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Updated! Crupper for keeping saddle in place?

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  • Updated! Crupper for keeping saddle in place?

    Have you used one? Positive or negative experience?

    Two saddle fitters have confirmed the saddle fits, but it won't stay in place. Horse is very well-sprung, but much more narrow at the girth. Also has HUGE upright shoulders and huge withers, lost muscle next to the withers due to extended time off with previous owner. Saddle slides forward within minutes of starting to ride.

    I've been working with the company that designed the saddle, and they have suggested using a crupper. Plan is to use it temporarily, thereby keeping the saddle off his shoulders to allow him to rebuild topline, eventually eliminating the problem and the need for the crupper.

    I've been warned to use a leather crupper and keep it very clean.

    Any thoughts or advice? And by the way, how do you pronounce crupper? Is it crupper (rhymes with upper) like it looks? Or crouper (rhymes with super) like the horse's croup? Or is this one of those longe/lunge things?
    Last edited by Snugglerug; Jun. 11, 2012, 03:56 PM. Reason: Update!

  • #2
    I haven't used one myself, but I ride at a barn that is mostly ponies, so they're pretty common. I've always pronounced it to rhyhme with "upper"
    A nice soft leather crupper, well conditioned so it's not rough under your horse's tail will do fine.
    If your saddle doesn't have a loop or ring for a crupper attachment, there are some that have a metal "wing" that slides into the channel of the saddle, under the panels.
    Like this one (it's pony sized, I don't know if they have horse sized):


    • Original Poster

      Thanks, Hinderella, that makes me feel better. That is the kind I've ordered, with the metal wing. (dressage saddle) It hasn't arrived yet, but hopefully will be quality leather. This is the one I ordered:


      It was recommended by the saddle maker (different company).


      • #4
        Have not seen one in ages, but it seemed to have been standard equipment around ponies.


        • #5
          We use them frequently here in Haiti for riding in the mountains. I have the one that Hiderella posted and it has worked OK so far. for work on the flat that would probably be enough for you.

          The horse does need a chance to get used to the sensation of a crupper. Fatter ones spread the pressure out on the underside of the tailbone but some horses object to a big lump under there.

          You don't want it cranked too tight, but it needs to be snug enough to hold the saddle in place. The saddle fitter (s) should be able to advise you on how to adjust it for the work you're doing.
          HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
          www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


          • #6
            Cruppers (rhymes with supers) are pretty much standard equiment on some ranches and guiding outfits in the hills and moutains. The steeper the climbs, the more they are needed. If you do use one, yep, keep it clean and synthetic or leather depends on the horse, some object strenuously to the bulk of leather, others don't care
            Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

            Member: Incredible Invisbles


            • Original Poster

              Thanks all for the advice! You're making me feel like this option is definitely worth trying. Pretty laid back horse, so I suspect he'll accept it pretty quickly.


              • #8
                I agree with everything that’s been said. My daughter’s Haflinger gelding has a back like a donkey and his saddle slides up and sits perched on his withers if we don’t use a crupper (pronounced like "super" in Idaho, maybe it’s a regional thing ). Jelly Bean wasn’t thrilled with his crupper when we first used it on him (so be careful!) but got used to it quickly and is SO much happier undersaddle with his saddle where it should be! We’ve had several people/trainers say that they wished they saw more cruppers on horses and especially ponies but that cruppers aren’t “fashionable” so people don’t want to use them. We’re not very fashionable in Idaho, all of the outfitters I’ve met use them on their horses.

                A word of caution, we were told when crupper shopping that “a lot” of horses get rubs from the buckles on the style of crupper you ordered so we bought the one without buckles. Of course then we had the problem of “how do you get the stupid thing on?” We modified our crupper by attaching a d-ring to the T and putting a snap on the crupper, no rubs since where it attaches is by the saddle and not touching the horse. I hope that made sense, I’d attach pictures if I could find one, I’ll see if I can remember to take some when I go to the barn. Not to say you’re going to have problems with your crupper but it is something to watch for.
                "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot


                • Original Poster

                  Miichelle, do you mean the buckles by the tailpiece were causing rubs? I'll watch out for that. A little sheepskin would probably fix it if it's a problem. Not fashionable either, but oh well!


                  • #10
                    huh, we used a crupper (that I pronounce like supper... there's 2 p's in it afterall) the buckles were on top and there was no way they could have rubbed.

                    However, if you don't have a ring on the back of your saddle, good luck. Those "wing"-like metal attachments aren't the best. Probably depends on the saddle. We ended up adding an attachment on to the saddle.

                    Likewise, the crupper was temporary and ended up being unnecessary later on.

                    Good luck!


                    • Original Poster

                      That's 3 votes supper, 2 votes super . . . .I guess it is a longe/lunge kind of a thing!


