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Sobbing Over Saddle Fitting Woes

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  • Sobbing Over Saddle Fitting Woes

    Okay, so I'm not quite at the point where I'm desperately crying yet...but it's hovering ever closer!

    Background:
    I have a stocky QH with some monster shoulders on him, and a wide back to boot. And not only are his shoulders big, but they really don't meld nicely into the rest of his body. This makes saddle fitting hard.

    I have a wide tree HDR all purpose that fits him nicely. Only thing is, I HATE it. I rode in it for a few years before I found another saddle that fits him, and it was only then I realized how much I hate it. Now I can't even stand to go for a trail ride in it, it sticks me into an awful seat. (Although it IS comfy to sit in.)

    I also have a wide tree Collegiate Event saddle that fits him. Only thing is, it's an 18'' seat, and I need a 16''. So I slide around a lot, and I find it hard to be an effective rider in it. Plus, the flaps are not very forward, it's more of a dressage saddle.

    The issue:
    I want to jump! The Event saddle is really more "dressagey", plus it's too big, as mentioned before. So I brought home a wide tree Collegiate CC on trial, all excited and thinking "How could it NOT fit?!", and, yup, it didn't fit. Smacked right into his shoulders and pinched them, to the point where even some clever working by my saddle fitter wouldn't work.

    The wintec saddles with the adjustable gullets don't fit. I went through at least ten saddles at my barn, none of them fit, from the cheap brands all the way up to the bevals and the bates. I am not interested in a treeless. Any dressage saddle will fit him, because they all sit behind his shoulders.


    Ahhh! What to do? I don't have the money for a custom saddle, and even the Duetts are a little outta my price range. I keep an eye on ebay for them, but it's hard to get the tree size and the seat size that I need in the same saddle. Plus, I don't have a lot of money to throw around buying saddles that won't fit.

    Anyone have any suggestions? I take saddles out on trial but paying the shipping from all the tack stores is just eating into my saddle budget, as they continue not to fit...

    Next time I'm buying a saddle first, and THEN finding a horse who fits it. It would be easier.

  • #2
    I see you are in MA - I'm not sure if she travels to MA, but contact Patty Barnett with East Crowe Saddlery (she's in CT). You can google her and get the # and email address. She can come out and do wither tracings of your guy and you can send them to Trumbull Mountain and they can tell what should fit him. I was going to suggest going with a Black Country saddle to stop your saddle fitting headaches, but I know spending a big chunk on a saddle is hard to swallow. Patty is excellent!
    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by LDavis104 View Post
      I see you are in MA - I'm not sure if she travels to MA, but contact Patty Barnett with East Crowe Saddlery (she's in CT). You can google her and get the # and email address. She can come out and do wither tracings of your guy and you can send them to Trumbull Mountain and they can tell what should fit him. I was going to suggest going with a Black Country saddle to stop your saddle fitting headaches, but I know spending a big chunk on a saddle is hard to swallow. Patty is excellent!

      Thanks. I've actually already spoken to the folks at Trumbull Mountain, as well as Pelham Saddlery and Cheshire Horse. All the big saddle places around me. They either don't have any suggestions, or their suggestions are in the $2000 range, which is so far away from what I can spend it's not even funny! Ugh...stupid horse.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yuck, you really have checked everywhere! Is your horse built downhill? I would still email Patty what you've posted and see if she has any suggestions... my wide downhill appendix gave me quite a bit of trouble with the saddle fitting too, and was actually going lame with the ill fitting saddles.
        "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

        Comment


        • #5
          Try to find a Lovatt & Ricketts Sylvan (it's an AP saddle) to try. They are offered in a wide and extra wide tree, with a hoop-shaped gullet that may fit your QH well.

          I have one that I just bought for my bus-backed mare and I love it. Not too forward-cut, but it's nice to jump in and very comfy. As long as you're not looking to jump really big stuff, it would be fine. It fits and sits more like a dressage saddle, so might be OK on your horse's shoulders.

          And they're not TOO pricey. Should be able to find one for less than $2000, even new.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Nope, he's not downhill. His shoulders are just really big so anything with a forward flap rubs them....and he's quite clear about letting me know when a saddle is not making him happy! (Oi, him and his opinions! Even if I wanted to be a ditzy owner and ignore saddle fit, he would make sure I paid for it by eating copious amounts of dirt!)

