Thoughts on the fit of this saddle? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-18-2014, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on the fit of this saddle?

I'm not really sure where to start with this, so I'll start somewhere and hopefully the picture will become clear.

Basically, this is an Aussie saddle I've had for a while. It fit my mare ok, but was just a smidge too narrow for her [it's "wide", according to it's manufacturers] - it slid around quite a bit, but never caused her any physical issues. She always seemed comfortable and never sore.

She passed away, and I got this new horse.
This saddle seemed to fit him acceptably, but I felt like it might be a smidge wide.
However, I figure that, since he's a 10 year old who's NEVER been in real work [just 10 minute walking rides maaaaybe once a month], he has a lot of muscle to build. His back was in a terrible state -nearly swaybacked- when he came home and it's been improving with each week.


Initially, due to his back, I had added a folded-in-half baby pad right over the middle of his back to stop the saddle from bridging [which it had been doing].
Then, yesterday, I took him on his first trail ride/ride longer than 20 minutes...and his shoulders were CLEARLY very sore today.
I didn't think to check if he still needed the shim pad before our ride, so that might have been a factor.
But I'm thinking that maybe I should have you guys look at the fit to see if there's something I'm missing.

The interesting thing is that when he came home initially, his loin area was quite sore. As he's been here, he's no longer sensitive at all over his loins but now he behaves like he's sensitive around his heartgirth area.

So I'm kind of wondering what might be causing these issues and what I can do to solve it... I hesitate to start looking for a new saddle because his musculature is changing on a practically weekly basis, but if there's something that more muscle won't improve, I should probably be aware of it...

Here's the back we're dealing with...



Shoulder angle



From the back



Wither clearance



Whole picture




From the side picture, it almost looks like it's too narrow in front - like the front is higher than the back?
But the saddle clearly shifts down when I mount up - goes from barely 3 fingers of clearance to a solid 2 [which is great improvement - when he came home, we had barely a finger of clearance, without a wither pad, when I was mounted].

Maybe a slightly thicker pad would help? I use a dressage pad with this saddle usually, but perhaps something slightly thicker would be more suitable now?

I think maybe his withers are throwing me off a bit - my mare had no withers at allll and this guy...well, he definitely has withers!!


Thank you!!

Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat

Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat

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Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-18-2014, 04:45 AM
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Can you feel bridging now? Bridging is not something we can see from the photos. I don't think it looks too narrow in front. The girth is at an angle that is kind if pulling tha saddle forward, so might be part of the issues you mentioned. Dies it have some elastic to it?


I've never once seen an Aussue saddle that fit a horse well. But I think that's in part because the only ones I've seen were low quality.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-18-2014, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, you kind of managed to echo what I'm thinking. I can't feel bridging anymore [I used to be able to slide my whole hand between the saddle and his back without lifting the saddle at all ] so it's probably my bad - I should have checked on that before riding him.

The girth does have elastic in it. :) I've never noticed the girth do what it's doing in that picture before, but maybe it has been doing it all along... I noticed it after I took the picture - weird!
He did have a huggge meltdown just prior to this picture because "OMG. The saddle is touching my back without a pad!! It's EATING ME! I'm DYINNNNG." ...maybe that messed with the girth? I don't know. I'll have to keep an eye on that!

I know what you mean about Aussie saddles. I love riding in this one, but I don't love how it fits the horse. It's not terrible, but I've never seen it fit just right...
The only real reason I've stuck with this one is that it's the only saddle I've felt comfortable trail riding these hills in. I would really love to just ride around in a dressage saddle, or something..but I'm 99% certain I would fall off immediately going up/down a hill.

Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat

Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat

~
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-18-2014, 03:38 PM
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Alas, I'm no help, sorry. I just wanted to mention that Fabs is looking so awesome and his back is nearly 100% better than when you got him. I can barely see any hint of a sway now.
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Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-18-2014, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
Thanks, you kind of managed to echo what I'm thinking. I can't feel bridging anymore [I used to be able to slide my whole hand between the saddle and his back without lifting the saddle at all ] so it's probably my bad - I should have checked on that before riding him.

The girth does have elastic in it. :) I've never noticed the girth do what it's doing in that picture before, but maybe it has been doing it all along... I noticed it after I took the picture - weird!
He did have a huggge meltdown just prior to this picture because "OMG. The saddle is touching my back without a pad!! It's EATING ME! I'm DYINNNNG." ...maybe that messed with the girth? I don't know. I'll have to keep an eye on that!

I know what you mean about Aussie saddles. I love riding in this one, but I don't love how it fits the horse. It's not terrible, but I've never seen it fit just right...
The only real reason I've stuck with this one is that it's the only saddle I've felt comfortable trail riding these hills in. I would really love to just ride around in a dressage saddle, or something..but I'm 99% certain I would fall off immediately going up/down a hill.

Nonsense! You cantered Lacey bareback. You got a sweet seat!
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-29-2014, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jen! I'm SO excited about the progress he's made with his back. I was not super hopeful initially, but hot dang, he proved me wrong. And he's only been home for a few days more than 2 months! What's he going to look like in 6 months, a year?

Haha thanks Caroline. :)



I'm beginning to think that I might look into getting a western saddle for him. I'm thinking in the direction of a Corriente... We'll have to see in a few months since I'll need to save for a bit, but I put him in my itty-bitty western lesson kid saddle and oh man. DROOL.
Of course, that's not the only deciding factor...but he is a lot smoother than Lacey. Even his spooks are in "slow motion" compared to what hers were like - I think it's his long legs. She was catty and he's...well, he's him.

We'll see!
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Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat

Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat

~
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-29-2014, 11:22 PM
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To me, it looks like the saddle could sit forward just a wee little bit but maybe it's some sort of perception distortion I'm experiencing because there is no saddle pad. How does it look with pad in place btw? It might be worth trying a slightly thicker pad than the quilted style (I think that is what you were using before???) but certainly nothing as thick as say a western pad.

And Fabs really is looking good now.
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