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Saddles for the Exceptionally Wide Cob: small budget edition

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  • Saddles for the Exceptionally Wide Cob: small budget edition

    I'm looking for a unicorn. Well, a saddle for a unicorn, within a depressingly small budget of 1k CAD.

    My morganXhaflinger has muscled up and is too wide for his XXXW Santa Cruz "Justin". He has been fitted with a Duett "Rondo" for his therapeutic riding lessons that is about 11" between the dees. Unfortunately the Duett does not fit me at all, despite the 18" seat being what SHOULD work for me with room to spare. I think the issue is that it is such a deep seat compared to the 17" Santa Cruz that it fits much much smaller, and after a 20min hack of mostly walk with a wee bit of trot, my crotch and butt are extremely bruised

    So I need a saddle. Ideally more of an AP/event type flap, but CC is fine, and absolutely needs to be a flatter seat. We max out at 2'9 courses but occasionally hit 3' at the end of a grid. I do tend to jump with a slightly longer stirrup than most.

    But only having 1k CAD to spend is making it almost impossible to find something. Especially when said cob has made it VERY clear that he despises wintecs, thorowgoods, and exchangable gullet plate systems.

    He is kind of between a V tree and a U/hoop tree. The Duett is a hoop and it is no more stable on his back than the V tree of the Santa Cruz. He has literally no wither to speak of, and is flat as a table, so everything is going to slip sideways to some degree. Multiple saddle fitters have said he is a freak of nature and have wished me luck finding something. One has said my only option is a custom Schlesse since it can be fit as a sort of hybrid V/U tree, but I hate the narrow twist on their saddles.

    I'm worried that I am going to have to buy something off eBay from the UK where his shape is a little more normal. I'm a little (okay a lot) worried about being scammed since I don't have a lot of money, make very very little money, and don't have a credit card to make a claim to if I do end up scammed. I would much rather go through a reputable consignment shop, or buy locally, but everything available locally are french brands like CWD/Antares/Devocoux which don't work for pony or for me.


    Basically my list of absolute needs are as follows:
    -Leather
    -17.5 or 18 seat
    -WIDE - approx 11" between dees
    -flat seat
    -minimal blocks OR removable/velcro blocks
    -1k CAD budget

    Preferences include:
    -Brown in colour
    -more of an AP/event cut flap
    -wider seat/twist

    My preference is for older Passier/Stubben/Crosby type saddles but I know they won't fit ponypants. The Santa Cruz was great in the seat but I hated that the outer flaps were padded/had built in blocks, so even though I took out the velcro blocks there were still knee blocks built in that I couldn't get rid of. I have short legs but they are thick and blocks tend to hit the wrong spot on me unless I can adjust them.

    I wish my budget could get me a Black Country but that's not going to happen. I'd love to save a bigger budget but I can't, and I have nothing to ride in in the meantime, and the chiro doesn't want me riding bareback.

    Thanks for any suggestions you can offer for what to look for or where to look. I'm feeling really overwhelmed!
    Last edited by Ceylon Star; May. 8, 2019, 04:11 AM.
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  • #2
    Are you sure a Stubben won't fit your pony?

    I have 2 flat-backed, wide, no withers Fjord horses. A Stubben Tristan works well for both of them. One takes a 31 cm, the other a 32 cm. One of those I bought used for about $400 US. I love to ride in them since they have minimal padding, blocks, and other "accouterments" to get in my way. The seat is not so hideously deep and the twist is comfortable for me. They seem to show up on eBAy with some regularity, although it may take some time to find a 32cm.

    Some of Stubben's other more AP models such as the Siegfried are built on the same tree IIR. (I have an older one of those too, but it's from my teen years and the seat is too small for me now. Was great for my kids though as they were growing up.)

    Good luck. Saddle fitting is such a PITA (often quite literally).

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      My 32cm Stubben Seigfried hasn't fit him in years, and my 44 year old Passier PS Baum dressage saddle that I had adjusted to his back tracings is now too narrow as well, though he has always gone better in it even before it was adjusted than he did in the Siegfreid when it fit him nicely. I am struggling to find someone willing to risk adjusting the Passier again due to its age. The fitter that came last week and said none of my saddles fit him, and then adjusted the Duett told me flat out to burn the Passier and Stubben. She is a rep for NSC but is the one who told me my "only option" is a custom Schlesse.
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      • #4
        (used) Niedersüß or Prestige?

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Salo View Post
          (used) Niedersüß or Prestige?
          Never heard of the first one, but will try to get my hands on a Prestige to try. Thanks!
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          • #6
            This might not fit the exchange rate but check the sales for Smith Worthington. I have an x-wide Danzig that fits the bill from my first horse that was mutton withered and short backed with a large shoulder.

            I would offer it to it to you but I can’t part with it.

