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Oh no! Squeaky Saddle

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  • Oh no! Squeaky Saddle

    I just got a used Schleese Pouvoir saddle, and I've notice it squeaks sometimes. It's not that leathery squeak. It has very dark, soft leather that doesn't rub and squeak.

    It's a faint, high-pitched squeak. The closest thing I can think of that sounds like that would be a bird or a squeaky door hinge.

    The Schleese saddles have flexible, adjustable trees, so it's a bit difficult for me to tell if there's anything broken there. The saddle doesn't buckle at any point when being pushed/pulled on, and I can't replicate the squeak without riding in the saddle. The tree seems solid.

    When I'm riding, it sounds like it's coming from somewhere near the pommel on the right side. I don't notice it at all at the walk. I hear it most at the trot, and it gets louder when my horse lengthens her stride or is bent right. I hear it occasionally at the canter but not as much. It's a rhythmical squeak too.

    Of course, I'll have the saddle expert take a look at it sometime when they're in town, but my local saddle fitter doesn't work on Schleese saddles.

    Does anyone know what I could do to figure out what this is, or fix it? I'm worried I may have just spent a bunch of money on a saddle with a broken tree!

  • #2
    Perhaps a screw in the tree is loose? I would have a saddle maker or repair person have a look at it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Try turning the saddle upside down and squirting some baby powder on that right side up under the stirrup bar.

      I have a new Amerigo that squeaked SO LOUD at first I couldn't hear my instructor. I read about that trick on here and tried it - worked wonderfully. Now I just have a minor squeak that does get worse at the trot vs. walk - it takes some time for the powder/dirt to work its way into all the nooks and crannies so the internal leather wrapped pieces aren't rubbing so badly on each other (causing the squeak). But it is quite minor compared to what I started with so I don't worry about it. That may be your issue as well. (One side of mine squeaks worse that the other as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        A few years ago my saddle did that & it was a loose screw in the tree that needed replacing.
        Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

        Comment


        • #5
          Baby powder trick works great on squeaks. Try it.

          Is the saddle new? If not, and the baby powder doesn't work, you better have the tree looked at. Can be a potential problem there.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bearhunter View Post
            Baby powder trick works great on squeaks. Try it.

            Is the saddle new? If not, and the baby powder doesn't work, you better have the tree looked at. Can be a potential problem there.
            I agree. She said it was used - but I don't know HOW used. If it is in still almost new condition, definitely could be "new saddle" squeak. But if it has seen significant miles...yep...have it looked at.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ugg. This sounds like what I went through last summer. Saddle was 'squeaky". However, multiple. very experienced people looked at it, flexed it and it seemed fine. When the saddle fitter was down (for another person), I had him look at my saddle. He literally watched me ride for 2 seconds and said the screw on the left is broken. Then he twisted it a certain way - and yup - there was the problem.

              Apparently it is not an uncommon problem and it wasn't very expensive to fix.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a similar problem weird sounds were coming from the right side of my saddle. It was worse when I was posting, and I would get a lot of strange looks as I trotted around with my head on the pommel I'm not even sure how I was able to do it! Strangely, noone but me could get it to make the sound when flexing it...so I called the saddle fitter, and he pulled it apart. The rivet had sheared off, and would have caused a broken tree if left any longer. It was about $100.
                So definitely have it looked at, it may be or become a much larger and more expensive problem!
                If you think I am high maintenance, you should meet my horse!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for all the info! I talked to the woman I bought it from, and she said it's something the saddle has done since she bought it new. She got it checked out and they said there wasn't anything structurally wrong, and the squeaking goes away when the saddle gets a little dirty. So, sounds like nothing serious but I'll still have it checked the next time the saddle fitter is in town.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
                    Ugg. This sounds like what I went through last summer. Saddle was 'squeaky". However, multiple. very experienced people looked at it, flexed it and it seemed fine. When the saddle fitter was down (for another person), I had him look at my saddle. He literally watched me ride for 2 seconds and said the screw on the left is broken. Then he twisted it a certain way - and yup - there was the problem.

