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Need western saddle help

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  • Need western saddle help

    My western saddle no longer fits my pony. He's just turned 5 and as he's matured, he's gotten wider. So, I need a new/used one. Here's my problem. Pony is a little fat so what I buy might not fit once he looses weight. My saddle has full qh bars and a 7" gullet. Even without cinching, the back part doesn't touch his back.

    I have no idea what breed he is. He's roughly 14hh now. There have been times when it felt like he was gaiting when I first started riding him but he mostly trots. He's only been lightly ridden because he was young and seemed to be slow to mature. The last time I rode him in this saddle was in the spring. I could tell it was not fitting right but it wasn't near as bad as now.

    I'm not sure whether to just go for a draft or maybe something with a flex tree so I have a better chance of it fitting when he looses weight.

    I'm gong to try to attach a recent photo. It's the one that made me "see" that he's fat.
    Last edited by dacasodivine; Aug. 7, 2011, 06:08 PM.
  • Original Poster

    I found another picture from last year. He was in better shape then but it gives you a good idea of his shape. Ignore his dangly bit. He had just peed.


    • #3
      Do you have any pix with him wearing his saddle? Might give us a better idea of the problems you are experiencing.


      • Original Poster

        I just ran out and took these. Man is it hot out there.

        The saddle is not cinched at all.



        • #5
          I,m a sucker for pretty cream ponys! I don't think the saddle fit is bad because he is a tad overweight as much as I think the fit has more to do with a very slight roach in his back. Without being girthed down the tree looks to sit nicely on his sholder and, I suspect, that girthed down it will have the proper wither clearence. But, then that's when the back of the saddle lifts farther off his back??? A draft tree is not going to fit. I'm guessing that you will probably have to do something custom fit to this guy.


          • Original Poster

            When cinched the back is even further up off his back. Wither clearance is good but that's about it. He will stand for me putting it on but gets grouchy when I start to do up the cinch. I started him english and could saddle up without even tieing him. I decided I really do prefer western and sold the saddle. With this saddle, I have to tie him or hold the lead or he will walk off when I start to tighten the cinch. He's very clearly saying he doesn't like it.

            I have asked a friend with a good selection of saddles if I can borrow them to try on him. You never know, one might fit him better.

            After spending some time online looking, I wonder if I need something for a flat backed horse or for a haflinger. The gullet doesn't need to be wider but the saddle needs to be more rounded than V shaped.

            Thanks for your input. All is welcome. Since it's hotter than hadies out there, I won't be riding real soon so have time to look.


            • #7
              I agree with you Daco, I would try more of a "U" shaped saddle. I just don't like the way that one sits but I am NOT a professional saddle fitter...Hopefully someone else will chime in that is!


              • #8
                Have you tried using a second cinch, on the back? (It's been a while since I did western so I can't remember its proper name for the life of me.) Some horses are too sensitive/ticklish for them though...
                Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                • Original Poster

                  I did not try a back cinch. The saddle should, within reason, sit in a proper positon without being cinched.

                  I borrowed two saddles from a friend. One is a roping saddle and the other is...I can't remember what he said. Whatever they are, they are HEAVY! From the front they are U shaped. I brought them home and tried both on Casper. One did fit pretty well so I measured it. It measures a full 8" from concho to concho. I did it three times because I thought that was wrong.

                  Out of curiosity I measured the other and it was 8 1/2" concho to concho. I only checked that twice.

                  I'll clarify which is which. I think a 7 1/2" will work well. The 8" looked a tad too wide but only a tad.

                  Thanks all for you help.


                  • Original Poster

                    Here is a pic of him with the 16 1/2" (reining or cutting) saddle with the 8" gullet. It did the cinches and breast collar just to keep them from dragging but it was all loose.