            Comment


            • #7
              How wide is the Duett in cm?

              Most of the saddles people are offering here will not work because they just don't go wide enough. They are from countries where people generally do not ride draft blood -- Germany, Austria, Italy etc.

              Stubben's XW is a 34 cm for example. It's *fairly* wide but if your horse is a true witherless tabletop, it won't be wide enough. Neidersuss's XW is also a 34 i think, and the widest Prestiges are 37 and imho run narrow because the tree shape is SUCH a vee. Also Prestige is a foam panel, and the spine channel tends to be narrow.

              It's unfortunate that your pony doesn't like changeable gullets because you can stuff a 3xw into a Pessoa XCH and it is a very wide vee shape. I have a mare that is a very wide vee like what you are talking about, 36-38 cm in Duett, (although mine has a wither and some curve) and the 3xw XCH is actually too wide for her.

              There is an older Thorowgood Broadback, a non-changeable gullet, that is ridic wide also. I know you want leather but just thought I'd list it anyway because it is truly made for this shape of cob.

              If the Duett works for pony, you can try some other models that will ride differently in the seat. I demo'd and really liked a Sonata years ago. It is more of an a/p style and can accommodate a longer stirrup, as can the Rondo. The older Allegro and current Bravo and Tempo may have flatter seats for you also. Nancy at Duett is great to work with and you can certainly try before you buy.

              You can also look at Balance saddles--guarantee they will be wide enough because the fitting philosophy is to make the saddle as wide as humanly possible and then pad it for perfect fit.
              "I once heard a client ask our vet if a horse's brain was as small as everyone says they are. Without pause, the vet smiled and answered: 'Maybe, but have you seen their hearts?'" --Alice Peirce

              Comment


              • #8
                My horses (Morgans) who sound like they are a similar shape to yours (not quite in need of hoop tree, but very wide) and fit into a 40cm Duett Presto also fit into an XW County (I have both a Stabilizer and a Conquest). If you look around long enough, you might find one in your price range.

                Another consideration would be a Thornhill... I would probably look at a Berlin. I think their XW is 36cm, and when I was saddle hunting, a Berlin was suggested by one of the fitters. Get in touch with Cordia Pearson in Minnesota (http://www.saddlefitter.com/). She knows Morgans. This would actually be my #1 suggestion.

                The others suggested won't likely work for the shape you are describing. Niedersüß (which you may have more likely seen as Niedersuess or Neidersuss) *might* be worth looking into, as that's what the Spanish Riding School uses, and it's fair to say that the breeds can be similar in build... but to be honest, I don't know how much thought they actually give to saddle fit there.
                If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

                Comment


                • #9
                  Harry Dabbs Hunter tree, Frank Baines saddles go super wide, Balance International, possibly Lovatt and Rickets aka The Arabian Saddle Company. I've got a brand new saddle that needs a unicorn of your horse's description but price is at $1600 US. As much as I want it gone, I can't lower it that much more!
                  www.TheSaddleTree.com
                  www.TrainingTree.net

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Second Smith Worthington and you may also want to look at Thorowgood cob.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      I am having a hard time figuring out the actual tree measurement in the Duett. I can't find where the points of the tree are under the flocking, and the leather is so stiff I can't feel them from on top. There are no markings aside from Rondo II and the seat size 18 on the billet guards. I am going to do some wither tracings tonight or tomorrow depending on how my evening goes.

                      My 32cm stubben sigfreid is way too narrow. I tried it again today. It is significantly narrower than the Santa Cruz (which thankfully is already out on trial so hopefully that will sell quickly).

                      Most of the horses in the therapy program are in Thorowgood Cob saddles with the XW gullet plate and they are too narrow on my guy. He also hates how stiff the synthetic panels are and hollows under every thorowgood and wintec i have tried on him.

                      We have another Duett, more of a close contact with a flatter seat, in the tack room but it doesn't work for either of us. Too narrow on him and while the cantle doesn't pinch my butt the way the Rondo does, the pommel still presses into my crotch, almost under it, and hurts like an SOB. I do love the wide twist and cantle though. But the front to back pinch is unbearable
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                      • #12
                        Most really wide horses with no withers need a hoop tree. I used to think I would need to always use a grippy saddle pad and neoprene girth to ride my barrel of a horse, but once she got a properly fitted hoop tree we have no movement issues at all. I now can use a normal saddle pad and leather girths!
                        Duett are the only true hoop tree brand I know of and finding one that isn’t the ‘foxhunter’ (which has a super deep seat) can be a pain. However, they should be under your budget if you can find of their other models used.
                        Another suggestion is the newer passier models. They are almost hoop trees, and worked ok for my horse, but not as well as the Duett.
                        Last suggestion is the tad coffin saddles. They sometimes fit the wider horses well but they can be $$
                        Last edited by TooManyBays; May. 8, 2019, 10:16 PM. Reason: Pronouns

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Found an "XXW" Ideal event saddle semi-locally to try today. Got it back to the barn and was looking at it and it looked awfully narrow for an XXW. Put it on him and it fit narrower than my 32cm stubben sigfreid!? It was more like a MW than an XXW. Which is a major bummer because it was really really lovely for me despite measuring as a 17" seat rather than the 17.5 the seller said it was. On the bright side it looks like it may be a match for one of the other therapy horses so I don't have to make the trek to return it just yet. Haha!


