Collegiate Event Saddle Help
 
 

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Collegiate Event Saddle Help

This is a discussion on Collegiate Event Saddle Help within the Saddle Fitting Issues forums, part of the Horse Tack and Equipment category
  • Collegiate event saddle

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  • 1 Post By Siren

 
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    07-27-2014, 11:54 PM
  #1
Yearling
Collegiate Event Saddle Help


Hello all (: I bought my horse the Collegiate Senior Event Saddle 2 years ago, and then it fit just fine (or I thought it did). Before I bought it, I tried the same saddle, which was made 20 years earlier, and it worked out fine. I went through 2 years of showing with this saddle, and never encountered any problems.

Here is a picture from a couple days ago, showing his sweatmarks after riding:

On another thread, Foxhunter, said "The wither area is dry. If the saddle fitted correctly then that area would be as wet as the rest where the saddle goes. The reason they have a dry area is because this is where the pressure goes cutting off the blood supply thus stopping sweating in that area". I respect what she said greatly, and I will follow through with it because I don't have the knowledge to know saddle fit.

Here is pictures of his back with no saddle:



Here are pictures of him with his Collegiate on:




An alternate choice of saddle is one I picked up at a tack sale for $40 a couple of years ago. It is a bit too small to comfortably seat me. The seat it tearing off and the leather has seen better days, but it does it's job. I've only been really using it to get horses used to having a saddle on just in case they do something to destroy it. Here it is:





Questions:
1. How does the Collegiate fit?
2. If I went to a local place to get it converted to the next size up (it is the convertible version of the saddle) would it be better?
3. Does the alternate saddle fit any better for the time being?

Thank you!

     
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    07-28-2014, 12:38 AM
  #2
Foal
Alternate saddle is worse and should honestly just probably be junked at this point. There is no channel for the horse's spine at all! It must put a lot of pressure on it. I wouldn't use that saddle at all. You can also see that the front panels do not have even pressure over the shoulders and flare out. This means the gullet size is too big and the underside of the pommel is likely to smack the horse in the withers and pinch the shoulders. Overall, with no spine clearance through the centre channel and the gullet being too wide and the front panels flaring, I'd say don't ride your horse in that saddle at all.

The collegiate is not a terrible fit but I actually think it's a size too big, not too small. There is very little clearance under the pommel. I would imagine, once the girth is done up and you put weight in the saddle, there is either no clearance at all or very little. Same problem as your alternate saddle. If you go a gullet size down, you will get that clearance and have the front panels sit where they ought to on the shoulders to properly distribute weight.
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    07-28-2014, 09:25 AM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siren    
Alternate saddle is worse and should honestly just probably be junked at this point. There is no channel for the horse's spine at all! It must put a lot of pressure on it. I wouldn't use that saddle at all. You can also see that the front panels do not have even pressure over the shoulders and flare out. This means the gullet size is too big and the underside of the pommel is likely to smack the horse in the withers and pinch the shoulders. Overall, with no spine clearance through the centre channel and the gullet being too wide and the front panels flaring, I'd say don't ride your horse in that saddle at all.

The collegiate is not a terrible fit but I actually think it's a size too big, not too small. There is very little clearance under the pommel. I would imagine, once the girth is done up and you put weight in the saddle, there is either no clearance at all or very little. Same problem as your alternate saddle. If you go a gullet size down, you will get that clearance and have the front panels sit where they ought to on the shoulders to properly distribute weight.
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Then I guess the alternate saddle is destined for the garbage today, well, after I explore the insides. At least I got use out of it for starting a couple of horses on lunge with it. I used to ride in it, and it never seemed to bother him at all. My old trainer never offered to tell me that it didn't fit him at all, she only told me that it didn't fit me.

I will get an appointment to get the gullet size changed then. Is it possible that once he regains his topline and weight, that it will have to be changed again?

Another question, before I order the gullet I need (unless there is one conveniently in the store). What size do I need? I'm assuming it's the medium narrow one from this site: Easy-Change Gullet Replacement - Horse.com

Thank you!
     
    07-28-2014, 03:44 PM
  #4
Yearling
I think the top saddle could be fine.

If you look at both pictures, the off shoulder appears bigger than the near. The off tree point angle looks correct whereas the near looks too wide.
If you now look at the rear view, the saddle appears skewed towards the nearside, I'd suggest because the bigger off shoulder is forcing the panel that side rearwards, even without a girth.

