Help! English saddle for arab!? length/short back?
 
 

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Help! English saddle for arab!? length/short back?

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  • English saddle over all length
  • What english saddles fit arabians

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  • 1 Post By Dreamcatcher Arabians
  • 2 Post By unclearthur

 
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    05-26-2013, 10:23 PM
  #1
Foal
Help! English saddle for arab!? length/short back?

Hope this is the right place for this thread!

Just got a broke Arab gelding and having trouble with saddle fit length. He has a short back and I tried my stubben saddle on him and I feel it's too long.
I tried researching and all I could find was that if the saddle goes too far back it will sit on his kidneys :(
I definitely don't want that!
Does anyone have any recommendations for saddle fitting and saddles for horses with short backs?
Also how do you know if saddle is too far back?
I just do pleasure, no competing but a bit of trails and jumping etc.
Thanks!
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    05-27-2013, 05:56 AM
  #2
Yearling
You could try these people, though I'm afraid I have no experience of their saddles.

Arabian Saddle Company
     
    05-27-2013, 08:57 AM
  #3
Showing
The weight bearing area must not go beyond the last true rib. A 17.5 should fit, 18" maybe.
     
    05-27-2013, 09:11 AM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by snickersandme    
hope this is the right place for this thread!

Just got a broke Arab gelding and having trouble with saddle fit length. He has a short back and I tried my stubben saddle on him and I feel it's too long.
I tried researching and all I could find was that if the saddle goes too far back it will sit on his kidneys :(
I definitely don't want that!
Does anyone have any recommendations for saddle fitting and saddles for horses with short backs?
Also how do you know if saddle is too far back?
I just do pleasure, no competing but a bit of trails and jumping etc.
Thanks!
Posted via Mobile Device
I've never seen an Arab have a problem with the length of an English saddle. The main place I've seen fit problems is with the gullet, Arabs tend to need a bigger gullet than most folks think they should and they end up in a narrow tree when many of them need wide.

Western Saddle skirts can be too long, but the smaller skirted western saddles tend to be ok. Most Arabs can carry a 25" or 26" skirt on a Western saddle, most Westerns are 29" or more.
unclearthur likes this.
     
    05-27-2013, 10:07 AM
  #5
Trained
One nice thing about English saddles is that they are SHORT. IIRC, mine are about 22" with an 18" seat. Shorter than that isn't really possible. I do think I could do without a gusseted panel in one...but it isn't too bad.



This is from a western saddle perspective (Rod Nikkel, makes custom trees for western saddles). It might be something to think about as well for English saddles:

Can the loin of the horse carry weight?
     
    05-27-2013, 01:01 PM
  #6
Showing
If the skirts of a western aren't rubbing the hips then the length is of no consequence. It's the tree length that shouldn't go beyond the last true rib. For an easy guide, mark the rib with chalk then saddle the horse.
     
    05-27-2013, 01:47 PM
  #7
Trained
For a western saddle:



All western saddles extend over the loin

The design of an English saddle is very different. I would be curious to know if any studies have ever been done to show that it is harmful for even an English saddle to extend somewhat further back - although the overall length of the saddle ought to make that less common.

It isn't too hard to figure out where the front of an English saddle goes on my horses, both of whom have defined withers and shoulders. From that point on, it is what it is. About the only adjustment I can think of would be to either restrict the horse's rider to one who fits a smaller saddle, or to use a forward seat and keep the rider's weight more to the front.

Trooper has an uncommonly short back - 3/4 Arabian, about an 800 lb horse, 14.2 hands. This picture came from just after he arrived and shows both what a poor fitting western saddle did to his withers, and a ****ed ass with spurs did to his sides ...but Trooper acts quite comfortable when ridden in my 18" seat English saddle.



He also does well with a 16" western saddle (Circle Y Mojave). Food for thought...

If you are doing some jumping, I assume you use a forward seat. In that case, very little pressure ought to be on the rear end of the saddle.
     
    05-27-2013, 03:40 PM
  #8
Yearling
Society of Master Saddlers' guidelines say the saddle panel shouldn't extend past the 18th thoracic vertebra (last rib).

But they're guidelines. Short-backed horses with larger riders often benefit from a longer panel than would be ideal (1/2" to 1" over) since it's generally considered a shorter-coupled horse will have comparatively stronger structure between ribcage and pelvis than a longer-backed animal.

Two other things to consider are that the increased panel area of a longer saddle reduces the pressure per square inch, and a more comfortable rider relaxes more in the saddle, interfering less with the horse.

It's not ideal, but we're back to saddle fit being a 'best compromise' again :)
bsms and freia like this.
     
    05-27-2013, 03:44 PM
  #9
Foal
Thanks everyone! Lots of great info!
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