Close Contact Saddle Brand Recommendations (lots of fit pics)

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Close Contact Saddle Brand Recommendations (lots of fit pics)

This is a discussion on Close Contact Saddle Brand Recommendations (lots of fit pics) within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    01-13-2011, 11:50 AM
Close Contact Saddle Brand Recommendations (lots of fit pics)

So, I am on the hunt for a new saddle now that Zee is getting back in shape and has had a lot of physical changes. He's a 17H, 21 year old Hanoverian. I did wither tracings last night and took a bunch of pics of his topline, with and without the saddle. The pictures were taken in our wash stall, so I was unable to get his feet in the shots.

I'm guessing he needs a med/wide tree (approx 4.5 - 4.75" felt to felt) with panels that are fairly flat from seat to back, and a wide channel through the gullet. I have included a link below to pictures. The tape that is placed on his back in some of the pictures marks the approx location of the felt under the pommel of the Toulouse and the back of the saddle. I also did a spine tracing, wither tracing (approx where the felt points are under the saddle), a tracing 10" back from the first, and a tracing at the back of the saddle. As you can see in the pictures, he has white hairs at the base of his withers and along either side, which was caused by his previous owner's Childeric that was apparently custom made for him. I am a bit wary of Childerics because of this.

The saddle on his back is a 17" Toulouse Merina, medium tree that now measures approx 5" felt to felt. I have used a Fleeceworks Perfect Balance pad with front and rear shims since I began riding him with the Toulouse saddle back in August. As you can see, the Toulouse is not making very good or even contact in the back or the shoulders.

I hope I caputured enough information! I do plan to have something adjusted after a saddle is decided on to ensure a close to perfect fit.

I'd love any recommendations for saddles that might be a good fit for his style of back. I'm really hoping to go with a Frenchie (Deep Seat Butet, Devoucoux, Antares, Delgrange). I'd like something with a deep-ish seat, approx 17" (I'd prefer to be a bit snug in the seat as opposed to having too much room), semi-forward flaps, standard length (13-13.5") flap, with front and rear blocks.

Saddle Fitting of Zee - Saddle Fitting pictures from horses photos on webshots
Click on each picture to enlarge. Three pages of thumbnails in album. I took a lot of pics!!
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    01-13-2011, 12:46 PM
Green Broke
Hmm, yup, definitely not a good fit. You need a flat tree front to back. Bates' Elevation saddles are pretty flat. One of the Tad Coffin saddles might work too. Stackhouse saddles seem to be "non-dippy" in shape.

I would send in your pictures and wither tracings to a good shop like Rick's and have them narrow things down for you. Rick's has a good trial program as well, so you can make sure you get just the right saddle.
Rick's Heritage Saddlery - West Chester, PA - Carrying a full line of new and used Saddles
    01-13-2011, 12:48 PM
I sent Ricks an email this morning with all the pics and my descripion above and asked for an appointment tomorrow night! LOL!
    01-13-2011, 01:36 PM
When I needed help with my wither tracings and saddle fit, I had a really good experience with Trumbull Mountain in VT.

Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop - The Saddle Specialists

Plus their trial policy is awesome.
    01-13-2011, 01:46 PM
Thanks, but I only live about an hour from Ricks and they've already given me trade-in information for my other two saddles (which I need to buy a new one!) So, I kinda have to stay with Rick's new saddles... I know there are other shops out there that do trade-ins, but I really don't want to go through the shipping back and forth to send my saddles and try a bunch of new ones!
    01-13-2011, 01:57 PM
That's definitely the way to go then! I just liked how Trumbull was so nice and helpful to me, so I've been recommending them to everybody!
    01-13-2011, 02:02 PM
I am quite spoiled by excellent tack shops within 100 miles of me! Rick's Horsemens, Beval, Dover, Horseloverz, Horseatack...just to name a few!!!
    01-13-2011, 03:36 PM
Green Broke
Living on the East Coast is definitely awesome for English riders, though I do enjoy my low hay and board prices .

Good luck with Rick's! Let us know what you end up getting.
    01-13-2011, 05:10 PM
I'm going down to Ricks tomorrow night after work. I'm lugging my current Toulouse saddle, all the pictures, and tracings that I did. How many people come in there with over twenty 8 x 10 pictures and a poster board model of their horse's back? LOL!!! I'm cutting out the tracings I did tonight and am planning to do something with the spine tracing so I can actually slide the other tracings onto it and have a 3-D version of his back. Holy poop, I'll have to take pictures of this when I'm done. The entire staff at Rick's will be making fun of me...
    01-13-2011, 05:31 PM
If I were them I'd be congratulating you for all the work you did. Makes their job easier. Sounds like the only way you could do any better would be to haul your horse in so he could try on the saddles himself!

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