            Beasmom, thanks, but my price range is under $1000. Preferably as low as possible, although with the quality saddles that means buying used, which I'm fine with. I'm just never going to be one of those people who feels comfortable shelling out $2k for a saddle when my horse could go lame the next day! Plus I'm a klutz and drop saddles on a regular basis. Plus, if I wanted another AP, I'd just grab another Collegiate Event but with a smaller seat....but I really want a forward flap.

            Comment


            • #7
              A few weeks ago, I saw one of those Sylvans for $750, so used is the way to go! But it sounds like you want a saddle with a definite forward seat. My saddle fitter tells me that Lovatt & Ricketts and Albion build on hoop-shaped trees, so look for one of theirs (used) to try. Other British saddle makers may also build on those trees.

              The Wintecs won't work because of the shape of the gullets. V-shaped rather than hoop shaped. Better for TB types I guess.

              Called Rick's Heritage yet? Saddle hunting sucks. Best of luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                Have you tried Duetts? They make a couple very nice jumping saddles. Right price range too.
                InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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                • #9
                  Big Ditto on the Duett!!!! www.duettsaddles.com

                  Call Nancy Temple and she'll be soooo glad to help you. See Duetts are made strictly for the wide-bodied horse...from pommel to cantle. It's not just the tree that's wide.

                  I have both a table-topped Percheron and a wide-body Clyde-X. The 36cm Rondo fits them with plenty of shoulder clearance so they move well under saddle.

                  Nancy will even let you try up to four saddles at a time.
                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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                  • #10
                    There is a used Duett on the Chronicle classified's right now! Great price, right seat size. Good luck!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks guys, I have heard of Duetts before and admire them from a distance, but they're out of my price range new. So I just keep an eye on Ebay hoping one of them will come along.

                      I'll go check out that one in the classifieds!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                        Thanks guys, I have heard of Duetts before and admire them from a distance, but they're out of my price range new. So I just keep an eye on Ebay hoping one of them will come along.

                        I'll go check out that one in the classifieds!
                        Try thinking outside the box a little. When I was working on a shoestring budget, I called Nancy at Duett and she had quite a few scratch and dent models for my consideration. None of them were listed on her web site--they had only just recently come into her inventory. One of them was only $550. I got to try three Duetts for about $100 in shipping total, and while I ended up not buying one, at least it told me what my options were.

                        You might also consider buying a saddle and having it widened (provided there's nothing else wrong with the fit). It costs about $250-$300 to have a saddle widened, but if it's going to solve your problem, then maybe it's a good investment.

                        Also, I know they are ugly as sin and tend to get eclipsed by the Wintecs, but have you considered a Thorowgood? They make them in very wide sizes, and as long as you're not planning to go into the hunter ring anytime soon, they look fine. http://www.thorowgood.com/usa/index.htm Dover sells their whole line. You might look at this one, for example:
                        http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...cd2=1223930267
                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Crosby wide tree in anything but a PDN or Hunterdon- they seem to be made specifically for those big-shouldered QH types. Work a treat.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                            Thanks guys, I have heard of Duetts before and admire them from a distance, but they're out of my price range new. So I just keep an eye on Ebay hoping one of them will come along.

                            I'll go check out that one in the classifieds!
                            There are also a few Duetts listed over at Bits and Barter: http://bitsandbarter.proboards74.com/

                            No matter what, tho, call Nancy at Duett. She sometimes gets demo saddles returned in less than perfect condition, so she discounts them down to sell quick. Get on her list!
                            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Have you tried a Thornhill? I have the Germania 2-phase and love it! My horse has no withers to speak of and their wide actually fits him really well. It has knee and thigh blocks and forward flaps which makes it really nice to jump in. Brand new they are around $1500, I think but you should be able to find one used for a lot less than that.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a Bruno PJ Lite and a Crosby XL, both fit my stocky paint and wide-shouldered arab well. Have you looked into the Alliance saddles designed by Lynn Palm for the stock horse breeds?

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