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

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

    After reading the thread where the pro (and others) don't ride in the prescribed fitted saddle of the owner, I am just curious what the peanut gallery does.

    Yes, it's true....I enjoy my saddle more than other brands. But if a horse (mine or others) has a specific saddle that it is more suitable and/or better fitting, well, I ride in that one.

    So in one week I will swim in the 18" saddle, do a split in the 38" channel saddle, sit real deep in a different one, and suffer my rear a hard, wide saddle. But training rides aren't about me or my comfort so I am fine with all of that.

    My question is: does your pro (or any other rider you let ride your horse) ride in your fitted saddle or do they ride in their own? If in their own, is it checked for saddle fit prior or do you just assume it is fine?

    Just curious.
    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

  • #2
    My trainer rides my horse in my own saddle, but the woman who leases my horse rides dressage (I do jumpers) so she uses her own tack. I assume that my trainer and my horse would both tell me if it was hurting, but he is very sweet to her and my trainer says it fits him well! So I'm speaking from both sides!
    "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard"
    R.I.P Claire Davis: 12/21/13


    • #3
      On the rare occasion my trainer rides my horse she does use my saddle. My last trainer used one of his own saddles. He had a couple different saddles as well as different pads to use to ensure that the rare rides he did the saddle was comfortable enough.


      • #4
        As a pro myself, I think it is my duty to understand saddle fit. Just as I need to understand anatomy, physiology, hoof care, tack, bits, horse nutrition, etc. I would absolutely ride the horse in the saddle that fit the horse, whether or not it fit me. I have been to try horses all over and have ridden in every kind of saddle imaginable and it doesn't make that much difference in my ride. I can get the job done.

        Now if given a choice (if one of my saddles fits one of my client's horses) I prefer to ride in mine, but I make absolute sure I know when something fits and when it doesn't and why. That is a very basic requirement of being a pro.
        "A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."


        • #5
          I am a stickler for using my saddle. In the past I have had trainers not use my saddle and I have raised hell when my horse ends up sore. It usually doesn't end well for the offending party. I'm annoyingly over protective of my baby. Now the girl that sometimes does lessons on my horse uses my saddle. It is a 16.5" and she swims in it. He knee comes over the flap because her legs are longer than mine, but she is willing to to ride in it for the sake of my horse. I have been known to walk in to a ring and tell someone to get off my horse and pulled the saddle off right there when my tack wasn't used. A lot of us have been through hell and back with our horses. I have been through several saddles with my current horse. I truly believe if a person respects you enough, they will use your equipment as long as it is safe for both horse and rider. If the trainer's equipment is of decent quality and the person knows how to fit the saddle accordingly (not putting a narrow tree on a wide horse, etc) than exceptions can be made on occasion.


          • #6
            No, when friends ride my horses they usually ride in their saddles. However, all my horses are fairly easy fits and of course we make sure the saddles fit them. Generally its just two friends who ride them so we know their saddles fit well.


            • #7
              We spend so much time, effort & $$ getting a saddle that fits, I would want trainer to ride in horse's saddle. If someone was riding one time or another and wanted to use another saddle that at least reasonably fit, that would be fine, but if it was regular use I would want them to use horse's saddle


              • #8
                Funnily enough, when I worked for a trainer and we were riding lots of horses every day, 9 times out of 10, our saddles (which were the same brand and trees, just different seat sizes) fit BETTER (or could be easily made to fit better) than the owners' "custom fit" saddles. I can't tell you how many times I would put some custom made saddle on some horse that just did not fit right. Then set mine up on them and see a better fit. It might not have been PERFECT, but it was often better (the horses would also often improve, too, in their work if they were ridden by one of us several days a week, but would often still have the same issues they came with when their owners would ride..in their saddle).

                So, most of the time, we rode in our own saddles and the horses were fine. If we came across someone who was a very particular fit and our saddles didn't work, then we used the saddle that belonged to the horse.

                I know plenty of pros of either ilk. I am good friends with one trainer who almost exclusively rides in HER saddle. She checks that it fits well and if the horse is very particular or doesn't fit, then she uses that horse's saddle. But I also know trainers who ride in the saddle for the horse. I see nothing wrong with either way, as long as the pros who ride in their saddles do due diligence on the fit.


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    My trainer rides my horse in her saddle and sometimes even her bridles. Saying this I did make sure it fit him. The kid that 1/2 leases him rides in my saddle and uses my bridles, saddlepads, boots and grooming stuff. Now if I could just get the kid to CLEAN my tack that would be awesome........


                    • #11
                      As someone who is particular about fit for BOTH horse and rider, I can completely understand why a trainer would only want to ride in their saddle. That said, I would want the fit of their saddle evaluated if they were going to be riding my horse regularly....and I would expect to see any padding needs being addressed if the fit was sufficient.

                      If it was a one-off ride, I would probably expect them to ride in my saddle.

