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Saddles for the Exceptionally Wide Cob: small budget edition

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  • #21
    Thornhill Berlin fits my Morgan x Welsh Cob. Tried the Duett, and though it fit the pony OK, it didn't fit me.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Ceylon Star View Post
      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
      Keep in mind as you’re trying saddles that how it fits your horse affects how it will fit you, so try to sit in the saddles you try on something they fit well enough to be level. My pelvic bone pushes down further than my seat bones so a saddle that’s tenting in the front for being narrow will feel like a total crotch buster when it actually isn’t. Just to add one more facet to your complicated enough saddle search!

      One more fyi, I just bought a Pessoa XCH and I don’t see why a blacksmith couldn’t “adjust” an XXW gullet plate to match a wither tracing. It might stress the tree a bit to flatten out that much but I’d just never chance the plate again. Mine is an A/O and the leather is fine, it’s wool flocked so it can be fitted as well.

      Best at of luck! Your swimming up stream with this.

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      • #23
        If you can find a Native Pony Saddle Company model, they fit very wide ponies/horses well in my experience. Not easy to find however, as they are located in the UK and I don't think they have a dealer in North America (may be wrong). I see them occasionally over here.

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Originally posted by jonem004 View Post

          Keep in mind as you’re trying saddles that how it fits your horse affects how it will fit you, so try to sit in the saddles you try on something they fit well enough to be level. My pelvic bone pushes down further than my seat bones so a saddle that’s tenting in the front for being narrow will feel like a total crotch buster when it actually isn’t. Just to add one more facet to your complicated enough saddle search!

          One more fyi, I just bought a Pessoa XCH and I don’t see why a blacksmith couldn’t “adjust” an XXW gullet plate to match a wither tracing. It might stress the tree a bit to flatten out that much but I’d just never chance the plate again. Mine is an A/O and the leather is fine, it’s wool flocked so it can be fitted as well.

          Best at of luck! Your swimming up stream with this.
          I've tried turning a Wintec Wide gullet plate into a pseudo hoop-ish shape and the saddle simply cannot accommodate it (I do blacksmithing as a hobby and somehow ended up with 2 sets of gullets when I bought a Wintec Wide to try out, so could afford the futz around a bit) so I don't know that a pessoa would be any better

          I have been trying saddles both on a horse-shaped saddle stand, an Equicizer, and on one of the other therapy horses if the fit is close ish enough to handle a 10 minute test ride. I'm glad I have the Equicizer and the other horses to test thngs with, because saddles that are okay while stationary aren't always good in movement. And vice versa. Example being the Ideal I just tried. Despite being a bit smaller seated than I usually take (17.5 seems to be the best for me) at 17", on the Equicizer and on another horse it was a really really good fit for me. I was so very bummed it was so horribly narrow on ponybutt


          I am going to try to attavh pictures of his wither tracings, his shoulders, and his topline in another post below. I have now had fitters tell me that only a Schlesse will work, only a treeless will work (speaking of, I did come across an Ansur Konklusion within my price range, if anyone thinks it would be worth trying), that his back cannot possibly be that shape without being 1000lbs overweight (he has a little extra padding but it starts much lower than a saddle would ever sit on, so it is a moot point. Plus my vet and my coaches all say he looks better than ever in his muscling and that a bit of cushion evenly over his belly is preferable to his former crest/tail/withers/midline fatty deposits and that what extra he has is pretty acceptable for 16 and IR), and that I should never ride him again. So i am about ready to scream. Haha
          Curious about Trans* issues? Feel free to ask!
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          • Original Poster

            #25
            In the tracings picture, the top line is over the widest part of his shoulders, the bottom line is just behind his shoulders, and the ruler is 7" long just for reference. I'm trying to find a scanner that will accommodate the extra large paper so I can get a better copy to fitters and such.

            The middle picture was taken from his rump, directly behind him. He is not 100% straight in his neck but it was the best I could get solo. His actual wither, as measured by the vet, is about a finger's width above/in front of the white scar (from a previous home. It has not changed shape or size since I got him, and we've been through a handful of different saddles in the last 7 years as he has changed shape)

            Topline shows he is slightly bumhigh, but does not move downhill at all. Total opposite in fact - he is surprisingly uphill for a heavy guy. The dent in his neck is an optical illusion caused by his mane and his sweet itch blanket. His actual wither, as per the vet, is just in front of the pink paper on the wall.
            Last edited by Ceylon Star; May. 11, 2019, 09:19 PM.
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            • #26
              You might look into a Crosby Sofride. I used to own an XW one that fit my very wide Welsh Cob/TB. It's an all purpose type saddle but I evented to training level in mine. It was very comfortable and if you actually found one used, it would probably be well within your budget. I believe it was foam flocked though so limited adjustment is possible and I'm not knowledgeable enough to say how it would compare to saddles you've already tried. In later years, I rode the same horse in an XW County Stabilizer but it was outside of your budget constraints.

