PLEASE READ!!!! Need Help before return policy is expired!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-12-2009, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Massachusetts
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Exclamation PLEASE READ!!!! Need Help before return policy is expired!!

Hey everyone, Im new here and really enjoy all the great threads!!! So here is my contribution:

I just got 3 weeks ago a 15.2 QH gelding. He isnt a huge build per say but average, though he has a very round back and mutton withers. I didnt get a saddle because I was waiting to see how to fit him. His previous owners said he needed a FQHB saddle. I tried a semi QHB and they were right. So Ive been looking around.

I decided to get a new 16in Showman Pleasure saddle (FQHB) for now until I decide on what big brand to purchase. I rode him in it for the first time last night. I used a new white pad liner under the saddle to see the wear patterns the saddle was making. All preasure patterns are even on the shoulders and the cantle. I didnt get to sweat him up so no way to tell the sweat markings yet. I am able to put some fingers and my whole hand if I tried between the saddle and his shoulders while someone is sitting in the saddle. And there is 3 fingers stacked in the gullet. He didnt seem to be restricted in his movements when working him out at a walk trot or lope either.
HOWEVER, my concern is when I took the saddle off I noticed a dime size hair swirl on both shoulders sides. Does this mean it is pinching? Also the saddle had slid back just a little, but I can adjust my rigging so that the girth sets back a little more. Hopefully that will solve that problem. I want to mention as well that every saddle I have tried on him rolls when I go to get on, no matter how tight the girth.
Does my saddle sound like it fits or has anything that should raise a red flag? Will the saddle when it breaks in form to him better and give a little? And is there anything I can do to help with the rolling issue?

Thanks y'all for stopping by to help!!!

"One can never have too many horses or too much chocolate."
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-14-2009, 03:10 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Rochester, New York
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From what it seems like, there isnt really any huge concerns. My trainer has always told me that if a horse doesnt like the saddle, or saddle pad- it doesnt fit right, pinching, ect. the horse WILL let you know. but by the sounds of it, the little swirlon either side of the horses sholders, could just be the way the saddle pad is sitting, or you put it on, and moved it against the floe of hair. If that makes any sence. And im sure that the saddle will become more comfortible the more you ride in it and break it in.

hope this helped at all.... =( sorry if it didnt.
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-14-2009, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
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Sorry to disagree with Jillyann but some horses are much more tolerant then others to saddle fit. If he has mutton withers, I would look at a FQHB saddle. Remember, also, that what is semi in one brand can be different in another. I'd be more interested in knowing the gullet width and bar angle.

There are a lot of questions that come up on the forum about saddle fit so I made up these instructions:

Go to the hardware store and get about 4’ of 12 or 14 gauge house wire (the kind electricians use to wire a house) and cut it in half. This was written for Western saddles but the principle is the same for English or Australian.

Take 2’ and shape it over your horse’s withers. Take the other 2’ and shape it over the center of his back.

Carefully take the wires and trace the inside of the wire on a heavy piece of cardboard (or poster board if you have it). Cut out the cardboard shapes and take them to the saddle shop to fit against some saddles.

This part is Western: Keep in mind that QH bars in one saddle may not be the same in another brand. There are no standards for saddle trees so each manufacturer has his own idea what dimensions make the designations.

As for you, your bum should not be squished against the cantle, it should have a little room at the top and there should be about 4" of space between your tummy and the swell.
Hope that helps. (BTW, the swirls can mean the saddle is pinching in those spots and if all you had on him was a thin pad, it will most likely get worse with a heavy pad)

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.

Last edited by iridehorses; 04-14-2009 at 04:11 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-14-2009, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
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The swirl can also mean the saddle is shifting and too loose in those areas.

I have a very large QH mare. She needs a semi but a short length saddle for it to fit her properly.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-14-2009, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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In all honesty, I have never been too concerned that my saddle fit my horse perfectly. I have a semi-qh bar saddle and a full qh bar saddle and I just pick the one that stays on the horse the best. I ride so many different ones that it is not feasable to have a custom saddle for each one. Nearly all of my horses have white scald spots on their withers or back somewhere and none of them have ever displayed any vices or restricted movement from wearing a saddle. I always just check that the bars are wide enough for them but not so wide that the gullet is sitting on their withers. Past that, I really don't worry about it.

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:
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-14-2009, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Massachusetts
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Wow-Thanks everyone. It is a FQHB saddle. I used it again yesterday with just a regualar pad. I can say it is bridging just a little. I ordered a ride n lite ortho saddle pad to build it up in the bars so it just isnt putting preasure on his loin and withers. I didnt have an issue with it sliding back either when I switched the rigging so that the girth was set back more. I rode him alot longer this time and he didnt seem to mind. As I was walking him I was able to put a flat hand between the saddle pad and the saddle to help feel for his shoulder movement. No issues there. And this time I didnt see any swirls. He does some tail swishing but he did this in other saddles as well. I will monitor this behavior and any others so that he doesnt get sour with the saddle or me. Unfortunetely I cant just go and call a saddle fitter to check. I live in Mass and horse people here are primarily English. I couldnt even find a used western saddle anywhere!!! Hence my buying one online. I called a couple saddle fitters and they didnt know what to do. One suggest me buying a built up Dressage pad and using that. (uh.....ok)
Anyway, Looks like Im on my own with this one. With the help from everyone on here Im sure I can get it all figured out!!

Until next time..........Thanks!!!!

"One can never have too many horses or too much chocolate."
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-20-2009, 10:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Guilford, CT
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Iiridehorses is right about horses being tolerant. I was at a show barn a few years ago that also had a lesson program (a pretty terrible one). Anyway, they let a 9 year old kid tack up a pony all by herself, and no one checked her tack. The kid go on and rode around normally, the pony swished her tail a few times but everything was as normal. When the kid untacked the pony however, she realized that she had left a hoofpick on the pony's back and had placed the saddle over it by accident. The kid rode the pony around for an hour while the pony had a hoof pick sticking in her back, and no one could tell! Point of the story: some horses are very tolerant of pain and wont show any until the it gets really severe.

I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.
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