Hard to fit horse?

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Hard to fit horse?

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  • 1 Post By unclearthur

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    04-23-2012, 12:07 PM
Hard to fit horse?

I've been having troubles finding a saddle for my mare (17.1hh, 3 year old Hannoverian). I've been looking around for jumping saddles, and nothing seems to fit her. She's very wide - and will only get wider - with a high wither. The problem is that when the saddles widen, the wither usually flattens out. I tried a pessoa in a wide tree, and the only thing that fit her was the shoulder. Otherwise, it was WAY to narrow, and there wasn't even a quarter of an inch between her wither and the saddle. We also tried out a Jaguar, another wide tree, this time it fit her wither just fine, was wide enough but the issue was that when I went to do the girth up, I could not slide my hand between the saddle and her shoulder, no way, no how. So my question is - what do you guys suggest for a wide horse with a high wither? I'm fairly easy to fit, 5'5, 17'' seat. It would be awesome if I didn't spend over $3,500, and prefer not to ride in synthetic saddles.
I can post pictures of her build upon request.
Thanks. (:
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    04-23-2012, 12:31 PM
Green Broke
You should be able to find special pads for horses like that if you are having trouble finding a saddle. My aunt had one custom made years ago for her one gelding because he had a high wither. They just put more padding on the wither to give the saddle and the horse extra support and helped the saddle fit properly in place.
    04-23-2012, 02:30 PM
Have you looked for a saddle with a cutback head perhaps?
    04-23-2012, 04:22 PM
I'll bet, without seeing the horse, it's nothing to do with the width but the fall-in behind the shoulder. Warmbloods are notorious.

The Jaguar saddle probably won't have been wide enough. If I were you I'd forget close-contact saddles with a big youngster like this - look for a flocked panel jumping saddle with a dropped or TB panel (Albion?) and if you're visiting shops take a template (wither trace) with you which the shop should be able to interpret (if they're any good).

It needs to be traced in the right place - three fingers (2") behind the back of the scapula. You'll probably find it shows the hollows over the trapezius really well and you then need to draw a straight line each side from where the wither begins to fall to where the template curves out at the shoulder. This is really important because IT'S THESE LINES THAT GIVE THE TREE ANGLE YOU NEED.

Sorry for shouting but some idiot saddle-fitters just measure the muscle line and you end up with a saddle that's too narrow. They drive me nuts.

The gap between the drawn line and the muscle line is the area that needs to be filled with extra wool.

If your horse isn't shaped like this then my apologies. Best of luck finding something to fit :)

PS. Almost forgot - warmbloods tend to be slightly low-crouped too so you'll probably need something with a decent gusset at the back.
crimsonsky likes this.

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