                    Apparently it is not an uncommon problem and it wasn't very expensive to fix.
                    Can you please provide contact information for the person who repaired yours? I have the exact problem and just haven't gotten around to having it fixed yet (not using the saddle at all). Also- may I ask the approximate cost for the repair?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had my saddle fixed at Richvale Saddlery near Toronto in Ontario. iirc - the repair was around $300 (it may have less though). Totally worth every red penny. I have said this before on this board and will say it again, I love this company. The only downside is that I don't trust anyone else with my saddles and TO is a bit of a drive from where I am.

                      I do not want to knock Schleese (as I have not ever dealt with them directly) but have heard that a sheared rivet is not uncommon if they have tried to 'widen' or modify a tree sometimes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My new amerigo squeaks like crazy too! I am always paranoid it is more then just the new leather... but I am sure it isnt. For the trick with the baby powder, I am confused as to where to put it...right at the metal piece where the stirrup leathers attach? Just lift up the skirt?
                        ~*~Life is short!! Hug your horse!!~*~

                        *~*~*The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears.*~*~*

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JulieMcD View Post
                          I just got a used Schleese Pouvoir saddle, and I've notice it squeaks sometimes. It's not that leathery squeak. It has very dark, soft leather that doesn't rub and squeak.

                          It's a faint, high-pitched squeak. The closest thing I can think of that sounds like that would be a bird or a squeaky door hinge.

                          The Schleese saddles have flexible, adjustable trees, so it's a bit difficult for me to tell if there's anything broken there. The saddle doesn't buckle at any point when being pushed/pulled on, and I can't replicate the squeak without riding in the saddle. The tree seems solid.

                          When I'm riding, it sounds like it's coming from somewhere near the pommel on the right side. I don't notice it at all at the walk. I hear it most at the trot, and it gets louder when my horse lengthens her stride or is bent right. I hear it occasionally at the canter but not as much. It's a rhythmical squeak too.

                          Of course, I'll have the saddle expert take a look at it sometime when they're in town, but my local saddle fitter doesn't work on Schleese saddles.

                          Does anyone know what I could do to figure out what this is, or fix it? I'm worried I may have just spent a bunch of money on a saddle with a broken tree!
                          Oh no is right. You just described the exact issue I was having with my (then brand new) Antares. Only difference was that I could re-create the squeak when not in the saddle by flipping the saddle on it's back and pressing rhythmically against the stirrup bars on each side.

                          It turned out to be a cracked tree, and Antares had to replace the entire tree for me. I suspect it may have initially just been a popped rivet, which then turned into a cracked tree. (Antares intially told me to just keep riding in it because they thought it was a new leather issue rather than a tree issue).

                          You should stop riding in the saddle right away! If it is just a popped rivet, they may be able to replace it fairly cheaply. If it is a cracked tree...much more expensive. Plus, my guess is that your horse can feel the problem, even if you can't.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you lift up the flap - you know the area where the billets attach up there near the top? Where you can see the tree? I squirted a bunch in the gap on top of the tree - in between the top of the tree and the seat. The stirrup bar area too by the pommel - this was the source of most of my squeaking.

                            And I am talking A LOT. Squeezed the baby powder bottle hard up in there.

                            I also squirted some under the tree between the tree and the bottom sweat flap for good measure.

                            And I lightly shook some directly into the little area where the stirrup bar itself is (under the little flap on the outside of the saddle) trying to get as high up as possible.

                            Once I squirted all that in there (I had the saddle upside down on my lap at that point) I kinda shook the saddle up and down to work the powder in a little more deeply. Then I flipped it over and just wiped out with a dry cloth whatever powder came out/was left on the flaps. Then I rode in it.

                            For the first week - there was a lot of mess to wipe up after each ride as the powder settles. Just keep wiping the excess powder off - either dry or wet. (Then I condition with Lederbalsm after I get the powder off.)

                            On an Amerigo, the leather is SUPER tightly wrapped to the tree and around the various parts. The leather rubs together until you get a little grit in between the pieces - be it dirt or baby powder or whatever.

                            The sound reduction was immediate - not completely eliminated, but close. I've only been riding in the saddle for about 3 weeks now and it gets quieter each ride. (And the excess powder stopped after about a week.)

                            Good luck!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                              Oh no is right. You just described the exact issue I was having with my (then brand new) Antares. Only difference was that I could re-create the squeak when not in the saddle by flipping the saddle on it's back and pressing rhythmically against the stirrup bars on each side.

