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Adjustable Gullets/ new saddle

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  • Adjustable Gullets/ new saddle

    I have an OTTB who I have had for a year now, and we ride hunter/ jumper. We bought a used HDR to start us out. I was hopping it would last longer, but he has gained a significant amount of muscle and has filled out through his back/ shoulders. My saddle fitter and I agree that it has begun to pinch him on his left shoulder. He won’t move as freely and has begun to toss his head and pin his ears when I ask for a canter. I want to purchase a saddle for 2k or less that has an adjustable gullet in case he does fill out even more. I have a feeling he will too. I was told to look at Circuits and Pessoas, but am looking for a good leather quality that will last me. I am ok buying used too. Any suggestions on saddles would be very very helpful. Thank you!

  • #2
    Check out Hastilow saddles. They are nice and there are models with adjustable gullets. I personally like Kieffer saddles because they have resin trees that can be adjusted with an infrared system, but they are not as popular in the hunter world. Some of the Pessoas look interesting but I haven't tried one.

    Keep in mind that you can widen just about any tree if you have a saddler with a saddle press. You can't do it more than 2-3 times but if you buy a saddle now but need it to be a bit wider later, that's a less expensive option than buying a new saddle.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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    • #3
      You shouldn't be seeing muscle/weight gain in only one shoulder. It's actually more likely that the tight side has *less* muscle than the other, causing the saddle to dip into the weak area (which makes it feel tighter, but is really about the saddle sitting unbalanced). Stand behind and above your horse and look carefully from left to right. If the tight side is less bulky, you'll need to shim to get the saddle balanced again. Then address the lack of muscling with your training routine.

      In general, I like Prestige saddles for TBs. The models made with flocked panels offer great wither clearance, and most have a shape that works well with the average TB conformation. The Roma Jump is priced at $2100 new and made from quality cowhide (treated to feel like calfskin on the seat and kneepads). Tree is composite and can be machine-adjusted two sizes up or down from the original for the lifetime of the saddle.

      Patience pays.

      Comment


      • #4
        The pessoas used to be super popular and are still decent saddles. You can get used ones for a decent price. Prestige can be adjusted too and they are under 2 k used from certain dealers but the leather quality isn't super high. I think there is only French brand saddle that has an adjustable gullet but it has to be sent in to adjust it. I don't remember who it is though. Maybe Voltaire?

        Comment


        • #5
          Not a higher brand, but in the $1500 range - I love my Collegiate Convertible Diploma. I bought it used 2 years ago, it was 4-5 years old at that time, it's still in perfect condition.
          "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

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          • #6
            Prestige are not "adjustable" without a fitter as Bogie mentioned. Is that what you are going for? Or something you can do your self? Almost any saddle can be adjusted a bit like the prestige if your saddle fitter can do it.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Definitely have saddle fitter involved. She will be coming out late January, wanted to get a feel for different brands that can be adjusted if he does continue to fill out, which I’m barely certain he will as I have only had him for a year. Thank you everyone

              Comment


              • #8
                Also check out Kent and Masters jump saddles. When your horse balks at canter, it is often a symptom of a saddle issue. Asymmetry can certainly make one side tighter. However, it isn't so easy as shimming the hollow side as I once thought. Depending on location and shape of the difference, the saddle can be pulled or pushed more to one side and the gullet channel, therefore, will not be centered. Fit to the wider side but play with shimming to see what makes the channel stay centered and the sides of the pommel remain equidistant to the sides of the wither. When the saddle shifts, it pulls it against the spine all along the length.
                Jay McGarry
                sms trained saddle fitter
                www.trumbullmtn.com
                800-442-9672

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have you considered the Pegasus Butterfly saddles?

                  There are some on Ebay for 2,000 USD.

                  I have one, and for the first time in my riding life I can stop worrying about the saddle fitting the horse up front, I do not have to worry about the horse muscling up, and it has fit all of the horses I am riding, from wide backs to narrower backs (I have not tried it on knife-edge withers.) I use a Contender II saddle pad (BOT & ThinLine) with shims, with this pad my Pegasus Butterfly saddle should fit the great majority of horses that I will ride for the rest of my life.

                  AND the horses use their shoulders a LOT more freely, striding forth better than with my earlier saddles (Crosby jumping saddles, Stubben Siegfried, and my Kloster Schonthal dressage saddle.)

                  I did have to start wearing silicon full seat breeches to help my balance problems with the Pegasus Butterfly saddle, but I have MS and my balance is simply awful.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jazz8899 View Post
                    Prestige are not "adjustable" without a fitter as Bogie mentioned. Is that what you are going for? Or something you can do your self? Almost any saddle can be adjusted a bit like the prestige if your saddle fitter can do it.
                    Many prestige saddles have a resin tree that can be adjusted with an infra red system. Not as easy to find as a saddler with a saddle press, but Patty Barnett does it. Kieffer saddles have the same type of tree. They can be adjusted multiple times which is very handy when, like me, you have two horses with similar types of backs but different widths.
                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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