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Young Pony Concerns

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  • Young Pony Concerns

    As some may remember from a previous post, I have a young Chincoteague pony (coming 3yrs in May). My question/concern then was whether or not he was likely to grow more of a wither. My concern has/had nothing to do with measurement, but rather saddle fitting. Some of you thought that he sounded, from my description, like he was "mutton shouldered" and likely not going to change.

    Late last summer, after we started some brief lunging under saddle, I discovered how much of a problem it was fitting a saddle to him. The Butet we hoped to ride him in is WAY too narrow. Found a Steubben Rex that fits the best of everything we've tried. Saddle still rides up his neck a bit, so going to try a crupper and see how that goes.

    However, my concern now is that even if the crupper helps to keep the saddle from riding up his neck, what about a side-to-side roll issue? On the lunge it hasn't been a problem. But what about when we put a rider up there and weight shifts slightly? I am a bit leary of starting him under tack with a rider until I feel a bit more confident that the saddle is going to stay in place!

    Is it possible/likely that this guy is not going to be rideable because of his build? Or at least with an english saddle - maybe a western one would fit? Beginning to think that the hunter land aspriations I had for him are down the drain . . .

    Thoughts from those with more experience with this sort of thing would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Originally posted by katie16 View Post
    As some may remember from a previous post, I have a young Chincoteague pony (coming 3yrs in May). My question/concern then was whether or not he was likely to grow more of a wither. My concern has/had nothing to do with measurement, but rather saddle fitting. Some of you thought that he sounded, from my description, like he was "mutton shouldered" and likely not going to change.

    Late last summer, after we started some brief lunging under saddle, I discovered how much of a problem it was fitting a saddle to him. The Butet we hoped to ride him in is WAY too narrow. Found a Steubben Rex that fits the best of everything we've tried. Saddle still rides up his neck a bit, so going to try a crupper and see how that goes.

    However, my concern now is that even if the crupper helps to keep the saddle from riding up his neck, what about a side-to-side roll issue? On the lunge it hasn't been a problem. But what about when we put a rider up there and weight shifts slightly? I am a bit leary of starting him under tack with a rider until I feel a bit more confident that the saddle is going to stay in place!

    Is it possible/likely that this guy is not going to be rideable because of his build? Or at least with an english saddle - maybe a western one would fit? Beginning to think that the hunter land aspriations I had for him are down the drain . . .

    Thoughts from those with more experience with this sort of thing would be appreciated!
    I had a welsh/paint mare that had the same problem as a three year old. When I broke her I used a western saddle. I didn't want the English saddle ending up underneath her belly with me in it if she decided to do something, which she never did. I rode her for a month with the western saddle and then switched to my old Crosby once I was confident that she wasn't going to do anything anymore. It was not the best fit, and I had to use really thin pads. I find the western saddles are good to start them in anyways because they bump their sides and flap around and make lots of noise and get them used to all that in the training process. You might find that the fitter he gets, that he loses some of that fat over the neck/wither area and the English saddle stays put a little better. Pessoa pony saddles ended up fitting my mare once she lost some of her fat deposits. I think a lot of ponies have this problem so I would be really curious to hear other people's responses, but I think as far as starting him, I would just go with the western saddle. They will not slip nearly as much for training purposes.
    http://summerwoodwelsh.com
    Summerwood Farm Welsh Ponies~
    http://www.facebook.com/Summerwoodfarmwelshponies

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    • #3
      I've started a lot of fat rolly polly ponies with no withers He is probably perfectly normal. Western saddles work sometimes, but I can't stand them. I have used an old crosby hunterdon w/ wide tree, pony pessoa, and bevel jr.

      The most important thing is a thin saddle pad - I usually use a baby pad or dressage square quilted pad, and a leather girth. Synthetic girths or girth covers just make it more slippery. Make sure the girth is really tight, and check how tight before you attemp cantering. Forgot to do this myself on my pony mare just a couple of weeks ago - managed to stop her before saddle slid over, but I was way off to the right. Also you may want to see if there is a good saddle fitter in your area that can give you a recommendation or make some adjustments for you.
      Holland Brook Sporthorses
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      • #4
        You might try a contoured girth to stabilize the saddle from rolling.
        Redbud Ranch
        Check us out on FB

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        • #5
          I also suggest a non slip pad and non slip girth, like the professional choice and second the beval saddles. i have an old one (devon 2000) and it's super flat and fits those guys great, much better then my saddle an Antares

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