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Does this English saddle fit?

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  • PANELS NOT CONTACTING AT REAR ON DRESSAGE SADDLE
  • English saddle too narrow

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    11-24-2012, 10:26 PM
  #11
Trained
Some of the pictures without using a link:









I'm used to seeing tall withers...but I'd say it is too narrow. Thoughts from anyone with more experience?
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    11-24-2012, 10:31 PM
  #12
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
Some of the pictures without using a link:









I'm used to seeing tall withers...but I'd say it is too narrow. Thoughts from anyone with more experience?
Thanks for making them images on here. Aha.
I was thinking it was too narrow too, but ehh... I too am not one to judge based on my own opinion. I wish I could find a wider tree english saddle, but there aren't usually many in a western barn.... sigh.
     
    11-25-2012, 01:04 AM
  #13
Foal
I just noticed something else.
The pommel is higher than the cantle. Doesn't that usually mean that the gullet is too narrow?
     
    11-25-2012, 04:30 AM
  #14
Yearling
Your tree is way to narrow. It's so narrow that instead of cradling your horse's back, it's just perched on top. That's why your saddle is slipping: it's just sitting on top. Look at your panels. They're supposed to be making full contact with your horse. Instead, the saddle sits so high that you can see whole top portion of your panels touching nothing at all. When the tree is that narrow, the tree points dig right into your horse's muscle - hence the tensing and bucking. Also note your pommel is higher than the cantle - a sign of a too narrow tree.

Just to be sure the saaddle is in the right place: Find the ttree points. Find the back edge of your horse's shoulder-blade. Now place the saddle with the tree points about 2" behind the rear edge of the scapula. Just to be sure...
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    11-25-2012, 06:52 AM
  #15
Yearling
If you sit the saddle on the horse's back without the girth done up and run the flat of your hand (behind the flap) between horse and saddle you'll probably find quite a long area of little-to-no contact. That means the saddle is bridging which in this case (because the tree points don't run parallel to the back of the horse's shoulder) means the saddle is too narrow. One of the problems with foam-panel CC saddles is they rarely fit anything very well, even when they're the correct tree-width, because the foam shapes itself to the tree rather than the horse's back.

As Freia said, a too-narrow tree will slip to one side and be difficult to get back simply by putting more weight down one stirrup because the tree-point digs in and acts as a brake. If your saddle generally slides to the right, I suspect the left shoulder is bigger (uneveness is more common than most riders realise). It looks a little that way in one of the pics, but if you girth up the saddle without a pad you should be able to check. Just measure with your fingers, inside the gullet, between withers and saddle arch, on both sides. With the horse stood level any difference will tell you the saddle is leaning to one side (usually towards the side with more room). You can sometimes see it if you stand directly behind the horse, but you need to be high enough up to sight along the saddle seat (I stand on a bucket!)

Hope that helps :)
     
    11-25-2012, 08:57 AM
  #16
Yearling
I just looked closer at the picture where you can really see the panels. I'd be concerned with how little of the panels is really contacting your horse. Remember that the panels distribute your weight along the horse's back. If very little of the panel is actually touching the back, then all your weight is concentrated on very little area. I think if you do the test UncleArthur recommends, you should be able to feel just how much or little of the panel is actually sitting on your horse.
     
    11-25-2012, 11:14 AM
  #17
Foal
Thanks for your inputs, guys!
I definitely understand the saddle being too narrow now. I'm going to try and get a saddle fitter out soon.
When you say that the foam panel CC saddles rarely fit, what would you suggest being a more forgiving fitting saddle for her to have?
I was looking at the gullet change saddles (Wintec, Bates) and the CAIR flocking saddles thinking they might give a wider range of correct fitting. What would you all recommend me to look into?
Would she only need the next size wider? I'd be going from a regular tree to a wide tree. Of course, I would still need to check the fit after getting it, just in case.
     
    11-25-2012, 12:07 PM
  #18
Green Broke
Different manufactorers have different ideas about what a medium means and a wide and so on. Best to take actual measurements. Changeable gullets only solve one part of the problem. That won't change the way the panels sit or the saddle shape. Wintecs have a bit of a rock to them so they would not work on a flat back.

CAIR is either a love it or hate thing, best to take a saddle on trial before buying one with CAIR. Are you jumping or flat work? What is your plan for english riding?
     
    11-25-2012, 12:10 PM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy1356    
Different manufactorers have different ideas about what a medium means and a wide and so on. Best to take actual measurements. Changeable gullets only solve one part of the problem. That won't change the way the panels sit or the saddle shape. Wintecs have a bit of a rock to them so they would not work on a flat back.

CAIR is either a love it or hate thing, best to take a saddle on trial before buying one with CAIR. Are you jumping or flat work? What is your plan for english riding?
I thought wintecs were supposedly good for horses slabsided, though. I think that's the difficult part. She's narrow on the sides, wider in the shoulders, and has a short, flat back. Argh! Is there anything that would fit that body shape? LOL

I'm training her to do eventing, but with more stress on the jumping phases. Then instead of too much dressage training, I'm also working her into some reining and trail/pleasure riding. She's mostly an all-around horse.
     
    11-25-2012, 12:21 PM
  #20
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneDino    
Thanks for your inputs, guys!
I definitely understand the saddle being too narrow now. I'm going to try and get a saddle fitter out soon.
When you say that the foam panel CC saddles rarely fit, what would you suggest being a more forgiving fitting saddle for her to have?
I was looking at the gullet change saddles (Wintec, Bates) and the CAIR flocking saddles thinking they might give a wider range of correct fitting. What would you all recommend me to look into?
Would she only need the next size wider? I'd be going from a regular tree to a wide tree. Of course, I would still need to check the fit after getting it, just in case.
I think everyone has their preference. I think most will agree that flocked panels are very nice, not only in the support they provide, but also because they can be adjusted by a saddler for a custom fit to your horse. I like wool-flocked, but I'm old-fashioned. I know people like synthetic flocking too. Then there's the modern foam, which is not the same as a close-contact panel. Then there's CAIR, which is loved or hated by riders or horses. Then there's Flair (adjustable CAIR, basically) which seems to be more loved than CAIR.

For the size, I think you should take a wither-tracing. Use a flexi-curve or coat hanger to get your horse's shape about 2" behind the rear of the scapula. This is about where the tree points should sit. Trace it on a piece of carboard and cut it out. Preferable take your tracing with you shopping. If that's not possible (ie buying online), then take a look at the angle where the tree points will sit. If you're right about 90 degrees, then around a medium, more is wider, smaller is narrower. You also have to consider the profile lengthwise along the back.
Generally, I'd say that if you currently have a medium tree, you'd need a M/W or wide in that same brand. Every brand is sized differently. You almost start from scratch every time you try a different brand.
     

Tags
arabian, english saddle help, saddle doesn't fit right, saddle fit, saddle issues, saddle problems, saddle size, shape

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