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Saddle fit help, please

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  • Saddle fit help, please

    There are only about 2 people in my barn who ride Western, and I haven't seen them around same time as me, and my trainer is only English so I need help! I got a Circle Y trail saddle with regular tree, also it's a flex tree. It is super lightweight and comfortable but I'm not sure it fits my horse. I think maybe it's a touch wide - so it is a touch tight above the shoulders and to me the back looks lifted, but I'm not really knowledgable and I don't know if new Western saddles break in and adjust to a horse? Here are pictures of the horse's back, and with the saddle. I just have a towel under the saddle (to keep it clean in case I need to return it), it is uncinched.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Training Cupid; May. 26, 2018, 07:54 PM.
    http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Saddle with towel underneath, uncinched
    Attached Files
    http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Cinched with thicker pad. I just sat in it and walked around, one very short trot - don't want to make it unreturnable if it doesn't fit. The horse moved fine, but wasn't really long enough to tell much.
      Attached Files
      http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Looks to be a little bit too wide. The bar angle is slightly too wide and the gullet is slightly too wide. This is why the saddle is sitting downhill. This is what makes it look "tight" in front b/c all the weight/pressure is sitting downhill on one spot.

        So you just purchased this saddle new? Can you post a link to the exact saddle? Curious which flex tree it is.
        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          beau159 Thanks, that's what I thought too. Do you think it's so wide that it can't be fixed with a pad? Maybe something like this with a front shim: http://www.ridingwarehouse.com/ECP_N...page-ENSB.html (I chose this one because it is short; the skirt is only about 24" so I don't want a 30" pad)
          This is the saddle: https://www.horsesaddleshop.com/circ...rail-5901.html
          http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm used shims myself before on saddles if the bar angle was right but the gullet was just a little wide, but since you have a FLEX tree on that Circle Y, I would absolutely not shim it IMO. I'm not a real big fan of that particular flex tree. Now, I happen to have a Circle Y barrel saddle that I love but it has the Flex2 tree, which is different than their original flex tree.

            Personally, I also feel like if you NEED to use a corrector saddle pad like that, then your saddle doesn't fit. Which in that case it would be best to find a different saddle.

            Can you post a side picture of having it cinched up? It didn't look too bad sitting on her back, but it seemed to look worse when you had it cinched up (which is why I don't like that particular flex tree).
            It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I agree I'd rather not need a correction pad, but the horse is a small thoroughbred not exactly the shape most saddle makers design for, so I'm worried most saddles I come across might be a touch wide. With english saddles the older ones are often designed for thoroughbreds (since they were the most prevalent back in the day) but I don't think that is the case for western. And this is our 3rd saddle so budget is a consideration (we have a custom dressage saddle, which is our primary discipline, and a jumping saddle that is not custom but has been checked by multiple fitters and the chiropractor) as well as weight. The western saddle is going to be for light trail riding, but obviously I don't want to ride him in a poorly fitting saddle even if it's just occasional.
              I'll get more pictures tomorrow.
              http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                It does look like it is sitting down in front, too wide.

                See the difference here, same horse, two quality saddles.
                Horse is race bred quarter horse, a bit swayback, high withers and rump high.
                Old saddle is just a bit too wide.
                Newer saddle fits like a glove, doesn't rock or bridge.
                Left a nice, even sweat pattern.

                You can help some with a second blanket.
                Our old, wide saddle, with a light rider, is ok, just not ideal.
                The better fit of the second saddle is preferable:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                  I agree I'd rather not need a correction pad, but the horse is a small thoroughbred not exactly the shape most saddle makers design for, so I'm worried most saddles I come across might be a touch wide.
                  Horses come in all shapes and sizes.

                  I have Quarter Horses and I bet I tried on 15 saddles on my Shotgun before I found one where I was happy with the fit. It is a bit maddening that the Western world has no standard and you cannot at all compare one brand to another, in terms of labeling on the tree. My Shotgun needed a more narrow gullet - yet he still needed a fairly wide bar angle. I think he's a big more running-bred-looking (as far as his back) even though he is a quarter horse.

                  I can totally understand being on a budget. Do you have any tack shops in your area that carry used western saddles? The best thing you can do is haul your horse to a tack shop, have someone knowledgable help you, and try on everything you can. I'd probably mostly look at semi-QH bar saddles, but every once in a while, a full might fit too (that's the maddening part!).

                  And you are sure you bought the REGULAR tree of the Lady Trail saddle, correct?

                  Your horse does have high withers, but most of the time if you get that saddle to sit on the shoulders properly, you'll have wither clearance. You don't have to be able to get a whole hand under there or anything -- just as long as there is no touch.
                  Last edited by beau159; May. 29, 2018, 05:31 PM.
                  It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Bluey Thanks. Your two saddles are both regular/SQH trees? Do you recall what brands? Your horse looks more stout than mine, he's a shade under 15.3 hands and about 950 lbs, wears a 69 blanket! I'm petite too.

                    Arab or gaited saddles tend to be shorter, but not for horses with withers correct?
                    http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                      Bluey Thanks. Your two saddles are both regular/SQH trees? Do you recall what brands? Your horse looks more stout than mine, he's a shade under 15.3 hands and about 950 lbs, wears a 69 blanket! I'm petite too.

