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I'm Starting to Hate My Saddle :(

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  • I'm Starting to Hate My Saddle :(

    I bought my CWD last year after saddle searching for awhile. It looks like it's custom made for me and fits my abnormally long femurs perfectly. It's a deep seat, which I prefer, and the pommel is quite high. I knew the pommel was on the high side when I bought it, but riding my one horse daily in it, (with occasional days of a few more horses), it didn't seem to be a huge problem; however, I now ride 5-7 horses a day and the pommel is just killing me! By the third horse, it's just painful! I've owned deep seated saddles in the past, but never with any pommel problems.

    I'm torn because the saddle is gorgeous and is really nice to ride in for 1-2 horses, but after that I hate riding in it. I'm a broke college student and this saddle cost me a lot when I purchased it, so I don't think I could go out and purchased a decent quality/fitting used saddle unless it was really cheap. I also don't have a saddle to ride in in the meantime if this saddle sold.

    Should I just try to deal with what I have? Any ideas?

  • #2
    I also have very long femurs and have found pretty much every saddle that can accommodate my legs (especially with shorter stirrups) feels high in the pommel. I am interested in what people have to say! I have always wondered if it is some connection between how our legs make us sit in the saddle. No stirrup work + high pommel = baaaad.

    Comment


    • #3
      ugh. Nothing worse than a saddle that causes you pain! That is actually one of the reasons I decided against a CWD when saddle shopping-all the versions I tried (deep seat, med seat, their carbon fiber saddle, their "low" pommel), I felt like the pommel was just waaaaay too up in my business. I too think its my conformation (another one who has a super long femur) because there are plenty of people out there with CWD's who don't seem to have this issue.

      Maybe see if you can do an equal trade in with Saddle Solutions or one of the other saddle reps?

      Comment


      • #4
        Did you buy the saddle new or used? If you bought it used you can likely sell it for what you purchased it for. If you bought it new I would contact CWD and explain the issue. I know of a couple of people whom CWD has switched out the saddle to a different model more comfortable for them.
        Sometimes people with long femurs need to go up a 1/2 seat size to accommodate the distance between the hip and knee and give more freedom for the pelvis. Especially in a deeper seat saddle. Most people who are sensitive to the pommel will do a flatter seat, a wider twist, go up a half seat size, or a do a low pommel version of the saddle. I hope this helps!

        Comment


        • #5
          I am 5'7" with long thighs. I hate high pommels and grew to not like the Butet I had years ago. After years of trying lots of saddles, I bought myself a Tad Coffin last year. Love it and it is an easy fit on the horses. Mine is the flat seat but he makes a deeper seat. Be sure to get the new Smart Tree or whatever it is called.

          The person above is right -- after looking at pictures of me in the demo, Tad wanted me in a bigger seat than I thought I needed and he was right.
          Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes, I have an idea about what's causing it that may help you figure out what to do about it. Please keep in mind that to my knowledge, I've never seen you or your saddle, so I am just guessing based on having seen it far plenty of times with other people. I could be WAY, WAY off base.

