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another "help I need a saddle" post. Horse with high withers, saddle slides back

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  • another "help I need a saddle" post. Horse with high withers, saddle slides back

    So, I have been struggling with not-quite-right saddles with this horse for a while now. any advice appreciated.

    He's a 17.3+hh hanoverian, with a giant wither and a big body. Every close contact saddle I've tried with him slides back big time. Even with a neoprene or gel non-slip pad, after 5 mins of jumping the saddle is a good 4 inches behind where it should be. (it slides back a little, but not as much, during strictly flat work) I currently school with a breastplate, but the horse and I both hate it. I'm SHORT. as in 5'1 with paddock boots. I need a short flap set forward to accomodate my midget legs.

    My heart saddle, and the one that fits my other horses, is a Tad Coffin. I love the grippy leather and the short flaps fit me.
    The width is good for the moose, but there's not nearly enough wither clearance for him. And of course, saddle slips back.

    I currently ride this giant horse in a Hermes Steinkraus. It offers him adequate wither clearance, but it's not wide enough for him and sits cantle low. It also slides back after the first 2 fences. Also, I *hate* it. the flaps aren't sized for a short-legged rider and I feel like I slip around in it, and struggle to keep my leg position.

    Past saddles I've tried with this horse:
    Butet: I liked it, but not wide enough and slipped back. not quite enough wither clearance. Slipped back.
    Prestige: great wither clearance, but kind of slippery leather which I didn't love. Still slipped back.
    Horse gets regular chiro visits. Chiro guy agrees my saddles aren't good fits, but didn't have a good recommendation.

    So, first, is there any hope of a saddle that will fit this high withered beast *without* slipping back? DH thinks we're just going to have to use a breastplate for the rest of our lives, but I still want to have hope. I hate the way the breastplate gets so tight and restrictive as the saddle slips, it's not a good look for a hunter, and frankly, it's a nuissance to deal with.
    I'm assuming I need a wide tree, but with high wither clearance. I need a short flap and grippy leather.
    have any of you with similar conformationed horses found anything that works? Do those options come in short flaps and grippy soft leather?

    I am willing to spend a fair amount on something that's perfect. ($5K or so) but it needs to fit both of us, or is that an impossible feat?


    picture of said horsie:
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...type=3&theater
    this photo is a few years old, but his conformation hasn't significantly changed.

    Please, those of you with a moose, what saddles worked best for you both? Thanks!
    A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

    http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I was actually going to suggest NOT a wide tree, just a tree with enough wither clearance. And more of a hoop tree, vs. your standard A tree. I suspect just getting the right tree size (of course it's hard to tell from the photo, he could be a wide) and the right tree SHAPE is going to do you a world of good. Apart from the withers, he has a flat back.

    Contact Albion, and Black Country. They have knowledgeable fitters, do well with the "tough" fits, and both will get you a full custom saddle for under your budget. (Significantly.)

    Comment


    • #3
      you can get a fully custom hastilow saddle (has an adjustable tree too) for under 3.5k (I know one of their reps, she is awesome and helped me find a saddle for my harder to fit horse in my budget). The hastilow reps also sell Ideal, Black Country, Kent and Masters, and Thorowgood so lots of options. From what I saw, their saddles do really work for those flat backed horses, and it should not be an issue to fit for the wither clearance as well.

      http://www.hastilowusa.com/ (rep was down in NC fitting a few horses for custom monoflaps, my boss has an older fully custom CC of theirs, I ended up with an Ideal monoflap, and sat in a Black Country)
      "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

      Comment


      • #4
        I know they're not really the "in" thing, but Stubben makes a good quality saddle and there are a bajillion ways you can customize one to fit both you and the horse and it would be well within your budget.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a feeling that what you think is too far back, is actually the right spot. I think that this horse has a further set back scapula that what you think, and because of this, it pushes the saddle back out of the way. You might have to invest in an anatomic girth as will, since a regular one will be trying to pull the saddle out of its comfort zone.

          Without other pictures it's hard to recommend saddles that might work. County, Black Country, Ideal, Hastilow, Albion, and Stubbens are all highly customizable options, especially for somebody that needs a short flap, and maybe different-than-average-panels.
          "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by candysgirl View Post
            I know they're not really the "in" thing, but Stubben makes a good quality saddle and there are a bajillion ways you can customize one to fit both you and the horse and it would be well within your budget.
            Stubbens do not really work well for horses with flat backs, unfortunately.