                      I have one horse that is VERY narrow and I haven't seem much fit him other than his saddle. My other horse is fairly sensitive to saddle fit and I would expect her to be ridden in something she approves of...which right now, coincidentally, is my trainer's saddle. Thank goodness my trainer is letting me ride in it until I can get something of my own to actually fit her. I don't like my trainer's saddle as much as my own, but I do like not having a balky, sulky horse.

                      I would not expect someone to ride in my saddle if it was a completely horrible fit for them (seat too small, large, knees over the flap, whatever), however, I probably wouldn't let them ride my horses unless they had a saddle that did fit the horses.
                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                      • #12
                        I have let kids ride in my saddle on my pony. My trainer has, but only briefly to show me something as my saddle is a 15".
                        Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                        Takaupas Top Gold
                        Gifts Black Gold Knight


                        • #13
                          Before my mare was injured, my trainer rode her in her saddle, not mine. However, my trainer's saddle fits her very well (mare is the type to make nasty faces, swish tail, and refuse to go forward whatsoever the entire ride if the fit is even slightly off), and I actually rode her in my trainer's saddle for months before finally finding a saddle that I could buy that fit her.


                          • #14
                            My trainer doesn't ride my horse frequently, but when she does she uses her saddle. She also uses her saddle on all the horses in training/sales but they usually don't come with their own. I wouldn't expect her to use other people's saddles either because she's only 5' tall and very petite. Although if she was asked to use a particular saddle I have no doubt she would. She'll sometimes sit on my horse just to show me something and that's the only time she uses my saddle (she does like it though even though she swims in it haha). Her saddle fits most horses and she has a variety of pads to adjust the fit.
                            If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
                            If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
                            If I smell like manure, I tripped.


                            • #15
                              A lot of different people have ridden my horse. When I switched from dressage only to riding in a close contact saddle, the one I had at the time fit him and me, but everyone else *hated* it. Since I then put him in half-training, I sold that one and bought a Pessoa that is fitted to him and everyone loves it. However, I did have a friend who leased him and rode him in her fancy French saddle. Neither she nor the groom ever checked the fit, and it ended up scraping the hair off his withers. I was kicking myself over that, and swore no one would ever ride my horse except in his saddle. I even had the groom swear that if the Pope wanted to use his saddle, the answer would be, "Holy Father, no."

                              I broke my own rule once with a dressage rider, and my horse was lame for weeks afterwards.

                              It's a good rule to have.
                              A helmet saved my life.

                              2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


                              • #16
                                I don't love other people riding in my personal saddles, so I have "guest" saddles.

                                I would prefer a pro have their own saddle that fits my horse, but if they don't, I would rather they ride in one of mine than put a saddle on the horse that doesn't fit reasonably well. Neither of my horses require a custom fit, but one is much wider than the other.

                                I do get leery of the person with one saddle who says "It's an X, it fits everything", especially if "everything" ranges across different types and breeds of horses. I actually had someone say that to me a couple weeks ago, when we were talking about her riding my Fjord - I asked her how wide her X saddle is, and she couldn't tell me.


                                • #17
                                  Depends. The Pro catch riding at a show usually wants their own and will be presented the horse already warmed up. Only going to be on for a few schooling fences and a couple of rounds so unless way off type and/or it's a really weird fit, which is pretty unlikely at the rated levels? Doesn't make much difference.

                                  At home, my trainers were all 5'10 or better, I'm not and they needed more seat and leather length ( I used the kid ones) one liked more flap too. They used their own usually- same brand anyway.

                                  If they were stacked up- schooling multiple horses in a short time stepping from one to the other and handing off to a helper? They'd use the owners.

                                  Can't imagine asking a Pro to work for a long session with one needing a serious attitude adjustment or CTJ moment. Meaning expecting a rough time from the horse in somebody else's saddle that could be a slick crotch buster or just put them in the wrong spot to be effective.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                  • #18
                                    There are definitely saddles that just seem to fit A LOT of horses (not everyone, but a lot of them). My trainer friend's saddle seems practically magical sometimes in what it fits. My old saddle (and my old boss' saddle) both seemed to be able to fit just about everything that came our way. But there were definitely occasional exceptions. One of my favorite horses was a teeny tiny little mare who was very narrow. We actually had to get her owner to get her a new saddle that was narrow. I rode her in that instead of mine. I also typically rode one of favorite, crotchety ponies in his saddle because mine was too forward and a little too narrow for his mutton wither build.

                                    But I always checked. It wasn't a super sophisticated check, but just a quick one that made certain all the basics we learn as a kid were met. MOST of the time, with a little extra padding here or there, my saddle fit well.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post

                                      But I always checked. It wasn't a super sophisticated check, but just a quick one that made certain all the basics we learn as a kid were met. MOST of the time, with a little extra padding here or there, my saddle fit well.
                                      Yes, exactly - I believe you Do you mind sharing what kind of saddle it was? A friend of mine wants to ride my Trakehner but wants to buy her own saddle to fit her.


                                      • #20
                                        Strikes me, in most cases, a good Pro worth paying is alot easier on any horse's back for a short time then the typical kid or ammie in any saddle

                                        Too wide or too narrow are the exceptions but a good half pad works wonders for short periods on most of them.
                                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.