across - you wont be disappointed).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You TM fans

                            How did you order a saddle you hadn't tried as in a Richochet or trapezius paneled one?

                            As I understand it, they don't have demos of these. Did you just buy on the TM folk's word or did they find similar demos for you?

                            Thanks!

                            P. S. Please put me in line for the pics of the Richochet. It's a Wexford tree with a square cantle right? Does that mean just deeper than the Quantum or with a balance point further back, too? Twist narrower than the quantum? Perhaps just have your booty call my booty and they can compare notes.

                            P. P. S. I jumped in the Maelstrom I have on trial today. The flaps moved with my leg and end up curled behind my knee like a saddle wedgie. I can't explain it, but it's a product of that very soft leather I think. Maybe I'm not riding well (an effect to the saddle hunt/distraction, I'm sure), but this feature sucked. Just a heads up-- y'll might same some money if you got this saddle in the single-ply Quantum version.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              From the pictures, description and tracings they suggested trying a regular paneled Wexford first, and if it seemed like we needed it, they'd order on with a trapezius panel to try. Turned out I didn't need it. The shape of the regular Wexford panel filled that dip behind her withers without the TP.
                              M

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Amerigos

                                JB- I can tell you that a good tack store sent a wide Amerigo (CC I think) to me based on wither tracings and it was too wide. Well, sort of.

                                Too much Cathedral Effect and hard flocked panels made it roll back and forth. So very wide tree with room all around the withers, but following his back behind the shoulder lower down. One can see how someone picked this tree for my horse from wither tracings and pictures alone.

                                Except for the excessive CE up front, the saddle's panels looked and felt pretty good everywhere else on my horse's back. I also see why these saddles have a reputation for fitting the shark-fin withered horse. But some wither combined with a broad back as mine and many older WBs have just didn't work.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The Quantum, Maelstrom, and Wexford are built on the same tree. And the Waterford and Ricochet are built on the same tree. They didn't have a Ricochet in stock yet, so I demo'ed a Waterford with the K Panels and it fit my boy beautifully. So I ordered the Ricochet with the K Panel because I wanted the squared off cantle. Same tree and panels as the Waterford I took on demo, just a different cantle.

                                  PS - tried Amerigos on my boy, the tree had too much of that "banana" shape and did the rolling thing with him too

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Clarification

                                    FolsomBlues that was helpful-- so let me make sure I have this right--

                                    2 Trees or 3-- Quantum and Maelstrom are the same, Wexford, too? Waterford is different. Someone else thought Q and M were the same, Wexford a deeper all purpose kind of seat. Never heard of a Waterford before.

                                    Did you get the Waterford with K Panels from Trumbull Mountain or did you work with another retailer?

                                    Every time I hear about a saddle that has worked for a horse like mine, hope springs afresh.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                      JB- I can tell you that a good tack store sent a wide Amerigo (CC I think) to me based on wither tracings and it was too wide. Well, sort of.

                                      Too much Cathedral Effect and hard flocked panels made it roll back and forth. So very wide tree with room all around the withers, but following his back behind the shoulder lower down. One can see how someone picked this tree for my horse from wither tracings and pictures alone.

                                      Except for the excessive CE up front, the saddle's panels looked and felt pretty good everywhere else on my horse's back. I also see why these saddles have a reputation for fitting the shark-fin withered horse. But some wither combined with a broad back as mine and many older WBs have just didn't work.
                                      Interesting, and that makes sense why it (well, it was a Vega Jump actually) fit my wither-horse very well. I SO wish I'd taken a picture of that. I think I can understand how it might not work for a very broad-backed horse, though I'd have to see the combo to really understand. I do understand though why some of the broad-back saddles often recommend a point billet, or at least 4 billets so you can tailor the girth location to deal with some rolling. I think if I'd seen that particular situation you described, I'd have lightly shimmed the front to deal with the "too wide. Well sort of" deal, just to see how that affected it
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I thought the Wexford and Quantum are on different trees, and I believe the Malestrom is just the Quantum with a particular leather. My saddle fitter and I are working directly with Nikki for my impossibly to fit horse and self!- he's got big shoulders, tall withers, big dip in back and is kind of broad. I have a very long thigh so I need a very forward flap and like a more wide twist, which does not seem to often come with jump saddles. The Ricochet is basically just the Wexford with a squared off cantle, and apparently that tree has more "give" so to speak WRT panels and such (I think someone already mentioned this). I had a Quantum that I purchased for a TB I leased, and we tried to get it to work for my current guy. Total NO GO, and I am also not able to balance properly in it. I now have a Ricochet on order, which given how he looks Nikki said would be basically our best (and probably last) option. I think we got the K panels, but not positive.

                                        I have never heard of the Waterford- could someone provide more details on that one?

                                        I also tried the Amerigo CC. It fit Moose better, but still needed some tweaking and I wasn't completely sold on it for myself. The twist seemed too narrow for me, and I really needed more forward flaps and a pretty large seat.

                                        Comment

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