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Help - Looking for input for last minute CWD saddle and Rep - Saddle has arrived!!!

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  • #21
    Originally posted by sammicat View Post
    The issue I have is my boy is wide and uneven due to over/under muscle development of his shoulders. It's not a structural issue, and the vet/chiro said the unevenness will eventually even out but, the pressure from most saddles on his shoulders, keeps the muscle from building up appropriately on the small side. On top of that, because he is wide, padding, shimming, etc. restricts his movement. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully, I can post pictures after tonight showing how it turned out.
    That is the whole point of the DK saddles. As your horse developed on the weak side, they press the tree out to continue to fit (and there are flair panels so fully adjustable that way as well). My young horse is much weaker on his left side and in a regular treed saddle he is always super stiff to the left. Within five minutes in the DK pressed to fit him he was bending better and moving through more evenly. As he develops we can widen it to fit him.
    "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

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    • #22
      Originally posted by sammicat View Post
      Do you know of a good custom saddle maker/fitter that uses wool? If so, can you please send me a PM.
      I suspect that County, Black Country, Loxley, Albion could make you a saddle (& there are others) - if you or your horse are difficult (sensitive), then limit your investigation to companies/reps that can come to you/your horse or companies that will pay all associated shipping fees while the minimal tweaks/adjustments are sorted
      (I couldn't find anyone that would do this ).

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      • #23
        I dont know that saddle fitter, but with what your saying you should really look at a wool flocked saddle. All trees as one person said are symetrical. The only way to compensate for that would be wool where they can adust. Besides black county, albion, there is also Amerigo. Ann Forrest at Equestrian Imports is a great help. She is located in Florida but has come to our area at various times. I have used her for long distance fit as well.

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Update - Saddle Shopping is Done!!!

          Thanks again everyone for the advice and insight - it really helped me ask intelligent questions and guage the accuracy (and truthfulness) of the answers ...

          Anyway, long story short ... I did the research and decided I wanted to go with foam over wool and liked the fact that CWD has rubber tree points that bend out with the movement of the horses shoulder. Turea was very helpful and answered all my questions. I ended up trading in my Devacoux and purchasing a custom CWD saddle. I tried several different seat styles, flaps, flap lengths, etc. and settled on the SE03 with 3L flaps. I was considering going with full Calf/Buffalo but the price jump was too much so I ended up going with Grain Buffalo. Hopefully, the saddle will fit (as advertised) when it arrives. If not, I have a fit guarantee for 1 year, so that makes me feel a little better.

          Thanks again, all.

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          • #25
            ^I have the grain buffalo as well (on both of my saddles) and it's held up very well. I'll be curious to hear what you think of the 03 - I don't know anyone who has one and I've never sat in one, so can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!
            http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
            Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              I tried the other saddle seats and the SE03 was the only one that didnt feel like it was putting me either too far back or too far forward. I felt like I had really close contact with my horse. I'm a little concerned that the seat is so flat but all the deeper seats made me feel like I was getting lost in my track. I am also getting smaller knee blocks and thinner padding on the knee roll. I'll let you know when I jump if the saddle still feels comfortable -lol

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              • #27
                I have a flat seat on both my saddles. I tried the semi-deep seat and hated it (that was the saddle that got sent back to them and they remade for me).
                http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by jlphilli View Post
                  Just curious---if your horse has uneven muscling that will eventually even out, wouldn't you want a saddle that fits the most developed side (and be even), and use something like a pad with shims just on the under-developed side until it develops? I would think if you get a saddle that -let's just say- miraculously fits both uneven sides correctly, when your horse evens out it will no longer be any good. Where as if you got what I mentioned before, you could just remove the shims of the pad and be good to go? I'm not a saddle fitter, but just a thought. I mean shimmable pads aren't all evil.
                  That would also be my inclination- to fit the good side and shim the uneven side- provided that I had a pretty decent idea of what the horse's development trajectory was going to be like. If I didn't, I'd get something with a fairly standard fit, assuming that the horse could be a fairly standard fit, and shim appropriately until the horse evened out. At that point I'd look at real customization.

