Saddle Fitting Struggles - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 12-30-2010, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Saddle Fitting Struggles

Hey guys


I recently, like last year, purchased a new saddle. Recently I have been having trouble getting it to fit my horse properly. The saddle has a tendancy to sit kinda heavy on her withers. There is plenty of space between the bottom of the pommel and the top of her withers. It just seems like the saddle is putting a lot of pressure on her shoulder blades. I was wondering if there was any way to pad this and alleviatethe pressure. At this time I can't afford to buy a new saddle and haven't been able to set up an appointment with a local saddle fitter. Any tips would be helpful until I can get the appointment set up.



Thanks again

PM
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-31-2010, 12:05 AM
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this is a western saddle? Can you run your hand down the front edge of the skirt (from the space under the pommel all the way down and out the bottom edge of the skirt. Is pressure even all the way down? Have someone else sit in it and look at the front edge when it is weighted with a rider.

If the saddle is putting pressure on the wither sides because it is too narrow or the angle is steeper flatter than your horses sholder angle , then I doubt there is anything you can do about it. If the saddle has no room for the shoulder to slide back under the fron edge of the skirt (it has not enough flair to the skirt), then you can shim up the area from behind the shoulder to the back edge of the tree, raises the whole saddel up a tiny bit giving a little more clearance to the shoulders.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-31-2010, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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It is an English Saddle. I don't think the angle is too small considering it is a wide. I don't know about to flat though. We have been adding padding to the back to rise it but I feel that the saddle just slides down and the raising did nothing.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-31-2010, 12:48 AM
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Aha, if you are adding padding to the back, then it can push it forward onto the fork of the tree , putting too much pressure on the withers. Are you adding padding to the back because the saddle is too high in front? Or is that the horse has a sway back and due to the shape of its' back you need to raise the back to put the saddle in the correct balance. ?
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-31-2010, 10:57 AM
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The saddle shouldn't be anywhere near the horse's shoulders. If it is, you're placing it too far forward. The tree points should be 2-3" behind the back edge of the horse's shoulder blades. You can find the tree points by looking under the flap toward the top of the saddle, in front of the billets. You should see a little leather "pocket" with a hard lump under it. Those are the tree points.

Picture of the saddle would help. Put it on without any pad, lightly girthed up. Tie the horse on level ground, or have someone hold her. Make sure her head is in a neutral position (not on the ground or up in the air). Take a side shot showing the whole horse. Move toward the front of the horse and take a 3/4 front angle showing the whole shoulder, so we can see how the saddle lays against the horse. Take one more picture from the rear, stand on a stool if you need to. We need to see how the saddle sits against the horse's back.

With these pictures, we can give you an idea of what's wrong with the fit, if anything. An in-person saddle fitting is best though, if you have access to a saddle fitter in your area.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-31-2010, 11:07 AM
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Great post Luvs2Ride.

Just to add, depending on how the saddle rests on your horses back, adding shims to the front could change the whole position of the saddle, causing more issues in the long run.

Just as Luvs2Ride said - hiring a Professional is the best option, but I know Luvs2Ride will beable to get you going in the right direction.

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-02-2011, 06:29 PM
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Pictures would be great so that we can help you the best. You may be dealing with other issues other than width...

Here is a thread from another forum when I was looking for a dressage saddle to fit my mare. It has some great information in it, but more so, look into taking similar picture angles like I did in the original post for us to help you the best.

Good luck! Saddle fitting can be a huge pain, but your horse will DEFINITELY appreciate it! :)

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-02-2011, 11:23 PM
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The OP didn't say the saddle was heavy on the shoulders, but on the "withers".
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-02-2011, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintingMissy View Post
Hey guys


I recently, like last year, purchased a new saddle. Recently I have been having trouble getting it to fit my horse properly. The saddle has a tendancy to sit kinda heavy on her withers. There is plenty of space between the bottom of the pommel and the top of her withers. It just seems like the saddle is putting a lot of pressure on her shoulder blades. I was wondering if there was any way to pad this and alleviatethe pressure. At this time I can't afford to buy a new saddle and haven't been able to set up an appointment with a local saddle fitter. Any tips would be helpful until I can get the appointment set up.



Thanks again

PM
See above
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-03-2011, 12:20 AM
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I stand corrected.
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