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Need a saddle recommendation for those with "bad backs"

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  • Need a saddle recommendation for those with "bad backs"

    I'm in the process of looking for a new saddle for my jumper prospect. She's relatively wide (needs 34-35cm or 5-5.25" dot to dot measurement), flat backed but has a some withers. She's also got a fairly large, laid-back shoulder, so I have some issues fitting a saddle behind her shoulder blade without it shifting too far back and on to her loin.

    I, on the other hand, have spondylolisthesis (my L5 was fractured as a kid due to stress and causes the vertebrae to "slip" past each other. This makes it hard to absorb concussion with my lower back and I have some sciatica. My back is under control and exercise is actually really good for it, but I'm looking for a saddle that would fit my mare but still be "easy" on my back. I've been leaning towards a beval butet, but don't know if that would be a good fit for the mare, or any easier on my back.

    I'm fairly short, but long in the thigh, and tend to prefer a narrow twist that is somewhat secure, but allows me flexibility to move.

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!

  • #2
    Check out Stubben's bio mex saddles which are especially suited for back issues I think. I have no experience personally but Stubben makes a quality saddle at a reasonable price.

    Comment


    • #3
      STAY AWAY FROM ANTARES. I was practically crippled riding in the custom one I bought. I have an old Butet (no blocks, pretty flat, with a deep seat) which I love. I also have an older Devocoux that I like. The butet doesnt fit every horse, which is a problem. In fact, it didnt fit my horse when I bought him. His musculature changed and it fits him well enough now... The devocoux is "cushier" than my butet, but it tends to tip me ever so slightly forward.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a Butet which I always found pretty easy on my back, compared to other saddles. I got the FB2 tree which is the wider design that was intended to fit more WB types, and it works very well for my horse, who also takes a wide, and has a fairly prominent shoulder.

        But I will also tell you that what *really* helped my back the most was adding an Ogilvy pad underneath the saddle. I noticed it under my Butet, but now that I do more dressage, the difference is *really* noticeable, because all that sitting/more upright position definitely puts more stress on my back than jumping did.

        https://www.ogilvyequestrian.com/results.php?id=54
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a bad back as well due to a compression fracture in L4-L5 so I understand the concerns. I also get what I call "dead leg" as well where I completely lose feeling in my right leg related to nerve impingement. Anyway, I prefer a Tad Coffin. I have never not had discomfort riding until I rode in my friends. It was so amazing I purchased my own, however it does not fit my horse at all. I'm riding now in a County Stablizer and so far it is doing okay for my back, but next horse I get will HAVE to fit a Tad. I'm that dead set about them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
            I have a Butet which I always found pretty easy on my back, compared to other saddles. I got the FB2 tree which is the wider design that was intended to fit more WB types, and it works very well for my horse, who also takes a wide, and has a fairly prominent shoulder.

            But I will also tell you that what *really* helped my back the most was adding an Ogilvy pad underneath the saddle. I noticed it under my Butet, but now that I do more dressage, the difference is *really* noticeable, because all that sitting/more upright position definitely puts more stress on my back than jumping did.

            https://www.ogilvyequestrian.com/results.php?id=54
            This reminds me, that I found my Thinline contour pad very helpful on the days when my back was bothering me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BAC View Post
              Check out Stubben's bio mex saddles which are especially suited for back issues I think. I have no experience personally but Stubben makes a quality saddle at a reasonable price.
              Yes, Stubben's Biomex seat looks something like a racing or touring bicycle's seat. If you look on their website, they talk a little bit about its design, which benefits not just crotchal issues, but back issues. I loved mine, but it didn't fit my new horse well.
              http://www.facebook.com/pages/Easy-K...22998204542511
              http://www.easykeeperfarm.com

              I can ride my horses without a sharps container.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a microdiscectomy at L5-S1. Tonight was my second night in my new Stubben Eidelweiss with Biomex.

                Love, love, love.

                The biomex is where your sitz (sp) bones are and just cushions everything. Plus, I have a huge problem with my left leg swinging because that was my bad one and its settling down after two rides. I get dead leg there too. Nothing else seemed to offer the level of support and I'm so glad I went for it. The biomex was not that pricey to add.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have bulging discs in my lower back & the best saddle I ever rode in is the treeless Fhoenix (heather Moffat) saddle. Like sitting on a cloud. Unfortunately they don't make jumping saddles (or do they now?). I rode in it for all flat work, then switched to jumping saddle for actual jumping (which wasn't very often)
                  I've heard they are good for people with bad knees too.
                  Perhaps something with memory foam?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Remember that the way the saddle fits the horse will effect the way you sit in it, so be sure that the saddle's fitting the horse and not throwing you off balance. Lots of my customers tell me that serge panels are a huge help for rider (as well as horse) back issues; many of the UK-made saddles like Loxley/Bliss, Frank Baines, Lovatt and Ricketts and Black Country - can be ordered with serge panels, often at no extra cost.
                    Kitt Hazelton
                    Saddle Fitter
                    www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                    www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm a veteran of back problems (had fusion L4-S1 last September). I had a Stubben Genesis CS with the Biomex seat, and I loved that saddle. It put me in a great position, was secure, and the Biomex seat helped a lot. Then I got a new horse, and the Stubben did not fit him at all :-( I ended up with a County Innovation, and it is as comfortable for me as the Stubben was.

