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Which Riser to Buy?

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  • Which Riser to Buy?

    I have an older 17" Calcutt & Sons close contact saddle. B, who is the trainer who helped me with Holly's post surgical care, helped me with seeing how the saddle would fit Holly. She said that the tree was narrow enough, but I would need a riser because of the angle the saddle was sitting at when in position at her withers. As it is, it would be very downhill toward the haunches, high-headed Saddlebred that she is.

    I was asking B about this, because I had tried it on Holly before the surgery, and the whole thing had a tendency to slide back, so when the saddle sat level on her back, then the girth was way too far back once she got moving.

    So.. I have looked online, and have no clue which of the different types and brands would be best. What are your preferences? Which ones stay in place better and last longer? Anything else I need to be aware of?
    Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

  • #2
    A well fitted and properly placed saddle doesn't need a riser.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Gumshoe, but if a different saddle is not an option, I would try a Tipperary pad. I have had good luck because they will mold to the horses back. They also wear like iron. You may need to look on ebay for this, because I don't think they are made anymore.
      Elizabeth
      The Greatest Sense of Freedom is on a Horse!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I think B was trying to save me some money, because she knows how much went out for the surgery and pre-surgical complications. Also, Holly isn't in shape because B hasn't got hold of her yet for her training. That will come later.

        Right now, she is way outta' shape, 'cause she hasn't been used in a very long while, because the previous owner didn't rider her "because she moved on to something else" (yeah, right) and I haven't ridden her due to the bone chip lameness.
        Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

        Comment


        • #5
          If the saddle is tipping back, it is likely too narrow. Getting the horse back in shape won't fix that. It will get worse.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow, a lot of people here are not being super helpful... sometimes buying a new saddle is not an option, and even then, I know many horses that no matter what saddle you buy it would still sit lower than ideal in the back on them. Products like riser pads exist for a reason.

            OP, if your horse is high withered, something molded for wither relief with a lift in the back is good. One of our clients has this Roma (CHEAP! ) pad and it works well. On horses that don't have such a high wither, I usually use my normal half pad with a fleece/foam oval pad under the back of my saddle to provide a little lift. I got it as a hand-me-down and so I'm not sure where you can buy one, but I'm pretty sure it would be easy to make one. Of course, there are options in all price ranges, and I know Fleeceworks and Mattes both offer half pads that have options for lift in the back.

            Comment


            • #7
              I love my mattes pad. But.. those suckers aren't cheap! When I'm out of town with my mattes (at a show or whatever), I leave this behind for others to use on my other horse. It's cheap, but it does it's job. If it's just a temporary fix until your horse muscles up, it should work just fine! I like that it has room for the withers too.
              .

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sparrowette View Post
                I have an older 17" Calcutt & Sons close contact saddle. B, who is the trainer who helped me with Holly's post surgical care, helped me with seeing how the saddle would fit Holly. She said that the tree was narrow enough, but I would need a riser because of the angle the saddle was sitting at when in position at her withers. As it is, it would be very downhill toward the haunches, high-headed Saddlebred that she is.

                I was asking B about this, because I had tried it on Holly before the surgery, and the whole thing had a tendency to slide back, so when the saddle sat level on her back, then the girth was way too far back once she got moving.

                So.. I have looked online, and have no clue which of the different types and brands would be best. What are your preferences? Which ones stay in place better and last longer? Anything else I need to be aware of?
                Not every saddle that fits "not great" is actually hurting the horse - not ideal, yes, but this is what shims are all about: you do want to make sure that you know where the tree points are & that the angle is suitable to the horse.
                Not many amateur saddle fitters are good with tree points & angles which is why I always suggest getting a professional saddle fitter involved, they also usually carry suitable shimmable pads or the old style shims that are placed underneath the panels (bevelled edges are important!).

                Many of the soft foams riser type pads look great when it's just the saddle & the horse, add the rider & foam compresses, or add movement & pads shift ... pads with pockets for shims tend to slip less.

                Saddles can slip back because they are too narrow or too wide - if there are no fitters in your area, you might consult some of the online shops/fitters.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Well, Now I have a line on a new (to me) saddle that may solve my troubles, thanks to a COTH gal who is selling one that she thinks will fit. Thanks for the information. This is all a learning curve for me, and I'm soaking it all up.
                  Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    When a horse is out of work for awhile, there tends to be a loss of muscling over the back, but if it was tipping then I agree with whoever said it was too narrow. If it is narrow when the critter is not muscled up, it can only get worse.

