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French Saddles

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  • French Saddles

    I may be in the market for a new saddle. Need some advice as I know nothing about the saddles since I have not looked in a long time. I have 2 Butet saddles, same size, 16", 1'0 flap, deep seat with knee blocks. My horse has a sore back and I am thinking that maybe my saddles are not helping him and I should consider selling my beloved Butets for something else.

    I am 5'3, 100 pounds, like a little bit of padding but not too much like to be able to "feel" by horse). My horse is not a big guy, 16 hands, narrow build for a warmblood but he has a long back and wide hips. So he is narrower in the front than the back.

    Any suggestions?
    What size would I need in another saddle? I had a Crosby saddle many years ago, it was a 16 1/2. Thinking maybe a 16'5 in another French saddle. When I got my Butets, you either did 16' or 17' and the 17 was too big.

    And I am not interested in employing a saddle fitter.

  • #2
    Your horse has a sore back, you have an inventory of saddles with a FMV of roughly $5,000 used/$10,000 new, and yet you are "not interested in employing a saddle fitter?"

    Is there a reason that spending ~$150 on a saddle fitting appointment so that someone can use their professional expertise to help you find a saddle that will be suitable for both you and your horse is untenable to you?
    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
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    • #3
      I really like my CWD, if you are at a show where they have a rep, they would have different ones you could sit in. You probably will be a 16.5. I remember when Butet's first came out and you could only get 16 or 17.

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      • #4
        I have a CWD and love it---works on all four of my horses. They came to my farm to find what fit me and my horses, spent several hours, and didn't charge for that. I was waiting to order a new one while I was saving my pennies, and the rep called me a couple of months after the fitting to say they had just gotten a used one in that had the exact same specs and was in beautiful shape. I thought that was very professional and considerate. I bought it and it has been great! Horses backs are all good and my back no longer hurts when I ride

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        • #5
          Monalisa, I (finally) bought a new Butet when we moved out here, then a second used one a little later. The ponies HATED them, so I sold both. I don't think you'd like the Vega I bought, but I also bought an Amerigo. Both have worked beautifully for the ponies and the Amerigo is more like your type of ride. They're also both wool flocked, which might be more to your guy's liking. Just a thought

          And I would think you'd swim in anything bigger than a 16.5...but even that I think would be pushing it for you. I wish my hiney were still that small!
          "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique

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          • #6
            I know you said you are not interested in employing a saddle fitter, but ....

            I just got back from an appointment with a saddle fitter. I went to the appointment fully expecting to have to purchase a new saddle that would fit me and my boy, but was pleasantly surprised when the fitter said my saddle was fine. He fitted my horse with a thin-line pad and shims on one side to make up for his big shoulder, and I rode and my horse had fine movement. Just my two cents for what it's worth.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by monalisa View Post
              What size would I need in another saddle? I had a Crosby saddle many years ago, it was a 16 1/2. Thinking maybe a 16'5 in another French saddle. When I got my Butets, you either did 16' or 17' and the 17 was too big.
              Unfortunately, this is an impossible question. It will depend on the particular saddle's seat architecture, seat depth, etc. So for most folks, there will be a variation of 1/2" or so depending on the particular saddle in question. I will say that most folks are riding in saddles that are too small for them, but at 5'3" and 100 pounds, you may be a genuinely good candidate for some 16's and some 16.5's. It depends on the saddle and your body shape.

              As for advising about brands, that would be pretty much impossible without knowing a lot more about the horse and seeing some good pictures of its back. So I ditto other folks' suggestion that you consult a good saddle fitter ASAP. You may have options that you haven't even considered yet, such as having your Butets repanelled with panels that are better suited to your horse's back, having the tree adjusted, and any number of other things. A good saddle fitter could help you explore those options and point you toward brands and models that make sense for your horse's back. They could also help you explore brands that are best suited to shorter/more petite riders.
              Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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              • #8
                PS, if this is a matter of being gun-shy about French saddle brand representatives--which vary wildly in their level of competence and training as saddle fitters, so perhaps you had a bad experience and that's why you're "not interested" in a saddle fitter--there are plenty of mail-order consignment vendors for French saddles that also give sound advice about saddle fitting. Certainly there are other places to buy used French saddles at good prices, but these vendors excel at offering some basic saddle fitting advice along with the product:

                Patricia at Fine Used Saddles
                http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/saddlefit.htm

                Rachel at I Sell Tack.com
                http://www.iselltack.com/

                Cori McGraw of High End Used Saddles
                http://www.highendusedsaddles.com/aboutme.htm

                Ann Forrest of Equestrian Imports (ask her particularly about Amerigo, which I think somebody else mentioned above.)
                http://equestrianimports.com/

                Brittany Haynie at Saddle Solutions
                http://saddlesolution.com/
                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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