            Comment


            • #7
              The fitter I worked with at Schleese has me crossing my billets when attaching the girth - so first billet to second girth buckle and vice versa. It has really helped - maybe give it a try in the interim?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                Stubbens do not really work well for horses with flat backs, unfortunately.
                Actually a Stubben properly built would fit this horse quite well. If you don't like Stubbens I understand. That is why there are other brands. If you want a good saddle fit to your horse at a good price Stubben should be considered with the others.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ainsley688 View Post
                  County, Black Country, Ideal, Hastilow, Albion, and Stubbens are all highly customizable options, especially for somebody that needs a short flap, and maybe different-than-average-panels.
                  Agree, and wool flocking is probably a better idea than the foam saddles you tried.
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    thanks all! I do use an anatomic girth (leather) or a regular shaped neoprene one. Neither seems to reduce the slipping.
                    Ainsley, you seem to think the saddle in the "back" positon is correct? But when it's there, I feel like I'm sitting behind where I should, and it's especially a struggle when jumping. Do I need to adjust my "feel" of what's correct?
                    A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                    http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paddles10 View Post
                      Actually a Stubben properly built would fit this horse quite well. If you don't like Stubbens I understand. That is why there are other brands. If you want a good saddle fit to your horse at a good price Stubben should be considered with the others.
                      Determined Stubben fan - NOTHING they offered came close to fitting a (very) straight backed Welsh Cob, Stubben dealer let me take a saddle at my insistance, but she was right
                      - though perhaps Stubben has begin using flatter/straighter trees in the last 2 years (& just neglected to inform this dealer - who is trained as a Stubben fitter ... )

                      I would guess that it's a combination of fitting saddles that are too narrow & horse's shoulder pushing them back (you may need a tree with shorter points).
                      Definitely contact local reps/fitters that will come out & let you try saddles that fit you & the horse.

                      I'm assuming I need a wide tree, but with high wither clearance. I need a short flap and grippy leather.
                      Short flap means you'll likely need to go custom (depending on how short)

                      You've gotten a great list to try - contact everyone & see who offers the best service/rep in your area: a custom saddle is only as good as the rep that chooses the tree/panel/flap configuration for you & your horse, & will be adjusting the (wool) panels.

                      It's likely that once horse is in a properly fitting saddle, his topline will change so I'd choose wool for that reason: if you love foam (or your horse loves foam ) then see if you can get a company to agree to reshape/replace the panels during that first year even if horse changes significantly (most custom saddle guarantees are to fit the horse that is measured at the time of order).
                      Wool panels should be able to be reflocked on-site, most foam, means shipping saddle off. CWD etc offer "demo" saddles to be used in the meantime BUT if none of the demo saddles fit, this is of limited advantage

                      If you go french, you'll likely need to increase your budget (you'll want the buffalo or calf for "soft, grippy") BUT most french do not offer much in tree variations so if you want foam, look to David Stackhouse & Andy Foster & Tad Coffin etc - except again, you'll need to extend your budget for new.
                      (note that TC does refurbish older saddles, replace trees etc so definitely worth a call if you're so inclined)

                      Pretty sure that jn4jenny is still in Ohio, so she would be able to suggest specific names for fitters/reps - drop her a line if she doesn't show up here soon!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It would be worth it to contact Julie Weitzel at CW Saddlery

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I used to have to ride with a breastplate almost 100% of the time. Jumping and going for gallops would have me back a good 4 inches with the breastplate pulling hard.

                          During my epic saddle search this past year, I discovered that yes, I was placing the saddle too far forward so his shoulder pushed it back. I'm told the majority of people do. And yes, my feeling of what was correct had to change.

                          I bought a lovely used Amerigo CC with the upgraded grippy calf leather in an extra wide (+4) with shorter tree points to accommodate the large shoulder. I also bought an anatomic girth. My saddle hasn't budged an inch since.

                          I personally love the Amerigo saddles as they seem to have a slightly more forward flap for an off the rack saddle - which fit my long thigh. The vast majority of saddles don't work for me, because my knee goes over the flap. And I'm not tall, I'm 5'4". I even use children's stirrup leathers. It's just the way I'm proportioned.

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