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  • When sitting in dressage saddle how many finger clearance between pommel and withers
  • Best dressage saddle for a high withered short backed big shouldered thoroughbred

 
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    04-28-2011, 04:37 PM
  #1
Foal
New to English. . . .

I am looking to buy an english saddle. But I have no clue where to start! I don't know what to look for either. I cannot afford much, and will only be doing some small shows, and saddle work with it, so it doesn't have to be in amazing shape. I don't even know how to put one on a horse My mother has never ridden english, so she's not much help. And right now, I cannot afford a coach or lessons. As we are pretty far in the middle of no where So, any tips on what to look for? I am also looking for a pretty cheap english bridle, but I have this covered. Like I said before, I am not looking for anything special, just something to last me a year to figure out if I want to keep up with it.
Here is an ad I was looking at.
Black 16 inch Saddle - New Brunswick Livestock For Sale - Kijiji New Brunswick
     
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    04-28-2011, 11:43 PM
  #2
Trained
There are multiple 'english' saddles all with different purposes. What to buy depends on what you are going to be doing. If you're going to be concentrating on flat work (which I think is a very good idea if you're just starting out) you should look at getting a dressage saddle. Dressage saddles have a deeper seat than say a jumping saddle, with straighter flaps and the stirrup bars located to position your leg in the desired 'ear-shoulder-hip-heel' line.

Make sure you get your sizing right too. If you are on the larger side and with long legs, a 16inch will be far too small and it could even cause discomfort to the point of lasting pain. Same deal as if you are short-legged, you wouldn't buy an 18inch as it would offer you no support at all and often will slide you into a chair seat. As a short-legged dressage rider, it drives me crazy riding other people's horses using their 18inch saddles to accommodate their super long legs - it immediately forces me into a chair seat and I physically cannot get myself in balance.

I would suggest dropping into a saddlery and trying out a few different sizes, to work out what is going to fit you best. Just like you'd try on a pair of jeans before you buy them so you know they're not going to cut off blood supply to your legs :P

Another VERY important factor in saddle buying, is that not every saddle will fit every horse. So you will need to try some on to pick a good one, and still have it altered to fit perfectly by a qualified saddler. Also be aware when buying cheap second hand saddles - some can have a broken tree. In this case, the saddle is pretty much useless. You can repair the tree but it will often cost much more than what the saddle is worth second hand, and will never be as good as the original tree.
     
    04-29-2011, 10:58 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
There are multiple 'english' saddles all with different purposes. What to buy depends on what you are going to be doing. If you're going to be concentrating on flat work (which I think is a very good idea if you're just starting out) you should look at getting a dressage saddle. Dressage saddles have a deeper seat than say a jumping saddle, with straighter flaps and the stirrup bars located to position your leg in the desired 'ear-shoulder-hip-heel' line.

Make sure you get your sizing right too. If you are on the larger side and with long legs, a 16inch will be far too small and it could even cause discomfort to the point of lasting pain. Same deal as if you are short-legged, you wouldn't buy an 18inch as it would offer you no support at all and often will slide you into a chair seat. As a short-legged dressage rider, it drives me crazy riding other people's horses using their 18inch saddles to accommodate their super long legs - it immediately forces me into a chair seat and I physically cannot get myself in balance.

I would suggest dropping into a saddlery and trying out a few different sizes, to work out what is going to fit you best. Just like you'd try on a pair of jeans before you buy them so you know they're not going to cut off blood supply to your legs :P

Another VERY important factor in saddle buying, is that not every saddle will fit every horse. So you will need to try some on to pick a good one, and still have it altered to fit perfectly by a qualified saddler. Also be aware when buying cheap second hand saddles - some can have a broken tree. In this case, the saddle is pretty much useless. You can repair the tree but it will often cost much more than what the saddle is worth second hand, and will never be as good as the original tree.
Ok. I do have a problem though. We don't have a saddler around here, I do fit this saddle, I have went and looked at it, and tried it out on their horse. I don't know about Lady though, she has high withers and longish back.
     
