Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saddle Suggestions?

Disclaimer: I should be Finding Five every day to do some tack cleaning :-o. We are in the middle of a barn renovation though, so everything's covered in concrete dust...not that that is any real excuse now that I type those words. Sigh.

When Hickory got here, Paige checked my beloved "old lady" saddle and said it fit fine...as long as Hickory didn't gain much weight. We all know what happened :-/.

In the spirit of things eventually drying out enough to ride this spring (without turning into a miserable drought!) I'm cypherin' on my saddle situation. If I were a little flea, I wouldn't be as concerned, but I'm not and if Hickory has to pack my fat butt around, I want to make sure he's comfortable.

Here's what I've got:



The tight spot is my biggest worry (I think). The knee roll sticking out might not be an issue - not weight bearing (I don't think). The big open area over his withers - not sure if that's an issue.



Behind the kneeroll, where my leg sits, is all pretty even, top to bottom, meaning I can slide my hand under the front, but the rest is flush to his body.



I love this deep seat, but end up adding a riser pad on almost every horse I put it on, including Hickory. The stuffing is actually pretty good, so I don't believe that's the problem.

Between the deep seat, the big kneeroll and small thigh roll behind, you can see why I love this saddle. It's nice and tight and I feel very secure in it. However, a good fit for me that isn't a good fit for Hickory is not a good fit.

I'd welcome any thoughts or suggestions. How far off are we? What is a concern and what is not? Am I over-thinking this and need to just shut up and ride?

12 comments:

Michelle said...

Have you checked for bridging? Another thing I do is put a finger on the pommel and a finger on the canter and push down alternately. Does it sit solid, or does it rock on a center contact (the opposite of bridging). Looks like it might need to move back a bit, which might change how tight it appears on the front forks of the tree. If it IS tight there, it is definitely a problem.

Glad you're checking this out. A friend recently bought a used saddle because it fit her SO WELL - and she doesn't even have a horse yet! I told her that's like buying shoes for a husband you haven't met yet - and then expecting him to wear them and be happy, regardless of size and fit. The horse's comfort must come first . . . which can lead to a long and frustrating search process.

Then again, wouldn't it just be easier to put Hickory on a diet? Grazing muzzle, perhaps? ;-)

Lori Skoog said...

I agree with Michelle as to where the saddle is sitting. I would pull it back a little so his shoulder has plenty of room to move. If it is still tight there, it will create pressure points. Do you have any saddle fitters in your area? You don't want Hickory getting pinched everytime he takes a step. Do you have friends who would let you try on their saddles so you can see the difference? You could ask my friend Ann,down at Equestrian Imports for some advise.

Dreaming said...

I agree with Michelle and Lori about the position and about finding someone with saddle fitting knowledge to help evaluate the fit of your current saddle and if they feel the saddle is not fitting, then the fit of subsequent saddles.
My guys tend to get a layer of fat over their withers when they chunk up. Especially Doc. I wonder if Hickory will slim down in that area as he gets back into shape.

small farm girl said...

Get an australian saddle. Hehehehe just kiddin. Although, I really like riding in them.lol

Terry said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2mKz0uP_K8&feature=related

There is a nice series on youtube on saddle fit. I've pasted the link for the 1st of 9.

kbdoolin said...

I agree with the advice to pull the saddle back a bit but would also suggest a nice thick/double layer fleece saddle pad. As a teen I rode many horses (I rode mine own as well as training for several other people) with just one saddle. I rode everything from big burly quarter horses to tall skinny t-breds and a few ponies as well.

Sandy said...

The space at the front of the saddle doesn't seem too high. It will compress once you are sitting in the saddle and even more so if you use a riser pad. In fact, I would check to make sure there is enough clearance when you are seated.

The tightness in the withers is a bit of a concern.

I have two suggestions. One is to call Tom at Skito saddle pads (in Idaho, I believe). He is a master at fixing saddle cit problems. He can custom make a pad to address Hickory's problem by looking at pictures from the side, front and back and asking you specific questions.

Second, you might consider a treeless saddle. I bought a Barefoot treeless when my horse was still growing and changing. I don't think I will ever go back to a regular saddle. Comfortable for me, comfortable for the horse, lightweight like an English saddle. This is not a bareback pad. It will snug you and support you and everyone will be happy. Google Barefoot treeless and see what you think. You do need to use either a Skito or Equipedic pad specially made for treeless.

Most of all, riding should be fun for you and Hickory. Not much fun when either of you is pinched.

Sandy said...

The space at the front of the saddle doesn't seem too high. It will compress once you are sitting in the saddle and even more so if you use a riser pad. In fact, I would check to make sure there is enough clearance when you are seated.

The tightness in the withers is a bit of a concern.

I have two suggestions. One is to call Tom at Skito saddle pads (in Idaho, I believe). He is a master at fixing saddle cit problems. He can custom make a pad to address Hickory's problem by looking at pictures from the side, front and back and asking you specific questions.

Second, you might consider a treeless saddle. I bought a Barefoot treeless when my horse was still growing and changing. I don't think I will ever go back to a regular saddle. Comfortable for me, comfortable for the horse, lightweight like an English saddle. This is not a bareback pad. It will snug you and support you and everyone will be happy. Google Barefoot treeless and see what you think. You do need to use either a Skito or Equipedic pad specially made for treeless.

Most of all, riding should be fun for you and Hickory. Not much fun when either of you is pinched.

The Odyssey Farm said...

Hi Sara, sorry but you're way off. Tree is too narrow; add a pad and you're Really Too Narrow. Also, the balance is too far back - your weight in the saddle will cause the rear panels to really dig into his back.

My experience with Stubbens is that their long tree points make fit very important. They work better with rafter-wither TBs as opposed to, ah, padded QHs. :) A Passier, for example, has short points so can make up a bit for less-than-perfect width. If you like, I'll bring some saddles by to show you what I mean. We have 5 (blush) of various widths/configurations, so it might help you decide on what you need. Just LMK.

Michelle said...

Sara, please keep in mind that if the saddle is too tight between the forks, that adding a thick pad will only make it tighter - kinda like putting on thick wool socks before stuffing your feet into shoes that are already too small.

The treeless vs. tree debate is a passionate one; there is one currently going on here (might have to copy and paste link; it's a long one): http://www.behindthebitblog.com/2012/02/treeless-is-like-braless.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BehindTheBit+%28Behind+the+Bit%29

gowestferalwoman said...

My first thought - too narrow of a twist - that saddle is made for TB's with high withers. old timers huntseat thumb was the space should be no more then two fingers high - depends on the fingers LOL and I agree - dont pad up - sore withers for sure.

Second thought - my collegiate senior event may be not the top of the line$$$, but it does fit barrel shaped horses well. they have a removable gullet system so you can fit the withers just perfect. And dang if its not a comfortable saddle for me too!

Third thought - I think I want to have a bowl of ice cream now...

you'll figure it out eventually - good fit= happy horse + easy way of going = happy rider ;)

Fiona said...

An Excellent Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEIY0iv7ljA

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin