New saddle thoughts
So, I have this lovely old brown leather Passier dressage saddle (I believe a Grand Gilbert) that fits Brock very well when he's fit, but currently he's rather padded (actually very fat) from having far too good a time on his spell and it doesn't fit. Now my first thought was to get a second saddle, a synthetic GP that has an adjustable gullet.
However, I did have a thought the other day - what about getting an exercise (trackwork) saddle? They're one-size-fits-all and I'm more comfortable dealing with Brock's antics in short stirrups where my knee/hip joints can absorb the 'acrobatics' and emergency dismounts are easier. Also, exercise saddles are super cheap and my partner will need one anyway for his work. However, Brock is VERY lazy and leg aids aren't all that easy in short stirrups - and not being an OTTB he doesn't get the whole weight forward/weight back stuff (I did try).
So tossing up at the moment - any ideas? :)
I would be leery about one size fits all.. all horses are such different shapes so I'm having trouble seeing how that would work..
But yes if the saddle doesn't fit, find one that does or rough it bareback. Good luck in your quest!
The only "one size fits all" I've seen is a bareback pad. :D
Seriously though if you want to go with somewhat on cheaper side you can look into synthetic (Wintec or Tekna), but interchangeable gullets won't solve the fit problem completely (just give some flexibility).
Thanks for the replies :) I will obviously be getting a pro saddle fitter out to do the fitting - the size difference isn't huge really, but there is a fair bit more meat on the ribs and back. I'll put in some photos to illustrate the difference :)
Normal weight (but not much topline in this shot):
Hope these don't turn out too big, still trying to get a grip of the photo resizing :)
Yes, the one size fits all means "all racehorses", obviously, so I'd get a few GP and exercise saddles out for fitting (we have a good mobile fitting service in Sydney).
My other option is bareback until he's dropped the weight but he has a fair sharkfin even when fat and given his proclivity to bucking I'm keen to be a bit more secure (soft head, hard ground and all that! :D ) - does anyone know if it's possible to rent a saddle? What have other people done in similar situations?
I had to re-flock my dressage saddle last year after both my mares gained all those muscles. Thankfully it did seem to be enough. I was thinking about other "spare" saddle as well, but didn't take that route as of yet. As for borrowing you can always ask around, but I doubt too many people will borrow (unless you have a good friend, who doesn't mind).
Thanks! Oh if only I could turn all that fat into muscle! :) I guess reflocking is a good option, although I'm not sure how much of an adjustment would be needed with my saddle.
Partially I miss riding in super short stirrups. Old habits die hard...
Oh, and your mares are gorgeous - I especially love Jemma! Such a pretty thing :)
Thank you, EvilHorseOfDoom! :)
If you'd be in my area (MD or VA) I'd recommend you my saddle fitter - she's great and hard to beat in prices. She'd definitely suggest something or do the re-flocking (she did for me right at my place). You can also -somewhat- adjust the fit with the pads (not saying it's a good way to go, but may work as a temp solution). Bareback is a good option too (bareback pad is definitely MUCH cheaper than even used saddle). But in any case good luck!
I'm going to be barebacking over the next few weeks with a pad - he's got the sharkfin (ouch!) - and he's been ridden bareback before and shouldn't be a problem. Then I'll get the saddle fitter down and see if I can continue using the Passier as I do love it as a saddle.
I have a soft spot for chestnut mares (unless they're by Catbird...) and have known many that break the old worn stereotype. Jemma looks like a friendly girl :)
The other option is to look into a treeless saddle on eBay. Can pick them up for a a couple of hundred.
Make sure there's a good protective pad though.
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