Saddle fits without rider, not with

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Saddle fits without rider, not with

This is a discussion on Saddle fits without rider, not with within the Saddle Fitting Issues forums, part of the Horse Tack and Equipment category

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    • 1 Post By tlkng1

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        11-02-2013, 03:47 PM
    Saddle fits without rider, not with

    I just got an OTTB with much higher withers than the QH he is replacing. Her dressage saddle was ok on him with a little padding were he still needs to build topline. However, the jumping saddle didn't seem like it was going to work at all. It's an M. Toulouse with Genesis, so I fiddled with the tree some more, and set closer to medium, it looks like it sits level and does not touch his withers. I was excited that it might actually fit, but when I got on, it seemed to sink too much! It was touching or nearly touching his withers while I trotted him around. AH!

    So the question is, could a saddle fitter maybe add a little more flocking so it wouldn't sink as much? It seems to fit with no weight in it.

    It's a $2000 saddle and I only got it last year, so not looking forward to selling. There's no local market for it. I already tried when I found my old mare couldn't jump. Also, with no tack stores within 2 hours, and even those farther away having limited selection, I've got no idea how to go about getting a reasonably priced replacement that actually fits. :( I don't think the Toulouse would bring enough money to get another decent new saddle, either.

    I will post some pictures of it sitting on his back tomorrow, but it really does look like a decent fit unweighted.
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        11-03-2013, 12:32 AM
    Green Broke
    I have had saddle fit issues too! I ride western though but even english saddles are a pain to fit on my mare. I have gone through so many dang saddles it isn't even fun anymore. What I just discovered is CSI pads. They are pretty spendy but will be worth it! Im getting one this month for my horse. I rode in one and MAJOR difference. Check it out :)

    Here are the english pads

    English CSI Pads | Welcome to CSI Saddlepads - Saddle pads for all types of equestrian activies and horseback riding.
        11-03-2013, 01:21 AM
    That looks like it might help some. I wish there was a way to try one before dropping $350, though. I have never heard of them before, and it doesn't look like they are sold in any stores or big retailers. Can a pad like that really make up for a tree angle or panel shape that is incorrect? Seems like a big claim. I will keep it in mind for sure though because I would lose more money than that selling the saddle and getting a new one of similar quality.
        11-03-2013, 05:03 AM
    If it's flocked a decent saddler should be able to sort it out. I'm not familiar with the saddle but most 'close contact' types have a wide, flat panel that's quite deep where you need it ie. Behind the shoulder area. On a 'shapely' horse that won't make much difference if the panel's foam, but if it's wool it should be relatively easy to adjust to give the horse enough support. You could use a pad but it's not ideal if the horse is uneven, which most of them are.

    Best of luck :)
        11-03-2013, 09:48 AM
    It is wool flocked with a layer of foam, so it can be adjusted according to Toulouse. In going to try to find someone who won't charge a fortune to do it.
        11-03-2013, 09:59 AM
    Saddle fitter can definitely help. When the horse builds topline you may find you don't have the fit issue. My last horse, a TB, had the same problem..high withers and no topline. The saddle fitter got a basic fit but I had the same issue..too much sinking when I was in the saddle...I had to use a Mattes Correction half pad under the saddle and it fit fine after that. In actuality I didn't use any of the inserts so a standard half pad would probably have worked; the saddle fitter was the one that suggested the correction pad as a preventative to fit problems as topline was being "built."
    Viranh likes this.
        11-03-2013, 12:04 PM
    I've got a shimmable half pad, it just made the fit look funny since I had full length shims in. I will order the front shim and see if filling the wither area hollow spot gets me a fit. It might also fit if I got on. I guess it's stupid for me to expect it to be level before I get on if it's going to sink.

    I am using the shimmed pad with my MW/Wide tree Custom Saddlery dressage saddle, and it seems to fit him well with a little material to fill in the topline. Trainer says the saddle is staying level while I'm riding, so I wonder what the difference is? Maybe it's just that dressage saddles seem to have more wither clearance up front.

    If it will probably fit once he has topline, that is also good news! I was not planning to jump until we had built him back up, and I want to do enough dressage that I'm confident that he'll listen to me with a jump in front of him and so that he'll maybe be a little more balanced. He's also really cute in dressage tack.

    It's probably going to be a long time. He feels so different from QH's that I can't even figure out how to sit his gaits. I am getting put on the lunge line like a child, lol!
        11-03-2013, 02:40 PM
    The problem with a full-length shim, as you found, is it lifts the whole of the saddle equally so it doesn't alter the balance, which is what you need. Just a front shim (or a wither pad) should make a big difference. The only thing to watch for is that you fit the pad in line with, or slightly behind, the front of the saddle panel. If you pull the pad over the back edge of the scapula, as you would with a saddlecloth, you end up making the problem worse. Sorry if you already knew that :)

    The other thing to be aware of when the horse hollows behind the shoulder is that the gullet angle must be parallel to the back of the shoulder, not the muscle block directly behind it (trapezius). The latter means the saddle will invariably be too tight, and getting a level either by padding the front or reflocking will give a worse fit, though it might look okay.

    Sorry if you already knew that, too :)

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