    04-29-2011, 08:32 PM
  #4
Trained
It HAS to fit YOUR horse, not someone else's. Just like not every person fits into one pair of shoes. If your horse has high withers, and a long back, it makes it even more important to find a well fitting saddle. Many will sit too low on the wither and push down on it, making the horse very sore. That's when you get issues such as bucking and girthyness, as the horse is in pain.
As the sellers if you can trial the saddle. Take it home and try it on your horse. There should be at least a generous two finger width gap between the wither and the pommel.
Also ensure that the saddle does not sit on the shoulder blades, as this again will restrict the horse's movement and make it sore. The saddle should sit evenly all the way down the horse's back - make sure there are no gaps between the back and the panels as this causes the saddle to bridge - again, you'll have a sore horse. Check the width of the gullet. There should be plenty of spine clearance so that the saddle is not 'perched' on the horse's back, but not wide enough to make the saddle sit too low and put pressure where it shouldn't.
The pommel and cantle should sit level with each other when the horse is standing square.
If all of this is fine, then you can have a sit in it. Have someone on the ground to check all of these measurements again. You don't want your weight to push the saddle down onto the wither or dig into his back at the back of the tree.
When the horse is moving, the saddle needs to be stable on its back, not rocking side to side or back to front.

As off this should be done without a pad underneath - an appropriate english saddle for your horse will fit perfectly without the need for a pad. I just use a pad for looks and as a layer of padding again for extra comfort - my pads are all quite thin. There is no need for these great big bulky things and risers and so on. That's just hiding an ill-fitting saddle and is not going to completely solve the problem - the pressure points are still there.
     
    04-29-2011, 10:07 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
It HAS to fit YOUR horse, not someone else's. Just like not every person fits into one pair of shoes. If your horse has high withers, and a long back, it makes it even more important to find a well fitting saddle. Many will sit too low on the wither and push down on it, making the horse very sore. That's when you get issues such as bucking and girthyness, as the horse is in pain.
As the sellers if you can trial the saddle. Take it home and try it on your horse. There should be at least a generous two finger width gap between the wither and the pommel.
Also ensure that the saddle does not sit on the shoulder blades, as this again will restrict the horse's movement and make it sore. The saddle should sit evenly all the way down the horse's back - make sure there are no gaps between the back and the panels as this causes the saddle to bridge - again, you'll have a sore horse. Check the width of the gullet. There should be plenty of spine clearance so that the saddle is not 'perched' on the horse's back, but not wide enough to make the saddle sit too low and put pressure where it shouldn't.
The pommel and cantle should sit level with each other when the horse is standing square.
If all of this is fine, then you can have a sit in it. Have someone on the ground to check all of these measurements again. You don't want your weight to push the saddle down onto the wither or dig into his back at the back of the tree.
When the horse is moving, the saddle needs to be stable on its back, not rocking side to side or back to front.

As off this should be done without a pad underneath - an appropriate english saddle for your horse will fit perfectly without the need for a pad. I just use a pad for looks and as a layer of padding again for extra comfort - my pads are all quite thin. There is no need for these great big bulky things and risers and so on. That's just hiding an ill-fitting saddle and is not going to completely solve the problem - the pressure points are still there.
Thank you for all the info! I will look into it, like I said, I might not even get into english riding at all.
     
    05-09-2011, 07:55 AM
  #6
Foal
On another note. If you have troulble fitting the saddle because of the shape of your horses withers it might be woth looking at a General or All Purpose saddle with a cut back pommel. Many synthetic and some leather saddles (GFS, Bates, Wintec etc) come with interchangable gullets. Whilst this does not mean they will fit any horse it does mean they are more likely too. My brand new GFS APX genisis saddle cost 365 pounds. And you can get them second hand
     
    05-10-2011, 03:32 AM
  #7
Weanling
I just wrote a VERY long reply and my internet went down when I posted it!!!! I will tr a shorter version :)

Things that need to be considered when fitting a saddle:
1. Saddle length - across the back (if your horse is short in the back this is an issue)
2. Gullet - the gullet is adjusted to fit the SHOULDER of the horse not the witer. My high withered long backed thoroughbred is in a wide, he's very broad across the shoulders
3. Balance - the seat must be centred and balanced - if the saddle is to high at the front, the saddle will tip the rider back and too low in front will tip the rider forward.
4. Clearance - the saddle needs to have clearence between the pommel and wither, 3 fingers in my opinion is excessive when mounted, the important thing is the balance.