            9 times out of 10, when I meet people whose first description of their body is "I have a long femur" and their first complaint is "the pommel is killing me," what usually happened is they ordered a too-small seat size and a custom forward flap to accommodate their leg. It might LOOK like it fits, and it might even FEEL at first like it fits (especially because it's a pretty cushy saddle overall), but after enough use, the real story starts to tell itself--that what they really needed was a bigger seat size and a slightly forward flap instead of a smaller seat size and a very forward flap. Many people reply to this with, "Well I already sized up 1/2" in my CWD/Antares/Devoucoux/whatever compared to my old saddle, so haven't I already followed that advice?" But a lot of folks with all sorts of leg lengths have to size up in a deep-seated CWD in general, so if you sized up only 1/2", it might not have been enough to ALSO compensate for your body/leg. It's truly not unusual for me to meet someone coming off a 17" Butet or Hermes or pick the not-particularly-cushy saddle brand of your choice, and IF you can talk them into trying an 18" high-end French saddle they usually love it. But it's hard to convince someone with a little tiny behind and a long leg to just try it for half an hour and see how it goes. I actually spoke to one fitter who says he literally has to trick people into this by putting them first in a 17.5" that he knows they'll hate for other reasons, then bringing out the 18". If he cuts right to the 18", people freak out and go "wow that's huge!" and whine that the saddle feels "so big." But if he strings them along by transitioning with the 17.5", then they try the 18" for 15 or 20 minutes until they get used to the feel, they usually fall in love. A lot of people have been riding in too-small saddles for so long that they need a little while to adjust to the feel of a bigger saddle. It doesn't always mean the saddle is TOO big, just biggER than the rider is used to. (Unfortunately, this also means you have to have a saddle fitter with the integrity to potentially say 'Whoops, we went too far in the other direction and now your leg is swinging etc.! Lemme size you back down 1/2" or so.")

            It's easier (and more profitable) for the French brands to humor you and say "Oh yeah, you definitely need a super-custom hard-to-find 17" with a very forward flap and maybe a custom lowered pommel option" than to convince people to try a few sizes up with either a standard or slightly forward flap. And yes, at some point, saddles can become too big for people and/or your body can drift so far behind the stirrup bar that you've got balance and chair seat problems. But again, I see maybe one case of that for every 10 cases of the "17 with a very forward flap" syndrome.

            Why am I telling you this? Because maybe your problem is as simple as trading in your CWD for a very similar CWD, but with a bigger seat size. If you ask nicely, CWD might even let you trade it in for another used CWD. It's worth exploring, anyway.

            As for your quandary of what to ride in in the meantime, here's some ways you could address the problem. I admit that none of them are 100% perfect solutions.

            1. Talk to some French dealers, or some tack stores, and see if they'll take your CWD in trade against something else. Most places will understandably screw you over a little on the trade-in; it's just like trading in a car, you get less trade-in value than you would by selling on the open market, but that's the price of convenience. Usedsaddles.com does trade-ins, and most of the French brands will do it too.

            2. Identify the ideal next saddle, then buy or borrow a temporary saddle to get you through until the CWD sells. I realize this may not be possible for you since you said you're a broke college student with limited cash flow, but if you found a friend or local person to loan you the saddle, this could work really well.

            3. Find someone who will trade for your CWD, which means you wouldn't be saddle-less for very long.

            Good luck! Saddle-induced pain sucks regardless of its cause. And there are lots of other potential causes, like you might just be one of those folks whose pelvis appreciates a lower pommel, or you prefer a long working center on your saddle rather than a more precise vee-shaped working center typical of French tack, etc. Hard to say without seeing you and the saddle.
            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Interesting discussion here

              This is really interesting. I'm 5'11" and have always had a horrible time on my saddle searches. As a junior and very young adult I had a crosby centennial that I loved, but after that didn't fit my new horse I was lost. Before I bought my butet I got a used one on trial, 17" flat with a 3 flap (longest). I was just hanging over the front of the flap so it wasn't perfect. The rep at beval said that I should do an 18" deep seat with a 3.5 flap (longest and most forward) and it made me feel like an obese cow. It sounds like the size a man would ride in! Regardless, I listened to her, since I could return the saddle if it didn't fit. While I have never had any issues with the pommel feeling high or anything, I am often told that I post too far back in the saddle during lessons. I wonder if I have the opposite issue? I have never felt off balance though. My friend gets told the same though (she's 5'2"), and we both came from the same trainer before this. So much subjectivity involved in riding.

              My butet is in the shop for a horse fit change currently and I have a loaner that is smaller. A 17" deep with a normal flap. Yes my leg hangs over by at least 3", lol. I'm completely comfortable in this saddle though, even though I notice myself much more on the pommel. I've only had it for just over a week, and will ride in it 4 times a week until my saddle is done. I'm interested to see if the pommel starts bugging me, and to see if my trainer makes her usual posting too far back comment. I will do some no stirrup work tonight and report back as well. Not sure when I will lesson again, maybe Saturday. Horse has been taking a jumping siesta.

