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Spinoff: Is your horse ridden by others (including your pro) in your saddle?

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  • #21
    My trainer and I have the same saddle so it's a non issue with me, however she uses her saddle for all training rides. We did have one that had back issues and she did use that owner's saddle.

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    • #22
      I can't say that I always ride other horses in my saddle or other people always ride my horses in my saddle, but any time I get on a horse or someone gets on my horse it will be in a saddle that fits. For example, when I take lessons at my trainer's place I always bring my saddle and test to see if it fits and if it does, I ride in it, and if it doesn't I ride in that horse's particular saddle. When my trainer comes to my place to give me a lesson she'll hop on my guys in my saddle, but both times I have shipped my geldings out to a trainer for a month or so of training, we made sure the trainer had a saddle there that fit.
      Southern Cross Guest Ranch
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      • #23
        My trainer also has the same saddle I do so it's a non issue. When I need somebody else to hack him for me they use my saddle, and If I hack another persons horse I use there's unless mine happens to fit and they've ok'd it.
        Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

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        • #24
          I stress the importance of saddle fit to my clients so it would be rather strange to stress saddle fit on the one hand and then ride in my own saddles without a thought for the horse on the other.

          When it comes to the rare occasion that other people ride my horses, I expect them at the very least to put the comfort of the horse first and ride in the saddle that fits the horse best. I also expect professionals to be somewhat educated on saddle fit.
          Ignorance is not bliss for the horse.
          The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
          Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
          Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
          The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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          • #25
            Everyone uses my saddle because it's super comfy! My trainer uses it on her mare when giving lessons actually, because it fits her mare well and they aren't using her Antares. On her training horses though, she will use her saddle and bridles because often times the owners have inappropriate tack that she doesn't want to use. Im actually currently using one of her bits, she stuck it on my bridle to lunge and I liked it so much I havent given it back LOL.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
              God no. I don't ride in anyone's saddle or expect them to ride in mine. I'll get on in someone's saddle if I'm hopping on briefly to demonstrate or fix something, but there aren't many clients who have saddles I would want to seriously school or show in. Your pro needs to ride in the saddle they are accustomed to if you want them to ride your horse to its best performance. You don't see many professionals going around squeezing in or swimming in random people's saddles just because they picked up a catch ride.
              And then eventually no one will have to worry about riding the horse to its best performance because the horse will be so back sore it won't be able to perform at all.

              I've been fine with some pros riding in their saddles on my horse, and not fine with others. It all depends on the saddle. I have absolutely found my horse to be back sore from certain pros' saddles in the past. That definitely does not lead to his "best performance" in any way shape or form.

              The pro that currently rides my horse rides in my saddle.

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              • #27
                I'm with some of the others in that my trainer and I have the exact same saddle, so they are interchangeable. They fit my two youngsters and many other horses well, but were not great on my new guy. So, I bought the updated version of the same saddle just for him, and we've adjusted it to fit him. They are all Bates Elevations, so easy to make changes as needed. My trainer still likes the older, well broken-in saddles better, but he gets his saddle regardless.
                "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry

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                • #28
                  I don't think anybody is advocating riding in something that just does not fit. But that it's totally impractical to expect a Pro rider to sit in something that does not fit them, especially when it's an occasional, short term ride. Certainly not when a rough time is expected like schooling out a wicked stop or run out or bucking might be expected.

                  It's also impractical for many owners to leave a pricey saddle in a busy barn and expect it to always be found the way it was left- try all you want, it happens. That goes double for show tack rooms.

                  My horses have all had very similar builds and haven't needed to replace saddles when I sold one on or returned a lease. Sort of split 50/50 between keeping saddle in barn and keeping it home and letting Pro or whoever gave them a light hack use their own. I NEVER left it in a show tack room shared by multiple clients and grooms. Never had back problems in my horses. Lots of other stuff, no saddle fit issues despite several riders with their own.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by findeight View Post
                    I don't think anybody is advocating riding in something that just does not fit. But that it's totally impractical to expect a Pro rider to sit in something that does not fit them, especially when it's an occasional, short term ride. Certainly not when a rough time is expected like schooling out a wicked stop or run out or bucking might be expected.
                    I ride plenty of VERY remedial horses and half the time I think they are remedial BECAUSE they have had uncomfortable equipment in the past. They come to me because they bolt, they buck, they porpoise they get light in front, they spin like little horse dreidls.

                    One of the first things I do is evaluate saddle fit. If I am going to school the resistances and bad prior experiences out of a horse, the first thing I am going to do is make sure he is comfortable, to give him ONE LESS REASON to try to run out from under me or toss me.

                    Then again, I don't bit up the bolters in elevator bits or tie anyone's head down either. I keep the horse happy first and foremost and use calm consistency for the rest.

                    So, rather than slapping any old saddle on and expecting a fight, I put on comfortable tack and the first thing we do is try to go for a quiet walk, not a CTJ. Just hopping on a remedial horse and brow beating it in a "short" CTJ session is not my style. Who gets on a horse pre-aggressive "expecting a rough time???" Usually there are some details that can be quietly and methodically attended rather than just barreling into the horse all systems go.

                    It is really amazing how quickly a horse will start to work well for you if your first priority is his comfort, both mental and physical. You can almost hear the sigh of relief when someone gets on who doesn't expec the world in the first minute and actually cares about THEIR pov.
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      I don't think anybody is advocating riding in something that just does not fit. But that it's totally impractical to expect a Pro rider to sit in something that does not fit them, especially when it's an occasional, short term ride. Certainly not when a rough time is expected like schooling out a wicked stop or run out or bucking might be expected.

                      It's also impractical for many owners to leave a pricey saddle in a busy barn and expect it to always be found the way it was left- try all you want, it happens. That goes double for show tack rooms.

                      My horses have all had very similar builds and haven't needed to replace saddles when I sold one on or returned a lease. Sort of split 50/50 between keeping saddle in barn and keeping it home and letting Pro or whoever gave them a light hack use their own. I NEVER left it in a show tack room shared by multiple clients and grooms. Never had back problems in my horses. Lots of other stuff, no saddle fit issues despite several riders with their own.
                      I guess in my case, I'm built pretty similarly to pretty much every pro that has ever ridden my horse. So it has never really been the case that I'm asking someone to ride in a too big or too small saddle. I'm 5'6" with fairly long (but not ridiculous) legs. It is a pretty standard pro female rider size, I've found.

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                      • #31
                        OK...others do not generally ride my horse so this is really a non-issue for me. The exception is when I am out of town for work and I get one of the kids to give him a bit of exercise. But...the thought of handing my relatively new (only about 2 yrs old), custom made CWD to a 15 year old kid makes me a bit ill.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Interesting how varied the responses are so far.

                          I can understand how a catch ride now and then (particularly at a show) is a different senerio than regularly scheduled training rides, and it would be nice to know what the pros that do catch riding for the majority of their workload do in those situations.

                          Anyway, I've got another question to pose. But I want to preface it with:

                          1) My experience as a "pro" may be different that those posting here or the trainers of those posting here. I primarily do reschooling of "problem" horses as well as break babies and bring along greenies. We do show, but on a local level, so I am not doing tons of "show prep", course work, or high jumps with most of my horses at this time. I do deal with many "rank" horses, and like Meupatdoes, I have found saddle fit being a major factor in my success. This may affect my perspective.

                          2) I am rather petite, so most of my experiences would be riding in saddles of a different shape or larger size than my preferences, but never squishing myself into something smaller. That also may affect my perspective.

                          BUT: I have found that riding in a saddle that is (insert any adjective: bigger, flatter, deeper seated, more grippy, wider, harder, softer, less grippy, etc) than my personal saddle made absolutely no difference to my position or effectiveness. Of course, I am riding in nice quality saddles with good balance; I am sure a poorly constructed saddle would make anyone ride less than stellar.

                          SO my question is: to those of you who only ride in your saddle, what differences do you feel that make you not want to ride in the saddle fitted for the horse?

                          Again, I am just curious. We've got some funky backs out here as well as a ton of size variety so a "one-saddle-fits-all" philosophy isn't possible, regardless of my opinion. I enjoy hearing others' thought process on the matter.
                          www.englishivyfarms.com
                          Hunters, Jumpers, & Welsh Ponies
                          All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Scratch N Dent View Post
                            But...the thought of handing my relatively new (only about 2 yrs old), custom made CWD to a 15 year old kid makes me a bit ill.
                            Yeah, you people with the $5K calf-covered saddles. *Why* do you want someone else's tushy using up your saddle?

                            Most pros I know (and me when I'm riding other people's horses) like to use their own equipment. Yes, the saddle must fit the horse well enough. I have a library of pads as well as a range of saddles that I can use to make the fit acceptable. If a pro felt she needed to use her equipment in order to be safe or effective, I'd try to honor that.

                            I haven't had the experience of a pro putting in a single ride in an ill-fitting saddle that did lasting damage to the horse.

                            If the relationship will be a longer term one, I work with the pro to make sure the saddle fits.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat

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                            • #34
                              My trainer rides my horse in my saddle, which is fitted to my horse by a professional saddle fitter. My horse's back is of paramount importance to me and I would absolutely not be okay with anything else, especially since my horse is an unstandard size/shape and anything that works for other horses is unlikely to work for her. I'm also not OK with assuming a saddle fits or can be made to fit well enough -- I work with a master saddle fitter.

                              That said, I deliberately made sure the saddle worked for all involved parties (horse, trainer and me) before I bought it -- we all test rode in it. If all three of us weren't comfortable and able to work well in it, I would've kept looking.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by englishivy View Post
                                Interesting how varied the responses are so far.

                                I can understand how a catch ride now and then (particularly at a show) is a different senerio than regularly scheduled training rides, and it would be nice to know what the pros that do catch riding for the majority of their workload do in those situations.

                                Anyway, I've got another question to pose. But I want to preface it with:

                                1) My experience as a "pro" may be different that those posting here or the trainers of those posting here. I primarily do reschooling of "problem" horses as well as break babies and bring along greenies. We do show, but on a local level, so I am not doing tons of "show prep", course work, or high jumps with most of my horses at this time. I do deal with many "rank" horses, and like Meupatdoes, I have found saddle fit being a major factor in my success. This may affect my perspective.

