Saddle fitting woes
I am begining to think that my new wintec really doesn't fit as well as I thought after a couple people on another thread pointed out to me that it looked like it was bridging. When I first got it I think it fit nicely, but I don't know if it settled or what, because now I don't think it fits as well.
Took a couple pictures of both saddles that I own for some opnions.
First with the riser pad:
(he suddenly shifted to get grass as I snapped this picture)
The dressage saddle I bought without putting much thought into it because I needed a saddle. Its nicely cut back so it clears his withers, but I think it's sitting too low. The wintec I bought to have a synthetic saddle for trail riding but I think it is now sitting too low as well. I think a smaller gullet plate would make it start to pinch.
Here is Rocket's back, any suggestions on what kind of saddle I should replace these with would be great:
I would like something with a chanagble gullet because with his new feeding schedule I think he is going to start to pack on the pounds so it's going to need to be able to grow with him. I really like collegiate saddles, I sat a medium tree on him and it also sat right down on his back, so would I need to get a narrow? Do they even make narrows?
The Thorowgood High Wither saddle might be a good option for you. The new ones have changeable gullets. Dover carries them in AP and Dressage models.
Thorowgood high wither saddles:
Thorowgood T6 GP Saddle
T6 Dressage by Richard Davison
Thorowgood T4 Hi-Wither GP Saddle
Thorowgood T4 Dressage Hi-Wither Saddle
On Dover's web site:
Thorowgood T4 All Purpose High Wither Saddle - Dover Saddlery.
Thorowgood T4 High Wither Dressage Saddle - Dover Saddlery.
They might be able to special order the T6 saddles for you if you prefer the look of leather.
Your horse is shaped just as mine is. Your horse right now, has no topline at all, which will really effect saddle fit, and your horse is underweight which will do the same as well.
But, on that note - your horse is shaped just as mine back wise. My guy has the same high and narrow withers and then an arched back with those pockets behind the shoulders/wither area.
You need a saddle with the pannels in an arched shape. Like the Wintec CC, or some models of the Stubben. I've looked into the Thorowgood Cut Back, and the saddle is too strait, just as strait as the Wintec 500 - and strait does not work for our horses backs.
We both need arched shaped saddles, sorta like a banana *how the shape goes* but not as extreme.
I would get a saddle fitter out to help you out, and I would really check to see where your horses back is at this point after using that saddle...meaning massage, chiro if needed.
My guy needs Chiro after the use of my Wintec 500 on his back.
I know it really sucks, I'm in the same boat. Saddle searching sucks......
I think with the riser pad it is tipping it forward, without it looks like a much better fit. I usually use a one sided sheepskin under my saddles just incase there is a little shift in the flocking the sheepskin will fill that. But like MIE said, get some more muscle on that back and the saddle might fit differently.
luv2ride - I have looked into the thorowgood before with my last horse, and I really didn't like the clothyness of them.
MIE - even with weight and muscle (which we are working very hard on) the general shape of his back isn't really going to change right? Do you think the wintec cc would fit him? That way I can have my wintec, and he can have a better fitting saddle.
pintopony - yeah, it does tip me forward a bit, but I was doing it to get Rocket some extra cushion really until he gets some natural cushion on his back.
Yes the shape will change when your horse fills out. The saddle will fit more solidly over the middle part of his back.
If you are tipped forward, you will be putting more weight on his front end when you ride. Plus you will have to shift yourself around to not feel as thought you are too far forward.
More weight and building muscle in his back will assist quite a lot with saddle fit.
I am not concerned with look, but with the fact that I take him trail riding at least once a week and we always go through a river that in some spots is deep enough that my saddle is completely sumerged and at the lowest spots at least the bottom half of my saddle is getting splashed, and I need a saddle that won't get damaged when wet as a leather one will.
What are you feeding him? Is he gaining weight? Have you dewormed him lately? If so, with what and how often? Has your vet been out in the last 6 months to check his teeth? He needs to gain weight and muscle, and his coat looks a tad dull. You might consider looking more closely at his diet.
I would have him on free choice grass hay or timothy hay, 1-2 scoops (3qt feed scoop) of Alfalfa pellets, and a custom blend from horsetech.com of: NutraFlax (2 oz per serving), BioFlax, Yeast, and Probiotics for a 4 oz serving (should cost about $90 for a 20 lb bucket, which would last about 3 months). This, along with his normal grain or a vitamin supplement, will round out his diet, add quality calories, help him gain good muscle, and improve his overall condition.
As I posted over on HGS, I also think you could really use a Skito Correction saddle pad. He's a great candidate for the long shoulder bridge shim. That worked wonders with my TB cross gelding who had similar wither issues. It will help fill in for the lack of muscle and topline, so you can get a "normal" width saddle and allow his muscle to develop. Once it does, you can remove the shims and ride with just the base foam as a "shock pad", to keep his back comfy and cool. If you go with 1/2" base foam, it won't change the saddle fit once you remove the shims.
A riser pad changes the fit, which may cushion, but will ultimately make him uncomfortable with the extra pressure behind his shoulders.
He is currently getting about four pounds of grain a day which includes alfalfa cubes and a weight supplement. He saw the dentist about two weeks ago and was wormed at the same time. He is out to pasture 12+ hours a day (over night and then until it starts to get hot). He is actually pretty shiney, I get lots of compliments on how shiney he is, my camera just really doesn't do him (or much of anything for that matter) justice. I will look into that pad, but as MIE pointed out his curved back and the straighter saddle aren't a good match, as I now see. I have never actually tried at thorowgood on any of my horses, I just didn't like the feel of the cloth seats, but maybe the t6 will be nicer. I will have to see if any of the local tackshops carry any, but I think they mostly deal with wintec and another brand called flex-rider.
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