              When I went to a Devecoux (sp?) booth to look at their saddles the guy said I would need a 19! I was definitely turned off by that.

              I'm not sure about CWD service, but maybe they would let you try some of their other saddles available? I know beval has been more than accommodating with me over the years.
              http://www.stampyandthebrain.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd second the motion to try going up a seat size. I'm a thin 5'5" with very long legs for my height (33" inseam). I don't like a very deep seated saddle (mine is 'half deep' - whatever that means), but I do like the bigger seats. My Stubben is a an okay 17.5" seat and I would probably be even happier with an 18" seat if I could have found one. However, I couldn't pass up this saddle at the price I paid for it and I am not doing anything other than schooling and lessons (I don't show dressage) so I deal.

                Look into something like a used Stubben. At the very least, you could find something that could get you by while you sell the saddle you have. My Aramis was on eBay for $300 (Parzivals, Aramis and Tristans were all various incarnations of the same tree, just different leathers/options).

                Comment


                • #9
                  (didn't read rest of posts) remember that there are always other saddle makers that will do trade ins, if you can't make the cwd work.
                  Mendokuse

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like jn4jenny's explanation. I'm only 5'5", but I'm all leg with a short torso. I feel "squished" in anything under a 17.5" seat.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've always ridden in "bigger" saddles

                      Grew up riding on as a tiny teenager on a large male adult's, ancient Stubben. What that makes you realize (after you've punched new holes in the leathers) is that you have to find your balance in any saddle and sometimes, you actually need to be able to move around a little.

                      I had a very lovely custom saddle made (by an English guy after the Antere's rep pissed me off) It was a good size and a half bigger than all my buddies thought I needed (17.5) I've shown in it, hunted in it, broke out babies in it. I also have an all purpose Neidersuiss(sp) that is amazing. A bit deeper seat, it is an 18" and I love it for riding cross country, hunting and anything that might be a little squirrely.

                      I think people get hung up on "size". If it fits you and the horse, who cares? Is there some measuring police that will tell all your friends how big your saddle is?

                      And people, not ever saddle rep is good. Find a good one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am only 5'4" but all leg, I have a much beloved (and discontinued) Crosby Centennial Internationale in the extra long/forward flap. I have a 17" which is probably a slightly big or appropriate seat size but Centennial has cut back pommel that has really helped avoid this problem. I think the fact that the pommel is cut back from the withers allows not only more room for horses with higher withers but keeps it out of my way--just something to think about when trying some of those other brands.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                          It's truly not unusual for me to meet someone coming off a 17" Butet or Hermes or pick the not-particularly-cushy saddle brand of your choice, and IF you can talk them into trying an 18" high-end French saddle they usually love it. But it's hard to convince someone with a little tiny behind and a long leg to just try it for half an hour and see how it goes. I actually spoke to one fitter who says he literally has to trick people into this by putting them first in a 17.5" that he knows they'll hate for other reasons, then bringing out the 18". If he cuts right to the 18", people freak out and go "wow that's huge!" and whine that the saddle feels "so big."
                          I gave this whole post a thumbs up, but wanted to add a personal anecdote. Recently I was saddle shopping via trying various barnmates saddles, as I am also very long, pretty much everywhere I was in a 17" Beval Natural, which is pretty flat. My dressage saddle is an 18", so maybe I was already prepared to not be freaked out by needing a bigger seat, but I sat in a few saddles that initially felt great, and then realized as I rode that it was way too small, one in a particularly uncomfortable way People seem to be just astonished that I ended up with an 18" jumping saddle, but it fits me and my leg (and the horse). But they're also astonished when I tell them its an 18", because sitting in it, it doesn't look freaky large or anything, it's just a saddle that's proportioned for someone with a longer leg, which is probably why they're often thought of as "men's saddles" as men tend, on average, to be taller and thus need a larger seat.