Because the horse is uneven and you have hollows behind both shoulders, the saddle sits too low in front and if you girthed it up would probably twist across the horse's spine even more.

However, you have to fit to the bigger shoulder angle, because if you don't it will have a disproportionate effect on how the saddle sits. Basically it'll be too tight there and will throw the saddle over towards the opposite side.

What you need is a decent fitter who can flock out the hollows and adjust the nearside level to balance the offside. What you don't want is a narrower gullet, which usually only makes things worse.

So I disagree with Siren on that, but completely agree with the comments on the second saddle. I suspect the panel is foam which has begun to collapse, and the leather has stretched to make the channel far too narrow. It is possible to have a channel re-cut, but not for a foam-filled panel in most cases. :(

Sweatmarks aren't a particularly good indicator of fit, BTW, because they're subject to too many outside influences.
     
    07-28-2014, 07:45 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclearthur    
I think the top saddle could be fine.

If you look at both pictures, the off shoulder appears bigger than the near. The off tree point angle looks correct whereas the near looks too wide.
If you now look at the rear view, the saddle appears skewed towards the nearside, I'd suggest because the bigger off shoulder is forcing the panel that side rearwards, even without a girth.

Because the horse is uneven and you have hollows behind both shoulders, the saddle sits too low in front and if you girthed it up would probably twist across the horse's spine even more.

However, you have to fit to the bigger shoulder angle, because if you don't it will have a disproportionate effect on how the saddle sits. Basically it'll be too tight there and will throw the saddle over towards the opposite side.

What you need is a decent fitter who can flock out the hollows and adjust the nearside level to balance the offside. What you don't want is a narrower gullet, which usually only makes things worse.

So I disagree with Siren on that, but completely agree with the comments on the second saddle. I suspect the panel is foam which has begun to collapse, and the leather has stretched to make the channel far too narrow. It is possible to have a channel re-cut, but not for a foam-filled panel in most cases. :(

Sweatmarks aren't a particularly good indicator of fit, BTW, because they're subject to too many outside influences.

My mom is going to kill me I literally just ordered gullets for my saddle, and now when I tell her "turns out I don't need them" she won't be happy. I guess eventually I will use them, but for now that $90 purchase will be collecting dust.. And those were going to be my birthday present too!

And by fitter, I'm assuming a saddle fitter? Do you have any estimation on how much this runs? I really, really don't have money to begin putting in places where it might have to be spent again when he evens out.
     
    07-29-2014, 06:23 PM
  #6
Yearling
Sorry, I've no idea what they charge for a flock adjust over there.

One problem with horses is you can never predict how much they'll change and over what period, if they do at all. You must be prepared to have a modern saddle adjusted regularly - they're not like the old, flat English saddles which fitted horses better because they were made that way rather than biased towards rider comfort.

With a horse not carrying much condition like yours, the panel shape is just as important as the tree. It wants to be deep - cut across the corner between where the knee roll sits and the part along the horse's back - so you get enough support behind the shoulder for the correct tree width (points parallel to the back of the shoulderblade). It usually means that area needs extra stuffing because a lot of modern saddles are flocked very soft and settle too quickly so the pommel drops, altering the point angle so the saddle gets tight behind the shoulder even though it's the correct width.

Hope that's understandable :)
     
    08-06-2014, 01:24 AM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclearthur    
Sorry, I've no idea what they charge for a flock adjust over there.

One problem with horses is you can never predict how much they'll change and over what period, if they do at all. You must be prepared to have a modern saddle adjusted regularly - they're not like the old, flat English saddles which fitted horses better because they were made that way rather than biased towards rider comfort.

With a horse not carrying much condition like yours, the panel shape is just as important as the tree. It wants to be deep - cut across the corner between where the knee roll sits and the part along the horse's back - so you get enough support behind the shoulder for the correct tree width (points parallel to the back of the shoulderblade). It usually means that area needs extra stuffing because a lot of modern saddles are flocked very soft and settle too quickly so the pommel drops, altering the point angle so the saddle gets tight behind the shoulder even though it's the correct width.

Hope that's understandable :)

I will look into finding a saddle fitter then :) Currently, I am just putting an extra saddle pad on his left side which is lacking muscle compared to the other. He is a lot more comfortable working now. If I can't get his saddle re-flocked, I am making a "custom" saddle pad that will be bulked up on the weaker side.
     

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