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Bad Saddle?

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  • Dressage saddle for arabian wide withers
  • Do arabians need wide or narrow trees

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    04-13-2012, 12:39 PM
  #11
Trained
She looks pretty normal in shape. Not specifically needing an Arab saddle... just pretty normal. My horse is an Anglo, but he's more TB type than Arab so my experience isn't really any help.

Usually, you take the gullet measurement 2 finger widths behind the shoulderblade, with the horse standing square on a solid surface, and the back shape from around that spot back to the last rib.

Being an Arab she will more than likely have a short back, so you will need a fairly compact saddle. Make sure it's the size that fits you, so that you can ride effectively, but it cannot be in contact with her back past her last rib. If you HAVE to have a big saddle, and her back is too short for one, you could try a saddle without the bulgy bits at the back...there is a word for them but I can't for the life of me remember what it is!

Fit the horse for the shape she is, not the breed. Tell any saddle salesperson in any store that your horse is a TB, for example, and they will immediately try to sell you a real narrow saddle. Arabs have a reputation for being real narrow where I am, but the majority actually aren't, so watch out for that.

I think your girl is probably a medium wide to a wide, comparing her to my boy's shape. Monty is fairly similar in width across the wither. Having a saddle that is too narrow may be contributing to her lack of muscle buildup - as soon as I swapped Monty to one of my saddles from the one he came with, he put on SO much muscle. He went from a medium to a wide in two weeks' time.
     
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    04-13-2012, 12:53 PM
  #12
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
She looks pretty normal in shape. Not specifically needing an Arab saddle... just pretty normal. My horse is an Anglo, but he's more TB type than Arab so my experience isn't really any help.

Usually, you take the gullet measurement 2 finger widths behind the shoulderblade, with the horse standing square on a solid surface, and the back shape from around that spot back to the last rib.

Being an Arab she will more than likely have a short back, so you will need a fairly compact saddle. Make sure it's the size that fits you, so that you can ride effectively, but it cannot be in contact with her back past her last rib. If you HAVE to have a big saddle, and her back is too short for one, you could try a saddle without the bulgy bits at the back...there is a word for them but I can't for the life of me remember what it is!

Fit the horse for the shape she is, not the breed. Tell any saddle salesperson in any store that your horse is a TB, for example, and they will immediately try to sell you a real narrow saddle. Arabs have a reputation for being real narrow where I am, but the majority actually aren't, so watch out for that.

I think your girl is probably a medium wide to a wide, comparing her to my boy's shape. Monty is fairly similar in width across the wither. Having a saddle that is too narrow may be contributing to her lack of muscle buildup - as soon as I swapped Monty to one of my saddles from the one he came with, he put on SO much muscle. He went from a medium to a wide in two weeks' time.

Ok, I can do those measurements tonight. She does seem wider than the other two Arabs at my barn. Would it be ok then to just ride her bareback for about a month until I can save up the extra money for a saddle? Right now since she is still in training I am more focused on getting her bending and responding to me at the walk. I can put her in the round pen to trot. She also seems much happier bareback.

She's also 18 so I am not sure if that affects anything with going bareback? I am not a heavy rider though only about 130 lbs.

Thank you so much for your help.
     
    04-13-2012, 01:03 PM
  #13
Trained
Bareback is absolutely fine though might be a little uncomfortable for you, if her topline has dropped off due to her age. My gelding is 16 and although he is wide, it's like trying to ride a knife when you're on him bareback due to his spine sticking up! A bareback pad might be a worthwhile investment. You could even make your own easy enough, seat belt material to make cinch straps sewn properly (by someone who knows what they're doing) with strong thread onto a nice thick pad for you to sit on... NO STIRRUPS, stirrups on a bareback pad are dangerous!

Bareback has the added benefit of being really good for your riding if you do it properly. 130lb is really light, I'm pushing it to be 110lb but I'm short and really really slender. Your horse should be able to carry you easily and if she can't there's something wrong. Bareback or not doesn't make much of a difference to that.
     
    04-13-2012, 01:27 PM
  #14
Green Broke
I think theres a few bareback pads at the barn I could probably use. She really has no topline right now, she was a rescue and still in the process of getting her back into shape. I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't hurt her spine or anything with her being out of shape at the moment.

Also why are stirrups on a bareback pad dangerous? I've never even used a pad before so I'm just curious.

Thanks again for your help. Now I just have to measure and then look for a saddle.
     
    04-13-2012, 01:39 PM
  #15
Super Moderator
Because a bareback pad can slide sideways very easily, so if you were to weight one stirrup more than the other, you could easily have the bad slide sideways and dump you on the ground.


The saddle does look a bit too narrow in front. Arabs often have quite broad withers, even for a smallish arab. So, they often need a wide tree.

If the saddle is too narrow , it will be too high in front, which throws the rider into a chair seat and makes it hard to post, and the rider will always be behind the motion of the hrose, which makes the hrose slow down and you lose all the energy that you normally post off of.
     
