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View Full Version : Saddle fitting for the not so easy



jkbailey
01-11-16, 10:27 AM
Hi all, this is my first post so please be patient with me. I have a 14.1hh Arab x Percheron mare who I'm struggling to fit a saddle to. She has a decent size shoulder, some wither and a super flat back (front to back). She isn't all that wide though and her saddle bearing area is also pretty short. I'm looking for a dressage saddle with a fairly deep seat and good size knee blocks. Here are a couple of photos:


http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k64/Snowbell_02/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_20161026_163226_zpsk44vtpr9.jpg

http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k64/Snowbell_02/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_20161026_164917_zpsy8onctcn.jpg

Suggestions welcome

Have tried:
Lucardie
Pessoa PDS
Wintec/Bates
Loxley

Jester2
01-11-16, 10:31 AM
Windsor Sovereign is recommended for short backs and Defiance make some good saddles for short backs.

jkbailey
01-11-16, 10:42 AM
What about flat backs though? Flat is more of an issue for her than length I've found

sprintman
01-11-16, 11:58 AM
What about flat backs though? Flat is more of an issue for her than length I've found

Try an older Bates Dressage eg 2010/2011 (shorter than later version), flat tree, flattish panels. Definitely NOT a Caprilli (banana tree).

cyrus
01-11-16, 12:56 PM
Another question you may need to answer is what is your budget, New , Leather, Synthetic or second hand ok?

Dressage, AP or ? and what sort of riding do you plan to do.
Then they would need to look at your height and weight etc, so the saddle sort of suits you also.
A Kent and Masters saddle might suit
http://www.aitkenssaddlery.com/catalogue/Saddles-And-Tack/Saddles/Pony/Kent-And-Masters-Original-Pony-Saddle.html'
A cob saddle might suit..

http://www.aitkenssaddlery.com/catalogue/Saddles-And-Tack/Saddles/Dressage/T4-Dressage-Cob-Saddle.html

it really is best to try and find a person to look and recommend a saddle as starting point for you

Then you might even investigate Treeless saddles if nothing else works.
There are defiance saddles on the link I put there.
A changeable is handy and also the age of your horse- will it change shape with more work etc?

SPP
01-11-16, 05:45 PM
I would be trying a Definance Force - would suit your horse, fully adjustable - There has been a couple second hand on facebook recently so you can get them second hand.

Cybergirl
01-11-16, 07:48 PM
Another question you may need to answer is what is your budget, New , Leather, Synthetic or second hand ok?

Dressage, AP or ? and what sort of riding do you plan to do.
Then they would need to look at your height and weight etc, so the saddle sort of suits you also.
A Kent and Masters saddle might suit
http://www.aitkenssaddlery.com/catalogue/Saddles-And-Tack/Saddles/Pony/Kent-And-Masters-Original-Pony-Saddle.html'
A cob saddle might suit..

http://www.aitkenssaddlery.com/catalogue/Saddles-And-Tack/Saddles/Dressage/T4-Dressage-Cob-Saddle.html

it really is best to try and find a person to look and recommend a saddle as starting point for you

Then you might even investigate Treeless saddles if nothing else works.
There are defiance saddles on the link I put there.
A changeable is handy and also the age of your horse- will it change shape with more work etc? Agreed on those saddle suggestions as possibilities.

Also consider the Thorowgood T8 Cob, which I think Aitkens may stock as well, or older style Isabel Wintec with very wide gullet...

cyrus
01-11-16, 08:50 PM
The Wintec Isabell might be a tad too long, the older Wintec Pro Isabell could be a go, if you found a decent one.
Its a risk as all models are somewhat different over the years.
I have a very short backed anglo ( who is no longer wide and older now too)
We had tried many saddles and it is always a hard journey finding what is best.
The Cob T4 Thorowgood suited mine well - where as the T6 ( I think it was looked terrible and just didn't fit.
I had older laser saddles too, and one I had is still doing well on a clydie cross.
Laser saddles have a gullet that winds in and out.

jkbailey
01-11-16, 08:57 PM
I think I might try a Defiance Impulse.