                  Sammicat, glad you found a solution! My sister's is an SE03 and she loves it. I really like it also- to me it feels like it puts everything I loved about the Crosby saddles I grew up riding in into a French package. Really good balance. You didn't want calf/buffalo anyway- calf wears out too fast. The first brand new custom saddle I bought, I thought I wanted calf. It was so pretty, it broke in so well... I hated the way it showed wear and when I unexpectedly found myself saddle shopping recently I told the rep GRAIN GRAIN GRAIN!
                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by sammicat View Post
                    I was considering going with full Calf/Buffalo but the price jump was too much so I ended up going with Grain Buffalo.
                    The CWD grain is awesome - I think you made a perfect choice

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                    • #30
                      Out of curiosity, how did the CWD rep plan to deal with your horse's asymmetry?!
                      ~Veronica
                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        The solution we settled on for the uneven shoulders was to keep the saddle padding symetric and have a saddle that fits fairly close, snug behind the shoulders, and doesn't move. The rubber tree points allow for the big shoulder to flex without putting pressure on the developing shoulder. In addition, the cut-out portion gives a little additional room on both shoulders. In the saddles I tried, the saddle moved very little and that was without the breastplate I use to give some extra stability when jumping. Hopefully, this is the end of my problem. I did make sure Turea knew that he is still developing and we expect there will be changes in the near term. She guaranteed the fit for the next year.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          As far as shimming, I tried it and it didn't work at all. In fact, I have hundreds of $ worth of shims, pads, etc. that didn't work. Anyway, we talked at length about my aversion to shimming and she agreed. (After all, if I am buying a custom saddle then it is custom for a reason.) We spent time finding a fit that didn't move despite the asymetry. The theme was less leather and padding, the better the fit. The saddle I ended up with has very little between me and the horse. The knee rolls are smaller, knee roll padding this, and the seat is close contact. From riding in my Devacoux there was a huge difference.

                          Also, as far as the regular tree saddles, they put pressure on his vertebrae down his back and his shoulders, which is what has made him sore in the past.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by sammicat View Post
                            The solution we settled on for the uneven shoulders was to keep the saddle padding symetric and have a saddle that fits fairly close, snug behind the shoulders, and doesn't move. The rubber tree points allow for the big shoulder to flex without putting pressure on the developing shoulder. In addition, the cut-out portion gives a little additional room on both shoulders. In the saddles I tried, the saddle moved very little and that was without the breastplate I use to give some extra stability when jumping. Hopefully, this is the end of my problem. I did make sure Turea knew that he is still developing and we expect there will be changes in the near term. She guaranteed the fit for the next year.
                            How is that going to allow the horse to develop muscle where it's wasted.

                            The solution for an asymmetrical back with muscle wasting is a tightly fitted saddle (with magic flexi tree points?!)?! Really?!

                            Good luck! I genuinely hope this works for you... but that really sounds... like no solution at all. That's probably what was causing the muscle wasting to start with, a saddle that fit too tightly in an effort to prevent sliding back/side to side.
                            ~Veronica
                            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                            http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              LOL, Veronica. You are right it does not sound correct. However, this is more the result of me not being an expert in saddle fitting and trying to remember what was said. When I went through it with Turea we addressed the issue and she showed me on the horse how the saddle will work to help with the assymetry. I just can't explain it very well - probably shouldn't have tried. Anyway, I will absolutely let everyone know how this works out. As I said, I am so done with saddle hunting.

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                              • #35
                                I do hope its works. I'm just a little doubtful that it would.

                                I have a tb who broke his wither and had a back asymmetry as a result. I had an independent saddle fitter come out and we had my wool flocked Jaguar XJS flocked to adapt to his asymmetry. Every few months, as he evened out, he'd re-adjust the flocking. Eventually he reached a sort of stasis where he wasn't even but he we closer to normal. I continued to use that saddle flocked to "fill in" his permanent gap and it was very steady and good on him. He was back sensitive and would TELL YOU if there were any issues.

                                Shimming would have been another solution but not what I ended up doing.

                                Putting a "tight on the shoulders" saddle maybe would have resulted in a saddle that SEEMED like it was ok because it was tight enough not to rock/shift-- but it would not have given him the freedom to renew the damaged areas the way the flocking adjustments did.

                                But you wouldn't have guessed that from a long line of trendy brand saddle reps who just wanted to sell me some magical solution. Course, they're salespeople and not saddle fitters. And have something to gain from a sale

                                In fact, I've never had a rep tell me a saddle didn't fit-- even when it BLATANTLY and quite demonstrably did not. Again... gotta' make your sales to get your bonus.