                          I would much rather ride in a saddle a seat size too big than a seat size too small, which is what I would hazard a guess a lot more people are doing than realize it.
                          A Year In the Saddle

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Also the going smaller scares a lot of people as well! I know I was dead set on needing at least a 17.5, or 18, and they tack store had to convince me that my behind would indeed fit in a 17 better.
                            Mendokuse

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              5' 5' barely, weight appropriate for height, crazy long femur. Deep seat saddle 18.5 fits me perfectly. I "thought" I was a 17" saddle for years and complained that my knee always over shot the saddle flap if I put my irons up where they were supposed to be. It was a light bulb moment when my saddle fitter put me in an 18.5" seat and it fit! People look at me like I'm nutz when I tell them the size of my saddle compared to my height, but it works.
                              Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                CWD saddles have a reputation for having "overly-friendly" pommels.

                                I am also very long in the leg and ride in an 18" Devoucoux Oldara with a 4 flap, forward at the top and bottom of the flap.
                                The Evil Chem Prof

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thanks for all the replies! I didn't think the 17" seat was a problem since I had an Antares that I loved and could spend all day in with a 17" 2aa flap. I had to sell it for money issues a few years ago, but I figured since that was so comfortable, why not go with the same size? I've also had fittings with Antares, Devoucoux, and an independent saddle fitter and all three put me in a 17" with a very forward flap, (maybe they just didn't have many 17.5"?). I've tried 17.5" in the past, (mainly just riding in friend's saddles), and felt just as comfortable, but I swim in an 18" seat. I'll definitely explore saddle options larger than 17" this time around!

                                  I like the trading in idea, but every rep I've talked to said I would have to buy a new custom saddle, in order for them to take my saddle. Any ways to get around that? What would I be even able to get, (roughly), as a trade in for a 17" 3c flap 2010 CWD in good shape?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    CWD = Costly Wooha Destroyer
                                    I miss my Childeric....sigh
                                    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                                    carolprudm

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by indygirl2560 View Post

                                      Should I just try to deal with what I have? Any ideas?
                                      OP, you shouldn't try to "deal with what you have", you paid good money to get the perfect saddle and right now you don't have it, so keep looking for it! But remember that what you have is a high-end expensive saddle, and that's worth a lot of money even if it doesn't work for you right now. All of the other saddle manufacturers out there will be more than happy to trade it in for you and make you a brand new custom saddle for little to sometimes no money added. that's if you don't want to go through the hassles of selling it yourself, because you could get even more money selling it through a consignment store.
                                      You really shouldn't feel stuck with this saddle.
                                      Your issue is a common one and most saddle manufacturers deal with it pretty well.
                                      I'd look at new brands such as Bliss or Voltaire, I've always found that new brands that are launching their products tend to offer perfect products and service. I also think they are more likely to give you a great trade-in deal as they are still trying to convince customers. I remember those few years when Devoucoux and CWD reps were fighting over who would give more free saddles away.... those days are gone unfortunately...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by believetobe View Post
                                        Did you buy the saddle new or used? If you bought it used you can likely sell it for what you purchased it for. If you bought it new I would contact CWD and explain the issue. I know of a couple of people whom CWD has switched out the saddle to a different model more comfortable for them.
                                        Sometimes people with long femurs need to go up a 1/2 seat size to accommodate the distance between the hip and knee and give more freedom for the pelvis. Especially in a deeper seat saddle. Most people who are sensitive to the pommel will do a flatter seat, a wider twist, go up a half seat size, or a do a low pommel version of the saddle. I hope this helps!
                                        believetobe, you really should put it in your signature that you are "proud to work for CWD" as you said the other day. Because changing your settings to make only your last comment visible + not mentioning your link the the company anymore gives a strange idea of your supposedly unbiased advice.
                                        Just saying...

                                        Comment

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