Really disappointed, not sure what to do.

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Really disappointed, not sure what to do.

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    03-30-2011, 08:18 PM
Green Broke
Really disappointed, not sure what to do.

So I had the saddle fitter out today and it was pretty depressing. :(
My mom had a quarter horse bar circle y and a semi qh bar tex tan I knew weren't going to fit either horse, they are both arabs. But my mom insisted we try, so no big surprise there. The fitter brought a big horn and a circle y round skirt flex 2 along with her. The big horn fit my mom's horse ok, but was too small for her. The big horn didn't fit Brandon at all. The Circle Y flex 2 fit him perfectly but was too small for me and was $1,100 used. Out of my price range.
The disappointing part was that Brandon pretty much freaked out with a saddle on his back. He was snorting and dancing, holding his head up really high and just acting uncharacteristically nervous. The fitter recommended I get a trainer on him before I even attempt to get on him. She thinks he had an ill fitting saddle and he was afraid of getting hurt. He is an adoption and the former owners didn't want any contact with whoever adopted him (and Tyler, my mom's horse, they were pasture mates). The only thing the adoption agency told me about the former owners is that the husband owned Tyler and the wife Brandon, and that they were both 300+lbs. They said they were both great trail horses. That's pretty much it. I have to add, my mom was out there with me the whole time and a nervous wreck (she always is, she's afraid of both horses, it's very frustrating) and I think she was making the saddle fitter nervous too. Brandon too. Ugh. Before they came out, I was alone in the barn with him and put a saddle pad on him, just to see what he would do. He didn't care at all.
The saddle fitter also said where I planned to put a round pen wasn't level enough and that we need to get someone out to level the ground with a bobcat, etc. I don't remember the round pen I used to work my old horse in at the boarding stable being perfectly level.

I couldn't even lunge Brandon today because the ground was too wet and he was slipping.

So basically I have a horse I can't work anywhere without spending a massive amount of money on level ground, a trainer and an expensive saddle? Great. :( That's in addition to buying a round pen and some sand to fill it with.

Maybe she was just being too anal? I don't know. Of course I want a well fitting saddle, and I'd even be willing to spend the 1k on it, if I absolutely have to, but that on top of a trainer and everything else is just not in the cards for me right now.

I guess I thought I was just going to get on him and walk around, trying out saddles.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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    03-30-2011, 08:27 PM
$1000 on a saddle isn't much when you factor in the saved vet/chiro/masseuse bills. A level round pen is a very good idea - circles wear a horse's joints as is, you don't want uneven ground to factor into it. Won't your current saddles fetch a good resale price?
It sucks, but horseback riding isn't a cheap hobby :P you want to do the best by your horses.
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    03-30-2011, 08:29 PM
Green Broke
Yes, I think the Circle Y and the Tex Tan will get pretty decent cash, but they are my mom's so she is using them to pay for her saddle.

Good point on the round pen.

I guess I will just have to be happy with two pasture ornaments until I can get some money. I don't think my dad will let me dig up his yard for a round pen.
    03-31-2011, 12:13 PM
Green Broke
Do you know the size of the saddle that fit? You can always hunt around online and maybe find the same saddle a little cheaper. Also, horses can have bad days just like people, so if he was acting unlike himself, it could have been the effect of the people around him setting him off. I'm not saying that he doesn't have riding issues or saddle issues, but if he was already nervous, then having several different saddles put on him and fiddled with could have easily made him stressed. Even my old Buck, who has no problems at all under saddle, would get a bit nutso if he had to stand through that. He is a "hurry up and get on and go" kind of horse, and would get very stressed out if he had to stand through an extensive fitting session. I'm not telling you to discount her opinion entirely, but I wouldn't get so disheartened after one day. He's also had a LOT of time off, so that could have easily contributed to his behavior.

If it were me, I'd bring out a trainer for a consult. Find the calmest, most easy-going one you can find, and explain ahead of time that you have a new horse from a rescue that you would like an assessment of, but at this time you cannot afford more than the initial assessment just to see where he stands. Then you will have a better idea of what he'll need, training-wise. I would feel better having someone like that tell me, than a saddle fitter who may or may not have much if any knowledge about training. And if at all possible, keep your mother out of it. If she makes Brandon nervous, tell her the trainer does not want any outside influence there except trainer and owner, as more people make a more stressful situation, and stick to your guns. He is your horse, and you are an adult after all. She may not like it, but I'd have to stand up to her on this. She sounds like she stresses everybody out, and that is not a good vibe to work around.

I'm sure it will all work out though. It may just take some time.
    03-31-2011, 12:33 PM
Green Broke
Thanks Apachie. :)
Honestly I think my mom had ME so nervous last night, I was exhausted and miserable when I got home. Plus Aunt Flo.
I definitely think he has a saddle issue, but we can work through it. This is the saddle that fit him, in a wide tree: Sheridan Trail Saddle: Circle Y

I will go hunting, maybe I can find it used.

Definitely a good idea about the trainer consult, too.
For now I am going to try walking him around like a dog.
Maybe put a saddle on him and walk around with it, lunge him, etc.
Or a bareback pad.

I am just disappointed, I figured a 16 year old horse was going to be a good way to ease back into riding. I will just have to put some work into it. :)
This was his adoption ad:
"Brandy is a strapping fellow at around 15.3 and 16 years old. He is a Polish Arab and thus is bigger barreled and can easily handle a larger rider. He is Western Pleasure trail broke but hasn't been used for the past 3-4 years due to owner injury. He is raring to hit the trails with a special someone! He is sweet, adorable, dependable and honest. He will make someone a great mount. Sound and healthy ready to go. Month of January only his adoption fee will be half off at only $250. Must have approved application and be placed by 1/31/2011 to qualify. A big sweetheart waiting for his soul mate....could it be you??"

Thanks again for responding. :)
    03-31-2011, 01:02 PM
Well, I would immediately say 'it must be a saddle fit problem' or that he was hurt before. The horse hasn't been consistently ridden in 4 years. Of course he is going to be freaked out by it. He thought he was way too cool to be ridden. *laugh*

Contact a local trainer and see what they think. What I think is your saddle fitter has 'red car' syndrome. A saddle fitter sees saddle problems. A chiro will see back problems. A vet will see medical problems. A trainer will see behavior problems.

I wouldn't get on him first. I would get him better with the saddle, lunge with the saddle, bending and flexing with the saddle and then get someone else with good insurance to get on him. If he was well trained before, some of it will still be there. If not, he may need restarted. That is best tackled by a trainer.

As far as the saddle goes, keep looking. If all she had to show you was two saddles that were too expensive, you need to keep looking. Froggy was a very hard fit and I ended up having to go with Sandy's Aussie to find something that fit both of us and was in my relatively low budget.

Oh, and just an idea. If he came from a reputable rescue, I would contact them and say that you are concerned about his level of training and do they have a trainer on site or someone that they would recommend?

Hang in there girl. The right saddle is out just have to stay patient.
    03-31-2011, 01:11 PM
Green Broke
Thanks Cori! I will consider an Aussie. :)
I will have to find a good trainer as well.
    03-31-2011, 05:25 PM
Green Broke
I posted this ad on Craigslist: Horse Trainer Wanted
    03-31-2011, 09:51 PM
It got flagged..
    03-31-2011, 10:33 PM
Green Broke
It did? Still comes up fine for me.
ETA. Well, it did, and then I refreshed it and it was gone. I wonder why? There was nothing wrong with it.

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