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Saddle Fitting a WIDE Pony!

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    Saddle Fitting a WIDE Pony!

    Hi all! Bear with me - this might be a very long thread! My sister and I knew finding a saddle for our pony mare would be challenging! She is a stout 13.1 hh Welsh / Hackney cross. She is a bit out of shape, and has some fat deposits at her shoulder. We are working with a saddle fitter who is absolutely wonderful, but wanted to hear the community's thoughts on saddle fitting. We just want our pony to be content with her saddle! <3 Currently we are trialing a 17" Hastilow Highland Cob jump saddle with the widest gullet plate installed (silver). Below are photos of our girl and her tracings. She is very wide, has a short back, and very little wither. I do have a picture of me riding in the saddle that my sister and I are trialing currently. My sister is a little worried the saddle may be a little long for our pony. She also did notice the saddle does lift a bit in the back when our pony is in motion. I will also upload a video of my sister riding in the trial saddle shortly. We are petite riders (5'3 and under 105 lbs) if that helps too!

    Any thoughts on possible saddles that may work for our princess pony? Ideally, we would like an adjustable saddle as we know she may lose those fat deposits once she is in consistent work.

    Thanks so much in advance!

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    Original Poster

    #2

    Comment


      #3
      My 13.1 chubbeh pony mare is also in a Hastilow jump saddle (Concept) with a wide tree. It's a little long for her, yes, but she tolerates it. I went to a fitter who is, I'm sure, very good but also very opinionated and shoved the saddle way up onto her shoulders. I expressed concern that it interfered with her shoulders, the fitter said it didn't and was better because it wasn't as far back... guess what? Mare was super unhappy with it being there, moving it back to where I had it and she had freer shoulder movement and was happier. But the overall shape is a good one. I attached some pictures of my pony for you to compare (and mine is way fatter than yours ).
      Attached Files
      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

      Comment


        #4
        She is darling! What a lovely looking pony.

        Looking at her back, I understand your problem. But I want to tag onto your comment that you want an adjustable saddle because she may lose fat deposits behind her withers. The adjustability you’ll get is to the tree. Yes, if she loses enough weight to lose fat deposits she will be narrower at the top of her shoulder, but from your pics I’m not sure that will be a tree problem- it looks like it could be a panel problem. In which case I would say fit the geometry you have today, and maybe add shims or adjust flocking later.

        I can’t quite tell from your pics if her curviness is conformation or the result of her being out of shape. She looks a little pot bellied (sorry) which may indicate that that curve over her topline may flatten out with fitness.

        I think English style saddles tend to do “I am a wide and short backed pony” better, on the whole, than the French brands- particularly if her back can be expected to strengthen as she gets stronger. Hastilow can certainly help you, as could Black Country and Thorowgood. I don’t like that this particular saddle rocks (lifts at the back) when you ride. Sometimes that means it’s simply too low in front and not in balance, but since your pony is voluptuous and low in front, I’m inclined to think it speaks to too much panel behind for this saddle on this pony.
        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you so much for the comments! This really helps me out. I was not 100% convinced on this saddle - I was a bit worried about the lift when she is in motion. I thought perhaps it had to due with the paneling and also the length of the saddle. I do have a video I will manage to post below of my sister riding in the saddle. We are leaning towards a 16.5" versus the 17" saddle as well. Our goal would definitely be for her to build her topline strength. I believe in the video you can see she struggles to "lift" her back when she is trotting. She is truly a sweetheart, and we want the best for her! Does anyone have thoughts on the Kent & Masters Pony line? We are particularly eyeing up the Pony Long Leg and Pony Jump S-Series saddles.

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
             

            Comment


              #7
              Check this out; https://justforponies.com/mystic-clo...4-5-15-5-16-5/
              ... _. ._ .._. .._

              Comment


                #8
                Don't shoot me but we used a 16, brown Wintec a/p, widest gullet, and then added a crouper. Took a while to melt down the fat but eventually we were able to dispense with the crouper and use a 32 Stubben.

                Be sure to longe first if you want to try a crouper.
                Last edited by Brown Derby; Jul. 25, 2020, 01:12 PM. Reason: Senility

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think I have the grey version of your pony. I tried a bunch of saddles. I FINALLY found this one: https://www.intrepidintl.com/pro-tra...xchange-saddle

                  It has an exchangeable gullet and she takes an XXXW 😂 it really fits her nicely.
                  They were great to work with. I would suggest doing a wither trace and sending it to them.
                  Good luck!! I feel your pain.

                  Jenn
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A saddle with an upswept panel like QM2 has is better for a short-backed pony or horse than the gussetted panels on most of the brands mentioned. Harry Dabbs is one of the rare companies that can manage your pony's width and curve and has upswept panels! I suggest you check them out.
                    www.TheSaddleTree.com
                    www.TrainingTree.net

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thank you so much! Very insightful. I am going to email Intrepid International and probably Harry Dabbs too. I am going to be trying a 16.5" Monarch GP Cob in the XXXW plate. Any thoughts on this particular saddle? I did see online that this saddle does have more curve to it versus many other cob saddles on the market. I sent my tracings to a fitter online and they thought the Monarch GP Cob saddle would be worth a shot, so I pulled the trigger earlier today!

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Not going to lie - I also just purchased the same saddle you have QM2! Your pony looks so similar to our pony - you really sold me! Eek! My wallet is going to hate me! But at least we will have both the 24k Equitation saddle & Monarch saddle to try out on her.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hmm I like some of those Intrepid saddles; the Arwen looks nice. Does anyone what shape the tree is, hoop or ?
                          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Oh good! My girl really likes it. She was very pissy when sitting to balance and she‘s so much better now.

                            Comment

                              Original Poster

                              #15
                              QM2 - I have my fingers crossed! :-) Did your saddle ship quickly? I purchased it from Windswept Horse & Hound. Not sure if you went directly through Intrepid International when you ordered or not. Haha, too excited! We want our girl feeling her best!

                              I did take a photo of the dust / sweat patterns from the Hastilow saddle. It seems like there is quite a bit of pressure at the back due to the gussets. Anyone have any thoughts on the sweat marks? The saddle pad was only used twice with the Hastilow saddle, so the marks are only from this saddle.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I don't put *too much* stock into sweat marks, because a lot of times it can just be friction from, like you said, a saddle that is rising a bit, so scrubbing more dirt off the pony.
                                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  QM2 do you have info on tree shape?
                                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    TheJenners

                                    Tree shape (at wither area) depends on the specific model - the Thornhill Pro Trainer 24k saddle takes the Xchange system. https://www.intrepidintl.com/Xchange-Gullet-System
                                    I believe it is the same as Pessoa. It goes from N - XXXW.

                                    The Arwen I believe takes the Intrepid Interchangeable gullet system. https://www.intrepidintl.com/Intrepi...ullet-Plates_6 It says on this page that the Intrepid Gullets can be used for the Advance Ride, Arwen and Gold Deluxe Saddle. They go from N - XXW.

                                    Not sure about exact shape - will be looking into more photos of the plates!

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      You're talking size, I'm talking shape
                                      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I've recently heard tell of the "hoop tree" that some English-made saddles offer (I believe it was County and/or Black Country) for exceptionally wide steeds. Could be worth some research.

                                        Comment

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