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saddle for thoroughbred wide at the withers

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  • saddle for thoroughbred wide at the withers

    I recently bought a 4--now 5--year-old thoroughbred mare. Unfortunately my 14 year old saddle (Pessoa Rodrigo, med tree) is too tight at the withers. She doesn't have a very flat back, but is more rounded. She's built more like a quarter horse than my old appendix gelding.

    My problem is that I love or rather loved riding in the Pessoa, but need to replace it with a saddle that fits this mare. Would it be worthwhile to try a Pessoa with a medium-wide tree? I've seen a used A/O in that width. Will I like the feel of it as much as the Rodrigo?

    I tried a used Bates Caprilli, but was not in love with the ride. I also found it impossible to attach the medium wide gusset plate to the saddle so I'm not even sure it would fit her. Is the Pessoa XCH gullet system easier to use?

  • #2
    I'm not sure about fitting...but the pessoa Xch is the exact same system as the Bate/Wintec/collegiate, just with different color plates and I think the holes are in a different location from what I can remember when I test rode the pessoa (saddle before was a collegiate so I was hoping the plates were interchangeable).

    I don't find either that hard....was a narrow used in the bate's previously? Sometimes it can take some wiggling but I had everything from a med-narrow to an extra wide in mine without any issues. After some practice I could usually get it changed out in about 10 minutes.


    • #3
      I highly recommend County Saddles...I've got an Innovation.., they also make the Stabilizer, and the Sensation


      • #4
        Prestige for a wider fit and the build you describe. Or County, or Black Country - all 3 of those are designed similarly.

        But understand the withers are really not what you are fitting - you need to be fitting the shoulders. When something is "tight at the withers", it didn't remotely come close to being wide enough for the shoulders
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          Ditto the County for those shoulders
          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


          • #6
            I have always loved a Jeffries for a TB. Fit every one I have tried it on - from the fellas just off the track to the old campaigners to the massively muscled young beefcakes.


            • #7
              Black Country, County, or if you are in Southern California, Paul Selvey at Superior Saddlery. Please don't go for all of that gullet-change stuff, it really doesn't do much but whack out the saddle because it doesn't change the tree, channel, or the panels, all of which are essential to a well-fitting saddle.


              • #8
                I agree and disagree about the changeable gullets

                In the middle range of gullets, I have had them work very well for a growing/widening horse. But when I tried to go from W to XW, well, no, that simply didn't work because it altered the overall shape. It might have worked well for a horse who WAS that shape, but because it changed the shape, it no longer worked for my horse.

                Most saddles don't have the channel changed when you move up a width because that part of the tree is usually the same when the make another one in a wider size.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  In addition to having the XCH gullets Pessoa Saddles, some Pessoa models now also have the "Masterfit" panel system that allows you to choose from a panel that can help with some conformation faults. Alto panel for horses that have moderate to high withers and then drop off in the back, Corto for a horse that has a short flatter muscled back, and the Regular panel. All of these are in the AMS flocking system.
                  Sounds like this horse might need the Alto, however you would have to try the panel on your horse to be sure. Most good English Riding Supply saddle dealers can get saddles for you to try.


                  • #10
                    Had the same issue when I got my TB - built like a QH and wide withers. An HDR in wide actually fits him really well.


                    • Original Poster

                      A used County A/P?

                      Thanks for the suggestions. I probably should have mentioned that I am geographically challenged when it comes to tack shops. I can get into the Pittsburgh area in a little over an hour, which I'll do this weekend, but even that isn't like Eastern PA or the D.C. suburbs where I had to travel to find the horse. I'd also like to keep the purchase under $1500 although I can be flexible on that, especially if I decide to sell my old Pessoa.

                      Online I found a used County A/P saddle with a MW tree. They say its in good condition, but it looks like it's had a lot of use on it (reflected in the price which is way under budget). I'm not concerned about cosmetics at this point. I just really need something I can ride the horse in without hurting her back. How does the flocking hold up on older County saddles?