What happens if you put an average withered saddle on a medium/high withered horse? - Page 3

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What happens if you put an average withered saddle on a medium/high withered horse?

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    09-11-2011, 10:45 PM
I looked at a bunch of different saddles and the brand that seemed the least expensive, but came in many sizes for a almost sure fit was thorowgood.

I was reading the description for each saddle, and I think X would be better in a ordinary T4 GP, but I'd like opinions.
T4 GP(description from website): If your horse is neither low nor high-withered, more of medium withered shape, middleweight horse then this universal fitting saddle is the answer.

Or the T4 High wither GP: (description):
> Tailored for high-withered horses, such as Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods, with tree and panels specially shaped to give maximum wither clearance.


Now X's withers aren't high, so I suppose even if he is a Warmblood, the GP would be better than the high withered, right?

Here are snapshots of him:
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    09-12-2011, 03:39 AM
Green Broke
Hi all, in relation to a saddle and not to push my blog but this is important. A horse and a bad fitting saddle can equal a very bad wreck. My blog deals with a cheep saddle and the result. It is written from the horses point of view which is not easy to do considering my writing skills.

Have a look before buying a saddle that may be cheep or ill fitting One size does not fit all. Your safety and the health of your horse is in the saddle. A saddle that is ill fitting causes all manner of behavour problems
    09-12-2011, 03:48 AM
Green Broke
Just a little more.
Animals especially pray animals do not display pain untill it is unbearable. It is a survival instinct. Other horses in the stable will not demonstrate pain for that reason or it is not bad enough. Unless you go and check for it. If you hit a sore spot on the back it will flinch.
My horse is checked before and after a ride Our rides are 4 to 6 hours duration.
    09-12-2011, 07:30 AM
Horses may not scream with pain, but they will show discomfort from the saddle or rider - at least mine do. Ears coming back & head tossing during a sitting trot, for example, can come from either a poor fitting saddle or a rider who is like a pine board. Or both.

A saddle that bumps into the wither can cause an irritable horse. My Appy/Arab has tall & long withers, and it is tough to find a saddle that won't bump into the rear of his withers. Having clearance at the front doesn't ensure clearance at the rear. I usually ride him with a fleece wither pad if using an English or Australian saddle. Some western saddles do the same. When he arrived, he had a cut in his withers from where a roping saddle & time on a ranch in Colorado had gouged thru the skin. That scar healed...the spur hole on his right side did not.

Both of my horses have a wide angle to their shoulders, but narrow withers and a narrow build overall. Even the Arabian saddle bars tend to have problems. When I pad the wither area, they move freer and more relaxed. They don't call out with pain or head toss, but they are faster to enter the trot and show a lot more relaxation during it if I make sure the saddle doesn't hit their shoulders or withers. I've also seen the same from a neoprene cinch with a stiff edge that interfered with their armpits (not sure what the equine term is).

Neither of my horses is lazy. If they balk a bit or act unhappy, it usually means either I'm riding bad, or the saddle is. I've ridden lesson horses who act the same way in hopes the rider will give up and let them do what they want, so it doesn't always mean that, but I know MY horses and their moods. If they are having one of those 'I really don't feel like being ridden' days, I'll know before I'm in the saddle. But with them, 90% chance that 'grumpy' = saddle/rider problems.
    09-12-2011, 08:09 AM
Thanks Stan, your blog article was an interesting read. I'll stay away from brand less saddles. ;)

I looked up bad saddle fitting symptoms, and the only one X has is he sometimes throws his head up in the air and occasionally trips. I'm relieved that's just all, since some of the symptoms I read were pretty bad, but it's enough for me to know the schooling saddle I use on him doesn't fit. :( I hope there aren't any other pains he is not expressing. I'll try doing a little back examination to see if he flinches in certain areas.
    09-12-2011, 10:17 AM
A person can go overboard on saddle fitting. I like this book and often recommend it:

However, it makes it sound like a custom saddle, professionally fitted several times a year is the only hope.

A lot of weight goes on a small area, so getting a saddle that matches the horse's back is good. Obsessing on it is not.

