English saddle fit HELP (with photos!)
I somewhat-recently acquired this saddle (a certain someone on this forum may recognize it!). But, here's the problem. While it certainly fits her better than my old saddle, does it REALLY fit okay?? I'm unfortunately a long ways from anyone who could help me in person and so online help is my only option. I'm new to my area and seriously, seriously doubt that there are any "saddle fitters" within a 300km radius.
I hope the photos are okay...
I'm worried that it's too narrow in the gullet. Also, there is a SLIGHT amount of bridging (less than a centimeter for sure) but I've read that this isn't necessarily a bad thing due to the flexibility of english trees as well as the rising of the horses' back during riding. It does side to side slip on her back a little bit at the canter when doing circles, but every saddle I've ever had on her does this. I don't know if I'm putting way more weight in one stirrup or what... should try without stirrups and see. I've also had other people lease her who commented on how much their saddle rolled around.
I want to take a saddle fitting course or at least have a pro look at her someday but until then, hopefully you guys can all help me!
The last photo of just her is after riding so you can see where the saddle settled. I also attached a pic of MY butt in the saddle... do you think it fits me?? It feels big... and also I feel like my crotch bumps into the pommel more than it should while posting hahaha. Keep in mind that I've never had a riding lesson though so who knows what the heck I'm doing up there (lessons is another thing that is on the to-do list...)
EDITED TO ADD: arghhhh so out of order!! photo #3 is after riding.
Crap... I suck at this. Pic #3 is NOT after riding, the one with girth, stirrups and pad is ;)
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it looks too narrow, to me. it slides back, trying to find a better place to fit. your horse has some mutton withers. really cute, though, and your seat isn't half bad!
Ugh yeah I figured. I was SO hoping to take an intro to dressage clinic in a couple weeks but I won't if the saddle fits her poorly. On the bright side, my gelding is narrower so hopefully it'll fit him.
Thanks for the compliment on Rivers cuteness and my seat :) and "mutton withered", is that referring to the width of her withers or what?
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Mutton withered means her withers are low, rounded, and wide, not well defined, like, say a lot of TB's. My mare is built like that. It's typical for a QH. I had good luck with an M. Toulouse with the Genesis tree, but if I didn't have the Genesis (which is $500 more), I'd be in a wide tree I think. I'm a couple of settings back from the widest, but certainly not set at medium. People always comment on how wide the saddle looks, so an M. Toulouse might be a good fit for you. I also use a five point eventing breast collar to keep it from slipping around on rough terrain because unfortunately, mutton withered horses just don't hold a saddle as well.
Your current saddle looks too narrow, but not dramatically so IMO. If your horse is not acting uncomfortable, you might get away with it for light riding until you find another. I don't like seeing it slip back though. I'm also by no means an English saddle expert, which is part of the reason I went for an adjustable tree.
It looks to me like the saddle is sitting way too far back. The back of your saddle should not go past the horses last rib where it connects to the spine.
I highly recommend watching the Schleese saddle fit videos so you at least have a good idea of how to eyeball saddle fit. SCHLEESE: Custom English Dressage and Jumping Saddles There are some good videos on there.
You are in Sask right now correct? I know there are a few Schleese fitters in the Sask area. You might want to keep an eye out for a saddle fit clinic. Even if you can't take your mare you could watch and ask questions and learn more about fit.
Have you tried this?
Judging from the pictures something looks a little off, but I'm not an expert and it's been ages since I've ridden.
Here are some tips that a writer named Shawn shared on another site. I hope this helps!:-)
"The best way to determine if your saddle fits your horse is to place the saddle on his back with nothing between your animal and the saddle except an old, flat sheet. Any type of padding distorts the fit, filling in hollows and covering up areas that may rub or be too tight.
To ensure the saddle is in the right spot on your horseís back, take one finger and place it on the button on the side of the pommel. Take your other finger and place it just under the cantle at the top of the back panel. When your two fingers make a straight line, the saddle is in the correct spot.
Move behind your horse. In a correctly fitting saddle, you should be able to see all the way through the gullet from your horseís rump to his withers. If you arenít seeing that, the saddle is too wide for your horse and is probably sitting on his spine.
Check the pommel. You should be able to place three to four of your fingers sideways into the gullet space between your horse and the underside of the pommel. A too-wide saddle sits further down on the withers and wonít allow this check.
Move to your horseís sides and slide a hand between the saddle flap and the animalís shoulder. In a well-fitting saddle, your entire hand should slide easily without pinching. Check both sides of your horse to make sure the flaps fit evenly. A too-narrow saddle that squeezes your hand can damage your mountís shoulder muscles and withers, and cause back soreness.
Confirm that the back panels of your saddle donít rest on your horseís hips or rump. A correctly-fitted saddle will sit squarely on the back, between the withers and flanks."
Isn't this the type of horse a hoop tree (U shaped not V shaped) would fit better? Like a Duett.
Saddle is way to narrow and wrong shape.
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