                    By the way, I have noticed that many H/J or even dresssage people will sometimes put a saddle too far forward. I was taught that there is a 'sweet spot' at just the right distance back from the withers where the saddle ought to be. The horses with long shoulder blades, like Thoroughbreds and Saddlebreds, usually need the saddle farther back than a short coupled Arabian, QH or Morgan would. I don't know if that is a factor that your instructor already knows, but am hoping that is a helpful hint. If the saddle impinges upon the movement of the scapula, that can make it hard for the horse to have full range of motion of the front legs.
                    ETA i just Googled saddle fit and found a useful picture. If this is something you already know all about, that is cool, but if not, then this illustrates what I was trying to describe, see the picture of bay horse with black dressage saddle on, description of the 'pocket' it fits into:
                    http://tackandtalk.wordpress.com/201...he-proper-fit/
                    Last edited by sdlbredfan; Apr. 7, 2013, 11:07 PM. Reason: add content
                    Jeanie
                    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, check to be sure the saddle is far enough back, and that the seat is level when the saddle is properly placed. If it is where it should be and it tips back, it is too narrow. A riser pad will make it worse.

                      You can always order the Roma from Smartpak and return it if you don't care for it. That's what I did. It put my saddle too far off the horse. The foam panels no longer sat on the horse where they should have. So if your saddle fits fine in the front (which I don't think it does), when you add the riser to adjust the back it will screw up the fit in the front. Clear as mud? I think Eilsel has a better idea with just adding a foam pad under the back of the saddle.

                      Hopefully the other saddle works out better. It sounds like she may be a pain to fit right now as her "sweet spot" is back farther. When the saddle slides back into the position it wants to be in, if the saddle is level there, do you think it is too far back? Is it past her last rib? If it isn't that might be where a saddle should sit on her.

                      http://www.saddlefitter.com/a,b,%20c...dlefitting.htm

                      Maybe that link will help, or you can shoot her an email if you don't have access to a fitter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For what its worth, you mention the saddle likes to slide back. I have had a number of Saddlebreds, and have had this problem with many of them even if the saddle fits--they just don't have enough belly to keep the saddle in place--the ones I have had a problem with were built rather slab-sided, and ended up running a breastplate on all of them.

                        While I agree that the best thing is a saddle that fits so it doesn't need a riser pad, I have seen some horses that are built with a dip in their back so that you end up needing one regardless unless you get either a custom saddle or similar. And this can occur easily in the Saddlebred breed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have very rarely known a slab-sided Saddlebred, and I have known a large number of them over the past 50 years. Most of them have well-sprung ribs, so now I am curious what the bloodlines were on the ones you mentioned as being slab-sided?
                          Jeanie
                          RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not to hijack, but I use a riser too. Can over stuffed panels make a saddle tip back?

                            I have a used County Stabilizer and have used a riser since it tips back on my TB. I bought it off Ebay and not on a trial so I've stuck with it. Could over stuffed panels also make a saddle tip back? Or is it generally because it is too narrow? I ask since mine seem to be very 'puffy'. Contemplating having a fitter un-stuff them a bit but at the same time the flaps are too short for my legs anyway and I might just sell. It seems lately that his back has gotten ouchy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I bought this pad first and hated it. So stiff I couldn't get it to flex and go into the gullet of my saddle at all.

                              http://www.adamshorsesupplies.com/Ro...Pad-P2118.aspx

                              So I ordered this one instead and I'm very happy with it. I don't own my own horse, so I use my saddle on a few different horses. This pad adds the little bit of lift my saddle needs but doesn't alter the fit a ton.

                              http://www.adamshorsesupplies.com/Wi...ack-P1432.aspx

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks, folks. The "new" saddle has arrived, and it has a different look than either of the other two I have. The gullet seems taller than the one I was trying, and that may be a good thing. I haven't tried it on her yet, because I've been under the weather, but soon, and will report. Won't be able to try a ride, she's still on hand-walk regimen, but I think we can get a good idea.
                                Founding Member: Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Until the horse is back in shape it might be very difficult to determine what will fit in the future.

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