                          This is probably a really bad place to ask because the majority, if not entire population, of this subforum are North American residents, but I wonder if a UK "working hunter" style saddle might work okay for mostly flat with low jumping for cross training (we don't show)? AH makes what they call their SuperCob, which is a working hunter/cob saddle that looks similar to a VSD all purpose. There are a couple on the Native Pony and Cob Saddles UK facebook group that look promising, but I don't really know. I should probably go sign up on the Horse and Hound forum and ask over there though. Haha.

                          Can anyone comment on the newer Frank Baines models? I used to lease a horse who went in an older Frank Baines CC (I need to look up what model) which was lovely in the seat but the stirrup bar was super duper forward and put me in one heck of a chair seat. Someone told me the newer (last 5 years or so) saddles have the stirrup bar set further back. If that's the case I would be willing to hop on the ferry and head to the mainland to grab the one someone sent me on Facebook to try. But if they're still super forward it won't work with my 25.5" inseam (on a tall day) legs. Haha!
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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Oh and I checked the other Duett and it is a Sonata. So only slightly shallower than the Rondo, but with more forward flaps.
                            Curious about Trans* issues? Feel free to ask!
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                            • #15
                              There is a used Duett saddle facebook group that is a good place to find wide, hoop tree saddles on a budget, and the users will also help you with measuring. I have a 38cm Presto, and a client has a 36 cm Presto if I can help you with any measurements.
                              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ceylon Star View Post
                                I wonder if a UK "working hunter" style saddle might work okay for mostly flat with low jumping for cross training (we don't show)?
                                No. They have a very straight flap and are an excellent stand-in for an open seat dressage saddle!

                                Originally posted by Ceylon Star View Post
                                Can anyone comment on the newer Frank Baines models?
                                None of the newer models of jump saddles are on a hoop tree, and they don't stretch to the widest widths either. Your best bet with Frank Baines is the GP saddles.

                                IRT measuring the Duett tree, don't work too hard at it. If you call the US distributor (can't remember her name just now) she's more than happy to talk to you about why it doesn't matter a great deal.

                                www.TheSaddleTree.com
                                www.TrainingTree.net

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                                • #17
                                  Check out Perry Dupuis/Fit to Ride on Facebook - she specializes in fitting tyoes exactly like your horse and travels all around Ontario .
                                  Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Ceylon Star View Post

                                    This is probably a really bad place to ask because the majority, if not entire population, of this subforum are North American residents, but I wonder if a UK "working hunter" style saddle might work okay for mostly flat with low jumping for cross training (we don't show)? AH makes what they call their SuperCob, which is a working hunter/cob saddle that looks similar to a VSD all purpose. There are a couple on the Native Pony and Cob Saddles UK facebook group that look promising, but I don't really know. I should probably go sign up on the Horse and Hound forum and ask over there though. Haha.
                                    Yes a Working hunter saddle would probably do quite well for you. They tend to be quite wide any way and sit well on flatbacked no withered ponies!
                                    As an aside, I don't see why you would limit yourself to low level jumping just because of a working hunter saddle? Working hunter classes here are 3ft3 for 14hh ponies and horses are much much bigger. I ride everyday in my WH saddle and I've been XC in mine.

                                    I actualy use an Ideal Ramsey on my cob, the joy of the ideal Ramsey is that the tree can be widened by a good saddler if needs be. however it is probably one of the ones with the least knee roll so does take some getting used to.

                                    Another good make to look at if you are looking at the Fylde range of saddles. The Fylde Ray in particular is very good saddle for round bodied native/cob types.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      The instructors were able to go back in their records to find the info about the Duett from when they first got it. It turns out to be a 40cm tree.
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                                      • #20
                                        Based on my experiences, if a 40cm Duett fits you're looking in the range of:

                                        XW County built on Stabilizer tree
                                        W-WXW County built on Innovation tree
                                        XW County built on Sensation tree
                                        XXW Black Country
                                        37cm Prestige (maybe)
                                        +4.5cm Amerigo/Vega (maybe)
                                        31cm range Passier
                                        36cm (XW) Thornhill (like the Berlin, not the Pro-Trainer or changeable gullet models)
                                        If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                                        Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

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