Can adjusting saddle rigging improve fit? (pictures) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-05-2012, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Can adjusting saddle rigging improve fit? (pictures)

OK, I think my western saddle fits Dublin reasonably well, but the rigging sits just an inch or so too far back, so it drags the saddle forward as I ride (see pictures below). Do you guys think it's worth it to get it adjusted, or is the overall fit poor enough that I need to look into an entirely new saddle? She seems to work pretty well in it. I haven't noticed any signs of soreness, but as you can see in the last pic, the saddle sliding is ruffling up the hairs all along her back.

If I do decided to get the rigging adjusted, do you guys know of anyone who does that sort of work in my area? I'm about half way in between Knoxville and Nashville.

(also note, that the saddle pad shifted a lot more than it usually does when I took the pictures.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Saddle Fit.jpg (52.9 KB, 260 views)
File Type: jpg Saddle Fit2.jpg (50.3 KB, 255 views)
File Type: jpg Saddle Fit3.jpg (50.2 KB, 253 views)
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-05-2012, 09:48 AM
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It looks like it fits OK to me. It looks a bit long, maybe.

The ruffled hair is pretty common. I don't think rigging pulls a saddle forward. Hips and the motion of the back may push it forward, and the rigging may allow it. What seems to help my horses is a cheap, mostly acrylic Navajo blanket folded in half. My theory is the thin and somewhat slick sides move past each other, so any rocking of the saddle gives less ruffles.

I'd play around with padding before trying anything on the saddle. You can fold towels of various sizes to create an extra pad of various sizes to see what happens for free before spending money on various shape pads.

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post #3 of 16 Old 02-05-2012, 09:53 AM
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Well since the saddle slips back, the first thing I thought of was a breastplate. Do you have anyone's you can borrow to see if it'll work?
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-05-2012, 10:09 AM
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Too much skirt. The after ride pictures looks to me to be in a good saddle position. The before ride looks a little to far forward. Maybe that is where the "pocket" is. The bars seem to be a tad snug through the shoulder. When cinched swipe your hand underneath it. It shouldn't pinch. Not all trees have proper bar flare.

Last edited by goneriding; 02-05-2012 at 10:16 AM.
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-05-2012, 12:20 PM
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I may be seeing it differently than you. I think the saddle was too far forward to start and it shifted back and looks better after riding. Look at the 1st picture and your girth is way into the armpit. Looks better after the ride. Try moving pad and saddle back from the start and see what happens.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-05-2012, 07:41 PM
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When saddling, place it a little high then rock side to side until it locks into the sweet spot. The horse's pot belly is moving the cinch forward, which will pull the saddle forward.
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-05-2012, 08:06 PM
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I think it would greatly help if you could also post some pictures of the entire horse with the saddle on pre- and post-ride. It's really hard to judge how much it has move and where it moved with the pictures just showing part of the horse.

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post #8 of 16 Old 02-06-2012, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I will definitely get better pictures next time I go out to the barn. She does have a very short back, so the saddle takes up pretty much all of it, which might be contributing to the problem. But it's definitely sliding forward, not back so I don't think a breast plate is going to do the trick. Plus that saddle doesn't have D rings, so it's hard to get one properly adjusted anyway :(

It is pretty snug through her shoulders. She doesn't look it, but she's really broad; I have the extra wide gullet installed on my dressage saddle and it fits her beautifully. I was hoping I could make this one work, but if it's not fitting right I'm probably better off shopping for a new one.

Also, I think part of the slipping problem has to do with her conformation. I've noticed she even tends to pull me forward when I'm riding bareback.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-07-2012, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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OK, Here are some pictures from tonight. I switched back to my old pad, since it's not quite as big. Hopefully you guys can see a little better. It's not moving around a lot but I think you can see in the after picture that it's just a tad more forward. Which is why I was wondering if moving the rigging forward would help to hold it in place.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Saddle Fit Before.jpg (67.1 KB, 217 views)
File Type: jpg Saddle Fit After.jpg (65.5 KB, 202 views)
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-07-2012, 01:17 AM
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I think it does not fit in the shoulder area. The saddle has a narrower top and wider bottom part of the tree, which does not seem to matcht the flatter slope of you horse's shoulder/ back. So, it seems to be too tight where it first hits' his shouldrer, then too loose (not bearing weight, ) lower down. This make it pull the blanket down hard onto her withers.
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