                              It turned out to be a cracked tree, and Antares had to replace the entire tree for me. I suspect it may have initially just been a popped rivet, which then turned into a cracked tree. (Antares intially told me to just keep riding in it because they thought it was a new leather issue rather than a tree issue).

                              You should stop riding in the saddle right away! If it is just a popped rivet, they may be able to replace it fairly cheaply. If it is a cracked tree...much more expensive. Plus, my guess is that your horse can feel the problem, even if you can't.
                              Do you think that's the problem, even if the owner said the saddle has been checked out and it has happened since new? The next time i go out I'll try pressing on the stirrup bars. I think I already tried that, but I'll try again. I rode in the saddle yesterday, and it squeaked much less. The previous owner also said it squeaks less when it gets a little dirty. But since the squeak sounds like it's coming from inside the saddle (not where you clean), I don't know how that could be. I was also riding with a Saddle Right pad under it, maybe that just muffled the movement and made the squeak sound less noticeable.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Also- does anyone know any specific ways to check to see if there's a popped rivet or something? The saddle seems very solid, I can't get it to buckle/bend or squeak when I try.

                                The closest saddle fitter that works on Schleese saddles is about 2 hours away, and since the owner says there's nothing wrong and they've had it checked I don't really want to invest a bunch of time and $$ if it's nothing. But if there is something wrong, I'd definitely like to know.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by JulieMcD View Post
                                  Do you think that's the problem, even if the owner said the saddle has been checked out and it has happened since new? The next time i go out I'll try pressing on the stirrup bars. I think I already tried that, but I'll try again. I rode in the saddle yesterday, and it squeaked much less. The previous owner also said it squeaks less when it gets a little dirty. But since the squeak sounds like it's coming from inside the saddle (not where you clean), I don't know how that could be. I was also riding with a Saddle Right pad under it, maybe that just muffled the movement and made the squeak sound less noticeable.
                                  the girl I bought mine from also told me that the saddle had made the sound since she bought it and tried to tell me that it got better when it was dirty (it's a 14 year old Butet that she only had for about a year and is WAY past that stage in its life). She also told me that she did have it checked out by a local rep for another brand and she didn't find anything....when I sent it to have it looked at by a much more reliable fitter (Kevin Lote from Regal HIGHLY recommend him!) the seams had never been touched, meaning the saddle was never inspected like I was told! Up until then I was the only one who could get any sound to come out of it with pressure so everyone else said it was fine.
                                  Moral of the story, have it checked it's usually about $100 to open it up and look and is much cheaper than a new tree or saddle.
                                  If you think I am high maintenance, you should meet my horse!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    And remember that many saddle companies warrent their trees if the saddle is young enough to be in the warrenty time frame.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JulieMcD View Post
                                      Do you think that's the problem, even if the owner said the saddle has been checked out and it has happened since new? The next time i go out I'll try pressing on the stirrup bars. I think I already tried that, but I'll try again. I rode in the saddle yesterday, and it squeaked much less. The previous owner also said it squeaks less when it gets a little dirty. But since the squeak sounds like it's coming from inside the saddle (not where you clean), I don't know how that could be. I was also riding with a Saddle Right pad under it, maybe that just muffled the movement and made the squeak sound less noticeable.
                                      I think it could be the problem...sort of depends on how well the old owner had it checked. To really check the saddle out and determine if a rivet is popped, you have to take the saddle apart and look inside. Antares was quite certain nothing was wrong with my tree/rivets upon visual inspection and squeezing, etc. It wasn't until they took the saddle apart that they discovered the problem.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks for all the info! I was riding in the saddle today, trying to figure out exactly what was causing the squeak. I cross my stirrup irons, and the squeak was gone. I have the MDC ultimate stirrup irons, so I quickly swapped to a regular pair and no matter how much I tried I couldn't get the saddle to squeak again. I really think it was coming from the saddle, not the irons, but maybe the leathers were pinching up near the stirrup bar or something.

                                        I checked out my stirrup irons, and they will squeak if I bend them back and forth to their max. They weren't bending that much when I was riding, but maybe the squeak was coming from there. On that note, does anyone know how to stop squeaky MDC ultimate stirrup irons? Lol.

                                        And do you think I should still have the saddle fitter pull apart the saddle and check the tree, even if the squeak is gone?

                                        Comment

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