                      I second the suggestion of the ThinLine pad. I used that with my County before my surgery, and it did make a difference to both me and my horse.
                      Why do I like most horses better than most people?

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks all for your replies. I have actually been using a thinline pad for about 2 years now, and have found that it does greatly reduce impact on my spine. I'll look into the Stubben with biomex as well. I rode in a Stubben Edelweiss as a kid, but the twist was a bit wide and the seat a bit deep. I looked on the website, and it looks like they have redone some of their jumping saddles with the NT tree. I think they have a demo at my local Dover, so I'll take a peek.

                        I've heard from several people that the Tad Coffins are really hard, but I've ridden in an older model from the early 90's and I loved the balance on that saddle. Does anyone have one of the newer Tads with the smart tree? Also, what about the fit on these saddles? I know they only come in a standard tree size that you are supposed to pad up, but how well does this system really work?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ^ it depends on the horse tbh. I just sold my 19" (its on MD tack exchange's website), it was an older saddle that was upgraded to the smart tree in 2011. I found the seat surprisingly soft and comfortable, I was also expecting a hard and wood saddle. The saddle worked fabulously for my mare...until it didn't. I went with a Black Country Ricochet (that just arrived a few days ago actually).

                          My mare in my profile picture is jumping with the tad

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LaBelleEtoile View Post
                            Thanks all for your replies. I have actually been using a thinline pad for about 2 years now, and have found that it does greatly reduce impact on my spine. I'll look into the Stubben with biomex as well. I rode in a Stubben Edelweiss as a kid, but the twist was a bit wide and the seat a bit deep. I looked on the website, and it looks like they have redone some of their jumping saddles with the NT tree. I think they have a demo at my local Dover, so I'll take a peek.

                            I've heard from several people that the Tad Coffins are really hard, but I've ridden in an older model from the early 90's and I loved the balance on that saddle. Does anyone have one of the newer Tads with the smart tree? Also, what about the fit on these saddles? I know they only come in a standard tree size that you are supposed to pad up, but how well does this system really work?
                            My saddle is a 2002 and I find it really soft. That said-- I think what people don't like about them is that they are FLAT, which is a different feeling from a deep seated french couch.
                            Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                            you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks for the Tad Coffin reviews. I like a flat saddle with a narrow twist myself, so it sounds like the Tad Coffin would be something to try. I have tried Antares, PJ's, currently ride in a Prestige Hunter Classic, etc and just haven't been thrilled with them for me.

                              What about Devoucoux?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I haven't liked any devoucoux models that I have tried, but I did like the Voltaire Calgary.

                                However, my FAVORITE saddle is my new custom saddle from Heritage in the UK. I would say the saddle most similar to it is a county stabilizer.
                                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  On the Stubben, when the fitter from Stubben came out, there were four different jumping saddles and all the twists were different. Just an FYI. There were a lot more choices from the Stubben guy than anything I saw in one place online.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    The best saddle for your back is the saddle that fits you and lets you properly stack your skeleton.

                                    What do we know from Yoga, Pilates, and every PT/Orthopedist any of us have ever seen? Stack the 3 spinal curves correctly and we're GOLDEN.

                                    I have spinal issues, and it's all about posture, position and fitness for me.

                                    I ride in a lovely custom Antares that fits me and my horse. It helps/lets me sit correctly. I don't think any brand should be written off entirely; every rider and horse are different.

                                    Add a cushy pad and a soft seat to a saddle that fits you and your horse, and you are there

                                    Good luck, fellow chronic pain sufferer. Don't give up!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by LaBelleEtoile View Post
                                      I've heard from several people that the Tad Coffins are really hard, but I've ridden in an older model from the early 90's and I loved the balance on that saddle. Does anyone have one of the newer Tads with the smart tree? Also, what about the fit on these saddles? I know they only come in a standard tree size that you are supposed to pad up, but how well does this system really work?
                                      The newer Tad Coffin saddles now offer several different tree sizes as well as a more cushioned seat, although I think you can still order the "one size fits all" model too.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Sent you a PM.

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