    04-13-2012, 01:43 PM
  #16
Trained
Yep that's exactly the reason. I used to occasionally ride a little Welshie with just a normal saddle pad on, no roller or anything to keep it in place, and I rode out some pretty impressive shies that way, but I wouldn't have been able to had I had stirrups on the saddle pad.

Maybe the Arab wide shoulder/wither is why my boofhead is so wide? He is not typical TB shape that's for sure (but he also isn't typical Arab shape, sort of somewhere in between I guess)! I have a friend with 2 TB's and Monty is shorter than both, but also wider than both.
     
    04-13-2012, 01:49 PM
  #17
Green Broke
Ah that makes sense about the stirrups. Luckily my girl is perfectly ok with my less than graceful ability to get on bareback. I like bareback anyway as it really helps build muscle in me to stay on

Tiny- I think it is to narrow then, your description is exactly what happens, she wont stay in a trot long and I cannot seem to stay in rhythm.

Well hopefully in a month or so I should have the extra money for a saddle. I've been looking all over but it seems hard to find a used wintec. Are they that nice that no one gets rid of them??
     
    04-13-2012, 02:00 PM
  #18
Trained
They are everywhere here Poppy... but they sell really quickly because they ARE nice saddles for a cheap price. I just bought a Wintec CC and I am so in love... thought I would feel so insecure being that I hadn't actually ridden in a proper jumping saddle before this one but it felt so right. It looks really pretty, honestly it looks like a high-end CC saddle, and my horse moves so much better in it.

I have only had two Wintec saddles I didn't like. One is too small for me (by like an inch), and the other is 20 years old, absolutely feral, and WAY too narrow for my horse.

They are SO worth it!

Also, ebay should have a few Wintecs available. You get them cheaper in the USA than we get them here in Aus (what you pay for new, is what we pay for used), and depending on the model some people have difficulty with certain models of Wintec saddle (the Isabell comes to mind first and foremost, it is a love it or hate it saddle for sure).

I am very happy with my CC. The purchase of a Wintec is not something very many people regret.
     
    04-13-2012, 02:10 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
They are everywhere here Poppy... but they sell really quickly because they ARE nice saddles for a cheap price. I just bought a Wintec CC and I am so in love... thought I would feel so insecure being that I hadn't actually ridden in a proper jumping saddle before this one but it felt so right. It looks really pretty, honestly it looks like a high-end CC saddle, and my horse moves so much better in it.

I have only had two Wintec saddles I didn't like. One is too small for me (by like an inch), and the other is 20 years old, absolutely feral, and WAY too narrow for my horse.

They are SO worth it!

Also, ebay should have a few Wintecs available. You get them cheaper in the USA than we get them here in Aus (what you pay for new, is what we pay for used), and depending on the model some people have difficulty with certain models of Wintec saddle (the Isabell comes to mind first and foremost, it is a love it or hate it saddle for sure).

I am very happy with my CC. The purchase of a Wintec is not something very many people regret.
Well I'm pretty much set on a Wintec, they look so comfy and the changeable gullet is a huge plus. I'm still looking at around $500 here for a used dressage one, but I can buy a new dressage wintec 500 for that price. It's getting frustrating, oh well I shouldn't buy one today anyway.

What is the big difference between the flocked and CAIR? And why choose one over the other? Also the wintec pro has the felt like seat and the 500 has the regular synthetic leather material. Which one do you have? And is there really a reason to pick one over the other?
     
    04-13-2012, 02:46 PM
  #20
Trained
Yep they are really quite nice. My CC has air in the knees. My dressage saddle has a lot of squishy padding for rider comfort (although my dressage is a cheap copy of a Wintec Isabell so it doesn't compare to the real thing). Do take your time, you don't have to have that pretty new saddle right now.

Flock vs CAIR is a very individual thing. It really depends on the horse, and on the rider. I find the CAIR in my CC is quite bouncy (the saddle moves up and down a lot, but it does fit), but my horse likes it. The flock in my dressage doesn't move at all, and it was professionally fitted to my horse, but it restricts him more. I also have less feel on his back through my dressage saddle than I do through my CC but that's hardly surprising considering that the CAIR saddle is designed for close contact.

Suede vs fake leather is just as individual. The suede has SERIOUS grip factor - me in jeans on boofhead in suede and I'm not going anywhere - but will wreck full seat jodhpurs in 5 seconds flat and you'll want to buy suede stirrup leathers to go with it as the normal plastic ones will wear it out quicker. The suede leathers cost more! I find that the suede can be quite restrictive, but it's so reassuring to have if your horse is prone to idiot moments, so sometimes it's worth not being able to move much in the saddle to know you're not going to come out of it easy. Even so, I'm probably going to upgrade to a leather dressage saddle one of these days... I want to be able to move in my saddle!

The fake leather can be slippery but actually isn't that bad. I'd rather the fake leather over a much-loved and much-ridden-in real leather saddle, because real leather is REALLY slippery. I usually ride in full seat jodhpurs in my CC saddle, but have ridden in it wearing jeans and was just fine.

Like I said - all individual.
     

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