The dreaded english saddle package... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 48 Old 09-18-2012, 06:12 PM
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HM, riding is expensive. Horses are stoic animals and we as humans with the power of forethought are trusted to do what is best for them.
99.999999999% of the time, cheapie saddles will not fit and aren't in the horse's best interest. I bet dollars to donuts that the saddle doesn't fit (needing a riser pad indicates that, and makes me wince - that rotates the saddle and changes pressure points) and hasn't fit any horse correctly.
There are decent brands of saddles for sale for a few hundred dollars. They may not look the best but they will be a ton better for the horse. Older Pessoas, Stubbens, and Crosbys may have a lower price tag, if you look.

OP, thank you for coming to your senses - haha.
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post #12 of 48 Old 09-18-2012, 06:37 PM
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Our trainer, who has ridden and shown English for over 20 years, checked the fit herself and pronounced everything good. Forgive me if I trust someone who has actually seen the saddle ON the horse over a bunch of people on the web who judge the fit based solely on the price of the equipment.

Trust me, I KNOW from first hand experience how "expensive" horses are. I write the checks every month and go above and beyond the basics to give our horse the best care we can.

I looked at used saddles when we were trying to make our purchase. I would send pictures/links to knowledgable horse people and they would usually tell me to pass. When I did find a decent used saddle, I was often outbid at the last minute OR the saddle was the wrong size (it was hard to find a 14" used saddle...much less one within budget). We set our budget low because we were not sure if Kitten would continue in English and could not see the point in spending $$$$ on a saddle that we may not need or would have to resell in an area where English is not common and more people are selling rather than buying.

The "starter" saddle package has its place....it was exactly what we needed at the time.
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post #13 of 48 Old 09-18-2012, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your input. As I said I didn't know that the make of them in terms of fit to the horse was cruddy. I thought it was just the fake leather and dye and things in terms of cosmetic issues were the cheapness. I refuse to do anything to hurt her back even more.

Thankfully I have an awesome friend who isn't using her Schleese dressage saddle right now and the last horse it was adjusted for was built like my gal so we are going to try it and that will work until I can buy a quality saddle.

In the mean time I am going to work on massages and soaks on her back and getting her feet done properly. I make her sound like shes in horrible condition lol. She's not. She just has been treated as another number in a school barn and where she wasn't good for the school she got the short end of the deal. The farrier who did her feet is a standarbred farrier so he leaves a longer toe. And her back just feels owie from a poor saddle fit. So with some massage and a proper saddle and good farrier job she will be good as gold. I am going to do some before and after shots :)

BB ~ 2014 Trakehner Bratty Mare ~ 1993 CSHA Em ~ 2007 Standardbred
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post #14 of 48 Old 09-18-2012, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorseMom1025 View Post
Our trainer, who has ridden and shown English for over 20 years, checked the fit herself and pronounced everything good. Forgive me if I trust someone who has actually seen the saddle ON the horse over a bunch of people on the web who judge the fit based solely on the price of the equipment.

Trust me, I KNOW from first hand experience how "expensive" horses are. I write the checks every month and go above and beyond the basics to give our horse the best care we can.

I looked at used saddles when we were trying to make our purchase. I would send pictures/links to knowledgable horse people and they would usually tell me to pass. When I did find a decent used saddle, I was often outbid at the last minute OR the saddle was the wrong size (it was hard to find a 14" used saddle...much less one within budget). We set our budget low because we were not sure if Kitten would continue in English and could not see the point in spending $$$$ on a saddle that we may not need or would have to resell in an area where English is not common and more people are selling rather than buying.

The "starter" saddle package has its place....it was exactly what we needed at the time.
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One of the joys of forums is everyone has an opinion and no one will ever completely agree on everything. I learned long ago to stop taking it personal and just take what I need out of each post. Don't let it get to you. One persons idea of perfect is another persons idea of abuse and vice versa.

Just smile and nod and move on.

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post #15 of 48 Old 09-19-2012, 01:20 AM
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HorseMom, no need to get fired up. As said above, it's a forum. People have differing opinions, that is how a forum works. Don't take a differing opinion as a personal attack.

Sometimes you can get lucky with one of these cheap 'package' saddles, and maybe your daughter's horse is one of those one in a million types that has a shape to fit those saddles.
Unfortunately the majority aren't that lucky. Cheap and nasty is a common turn of phrase that is very accurate when it comes to horse gear unfortunately.
I would much rather save the money and buy a second hand but good quality saddle, than put a cheap, poorly made one on my horse's back. For the ride once in a while it's no problem, but when you're schooling seriously, 6 days/week you'll end up with a very sore horse.
It's not just the fact that the dye might run a bit, or they're not overly comfortable - it can be a safety concern as well. Fittings are poorly made and the materials are cheap and of poor quality. It takes only a small mishap, and you may wind up with a broken girth, stirrup or tree.
A friend of mine was nearly killed when she was riding a client's horse in a cheap, old saddle and the tree was broken (they were not aware of this at the time - it can be difficult to determine if a tree is broken, especially if it just has a small fracture through it). The horse went ballistic and through the rider straight onto her head.
I personally, don't want to take that sort of risk.

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post #16 of 48 Old 09-19-2012, 01:33 AM
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My own personal experience and thoughts..

I started off with a low budget and was very tempted by one of the cheapy packages, but I was totally talked out of it by online friends and thank goodness for it.

MAYBE you can get away with one if you are a light rider, on a fit horse, not riding very often or asking very much of your horse.

BUT

I'm a fat rider, who wants my horse to move freely despite having to carry me, so I have to buy the best I can, and that means I shop for quality makes that are older, or a little damaged, I can put up with some dents and dings, as long as the saddle is sound and comfortable for the horse.
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post #17 of 48 Old 09-19-2012, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by unclearthur View Post
Without wishing to sound over-critical, this really means the saddle is a poor fit...]
Well, if that's the case, then the 30+ saddles that my college uses on their horses are ALL poorly-fitting as every single one has a riser pad.

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post #18 of 48 Old 09-19-2012, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ShannonSevenfold View Post
Well, if that's the case, then the 30+ saddles that my college uses on their horses are ALL poorly-fitting as every single one has a riser pad.
They may well be.... A well fitting English saddle should be able to be worn with only a thin pad underneath for comfort.

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post #19 of 48 Old 09-19-2012, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by HorseMom1025 View Post
Honestly, expecting people to purchase a new saddle specific to each horse is unreasonable and unrealistic. If every horse needs his/her own saddle, than all horses sold should come with their own tack.
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Within the English riding discipline, this is exactly what does happen a fair bit - and if the saddle is not sold with the horse then the buyer has to factor the cost of a saddle into the purchase costs.

Good luck with your search by the way.

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post #20 of 48 Old 09-19-2012, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kayty View Post
They may well be.... A well fitting English saddle should be able to be worn with only a thin pad underneath for comfort.
Very true. It is amazing how different a horse will move with a properly fit saddle. A girl I teach just got a nice Schleese event saddle for her guy. Prior to this he had boots on all 4 and bell boots and he beat the snot out of the boots, she was replacing them every couple of months. She got the Schleese saddle and had the rep fit it to him and he has yet to knock himself.

A properly fit saddle should only have one thin saddle pad. I am a huge fan of Schleese saddles. I am itching to get one. Their event saddles are so nice and I love the AIR system.

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