The Isabel definitely doesn't fit at all, have tried that too. I don't go much on the Thorowgood to be honest. My mare has a habit of going up rather than forward so I need something a little more secure at the moment

Bats_79
01-11-16, 09:08 PM
The Thorowgood T8 Cob is very similar to the Kent & Masters saddle. Have you tried one of them?

leesa
01-11-16, 11:57 PM
Kent & Masters / Thorowgood are the same company and use the same tree, I think.

If you're considering buying one, see if you can get some rides in it first. I had a saddle fitter out when the T6 came out and the test ride felt good enough so I bought it. 2 weeks later I put it up for sale as it was just agony to ride in regularly but the first ride gave no indication of a problem. The seat shape just wasn't suited to me I guess, but holy moley I've never felt hip pain like that saddle gave me. I didn't even want to give it a chance to see if it'd improve.

Bats_79
02-11-16, 10:54 AM
Well there you go. The Kent & Masters is the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in - but I can rotate my hips quite well. I find that most saddles are so restrictive in their knee / thigh blocks that they pin peoples hips in and the riders almost cramp the horses.

tgh05
02-11-16, 11:11 AM
Bat must have a special posterior … I bought a thorowgood for an occasionally ridden horse and it's the most awful saddle .
Poor bloody nag misses out on his occasional outings because the saddle is so bad.
It looks good tho….

cyrus
02-11-16, 01:45 PM
Skipper never minded my Thorowgood Synthetic saddle, The Cob T 4, but I never found it that nice for me either, nothing beats leather for my butt.
But it was the best for the horse at that time.
The kent and masters, are they leather or still synthetic?

CateH
02-11-16, 03:59 PM
I also ride in a Kent and Masters - fitted to my Andy x Standy who is wide and flattish. He also has a short weight bearing area. I love the saddle to death - most comfortable, and puts me in a great position. Doesn't have huge knee rolls but I'm with Bats - I hate them, and don't want to be pinned like that. I don't think they give you security either....


Well there you go. The Kent & Masters is the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in - but I can rotate my hips quite well. I find that most saddles are so restrictive in their knee / thigh blocks that they pin peoples hips in and the riders almost cramp the horses.

Bats_79
02-11-16, 06:15 PM
Skipper never minded my Thorowgood Synthetic saddle, The Cob T 4, but I never found it that nice for me either, nothing beats leather for my butt.
But it was the best for the horse at that time.
The kent and masters, are they leather or still synthetic?

I've never owned a Thorowgood though they have been recommended for interim use with the wider horses. The Kent & Masters is a leather saddle. Mine has taken seriously hard work and has been on various different horses which all liked it.

Mine is a high wither model

http://www.kentandmasters.co.uk/images/kentandmasters/saddles/original/dressage/km-dressage-mainpic.png

opensky
02-11-16, 09:23 PM
I'd suggest that looking at a a Keiffer with a cut back head (at the pommel, so as not to create pressure on the neck, where the wither is flat or non-existent) is worth consideration. With a Y girth. A friend of mine has one for her Percheron cross mare, and it fits perfectly. Second hand is generally ok for a Keiffer too, because they are quality saddles, if they have been looked after through time.

ETA: A 'Y' girth has two anchor points to the saddle, which hold the saddle in place better at the back of it, especially on short-backed horse, with no wither rise to help position it at the front better, in addition. Googling these terms will be insightful if you aren't familiar with them :) Good luck! It's a big challenge finding one that fits this type of conformation.

Bats_79
02-11-16, 11:00 PM
I also have a KN Symphonie which is very similar although without the Y girth fitting that the Kent & Masters has.

http://www.sattlerei.at/media/Produkte.102/Saettel.108/Symphonie.127/Symphonie_Det2.jpg

Both are saddles with short panels that are best for compact horses.

Dressagedelight
03-11-16, 10:41 AM
You should really get an independent saddle fitter out to check your horse. There are SOOOO many saddles on the market, if you get someone truly independent you will be guided correctly as to what your pony will need. That's the trick however, is finding the right saddle fitter. There are some very good compact / pony saddles around.

Don't be fooled by some independents who still align themselves to a brand, keep an open mind and try saddles out for yourself too. Good luck:)