My saddle is too narrow--any help? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Unhappy My saddle is too narrow--any help?

I know many will say, "okay? Just get a wider saddle!"--Well, it's not that easy for me. I don't have a lot of time to look for a new one and frankly, I cannot afford it at the moment. :-/

My saddle is a little too narrow for my horse causing a shortness in stride, resistance to bending, and just a lack of "free movement" in general.

Are there any pads out there (risers, wither relief pads, etc) that would help this problem? Please help me!
My trainer said that a riser would help, but I am looking to go beyond that. Any advice is appreciated! Thank you!
butterfly1341 is offline  
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 02:59 PM
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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Unfortunately with a too-narrow saddle, there is no fix. Think of putting on a too-tight shoe... there's nothing that will make it better. You could put any type of sock on you wanted to, but it won't help, you'll still walk around like a duck because the shoe hurts. The bigger picture is that if you're asked to work in those tight shoes on a regular basis for an extended period of time, you will notice that your body starts reacting adversely to the improper fit; your gait will change, and you might even start developing muscles incorrectly because of your changed gait. Your back will start hurting because you're walking funny. Your entire posture will start to be affected because of the shoes.
This is essentially what your horse is going through. If you ask him to work in equipment that doesn't fit properly, you're going to run into problems down the road. You said that he's not bending or striding out properly - these are huge signs that your saddle is hurting him. It's fantastic that you noticed this - a lot of people don't, or ignore it. Please take the hint now, before permanent or long-term damage is done. The cost of a new saddle now will save you in healthcare in the long term. Even riding bareback or not at all is better than riding in an ill-fitting saddle.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the positive words! It took a while before I started to notice these symptoms; I did my research and am now looking for a new saddle. It might be tricky, but dishing out some extra money doesn't seem as bad now that I know what's at stake!

It's a lot like nuts and bolts--if the rider is nuts, the horse bolts!
-Nicholas Evans
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-07-2010, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
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Amen to JDI's post. My current horse was ridden in a saddle that was too narrow and with a fairly heavy rider - It has taken me over six months, a lot of professionals, and a custom made, very expensive saddle to get him to where he is comfortable working.

It's just not worth the damage it does.

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-08-2010, 12:47 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
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No, you cannot pad a too narrow saddle and make it fit. It would be like wearing thick socks with shoes that are too small. I would take this time to work on bareback riding. Sell your current saddle and save up for a new one.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-08-2010, 03:05 AM
Green Broke
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Location: Western Australia
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could you trade saddles?
That way as soon as you get rid of yours you have another one but probably ride bareback for a while untill then
RedTree is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 04-08-2010, 03:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
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Can you get the gullet changed in it rather than going straight out for a totally new saddle? Depending on which saddle you have, you can get a professional saddler out and they'll take a mould of your horses back and adjust the tree, gullet and filling to fit the horse.

Of course there are exceptions, some saddles will just never fit some horses. But if it's a matter of her just having built up muscle and the saddle fitted perfectly before, you might be in luck ;)
Kayty is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 04-08-2010, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I agree with other people. If it would be too wide you can do something about it, with too narrow nothing can be done. Try to trade it or sell it/buy another one. You can seriously hurt horse's back using it. I was in your shoes with my old saddle and I had to spend couple weeks riding around in evenings and weekends and look for the saddles. Not fun, but nothing else you can do. :)
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-09-2010, 06:30 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK
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I could give advice on a saddle that is too wide but too narrow... :s Maybe get it re-fitted? if it is cheaper than getting a new saddle though? maybe you could advertise and swap with someone who has a saddle too wide

Keep your feet on the ground when your head's in the clouds.
speedy da fish is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 04-09-2010, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Central Maine
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Sell your saddle to get some money toward a new one! And maybe ride bareback in the's good for you to do that now and then anyway!! And major kudos for paying attention to the signs. Too many people ignore those things!

A horse is the projection of peoples' views about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existance.
Amlalriiee is offline  

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