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Poneigh 10-06-2012 04:59 PM

uneven saddle fit?
I have been exploring saddles for my horse, hers is no longer working for either of us and i have found a few that seem okay but they all fit uneven. I feel like sometimes they lay smooth on both sides and sometimes on one side (same side everytime) the rear panel doesnt even touch her back!
any advice on what i could use to even it out? can a saddle fitter modify it? i have had her for a few years and never had this issue until recently so im not sure whats going on.

tinyliny 10-06-2012 05:22 PM

it might be that your horse is unevenly developed, and so a saddle fitter CAN adapt an english saddle to fit that. Not sure about a western saddle

Poneigh 10-06-2012 05:37 PM

sorry i forgot to say, it is english.
and thanks! do you know how i can get her even? or is it normal to be that uneven? she is an ottb so better to the left but i try to work her pretty evenly, its her left side that the panel doesnt always lay flat on...

Saddlebag 10-06-2012 05:46 PM

Ponei, get up above her and long along her back and look for symmetry. If her right shoulder appears smaller than the left then that could account for the saddle going to one side. If it's popping up at the back you need to try different tree sizes, two wide in the front and it can pop the back up.

unclearthur 10-07-2012 07:02 AM


Originally Posted by Saddlebag (Post 1709189)
If it's popping up at the back you need to try different tree sizes, two wide in the front and it can pop the back up.

Cantle lift can just as easily be caused by a correct width tree but incorrect panel shape.

The latter can usually be sorted by a decent fitter provided the panel is flocked, not felt or foam. One-sidedness is natural (just the same as we are) but it's the degree of difference which causes the problem. TB crosses are often hollow behind the shoulder, and fitted with too narrow saddles, which can reduce the muscle's ability to build up with work as well as causing other issues.

Hope you manage to sort it out.

PS: 'Better to the left' has nothing to do with a horse's breeding. It's often a saddle issue eg. in canter it can mean the right tree-point is tight so the horse is reluctant to stretch that foreleg forward (when the shoulderblade will rotate to hit the point). We once had a horse with a ligament issue at the poll causing similar problems, so unfortunately there may be no easy answer. You just have to try eliminating possible causes one at a time :(

Poneigh 10-07-2012 10:30 AM

thanks for all your adivce!! One of my saddles is the right tree size the other is too wide but its still uneven w/ a half pad.
Oh and i didnt mean breed had to do with her being better to the left just that many horses off the track are better to the left because thats the way they are run.

blue eyed pony 10-07-2012 11:52 AM


Originally Posted by unclearthur (Post 1709724)
Cantle lift can just as easily be caused by a correct width tree but incorrect panel shape.

And too narrow of a tree can also cause it! My saddles lift at the back to sit balanced, if they're too narrow, and I know to change the gullet plate that way. They lift at the back and, crucially, drop at the front if they're too wide.

In my case, I know both my saddles fit my horse perfectly panel shape wise, and I can quite easily change the tree with myself with the Wintec easy-change system.

Also - if your horse is not standing properly square with front AND hind legs, the back muscles will not be even, and it may appear that the saddle is not touching one side (usually the dropped side).

Poneigh 10-09-2012 01:37 PM

yeah i get her squared up pretty good, it is still uneven then and its quite clear when i lunge her and you can see the rear panel floating around above her sure it is even worse when my backside enters the equation!!!

blue eyed pony 10-10-2012 08:42 AM

Well then... a flocked saddle is your best bet, and a fitter should be able to fit it to her so that it sits balanced and stays in contact with her back. It will need to be re-fitted once her muscling changes, but meanwhile it needs to fit properly to allow her to build up the correct muscles.

Most horses are unevenly muscled to some degree, some more obviously than others. It is up to the rider to even up that muscling.

krisfulc 10-10-2012 08:52 AM

If it was my horse, I would start with a chiropractor and go from there especially if this is new. IF she is unaligned somewhere it would cause her to compensate in other areas and she would become unevened muscle-wise.

I would not try to adjust the saddle to her with the way she is before ruling out if it's something that can be fixed and worked on.

If she is out chiropractically, (and this is just what I would do) I would get her adjusted, give her the recommended few days off afterwards and then start working her on the lunge. Really making her work those back muscles. Get her to stretch as much as you can. Also what is really good to build up a topline is lots of backing. If you are comfortable bareback, jump on her bareback. Do lots of transitions, up and down. Walk and trot over trot poles. And lots of stretchy trots!

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