Saddle fit critique

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Saddle fit critique

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    11-10-2011, 02:51 PM
Saddle fit critique

Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the saddle on the horse, but I have a saddle pad picture that is very confusing as well as my personal experience.

Saddle pad, unwashed and used 4 or 5 times. Please note it's not laying flat because the pad has built in wither relief.

When I look at the sweatmarks after a ride, it appears as if there is a large dry spot near the front of the panel. But sometimes, the dry spot is on the front and back. Sometimes it spans the whole panel except for the outside edges. The gullet seemed to fit well...But now I'm not so sure?

My main concern is that he always gets upset during saddling. No matter the saddle or the fit he always takes a few steps forward and back (I think it puts the saddle in the right place for him. Sometimes I could put it on very precisely and he would move less.), but now he's starting to get a little more upset every time I saddle him. I don't think he has a sore back, he doesn't react when I poke or prod and barely flicks an ear when I (accidentally) sit down too hard.

Anyway, what do you think? Can I fix it with shims? Should I be fine for now? Thanks everyone!
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    11-10-2011, 03:01 PM
Hi - it would be a lot easier to give you information if you post a picture of the saddle on the horse rather than a picture of a dirty saddle pad. Your saddle pad does seem to have a few odd spots on it, but the downside of trying to judge anything using a saddle pad is that saddle pads can accumulate dirt in all kinds of interesting manners - such as brushing against the tack room wall, falling on the floor or even brushing against the dusty, unused saddle next to it.

You say he gets upset during saddling - or at least he wiggles - and has always wiggled. This may just be him. However if he is getting considerably more upset, it is quite possible the saddle is causing him some kind of pain.

The uneven dry spots you report imply the saddle may not be fitting well, but once again, without pics - its hard to give you a definitive idea of WHY the saddle is not fitting well. I'd honestly suggest having a saddle fitter come out and evaluate your horse's saddle fit and give you recommendations for a better fit. I also might have his back checked by your vet or chiropractor.
    11-10-2011, 04:13 PM
Sorry. That was a dumb question. I just took a whole bunch of pictures with the saddle (no pad, ungirthed) and I'll post them when I get home. I also took some of his back. Anything I'm missing?
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    11-11-2011, 01:33 AM
No, it'll just be good to see the pics itself. What you have said, judging by his behavior and the odd marks, sounds to me like a saddle fit problem.
    11-11-2011, 03:26 AM
It might be bridging. If an English saddle is bridging, it can look great from the front and rear, but that gap in the middle is not eveident unless you raise the flap and check under it, run your hand under the saddle all the length.
Why dont' you post some pics, and be sure to check for bridging.
    11-11-2011, 10:03 PM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
It might be bridging. If an English saddle is bridging, it can look great from the front and rear, but that gap in the middle is not eveident unless you raise the flap and check under it, run your hand under the saddle all the length.
Why dont' you post some pics, and be sure to check for bridging.
Whenever I check for bridging I'm never really sure if the panel is good or not. It feels pretty tight all the way across and *maybe* looser in the front? Its hard to tell.

Anyway, gratuitous pictures of horse and tack: (the saddle is slightly off-center in a few of these...Sorry!)

Really sorry for the potential screen stretch and the possibly useless pictures.

Hopefully you may be able to better evaluate the saddle fit.
    11-14-2011, 10:41 PM
    11-14-2011, 10:49 PM
It looks like a good fit to me , from what I can see. The angle it sits on the back is good. Is it possible that he has a rib "out"? That would make girthing painful. It's just a thought. To me, the saddle looks good.

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