Saddle fit conundrum
I have a great saddle that has served me well for plenty of miles. Recently I bought a gelding that is going to be hard to fit. The problem is that he has narrow withers but a broad back.
I use a 1" felt pad (just for background info.). The saddle is too wide at his withers causing it to be too low and also causes a dry pocket - not pinching but has the same look when I take the saddle off. It fits him perfectly on his back.
I am currently using a build up pad that puts the saddle in the correct place and does a better job concerning the dry pocket at his withers.
The question is whether I should sell the saddle and buy one with a more narrow tree that will fit his withers but not his back or keep the one I have and use the buildup pad.
My saddler wants me to use my current saddle (but he is the one who sold it to me so I wonder at his intent) saying that a tigher tree will cause other problems.
What to do?
I would say that from a common sence stand point you would be better off using a build up type system. If the saddle was more narrow it would cause a whole new set of problems. Like how do you compensate for a saddle that is too narrow on the back... that can't be fixed with padding.
I know I'd rather be in a pair of jeans that is too big and use a belt than a pair that is too small! That's my 2 cents anyways...hope it made sence. I don't think this is the type of thing that is 6 one way and half-a-dozen the other.
Why not follow your saddle fitter's advice?
Before you jump to selling your current saddle, I would try what you think might work with a different size tree and see how it goes. If you need another saddle then sell your current one but I woudln't sell it assuming that your solution is going to work.
I am leaning towards keeping the saddle but I'll try a few before I make up my mind. I guess I needed a little validation for my decision. Thanks!
Maybe I'm not understanding completely. The way I got it was that you have your trusty saddle that has mucho miles on it under you. You have a new fella that the saddle is not fitting. You saddler, who sold you the saddle a while ago says keep on using it.
By what you recently wrote about exchanging the saddle it would make me suspicious of the saddler too. Is it he doesn't want to fart with exchanging it or what are his motives for you keeping it. I see how it makes your wheels turn. I wonder if your saddler just doesn't have anything that will do the job and is trying to keep you from shopping around.
Maybe it would be worth while to contact some buddies and try to borrow a couple different ones. The new mount may just be one of those tuffies that will be super hard to find a correct fit for. I understand your need for validation.
I know for a fact that he does not have a 17" saddle with a narrower tree for me to trade against and that is the reason I question his advise. Which brings me to the forum - the pros and cons.
I had a really rough time fitting one of my last projects. He was a registered QH and just wouldn't fit any of the saddles I had. I had a saddle fitter come in and fit him in a med/wide tree but it wasnt the perfect fit. The fitter told me that it was the best that could be done. I didn't feel quite right about the whole situation. I took out a few wide treed saddles all of different makes on my own. The second wide tree I tried fit him like a glove.
I think what happened was that after coming out once and spending a couple hours saddle fitting she got sick of trying to find the correct saddle for me and my horse and pretty much gave me "her best fitting saddle".
Moral of the story?
Go out and borrow, or take out a few saddles then decide and don't allow anyone to screw around with your and your horse.
This website has EXCELLENT resources on saddle fitting and how to make some cutouts to get a really good idea of the size for your horse.
If it's not fitting your horse well, there's no sense in pressing your luck and possibly getting him saddle sore even with the extra padding.
Thanks Solon, I use the form method when looking for a new saddle. The problem with this horse is that he is one saddle size in the withers and another over his back.
He came with white hairs over his withers indicating that he was ridden in an ill fitting saddle for some time before me. He just may be one of those horses that does not fit into a regular pigeon hole for saddle type.
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