What happens if you put an average withered saddle on a medium/high withered horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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What happens if you put an average withered saddle on a medium/high withered horse?

How will it not fit and be uncomfortable for the horse? I'm asking because, well I am not riding Lollipop anymore. She's a good horse when she listens but when she doesn't want to listen she's a hectic, bucking pony. Needless to say I can't control her and have 0 confidence on her. So I'm back to X factor, who's a challenge but will listen when I hit him with the crop. He doesn't freak out on me which doesn't make me feel scared when I ride him.

He's a dutch warmblood, with average withers and I would say (from eye), a medium width. Whenever I don't ride him, I ride Coco, a TB. For a TB she doesn't have huge withers, but they are high and she is of course, narrow.

I want X to be the horse I really ride almost all the time, so I want to eventually get a saddle that fits him. However, if I ever ride Coco, I know I'd have to add a pad/half pad to make up for the extra room. (That's what girl at my barn does with COco because all the saddles are of medium width). She had a half pad and the saddle fit so much better and it was really comfortable to ride in (I had a small lesson on Coco right after her ride on her).

But if the saddle is for a average withered horse, and I put it on a high withered horse... what becomes the exact dilemma? AS in will the saddle tip back and put pressure on the back or something?

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post #2 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 09:51 AM
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That I know of it could cause some pinching on the withers or unpleasent rubbing. If you absolutly can't get a saddle fit for both of them, I'd try a thick pad that's the only thing we ever called them at the saddleseat place, but I think there also called theraputic pads.

When ever I would use one of their saddles on Mayder and sometimes even with my own saddle I used a thicker pad for that extra cussion so it didn't press anywhere cause irritation. Sometimes I'll put the thick pad under my normal saddlepad cause the ones we had had a tendency to slide but I learn that way kept them pretty good in place. I can't remember he main site they got them from but i'm searching to see if I could find one.
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post #3 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 09:53 AM
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I'm not an expert in saddle fitting, but I know my share from a few years fitting numerous horses at a trail riding barn. A saddle that is too wide (like a full barred one) on a narrow horse like a TB and most TWH's will not stay on right first of all, and the area right under the horn will pinch their withers and bump- it can be very painful. You really shouldn't ride like that for long periods of time, even double padding doesn't make up for a proper fit. I'm pretty sure there are other problems- but just one problem should be more than enough reason to invest in a proper fitting saddle.
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post #4 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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but just one problem should be more than enough reason to invest in a proper fitting saddle.
Sigh, ya I know. I really wish my barn had proper saddles for every horse. That's why I really want to get a good saddle for X. But I want to know how to make it fit better if ever I ride Coco. I know it won't be perfect for her, but if I could at least make it not uncomfortable/painful, I'd be happy. And I'd know it fits better then the other random saddles at my barn.

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post #5 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Also the girl rode in a fleecy, puffy sort of half pad that gave cushioning every where under the saddle. It pretty much lifted the saddle off the back/withers. Is it possible that it prevented any pinching, because Coco did seem much happier with the half pad then when I rode her with the same saddle and just a saddle pad.

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post #6 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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OGILVY EQUESTRIAN Website

I believe this is what she had, but in black.

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post #7 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 10:14 AM
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The half pad no doubt relieved some of the pain... but if it were my horse I'd either get a saddle that fits by itself, or just go without. I don't like risking saddle sores and sore backs. I've always believed half pads are for short-term fixing :) I just wouldn't recommend doing anything over an hour or two in it on a horse that doesn't fit.
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post #8 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 10:27 AM
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What happens if you ride a horse with an ill fitting English cut saddle?? - you cause the horse severe distress. Very quickly bruising appears where the saddle presses down unevenly onto the back. If you run you hand over the horse's spinal area you will feel the bruising with your finger tips.

A saddle sore horse has a perfect right to bronc you off.

If you look up the web sites of most international sellers of English cut saddle you will find a section showing how the saddle should fit. Essentially they should match the shape of the horse's back both lengthways and crossways.

If you are riding English and can't afford a proper fitting saddle then look up the Mclellan saddle - which was the one used by the US Cavalry. It is virtually a thickly padded saddle tree but it has the advantage that it will fit almost every riding horse. It is used on a Western thick blanket. The design of this saddle reflects the essential criteria of English cut saddles.

They are still made new in South Africa but in the US you should find second hand examples.

PS , The Mac is a initially a bit hard on the butt - but you'll get used to it.
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post #9 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Ya I know what you mean, but since lessons are only an hour, I guess it would be okay then. :)

NOw, any tips so if I DO buy a saddle for X, I'll know it will fit him? I will eventually verify his real gullet width, and I'm browsing ebay, tack shops, and saddle listings that are in my province, to see what's out there. I'll probably buy something used online, but I know it can be tricky.

Is knowing the gullet width and wither size enough to buy a suitable saddle that won't cause any pain and fits decently?

Edit: I'll check that Barry thanks.

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post #10 of 33 Old 09-11-2011, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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A saddle sore horse has a perfect right to bronc you off.


I'm seriously surprised none of the horses at my barn are showing any signs of saddle soreness. :/

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