Saddle advice... help really needed

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Saddle advice... help really needed

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    08-14-2011, 11:19 PM
Unhappy Saddle advice... help really needed

I love my barn, but they lack good tack. They have 3 old jumping saddles, and then some western ones no one uses, a small saddle for the tiny pony, and a old dressage saddle.

There is one jumping saddle that is always used because it's the most comfortable and best fitting on all the horses. Now whenever I have a private lesson I take it, but when I ride with another student I usually end up taking another old saddle that I don't really quite like. It isn't balanced properly on Lollipop's back and my legs automatically go into a chair position and it's really hard for me to keep my leg more back. So basically, I am thinking of getting my own saddle in a year or two. Nothing super pricey, maybe a second hand one or something.

The dilemma is... I ride most often a dutch warmblood gelding (X factor) and a small arabian mare (lollipop). X factor has average/small withers, and Lollipop's are practically non existent.
Basically, how do I find out what saddle would fit both rather well. I understand it won't be perfect, but really something just better fitting than what I have now would do me fine.
I was thinking maybe the saddle could fit one horse a little better and the other could have an extra half pad or something to make up for it... but I don't know much in saddle fitting, and the people in my barn (including my trainer) don't seem to know much about it as well.

My trainer seems to think almost any saddle fits fine, when I can feel that some are quite wrong and I feel it affects my riding. So I tell her that and she then thinks that because I am a little unconfident (which I am), I'm blaming it on the saddle, and she then tells me soothingly to just have confidence in my riding ability. Well I agree with her, but the saddle isn't helping and is part of the problem. When I know something is wrong, it bugs me and I can't get over it.

I would most probably look at saddles in a store and study them there so I know what to look for if I find something online, but I would like it if someone could give me advice or some sort of help. Any help or knowledge would be appreciated.

Thanks a lot.
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    08-15-2011, 09:42 AM
I was looking through my old greenhawk magazine and saw thorowgood saddles. Anybody know if they are any good? They have interchangeable gullets which could be an answer to my problems...
    08-15-2011, 10:39 AM
I have recently bought a Thorowgood saddle and I love it, very light and comfortable, but mine doesn't have the changeable gullet.

As to buying a saddle to fit two horses, there is more to it than just gullet width. I really really don't understand people buying a saddle if they are riding school horses, a saddle should be bought for a particular horse not as a generic!
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    08-15-2011, 10:43 AM
Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
As to buying a saddle to fit two horses, there is more to it than just gullet width. I really really don't understand people buying a saddle if they are riding school horses, a saddle should be bought for a particular horse not as a generic!
Exactly right.

Unless you own any of these horses OP, it's not up to you to buy saddles for them.

Both of my riding horses have their own saddles. I could probably interchange them, but I'd rather they properly fit the horse for which they're intended, than fit 'good enough' on the other.
    08-15-2011, 11:00 AM
Unless you own any of these horses OP, it's not up to you to buy saddles for them.

(sigh) I know... but I really want a saddle that fits, or at least fits much better than the ones at the barn. My trainer wanted to buy an extra saddle or two, but the BO doesn't want to dish out the money. :/

I know I shouldn't be the one taking this responsibility, but anything you recommend I do, do? When I get stuck with the other saddle, I'm really not comfortable on it, and I hate how my leg goes into a chair position.
    08-15-2011, 12:05 PM
I do feel for you, but unfortunately when you ride schoolies you have to take what you get.

The problem is that the two horses you ride the majority of the time are built so differently, that you'll find it impossible to buy a saddle that fits them both well. If it fits one, it's not going to fit the other.

My Stubben would be okay on Casper, but it fits JJ like a glove. The reverse is true for my Wintec; it fits Casper very well, but on JJ it's just 'meh'.
    08-15-2011, 12:10 PM
If you don't own a horse it's tough to justify buying a saddle.

If you are going to buy a saddle, it's expensive to buy one for each and every horse you own but that is the ideal way of doing it. Most can't afford multiple saddles so do what everyone else does. Try a bunch of saddles until you find one you are comfortable in (just plant you bottom in each one on a saddle rack). Once you find one you like, go try it out on your horse. So long as it is close it can be padded out to work for your horses.

I bought a saddle 20yrs ago when I got into horses. Still using that same saddle today and it's been on many horses from barrel chested, slab sided, mutton withered to withers as high as the alps. All that's been changed is the pads I use.
    08-15-2011, 12:57 PM
Darrin is that a Western saddle?

In my experience it is far easier to pad a Western Saddle out to fit a range of horses than it is an English. English saddles should not really be padded, they should fit with just a cloth under them.

Maybe a treeless would be an option here, but I have no experience there.
    08-15-2011, 08:08 PM
Treeless? I never understood what those were, as in how they are different from an ordinary saddle. Anyone know anything about treeless saddles?
    08-15-2011, 08:48 PM
If I did get a saddle, I wouldn't get one sooner than in a year, so I have time to think about it. I love riding X factor because he has great showing potential, but I've been riding Lollipop more now since she really needs to be ridden, and I sort of feel like concentrating myself on her. I really like her and I feel bad for her because she needs a lot of exercise (hyper arabian) but doesn't get ridden all that much.
She isn't the most used school horse because she can be a handful and needs a lot of training before she becomes "the willingly giving school horse".

My trainer thinks I have a way with her, and I guess It's just because I understand her. She's very sensitive and I've noticed she responds much better to a calm, clear, soft rider when she trows a random fit, than when you correct her with a whip like most horses.

I am going to be her only regular rider now, and I was thinking of making her my little project school horse. The one I'd use to grow a bond with and sort of learn with. My trainer says she's never had "her" special rider, Coco and a lot of the other horses have, but never her. I feel if I give her the attention and time she needs and deserves, she will become my special horse...

So if things go according to plan and next summer I lease her or something, would it be crazy to get a saddle that fits her? Something that fits well but is like 250-350$ used or new. She's very sensitive and I also feel that the weird saddle I use might be an aspect that makes her react funny sometimes. Things might change of course, but if they don't, would it still not make any sense to get a saddle? If ever I really don't need it anymore I'd just sell it.

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