                      • #12
                        We've used them occasionally and they do the trick. We've never had a sore horse that I remember but I have seen some horses with permanent scars from them.

                        We pronounce it like "super" and I never heard it pronounced otherwise until I made a horse friend that wasn't from Montana! But we also say things like "pannierd"...
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                        • #13
                          Pronounced like super here too (NW montana) and in AZ and WY (maybe a western thing)? I second the "be very careful at first" warning as many horses are NOT keen on that thing under their tails. Very common on ranches out here! And cowboy mom, we say "pannierd" too!!


                          • #14
                            Must be a western thing, remember, us westerners also have sloughs and dugouts and spend a lot of time explaining that neither is a pond.

                            I've also seen horses with scars from cruppers, usually some thin skinned thing but occassionally from a dirty crupper - us harness guys are particular about stuff like that. As to the buckles, Vetrap works fine - adjust the buckles, teach the horse to deal with tail stuffed through, and wrap the buckles if they bother.
                            Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                            Member: Incredible Invisbles


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Snugglerug View Post
                              I've been warned to use a leather crupper and keep it very clean.
                              Ask on the driving forum they use them 'all' the time.
                              A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
                              Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'


                              • #16
                                Yep, used them lots. Pronounced to rhyme with supper here and everywhere I was in England and Scotland (but said with an english or scottish accent).

                                I've found they're really good for the problem that you're wanting to use it for - helping shoulders develop. I have also found they're great for horses which buck when the saddle slides forward and for a pony who would stop in the middle of a jumping course because the saddle had moved onto her shoulders.

                                I now put them on every horse and pony that I back - so that if they need one someday in the future, they are used to it. I also drive ponies so they get used to them that way. Keep them clean and rub with leather dressing before starting out. To toughen under the tail, wipe with witch hazel.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Miichelle View Post
                                  A word of caution, we were told when crupper shopping that “a lot” of horses get rubs from the buckles on the style of crupper you ordered so we bought the one without buckles. Of course then we had the problem of “how do you get the stupid thing on?” We modified our crupper by attaching a d-ring to the T and putting a snap on the crupper, no rubs since where it attaches is by the saddle and not touching the horse. I hope that made sense, I’d attach pictures if I could find one, I’ll see if I can remember to take some when I go to the barn. Not to say you’re going to have problems with your crupper but it is something to watch for.
                                  Another vote for 'two PPs like supper means it rhymes' but it's a word I've always read far more often than heard. Never used one until I came to Haiti and rode in the mountains here.

                                  Below is a picture of my two. One is the light one with a T. I do have to watch that the T doesn't touch down and rub the pony's back if their build and the saddle plus the way the T sits in the groove all conspire wrong. I'd prefer a built-in D ring back there, but you don't find that often on English saddles. It does work for a temporary attachment, for permanent you may want a D installed on your tree. The buckle end that has to go under all the straps could rub. Once it's adjusted a wrap or two of something slick should prevent that. A bit of old halter tube fleece even? It isn't metal that contacts the horse, it's a fold of leather around the buckle but it is still quite a lump.

                                  The clip crupper I haven't used yet. The buckle on it is a Conway buckle designed specifically as an against the skin connector. There is a smooth metal band against the horse but no lump. The 'bite' of extra leather and especially the cut end of that is what I'll need to wrap on the clip crupper. I have it for my packsaddle as there is no place to clip it on my Wintec.
                                  Attached Files
                                  HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                                  www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog


                                  • #18
                                    Dr. Frankenstein: "You must be Igor"
                                    Igor: "No, it's pronounced eye-gore"
                                    Dr. Frankenstein: "But they told me it was Igor"
                                    Igor: "Well, they were wrong then weren't they"

                                    Crupper or Krooper...I go with crupper since it has 2 p's.

                                    Anyway, you should put no more weight on a crupper than 5-6 pounds, the horse's dock isn't made for heavy loads. I used a crupper on my horse when he's in harness for driving. It's function is to keep the breeching from slipping and helps to keep the rest of the harness in place. For riding my mule (and mules due to their shape and shoulder angles typically wear breast collars and breeching to keep their saddles in place...kinda' looks like he's getting ready for mule bondage or a rock video), I use breeching, it pushes against the animal's butt and a much more insensitive area than under his tail.
                                    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                                    • #19
                                      Rhymes with super. (From Iowa)
                                      If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                                      Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                                      • #20
                                        just my 2 cents!

                                        I had similar problems with one of my chubby perch/qh crosses. Saddle stability was achieved by buying an EXTRA wide saddle. Using a non slip pad under the fleece when riding in hillier country helped too. Also avoiding any girth w/elastic. Using woven nylon girths huge help. Had to abandon too much padding too.
                                        Good luck either way! Looks like some great advice here!