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Grrr... Saddle Fit! Xchange gullet systems?

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  • Grrr... Saddle Fit! Xchange gullet systems?

    Does anyone have real life experience with the Pessoa Xchange gullet systems. Do they really help with fine-tuning saddle fit if the tree is too wide/narrow?

    We went through saddle fitting purgatory last year with Inky. After going through several bad fits and other possibilities that were all difficult to obtain, fitter reluctantly recommended the Pessoa AO with the Xchange gullet and AMS (wool flocked) panels. We buy it, 1st fitter can't check it before trial period is over, so I call 2nd fitter who gives it the OK with the med gullet plate, but without seeing DD ride in the saddle.

    Horse has now been at trainer's for 5 weeks and past week is uncharactistically acting like a total jerk for DD. He'd been an angel up to this point. Trainer hops on observes the saddle is practically sitting on his withers!

    I've ordered the narrow gullet plate, but I'm wondering if we need to bite the bullet and start all over again looking for a a new saddle. DD is really frustrated with the whole saddle shopping thing, and inclined to take 'anything' just to not have to deal with it.

    Is it possible that the horse has lost some fat behind the wither area, which is causing the saddle to now be too wide? I know usually its the opposite, they build back muscle and get wider, but he was a little on the chunky side before going to boot camp.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    As with all interchangeable gullet/adjustable tree saddles... if the panels and tree otherwise fit the contours of the back, changing the front can indeed tweak the fit correctly. It's certainly worth a try before throwing in the towel and starting all over.

    True... a properly fitted saddle AND correct work will enhance the back muscles. But five weeks isn't enough time to really change muscle... and is enough time to simply lose weight if the work and calorie load aren't balanced.
    Patience pays.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Trevelyan96 View Post

      We went through saddle fitting purgatory last year with Inky. After going through several bad fits and other possibilities that were all difficult to obtain, fitter reluctantly recommended the Pessoa AO with the Xchange gullet and AMS (wool flocked) panels. We buy it, 1st fitter can't check it before trial period is over, so I call 2nd fitter who gives it the OK with the med gullet plate, but without seeing DD ride in the saddle.

      Horse has now been at trainer's for 5 weeks and past week is uncharactistically acting like a total jerk for DD. He'd been an angel up to this point. Trainer hops on observes the saddle is practically sitting on his withers!

      Is it possible that the horse has lost some fat behind the wither area, which is causing the saddle to now be too wide?
      I believe saddle was purchased last year, so yes horse & saddle may've changed sufficiently to require saddle to be adjusted - have a fitter out to assess the panels & check for any tree oddities (unlikely but not impossible) & examine the gullet plate (there have been instances where these bend/flatten with saddle use).
      It's also possible that the withers have "risen" on the horse since the saddle was initially fit or that weight loss has allowed the saddle to sink into hollows that are now there (behind the withers).

      I'd disagree that 5 weeks of boot camp is not enough time for horse musculature to change - FP certainly can change pretty noticeably during that time (but he is also young).
      Last years saddle anecdote: Bootcamp started July 1, dressage show July 9,10 & saddle fit fine; had jump saddle on trial so switched over to it for the last 2 weeks of July (bought saddle), tried to use dressage saddle early Aug
      - it.did.not.fit.At All

      This years saddle anecdote: that jump saddle that was nicely too wide (for growing room) now does.not.fit

      Comment


      • #4
        That is enough time for the flocking to soften and flatten out. Maybe topping off the flocking and/or changing the tree is the way to go. So long as the general shape of the tree still works for the horse, it doesn't sound like anything getting worked up about.

        Why was fitter #1 "reluctant?"

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by NCSaddleFitter View Post
          That is enough time for the flocking to soften and flatten out. Maybe topping off the flocking and/or changing the tree is the way to go. So long as the general shape of the tree still works for the horse, it doesn't sound like anything getting worked up about.

          Why was fitter #1 "reluctant?"
          At the time we did not have a CC saddle to fit horse at all. Fitter #1 is a Frank Baines dealer, but couldn't get us an Elan for several months. Since we needed a saddle I asked him if there was anything he could recommend with the same general shape/fit that I might be able to get a little more quickly and so he recommended the Pessoa. DD jumped on that like white on rice, since she had always loved her old GenX (which did not fit horse at all).

          I've always felt it put her in a bit of a chair seat, but she loves it and just doesn't have the patience to go through the saddle search again, so we'll try the narrow gullet and also get the fitter out to check the flocking, etc.

          He does look noticeably slimmer now that he's in regular work. Might just be that he's lost weight but not built up the back muscles yet. Also, asst. trainer who hopped on him doesn't really fit in DD's 16.5" saddle, so not sure if that would affect things as well.

          And I have a Beval Natural being shipped for myself to try out, so we'll try that on him too and if it fits him a little better, I can switch saddles with DD. Trainer rides him in her Butet, I think. The Beval is for me to use in H/J lessons on different school horses, so NBD if I have to switch with DD. I ride my own horse in his dressage saddle.
          Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
          Witherun Farm
          http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, the Beval Natural has the same tree as the old Baines Elan, so you may be on to something! Good luck!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by NCSaddleFitter View Post
              Well, the Beval Natural has the same tree as the old Baines Elan, so you may be on to something! Good luck!
              Which 'old' Baines Elan? We bought a 2001 and the gullet was way too narrow. Its still on consignment a year later.

              I think the one we actually fitted to him was a 2009 model. And my older Baines Elegance dressage saddle also fits him.
              Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
              Witherun Farm
              http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                The 2001 would be the old Elan... very flat, narrow seat. With a narrow seat and twist will come narrower panels and gullets, I'm afraid.

                The new Elan/Enigma is still very flat, but the seat is wider so you do get more bearing surface. The only drawback to both old and new Elans is they tend to fit very flat backs. Any rise in the topline and it's bridge city.

                Did you try the Reflex jump?

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  She did, and both the 2009 Elan (with the gusseted panels) and the Reflex fit the horse, but she preferred the Elan. Unfortunately, the one we found was more a MN than a true M tree so its now on consignment, and it was a very long wait to get a new one, hence the Pessoa.

                  Hopefully the narrower gullet for the Pessoa will do the trick, or maybe the new Beval, although that's supposed to be for me. But I'm willing to trade with DD if the Beval fits him.
                  Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                  Witherun Farm
                  http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

                  Comment

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