Help! McClellan saddle fit on Standardbred

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Help! McClellan saddle fit on Standardbred

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    09-08-2012, 03:45 AM
Help! McClellan saddle fit on Standardbred

So this is saddle #4 for my hard-to-fit standardbred mare that I adopted in April. I've tried two Aussies and a AP English saddle, all of which my coach said fit, but they also had lots of problems sliding forward and creating behavioral issues with my mare. Enter saddle #4, a McClellan from my local tack shop with a 6" gullet (her measured wither size). I'd heard McClellans were good for narrow horses, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I have 24 hours to decide if I will keep it. I really like it so far-- it's surprisingly comfortable, keeps my legs well under me, and I enjoy the close contact. My mare wasn't cinchy at all when I put it on (which is rare), only shook her head a couple of times while trotting today, and seemed more balanced than usual. Plus this is the first saddle that has stayed in place and not ended up on her withers. But does it fit? Is it too narrow? Any other issues? TIA. The saddle fitter in my area is too busy for me right now, so I really appreciate any help.
Also, sorry for the crappy cell phone pics.

Rear view: (she would not stand square, kept leaning)

Sweat pattern:
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    09-08-2012, 08:19 AM

Looks like a good fit, it is not too narrow

The back of the Saddle looks a little off, but as you mentioned it may be because you Horse is not square

Sweat pattern look good too.

You might try moving the Saddle forward about an inch an see if that improves anything.

I do not see a bad fit, tho

    09-08-2012, 01:57 PM
Thanks! I will move it up an inch when I ride again tonight and see how that works. But if the back panels will not lay flush when she's square, will that indicate that the parts that do contact are digging into her back?
    09-08-2012, 02:17 PM
Originally Posted by Polo Pony    
But if the back panels will not lay flush when she's square, will that indicate that the parts that do contact are digging into her back?
No, not necessarily.

Cannot see for sure by the pic, but probably just loosing some contact, but did not see a problem in the back with the sweat pattern

    09-09-2012, 03:55 AM
Tonight went pretty much like last night, but with a little more energetic trot. Not cinchy at all.

I took a couple more pictures. The back looks like it is getting some contact, and I got her mostly square this time.

    09-09-2012, 08:04 AM

It looks like the maker has shaped the leather to curve on the back of the bars, I do not see a problem,

The angles of the front look good, the sweat patterns looked good

I normally like to see more gullet clearance to the top of the other, but a cut-back pad should alleviate any problem there.

Is the seat comfortable?, I have had some friends say the seat is comfortable ad some say it was not. Never rode in one myself.

    09-09-2012, 08:24 AM
OMG!!! I cannot believe seeing a McClellan in use!!! I learned to ride on one of those things. First time I rode a western saddle I thot it was the most uncomfortable thing I ever rode on. LOL I just got our old McClellan repaired. It even still has the original horse hair girth with it! I don't know if I'd think it was comfortable still or not and I'm way too big to fit it anymore.
    09-10-2012, 02:57 PM
Thank you so much for the help. I think it's going to be a great trail saddle and will probably work for lessons, too, since I can post well in it.

It is actually more comfortable than any of my other saddles. I would have thought the hard seat would put me off, but perhaps the narrow width helps that. I'm 5'8" and 150 and my horse is a somewhat narrow 15.1 hand standardbred. The lack of flaps is very nice for close contact, plus her body heat is a nice leg warmer through the blanket. Overall, I'm very happy. I hope it continues to work for my horse.
    09-10-2012, 04:52 PM
Looks like a good fit - nice sweat pattern shows no gaps. I've ridden in a McClellan once, had a friend that does reenactments, and I was surprised by how comfy it is.
    09-11-2012, 02:00 PM
Green Broke
I've ridden in McClellans-as long as you don't get pinched & the fit is good for the horse it is a nice light weight for them.

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