Buying First Saddle...

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Buying First Saddle...

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    02-19-2012, 12:25 PM
Buying First Saddle...

Okay, so I recently got into a situation where I will be working with a horse for a couple years but he is not mine so I might end up riding other horses as well. At this point in my life it is beneficial for me to have my own saddle so I should be around a 16-17 seat wise (also english) but my question here is actually about the tree and what not.

If the saddle doesn't fit the horse perfectly could I buy a sheepskin half pad to make it fit better? This is what I've heard and I just want to get more opinions on it. I need to get a better look at the horse when I go back out on Tuesday to get an idea of what I should aim for tree-wise though. But since I don't own him I'm not comfortable getting him fitted for a saddle and then having this saddle for a horse that I don't own and would want to at least have a rather versatile saddle. Am I making sense here? Thanks sorry if I don't make any sense.
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    02-20-2012, 02:41 PM
    02-20-2012, 02:58 PM
I'm in the same situation as you. I have a partial lease on two horses - one an old-tyme flat-backed Morgan built like a tank, the other a TWH with hollow shoulders and high withers. I also ride my sister's petite old TWH, and go on trail rides with a friend's average-shaped mutt. I ride English, and all these horses are normally ridden Western, so I have to use my own saddle. Same dilemma. I have one saddle that I use for all of them. Obviously, the fit isn't going to be ideal for all of them, but since I don't ride any of them very often or very long/hard, I've been able to make it work without any obvious discomfort, injury, or obvious horrible fits for any of them.
The key for me was to be sure to get a saddle wide enough to fit the widest of them. If a saddle is too wide, you can pad it up to some extent, but if it's too narrow, nothing can make it fit better. Then I had the problem of what to do about the high-withered horse. I ended up with a Passier that fits the widest horse very well. That width should make it sit too low on the high-withered horse. However, the saddle is cutback, so the withers are clear. Then I fill in his hollow shoulders with a Cashel correction half-pad. Cashel Company
With the half-pad, the fit is pretty darned good. I've seen no soreness or hollowing from him.
The other two horses are OK with it as well using various combinations of thin pad, wool pad, and half-pad.
Not ideal, but it's working,and the saddle fits me like a dream.
I know someone else who also has 1 saddle for several horses, and is using a Wintec 2000 with the easy-change gullet system. Also not ideal, but so far, so good.
I know there are several other brands that have adjustable gullets as well. I think HDR and Thorowgood both have adjustable trees or gullets. That might be an option for you. If not, just be sure that the saddle is wide enough for your widest mount.
    02-20-2012, 10:15 PM
When I was leasing different horses, I bought a saddle with adjustable gullet capabilities, so I could adjust it somewhat as needed. Now there are a few models where you can adjust the entire tree aka M.Toulouse. Maybe look into something like that. It's easier to have a saddle that fits than to try to pad one that doesn't. You'd spend more money finding the right pad than on a versatile saddle.
    02-20-2012, 10:29 PM
Now if I could find one used and fairly cheap. My boyfriend said that he would buy me tack (after I explained what it was) but I don't want to break his wallet. Ebay and craigslist are going to become my best friend.
    02-20-2012, 11:30 PM
You might have to invest in a few different types of pads to help your saddle fit each horse correctly.
    02-21-2012, 12:04 AM
Trained has a lot of saddles. Just be wary of scammers. Have the seller send you a pic of the saddle with something showing the current date. Somebody used a picture of a saddle I was selling on that site once and ripped someone off for $500.

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