                      Arab or gaited saddles tend to be shorter, but not for horses with withers correct?
                      Saddles are both from local saddlemakers, both full quarter bars, but guess one is wider than the other anyway.
                      Dark old saddle is a team roping one, the other a plain ranch working saddle that steer trippers use.

                      You almost have to try a saddle on a horse to know if it fits, there are no real standards.
                      We ordered a Windy Ryon Amy Gambling that was wonderful, fit all horses.
                      So we ordered another "just like that one", that was NOT the same, is narrower and sits higher on a horse's back.
                      Same tree, same saddler, same type saddle, both came out with important differences.

                      That horse in the pictures is a good 15+ hands and rather narrow built.
                      A stouter horse would do fine with either saddle.

                      I would think that most places in the West would have some good local saddlers?
                      We have three top ones right here.
                      They are not commercial saddlers, that have lots of workers building their saddles wholesale.
                      Not that some of those don't put out very good saddles, like Bob's Custom saddles.
                      The Bob's lady reiner I have has fit every horse I have put it on up to now.
                      I too am very short and use junior fenders on it, that are 2" shorter than regular ones.
                      They will make any size skirts or fenders or any other a customer needs.

                      Gaited horses tend to have good withers, but not all arabians do.

                      It is hard to tell much from pictures, you have to try saddles on and ride around a little to see how each one feels on a horse.
                      When you find a saddle that fits the kinds of horse you are riding, then hold onto it, those are not easy to find, as you are experiencing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post


                        So we ordered another "just like that one", that was NOT the same, is narrower and sits higher on a horse's back.
                        Same tree, same saddler, same type saddle, both came out with important differences.
                        This bears repeating!

                        I had found a saddle that finally fit my Shotgun but it didn't fit me (seat size was too small). Saddle vendor said he found one in the correct seat size but that the saddle was a different color/design but assured me the tree was the same. I said okay.

                        Not okay. Saddle came up in back. Tree was not the same, albeit very very very close. (I called Circle Y myself to verify that it was almost the same tree, but not quite.)

                        I did some searching myself and I swear I found the last saddle in the country (it was a discontinued saddle line) in a seat size that would work for me. Still didn't fit quite as perfect as the very first one, but it fits pretty darn good.

                        I've also had two of the exact same saddle with the same tree at one point (just a different color) and they just did not fit quite the same. (Circle Y Flex 2 wide tree)

                        Even when you try to "get the same" they still don't come out the same! Maddening.


                        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Ok more pictures, with the saddle cinched up with just the towel underneath. And a shot from the side in case I don't have it placed properly...
                          On second look, to me the left side looks better than the right (the horse's shoulders are a bit uneven, but it's possible I had it a touch crooked)
                          Also I'm sure there's really no comparison, but also included are some pictures in the dressage saddle.
                          Attached Files
                          http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can't tell that much but that the western saddle seems to perch and dig there.

                            As someone described the difference in a western saddle that fits and one that doesn't, a good fit looks like the saddle is draped over the horse's back, hugging it.
                            A less fortunate fit tends to sit up there and digs, especially with a rider and even more so when the horse is moving and definitely when it is turning.

                            You can see the difference and feel the difference if you put your hand lightly on the edge of the saddle and someone rides around as you walk around.

                            Here are some pictures, the light colored saddle that fits well, hugging the horse's back we may say.
                            No matter what the horse does, it keeps the same feel.

                            The old dark saddle that on this horse is too wide and perches there, sits a bit too low in front with a rider on board.
                            It digs when the horse's shoulder moves, especially as the horse turns, third picture.
                            The muscle bulges a bit because it is pressed out in front of it, the saddle digging in there interferes with how the shoulder moves.
                            You can see how, if the horse were to turn with the light saddle in the first picture, the shoulder would still be free to move there, the saddle edge is not digging into the blanket.
                            Same horse, same rider, pictures a few days apart only:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                              Ok more pictures, with the saddle cinched up with just the towel underneath. And a shot from the side in case I don't have it placed properly...
                              On second look, to me the left side looks better than the right (the horse's shoulders are a bit uneven, but it's possible I had it a touch crooked)
                              .
                              If it were my horse, I'd keep looking. I think you can find better. This one is digging in.
                              It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks! I am working with horsesaddleshop to do the gullet templates - which admittedly is where I should have started.
                                http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Training Cupid View Post
                                  Thanks! I am working with horsesaddleshop to do the gullet templates - which admittedly is where I should have started.
                                  The templates are helpful (and horse saddle shop has great customer service) but the templates aren't a guarantee. It pretty much just helps the staff recommend certain saddles that might work for your horse, but you still won't know until you try it on their back.
                                  It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I just registered for this forum. I am looking for a competent saddle fitter in my area of Parker, CO.
                                    I just recently purchased an ARAB/QTR cross 5 yr. gelding. Anyone know of some saddle fitting reps in my area?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by 4feetrider View Post
                                      I just registered for this forum. I am looking for a competent saddle fitter in my area of Parker, CO.
                                      I just recently purchased an ARAB/QTR cross 5 yr. gelding. Anyone know of some saddle fitting reps in my area?
                                      It might be easier if you create your own thread. More people will see it that way.
                                      It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                                      Comment

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