I once had a show down with gear checkers with my jumping saddle because they were saying it needed to be higher in front. I have it professionally fitted, I have 2 finger clearance mounted and my saddle was balanced. Once I did a hard work out and they saw the even sweat marks they never questioned the saddle fit on that saddle.

If you want to check to see if a saddle really fits your horse people, do a hard work out and mae your horse sweat (use a clean saddle pad) and when your done, the saddle pad and the horse should be even sweat marks shaped like your saddle. If your horse has dry bits, then it doesn't fit.

I found this website that might help :)

Does Your Dressage Saddle Fit?

Also, if your not going to try jumping, then a dressage saddle is the way to go, if you want to try jumping tenan all purpose saddle is the way to g.
I suggest wintec, they can be fitted and they have a changable gullet. They are good value for money, I have one that I was given brand new 6 years ago. Be carefull of the el cheapos, they might not be able to be fitted and some are really unbalanced.

Good luck and welcome to english riding....if you really want to get a thrill, try eventing :)
     
    05-10-2011, 03:00 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by corporate pride    
i just wrote a VERY long reply and my internet went down when I posted it!!!! I will tr a shorter version :)

Things that need to be considered when fitting a saddle:
1. Saddle length - across the back (if your horse is short in the back this is an issue)
2. Gullet - the gullet is adjusted to fit the SHOULDER of the horse not the witer. My high withered long backed thoroughbred is in a wide, he's very broad across the shoulders
3. Balance - the seat must be centred and balanced - if the saddle is to high at the front, the saddle will tip the rider back and too low in front will tip the rider forward.
4. Clearance - the saddle needs to have clearence between the pommel and wither, 3 fingers in my opinion is excessive when mounted, the important thing is the balance.

I once had a show down with gear checkers with my jumping saddle because they were saying it needed to be higher in front. I have it professionally fitted, I have 2 finger clearance mounted and my saddle was balanced. Once I did a hard work out and they saw the even sweat marks they never questioned the saddle fit on that saddle.

If you want to check to see if a saddle really fits your horse people, do a hard work out and mae your horse sweat (use a clean saddle pad) and when your done, the saddle pad and the horse should be even sweat marks shaped like your saddle. If your horse has dry bits, then it doesn't fit.

I found this website that might help :)

Does Your Dressage Saddle Fit?

Also, if your not going to try jumping, then a dressage saddle is the way to go, if you want to try jumping tenan all purpose saddle is the way to g.
I suggest wintec, they can be fitted and they have a changable gullet. They are good value for money, I have one that I was given brand new 6 years ago. Be carefull of the el cheapos, they might not be able to be fitted and some are really unbalanced.

Good luck and welcome to english riding....if you really want to get a thrill, try eventing :)
Thank you! I am hoping to get into jumping. I like it. I cannot work her very hard, because I am not riding her yet. She is just like your TB (same breed too) High withers and long backed, and WIDE. Thanks!
     
    05-10-2011, 10:25 PM
  #9
Weanling
864501971_aZnD6-M.jpg
This is ozzie, this gives you an idea how broard he is. Some people don't think he's thoroughbred. Lol

So you need to get a wide gullet and have it stuffed in the wither area. Is there a saddlery that can send the saddle away to have it fitted but a trace of the wither and back shape?? Some do it here in australia.
I would go with a wintec. Get them second hand for cheap :)
     
    05-11-2011, 03:00 PM
  #10
Foal
Ok thanks, he is beautiful by the way! The nearest saddler is in Nova Scotia, and that's a six hour drive :(
     

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