                                If I had it to do again today, I'd spend $2,500 on a Black Country Quantum with trap-Panels (which is what I have for my hanno) and again do the periodic saddle flocking adjustments. But then again, I realize that I'm in a huge h/j minority because...

                                1. I truly care about saddle fit and not just being told the saddle fits
                                2. I like wool flocked saddles
                                3. I don't care about what's trendy
                                4. I don't get my self worth from the name brand on my tack
                                5. I'm willing to educate myself

                                I do wish you luck. I would be very surprised if the "make it tight on the shoulders" fix is really a solution to your horse's back problems. The horse has been sore. I highly doubt it's been because you didn't use a magic CWD flexitree and that's the only reason why. AND... it's not your only symptom. By the time you're seeing asymmetry, there's been a fair amount of time in which the horse has been abnormal. I'd take that pretty seriously. I don't think you're going to see that reverse itself with a tight tight tight saddle... but hopefully I'll be proven wrong.
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                                • #36
                                  double post
                                  ~Veronica
                                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I had a non-trendy wool flocked Frank Baines saddle on our very hard to fit pony and she was also asymmetrical. He was literally able to put more flocking on the one side that caused a gap, and take as needed from the other side. I will say, I am a believer in wool flocked. That said, I did sell the saddle after about a month because it just did not fit my daughter. I went with a narrow tree Butet which worked great for 4 months, until our pony's back issues came up again, resulting in some less than desirable behavior from a kids pony. I hear your pain OP, truly I do. But I am also skeptical that the CWD will be the silver bullet. I still thank my lucky stars that I did not go with the custom Antares, which in fact would have been a horrible fit, and dealt with not only the 10 week wait but the subsequent time to get a new saddle when that one surely wouldn't fit. Sadly, I think V is right, they are sales people after all.

                                    I hope it does work for you however, and I hope you post here your results!

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                                    • #38
                                      Can someone translate for me? I've had the opportunity to ride in the CWD; I am not sure how to interpret the letters. Both the flat and the semi-flat saddles make me feel as though I am way above my horse's back...as opposed to being in close contact. Is the deep seat the 03? And does if feel "closer" to the horse? Thanks, fg

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                                      • #39
                                        Having seen what a badly fitting saddle does to a horses back, I agree with vxf.
                                        From years of having saddles that did not fit my horse well his back was asymetrical and atrophied. Once I got the saddle that fits him correctly his back has hugely changed shape and has gotten stronger.

                                        I cannot see how a tighly fitting saddle will do anything other than inhibit his freedom of motion and cause discomfort and possibly muscle atrophy.

                                        Trust me I heard the speil on the magical flexible tree points and the shape of the flocking in the shoulders that allow the shoulder to move under the flap better because of the shape. I heard it from the same person you just did. Trust me after 9 months of looking for a saddle I desperately wanted to buy into it.

                                        It is funny because a year ago when I looked into CWD I could not find anything official about these wonderfully inventive flexible tree points on their website. If this technology is so wonderful and useful don't you think that this would be a highlight on their website? Don't you think there would be pictures of why this innovation is an improvement over fixed tree points that other manufactures use? Wouldn't this be a wonderful selling point to get you to call your local CWD fitter?

                                        IMO I think the particular saddle fitter you are working with could sell ice to an Eskimo. She has her routine down to a science. She also was perfectly willing to sell me a saddle that there was no way in hell it would ever fit my horse and forgot to tell me about the 25% restocking fee in the process.

                                        I truly hope that the CWD works out for you. I think they are are really comfortable saddles and probably work really well for certain horses. But IMO not for ones that are asymetrical, not for ones that are a difficult fit.
                                        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by farmgirl View Post
                                          Can someone translate for me? I've had the opportunity to ride in the CWD; I am not sure how to interpret the letters. Both the flat and the semi-flat saddles make me feel as though I am way above my horse's back...as opposed to being in close contact. Is the deep seat the 03? And does if feel "closer" to the horse? Thanks, fg
                                          The SE03 is the flatter seat. The SE01 is the deeper seat. The close feel also comes from the size of the knee block and amount of knee roll padding.

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