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Saddle making tender spots

This is a discussion on Saddle making tender spots within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • How to counterline a saddle
  • Counterlineing saddle how to

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    04-26-2013, 04:27 PM
  #11
Weanling
Okay the red area is where it seems to make contact. The polkadot area is where it makes him sore and seems to make the most contact. So is it bridging? Do you think it can be adjusted (assuming nothing is broken) or is it just not the right saddle for him?



He does get a tiny sweat line joining the top and bottom red areas on either side of his spine if we have been riding a lot. But it's usually just a thin damp line rather than a "sweat" area. I marked it in blue in this photo. Clear as mud??

     
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    04-26-2013, 05:27 PM
  #12
Showing
It appears the saddle is bridging. As the horse ages or degree of fitness his body changes shape. Too much emphasis is placed on a perfect fit. The fit is often checked when the horse is standing still, something that doesn't happen real often when being ridden. The back is in a state of constant movement so the best we can hope for is a fairly close fit that works at all the gaits, all seasons and for three or four years or more. Do you wear the same size you did 5 years ago? Hasn't your shape changed a bit too?
     
    04-26-2013, 07:48 PM
  #13
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
It appears the saddle is bridging. As the horse ages or degree of fitness his body changes shape. Too much emphasis is placed on a perfect fit. The fit is often checked when the horse is standing still, something that doesn't happen real often when being ridden. The back is in a state of constant movement so the best we can hope for is a fairly close fit that works at all the gaits, all seasons and for three or four years or more. Do you wear the same size you did 5 years ago? Hasn't your shape changed a bit too?

Totally agree. But what do I do about it? Should I ship the saddle to the maker and have it adjusted? Do I try to find a saddle that works better? You say "too much emphasis is placed on the perfect fit" but I'm just looking for a good fit so I'm not causing my horse pain. The bridging explains why he's become cinchy and some of his stumbling issues I think.

The company that built the saddle is in Malibu, CA. I can ship it to them and they will refit it for $200 (plus shipping out and back). They have you send pictures and tracings. Would this be my best option at this point?
     
    04-26-2013, 08:35 PM
  #14
Green Broke
May we see some pictures with the saddle on your horse? IMHO, the best thing that can happen now is continued use of the saddle with some sort of corrective pad; the worst thing that can happen is you have to purchase another saddle (which would be too bad because that one looks in good shape). Do you use this saddle on other horses now? If so, does it fit them well? If you do and it does fit them, having it refitted might alter the fit for them - yet another factor to consider....
     
    04-26-2013, 09:56 PM
  #15
Weanling
I do not use it on any other horses. I think I'm going to send it to the maker and have him adjust it for me. He will also "awl" the pads to fluff them up and move some of the stuffing around for more support in the middle. It's going to cost me a bit but I think it's my best option at this point.

A corrective pad is also another great option. Do you have any suggestions for pads?
     
    04-27-2013, 06:43 AM
  #16
Foal
Yes I agree that it may be bridging, the panels underneath look in good condition though. What saddle pad are you using at the moment?
Good if he can move the stuffing around a little as it may have moved away from the middle and got all stuck in the two ends causing the problem, also maybe ask the maker if he thinks it needs it put a counterline on that way it will even out the panels and add some extra padding which will feel more 'springy' instead on hard/firm if that's the case at the moment, lots of stock saddles I've repaired had this same issue and counterlining it fixed the problem straight away :)
     
    04-27-2013, 07:16 AM
  #17
Showing
An older horse had developed this problem. I had some thick egg-crate mattress foam. I cut it into V shaped shims. It took two layers of 4" foam on top of the pad. It was a two person job to hold them in place and get the saddle on but it worked. The foam compressed but the 8" thickness gave us just the right amount of shim.
     
    04-27-2013, 10:20 AM
  #18
Weanling
I'm just using a 1" thick felt pad. I used to ride with just a blanked under it but when it started making him sore I got the pad.

I'm hoping that awlking the pads can fix the problem and that the stuffing hasn't compressed so hard it has to be replaced. It's been kept clean and dry and I haven't put tons of miles on it lately so maybe it will be okay...

Could you explain counterlining to me please Renee?

Good idea about using shims for now saddlebag.
     
    04-27-2013, 05:23 PM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoldComic    
I'm just using a 1" thick felt pad. I used to ride with just a blanked under it but when it started making him sore I got the pad.

I'm hoping that awlking the pads can fix the problem and that the stuffing hasn't compressed so hard it has to be replaced. It's been kept clean and dry and I haven't put tons of miles on it lately so maybe it will be okay...

Could you explain counterlining to me please Renee?

Good idea about using shims for now saddlebag.
You should be right with the thick felt pad and the padding can easily be 'awled' if the stuffing hasn't hardened too much or formed clumps.

If you had come to me with this saddle I wouldn't recommend a re-flock at this point since you say the pads haven't gone rock hard, they are still in good condition without rips or tears and it's good to start counterlining with the pads the way they are now because they've 'settled' and are the shape of your horses back so they just act like a good set of bars.
If I was to counterline your saddle first i'd 'awl' the original pads as much as I could to spread out the stuffing evening it out into areas that need more. (if it wasn't that bad I wouldn't touch it with an awl because I want the pads to be the shape of your horse.
Then i'd take a piece of serge (the yellow material on your pads) but I use blue and it's thicker than your yellow material, I then hand sew the serge ontop of the original pads using a 'secret stitch' so at the end you won't see the stitching. IN each piece of serge on either side i'd leave a gap so I can stuff it with flocking (teezed mane and tail hair) i'd put in a 1/2'' layer of flocking and stitch it all up so it's even and has no lumps. FINISHED ... now you'd have more springy pads that reflect the shape of your horses back and fit great, problem solved :)
     
    04-28-2013, 12:14 AM
  #20
Weanling
Renee thanks for explaining that to me. Hopefully I'll hear back from Collin and will be able to ship my saddle out to him soon. Between my ill fitting saddle and a crack in a front hoof I'm unable to ride right now and it's driving me crazy. Our weather is perfect for riding right now. High 70s low 80s for temps, no bugs yet, perfect.
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