Soooo, the "hard to fit" drama continues.....
My KMSH/Morgan gelding Jack has proven once again that he doesn't like to do things the easy way. A year ago I took him to a saddle fitter because none of the 7+ saddles I'd tried on him fit. Chris(Amish saddle maker) told me that he needed full QH bars, we tried it on him and it was a perfect fit.(He's gaited so I didn't think full bars would work but they did!) I bought a brand new Dakota Barrel saddle, suede seat, basket weave everywhere, fancy enough to show in but not too fancy to trail ride in. I paid $750 for it. Well, in the last month Jack has started to get uneven sweat marks again. I have tried a few different pad thicknesses, but it's no good. His withers are dry and it gets progressively more wet the farther from his shoulders/withers you go. :-(Sigh. My boy is built like a tank, I suppose I should've expected it,lol. He will be 5 in Feb so still growing too, but for some reason(Hey I'm an optimist!) I thought it would last a bit longer.
I have two questions. What do you think I should sell my saddle for? Jack is my only horse right now and although I do ride other horses occasionally their owner has saddles that fit them just as well as mine. There is only a years worth of riding in the saddle and I haven't had the chance to go on many trails so it really looks good. The only imperfection really is where I hung it on the fence while I went to get fly spray and Jack decided to see what the pommel tasted like.
Also, where do we go from here? If full QH bars are constricting his shoulders and pressing on his withers should I look into a halflinger tree?
O i feel your pain!1
Why dont you look at treeless or adjustable trees?
I dont know are they options for you but im looking into them now for my odd shaped girl
I have heard varying opinions on treeless, but I am curious. I would love to try one for a week or so, does anyone know if it affects the movement of gaited horses in anyway?
O i have no idea maybe google and see??
I have heard pretty positive things about treeless and because my girl changes shape reguaarly im figuring it would be an investment and i could use it on several of my horses
I'd ask for $500/obo with the pommel chew.
As for what you should try next, I would try Treeless. You couldn't show in any of the affordable saddles, but at least it would fit. Look in to these brands: Sensation, Black Forest, Barefoot, Freeform, EZ Fit, Rebecca Softrider, or a Bob Marshall Endurance model (the Bob Marshall trail or barrel saddles won't be wide enough at the front for your boy).
Circle Y has a new treeless that comes in a "wide" pommel. That might be an option for you. Looks like they're around $1,700 new.
Just-B-Natural - Tree Free Saddles
If you don't want to go treeless, I'd suggest talking to Kevin at Southern Trails Saddles. He can work with you to find a tree that fits. I would suggest buying one that's a bit on the wide side now, as your boy probably has another year of filling out to do! Kevin has his own line of saddle that he can have semi-custom made for you, and he carries brand names as well. He's sure to have something that will work for you ;-).
Western Saddles, Trail Saddles, Barrel Saddle, Ranch Saddle
Also, I have two treeless saddles, a Bob Marshall endurance and a Black Forrest english type endurance saddle. I have yet to meet a horse who didn't go well in them, though I don't ride gaited horses. Of the horses I have ridden, there is either no difference or a positive effect on freedom of movement and "lightness." I do know some gaited riders who use treeless saddles and definitely like them. Most good dealers will have a demo program that will alow you to try one out before buying it, or you may have to pay for it, but you'll be able to return it.
Hmmm, looks like I am going to check out a treeless! I seriously considered going treeless when I bought my Dakota, but was still unsure. I guess if I can order a demo though, I can't lose! Thanks for the info everyone! And L2R thanks for the brand suggestions, that gives me a place to start! Keep it commin!
I have a large paint gelding, built like a tank with a couch back, low wither, and really pronounced shoulders. Rode him in a ton of different saddles. FQHB saddles leave dry marks at the wither area. I ended up having to have a wide tree circle y with FQHB's. It is a touch wide, and had some problems with it riding a little low on his wither. I had a bridge pad made to sit across the shoulder area. It keeps the saddle up off his withers and it feels secure. No bridging. Despite that, I am still getting small dry spots on the withers. I have given up! I'm riding english more than ever now because I have an english saddle that fits really well. But my point: maybe try an actual wide tree instead of just FQHB's.
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