My gelding had an ill-fitting saddle put on him and it cut a hole into his withers, but he was being ridden daily, all day, cutting and roping cattle (and at 800 lbs, he's too small for that anyways). Very few horses get worked 8-12 hours/day, every day.

My horses may be ridden about 3 hours/week each. At that rate, I'm not inclined to buy a custom saddle. You can check the sweat stains after a ride. If everything is even, odds are the saddle is close enough. My gelding is a bit odd for having such long, tall withers combined with a very short back. In fact, it is hard to find saddle pads that don't cover both shoulder and hip at the same time, and a western saddle that is right in the front will usually go too far back. Square corner ones will hit his hip. English saddles don't have that problem, but it is hard to find one that isn't too wide horizontally.

Happily, he's a good natured horse who isn't ridden hard. Compared to ranch life, he's barely used at all. I just watch for signs of irritation - emotion, not physical - then check to see if I can make it better.
    09-12-2011, 11:09 AM
BSMS is making a lot of sense. The underlying message is that you must 'feel' for your horse's comfort. The simplest way is to look for saddle sores on the back - you should be able to see them and what is more, feel them with your finger tips. So as you tack up, check the condition of the back. If there is a bruise - then seek out why.

But when mounted up, the response of your horse to the aids you give, is also an indicator that the horse is either comfortable or uncomfortable. Watch the ears as you sit down into the saddle and note how the horse takes up your weight.
Once mounted, take a few steps, do a couple of sharp turns at walk. Bring the horse to a standstill and watch for the horse to stand four square.

If the horse shows distress, then with time you will recognise it and you will look for a cause - and an ill fitting saddle can be a major source of pain.

The problem every horse rider faces is that the shape of the horse's back changes with everal influences: - work, muscling, diet, age, work load.

For the Western rider it is easy - just increase the thickness of the blanket - but for the English saddle, a change of back shape may call for the re stuffing of the saddle. Air bags (Flair) are not necessarily the answer.

Remember that English cut saddles were originally designed to be used without padded numbnahs. Washable saddle cloths were introduced back in the 1960s/1970s to help keep the under side of the saddle clean.

Whenever you tack a horse up - saddle and bridle/bit - it is your responsibility as the rider to check the tack. If the tack doesnt fit, then you don't mount.
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    09-12-2011, 12:28 PM
K I don't know if were talking about english saddles but I think. So. Collegiate now has an easy change gullet system I believe and so do wintecs if you wanna go a little cheaper.
    09-12-2011, 09:27 PM
You can check the sweat stains after a ride. If everything is even, odds are the saddle is close enough.
I'll check that after my next lesson.

But when mounted up, the response of your horse to the aids you give, is also an indicator that the horse is either comfortable or uncomfortable. Watch the ears as you sit down into the saddle and note how the horse takes up your weight.

I did that a few times in the past, including last lesson, and he didn't flinch or move. I don't think the schooling saddle fits him horribly, but I know it can be better. It's probably the best one that fits him, because it's one of the only ones that doesn't slip when I ride, and the one that has the right amount of wither clearance. The other jumping saddle seemed to not have enough, and the other too much clearance, making the saddle seem unbalanced on his back. I think there is another one I didn't try yet though.

After all those videos of saddle fitting, I've finally got the general idea and I think the only thing that might be bad with the saddle I use is that it could maybe be a bit wider to allow more shoulder movement, and I think the spine should be a bit wider, though not sure. I flipped the saddle once and it seemed pretty spacious (it wasn't really narrow like some saddles) but X's spine seems rather thick, so it might be a tad small.

Goodness I can't wait for Saturday so I can do a thorough examination and check to see what is really wrong. Hopefully it will be rather decent after all, or I'll end up discovering another saddle that fits even better...

Thanks for the information and feedback. I used to believe one saddle fit all once upon a time.
    09-12-2011, 09:30 PM
Collegiate now has an easy change gullet system I believe and so do wintecs if you wanna go a little cheaper.
Ya that's why I also like thorowgood. They have changeable gullets too. Which I think would be wise because X get's more hairy and fat in the winter, so he might be a bit wider in the colder months.

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