                                2) I am rather petite, so most of my experiences would be riding in saddles of a different shape or larger size than my preferences, but never squishing myself into something smaller. That also may affect my perspective.

                                BUT: I have found that riding in a saddle that is (insert any adjective: bigger, flatter, deeper seated, more grippy, wider, harder, softer, less grippy, etc) than my personal saddle made absolutely no difference to my position or effectiveness. Of course, I am riding in nice quality saddles with good balance; I am sure a poorly constructed saddle would make anyone ride less than stellar.

                                SO my question is: to those of you who only ride in your saddle, what differences do you feel that make you not want to ride in the saddle fitted for the horse?

                                Again, I am just curious. We've got some funky backs out here as well as a ton of size variety so a "one-saddle-fits-all" philosophy isn't possible, regardless of my opinion. I enjoy hearing others' thought process on the matter.
                                First of all, most of my rides are sales or training horses. They don't have saddles. If I'm schooling a horse for an owner, usually they have multiple horses and just one or two saddles themselves, so the horse has no particular saddle. I have a few one-horse owners with one saddle of their own. Most have decent ones of the same type as mine or similar brands, maybe a couple have had them fitted, but most have had their saddle longer than their current horse. I'm fine with riding in those if the circumstances make it more convenient. A couple though have saddles that don't work for me and I don't want to school their horses in those. I'd prefer THEY didn't school their horses in those if they had the money to replace them. One is so deep that it impedes a decent release, one slick, bouncy and squeaky. I'd rather be as effective as I can, since I'm small and short legged to start.
                                I can make it work if necessary, but certainly I'm not riding the exact same as I would in my own tack.

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                                • #36
                                  My horse so far hasn't been ridden by others for more than a few minutes at a time (new horse). But in the future I will expect people to use my saddle (on its way, and will be fitted to him).

                                  As for my trainer, she would likely use her saddle - it's not perfect, but is workable with a half pad. It's what I'm currently riding him in, and since he doesn't seem to mind it, I would be just fine with her using it on him.

                                  She does tend to use her saddle on the majority of horses she rides, but we have a barn full of TBs with the occasional warmblood, so with some padding her saddle is workable on most of the horses she would need to ride. If the owner prefers, she will use their saddle.

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by englishivy View Post
                                    SO my question is: to those of you who only ride in your saddle, what differences do you feel that make you not want to ride in the saddle fitted for the horse?
                                    I'm not a pro but I like riding in my own saddles. The only real "deal breaker" for me is a dressage saddle with huge thigh blocks. I can't make that work.

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                                    • #38
                                      I'm in the middle ground--it all depends on several factors. I don't worry so much about easy to fit type horses, but if I have a horse who is more difficult to fit or who has back issues then I'm a little pickier. Personally I think that saddle fit for the rider (unless it is wayyy off) isn't that big of a deal for a pro riding a horse for a short period of time, but I think any owner would be wise to be sensitive to the fitting needs of the person they are paying to ride their horse when it is possible. Some people DO have weird saddles that I wouldn't want to ride in though.

                                      If a pro wants to use their own saddle (which is fine) I would expect them to check fit and have the judgement to be flexible working out an alternative if their saddle truly doesn't fit. Many minor saddle fit issues are fine to work around, but there are a few saddle fit issues that can be quite painful to a horse.

                                      As an owner, usually any time someone puts another saddle on one of my horses' backs I'll do a quick check of fit.

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                                      • #39
                                        I'm typing on my phone and somehow hitting the reply button read to the touch screen as 'report' which I didn't realize until I submitted it and got the "report submitted" notification. Sorry mods!

                                        Short summary of what I typed: my horse is an easy fit, and it's the one area where he's not overly sensitive. I have had trainers ride in both their own saddles and mine, though currently it's only mine. I only care that a saddle fit - so if he were a hard fit, I would insist on my own saddle.
                                        Originally posted by Silverbridge
                                        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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                                        • #40
                                          So my trainer/boss/pro rides everything in his saddle... except when he has to get on my horse. (Rarely... only when he's trying to show me something I'm having a hard time visualizing.) She has one built for her, because I realized that poor saddle fit was why she was panicking and rearing and flipping over, bucking like a bronco, throwing herself on the ground, etc. She has a sensitive back, and if someone wants to ride her (she's a pretty good girl now) they ride in MY saddle. End. Of. Story.
                                          Anyone riding my horse is not important enough for me to justify screwing her over with a saddle that will cause her intense pain. They use my saddle or don't ride.
                                          That said, she is EXTREMELY sensitive. Most of the time, if a horse is ridden in a saddle that is a pretty close to even less than stellar fit they are just fine. If they will be ridden in said saddle for a while, a pad can help the fit until the owner gets back on in their saddle (that hopefully fits the horse well).
                                          I just happen to have one that will build into a blind panic because the thing on her back hurts and she can't get away from it, making her a danger to herself, whoever is on her back, and whoever is in the arena with her.

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