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              • #27
                Your challenge is complicated by the curve of his back. Most saddles for really wide horses are quite straight from front to back. The new Black Country native tree or the Harry Dabbs Hunter are still options on the table. Attaching a photo of a similarly shaped horse I fitted last year.
                Attached Files
                www.TheSaddleTree.com
                www.TrainingTree.net

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                • #28
                  If I remember correctly there are a few COTH members that have gotten custom saddles from Heritage in the UK. Deltawave is one of them. I don't think she posts much any more. They have one that is on sale that may work. They say they can widen to a wither tracing. I don't know if it can be widened enough. Their prices seem reasonable but are still likely higher than your budget.

                  https://heritagesaddlery.co.uk/produ...-demo-saddles/
                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                  • #29


                    SRS has its own saddle fitter. They also use Spirig. Maybe Röö(oo)sli is also an option.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Salo View Post

                      SRS has its own saddle fitter. They also use Spirig. Maybe Röö(oo)sli is also an option.
                      Fascinating. Thanks for the info!
                      If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                      Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

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                      • #31
                        OP, my previous recommendations were under the assumption that the back was also fairly flat from front-to-back. Now that you've posted pictures, I highly encourage you to get in direct contact with no.stirrups; she really does know her stuff and does a great job. The Harry Dabbs I tried from her was not right *for me*, but I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from trying them and/or working with no.stirrups.

                        In the meantime, start saving some additional pennies, because that back is going to be tough to fit in your current budget, unless you get really, really, REALLY lucky.

                        I ended up with a Vega Jump Special for the horse that was wide but also curvy front-to-back, but that's not in your stated budget. They go up to +4.5cm (Amerigo/Vega's XXW - yes, they exist; I've tried one stamped from the company as such); I used a +2.5cm on the horse that also fit a wide County (Sensation tree and Stabilizer tree) width-wise (the County saddles were too flat front-to-back). That said, there are some very distinct similarities between Amerigo/Vega and Harry Dabbs, so I would still strongly urge you to consider Dabbs. I really think it's your best bet.

                        Good luck!
                        If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                        Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous

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                        • #32
                          Take a look at the Smith Worthington Mystic on closeout. It's in your budget and they do an amazing job fitting long distance. Their trees are adjustable, but must be done at the shop in CT.

                          https://www.smithworthington.com/ind...product&id=157

                          They are fabulous to work with, so call and share your tracings. They'll be able to quickly tell you what may/may not work from their saddles.

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                          • #33
                            I would echo the suggestion that you work with Smith Worthington.

                            The other possibility would be to look for a Balance saddle used. They're made by Frank Baines on a hoop tree, and there are GP models as well as Dressage.

                            I have a Balance dressage saddle and a Smith Worthington cc saddle for my Irish Draught mare.
                            "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              I emailed smith worthington last night with my tracings and back photos, so fingers crossed for a positive response after the weekend! They sound like they would suit my body better than Schlesse, and even the higher priced models are less tgan the quote Schlesse gave me anyway.

                              I also sent my tracings/photos back to Ireland with my driving coach for her to pass on to her brother who is a fitter, so we will see if anything comes from that too.

                              You guys are righr in that the front to back curve of his back is causing as many, if not more, issues as his actual width. I never really stopped to look at it til recently. I'd always been too focused on sheer width of shoulder.

                              it's a good thing he's amazing. Haha!!
                              Curious about Trans* issues? Feel free to ask!
                              Saving Pennies To Get My Own Canoe
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                              • #35
                                Another possibility, if you're comfortable with it is a treeless. Ansur makes very nice saddles and you can frequently find used ones on your price range. I inherited a dressage model that I'm using to trail ride my TWH because fitting a saddle to her was going to be a nightmare for the same reason. I also expect her to change shape as I actually start working her as well.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #36
                                  Originally posted by Christa P View Post
                                  Another possibility, if you're comfortable with it is a treeless. Ansur makes very nice saddles and you can frequently find used ones on your price range. I inherited a dressage model that I'm using to trail ride my TWH because fitting a saddle to her was going to be a nightmare for the same reason. I also expect her to change shape as I actually start working her as well.
                                  I did find an Ansur Konklusion in my price range but nobody (the seller or Ansur themselves) can tell me if the seat size is appropriate for me. It is a 17.5 flatter seat and I am usually happiest in a 17.5 with a flatter seat, but Ansur's size chart wants me in a 20" based on my waistband size, a 19" based on my weight, a 16" based on my height, and a 17" based on my femur. So I have literally no idea if a 17.5 is okay for me and it's a final sale.
                                  Curious about Trans* issues? Feel free to ask!
                                  Saving Pennies To Get My Own Canoe
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