So I noticed that for Christmas some poeple at my barn got saddles. These people don't have horses of their own so they are usually riding a different horse every week in their lessons. I also noticed that when looking at colleges with equine programs that they recommend you have your own saddle. So here's my question: Is there a type of saddle that is more inclined to fit many different horses well? Because I really don't see how you can get a saddle and use it on all these different horses when I've seen all these threads on all the things you have to do to find a saddle that fits your horse well.
The basic answer is no, one Saddle does not fit all Horses.
Some people use a Saddle with a Reg. QH Tree which is in-between a Semi-QH and Full QH and try to use various pads, cutback, built up, thick, thin, etc. to compensate, but to me that is like buying a size 10 shoe and using it for people that require a 9.5, 10 and 10.5 shoe size and compensate with no socks, reg. socks and thick socks.
If you are referring to English Saddles, to me that is even more complicated, they have more variables.
Sometimes one Saddle works if all the Horse are similar in shape and build, we have 11 Horse and only 4 of them can use the exact same Saddle.
See that's what I thought. But all these people have their own saddles and they use them when they ride different horses. I always think the saddle can't possibly fit all of them right. And since most of them were bought by the girls' non-horsey parents I bet they probably just picked the cheapest one (that's what my parents would do anyway). So I doubt the saddle fits any of the horses very well. I don't get why they want to have they're own saddles anyway. It's not like you need your own. All of the horses have one.
It depends on the horses. Stock saddles are usually made on what we call a standard stock horse tree and slightly altered for individual fit. My stock saddle that has a standard stock horse tree has fitted every stock horse I have put it on so far - Because they are all of similar type and shape. I couldn't go put it on a draft or something similar - it just wouldn't work, but it will fir the majority of stock horses out there.
That being said, it wouldn't work with a breed such as QH - They are too varied, too many types. A 17h Appendix is going to be absolutely different to a 14.1h foundation bred bulldog type.
There were girls at my old barn who did this too. The trainer knew the parents were going to get saddles regardless so she decided to help her school horses and told them to get "medium trees". That was what majority of the horses used anyway and we didn't have any real tubbys. On the smaller horses they would use a half pad. Didn't seem to affect the horses. But if you own a horse you should buy the saddle for the horse, not the saddle for the approximation of the horse.
One of my students has her own saddle. It's a very cheap Asian POS. I let her ride in it with a thick Skito pad. She's only about 65 lbs and rides for about 45 minutes once a week. It "kind of" fits the horses she rides. When she gets in to more demanding riding (she's only walk/trot with a tad bit of canter right now), I'll make her use my schooling saddles (all good quality and all fit the horses they're used on).
I used to have my own saddle before I had horses, but I rode horses that were all about the same shape. I checked the fit before I rode, used different pads if needed, or used another saddle if mine didn't fit. You can get a saddle that will fit many horses, but definitely not one to fit "all". Even treeless saddles need to fit a horse, and those changable gullet saddles have to have the right shape and panel type to fit.
I ride every horse with the same saddle and so do most trainers I know. If you have a good quality saddle and you ride horses with decent conformation then you shouldn't have much problem with saddle fit. In Western Horseman magazine a few months ago some of the top western custom saddlemakers in the country were interviewed and ask about saddle fit. These men have 2 year waiting lists for thier $3-4000 saddles so it is safe to say they know what they are talking about. All of them mentioned that a good custom saddle will likely outlast several horses so it makes no sense to build one for that particular horse. Get a saddle that fits the TYPE of horse you are likely to ride and then only buy that kind of horse.
Another problem I see on here is that many people buy cheap piece of garbage saddles off the internet and then find that thier saddle sores thier horse. Well you get what you pay for in most saddles. Buy quality and your horse will be comfortable and if it's not then look at the seat of your pants rather than the seat of your saddle and learn how to ride balanced.
Good post Kevin, I was going to say practically the same thing. I'm around ALOT of horses and riders and before joining horse forums i'd never heard all this about getting a saddle to fit your horse and saddles not fitting ect. Out here you have a saddle and you use it on all your horses! I've never ever heard of anyone that I know personally that had a saddle not fit their horse, probably because I'm around people with good quality saddles. I've got a custom saddle and believe me, it's worth the extra money and will last me till I die!!
Kevinhorses and Appy luvr, what you say may be true for your area, but you must realize that the OP is probably in an area that has TB, QH, Arabs, Drafts and many other Breeds.
To say one size Saddle will fit all of them is just plain Wrong and it has nothing to do with the Cost of the Saddle, I can guarantee you a $5,000.00 Saddle is not going to fit any Horse, nor would a 10,000.00 Saddle.
Yeah we definatly do have a wide variety of horses. All of the barns I've been at do. Probably because they are lesson barns. Still I find the different opinions interesting so I wouldn't mind hearing about how things may be different for other people.
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