Saddle fit....a question in regards to a saddle that "technically" doesn't fit.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-02-2011, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Norco, CA
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Saddle fit....a question in regards to a saddle that "technically" doesn't fit....

I have had many many saddle woes with Cinny since I got him. It took me over 20 tries to get a dressage saddle that he would work in. I have gone over 30 with Western. I had two really good trainers help me fit him with saddles only to have him buck up and down the arena as if he were constantly stung by bumble bees. I had a pro saddle fitter come out and the saddle he fitted him with that should have been a good fit, made him buck like a pro bronc on the lunge line for 15 minutes straight....only stopping because he was literally so exhausted he was ready to drop.

My friend Katie's saddle fits him pretty well, and we have been able to work him in that. I found one that looked like it would fit similarly but alas, the tree is a touch wide and technically, it doesn't fit because there isn't enough clearance over his withers, we only have 2 inches versus 4. HOWEVER....he actually likes it. I put a decent pad under it and took him for a spin and he worked wonderfully in it. No gritting teeth (his habit when he's irritated), no head tossing, and his gaits were perfect as if we had my dressage on him. He even gave nice bends which he doesn't do in my friends saddle.

So my question is, if Cinny likes and works well in this saddle that technically doesn't fit right, is it really that bad to keep working in it versus one that technically fits but he hates and trys to buck off??
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Last edited by Cinnys Whinny; 07-02-2011 at 09:42 PM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-02-2011, 11:22 PM
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Yes. If there's no wither clearance you can damage her withers and make her back sore.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-02-2011, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I didn't say there was no wither clearance, just not as much is "technically" correct. Cinny is very picky, if anything so much as touches his withers or shoulders he will refuse to move forward and instead will just keep popping straight up on you....he didn't do that with this saddle.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-03-2011, 12:02 AM
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if when you sit in the saddle you can still get a finger easily under the fork, between the fork and the wither bone, then that should be enough , just barely. You might even stick a finger in there and do some trotting to see if the motion makes the saddle actually move down enough to make contact on the wither bone.
There are pads that are cut awar over the wither bone, but padded over the shoulder/back area. this effectively raises the saddle up off the wither bone, without adding more padding in that area, which would just re-cause that problem.

If Cinny is ok, then it says a lot.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-03-2011, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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when im in the saddle i can lay my flat on top of his withers and fit it in up to my wrist. when i unsaddlwd him he was soaked in the general saddle area but
Barely damp over his withers. I was thinking of getting a nice cut out wither relief pad for it if I keep it.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-12-2011, 01:58 AM
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end your saddle fitting problems with a CSI pad. they are very expensive but you will save a bundle in vet/chiropractor fees! if you can invest in one you're on your way to a much happier horse. that is a cute saddle!

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-12-2011, 02:19 AM
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it seems that i remember seeing in the saddle fitting videos that two fingers clearance was fine 4 was the most. go back and review the those sticky "does your saddle reallly fit" the part about wither clearance. one of the members posted i found it really educational. and i think you r questions will be answered :)
do you normally ride western or English? there is Heritage custom saddles in England on ebay that makes totally custom saddles for 1000 to 1100 puls 200 shipping I'm thinking of getting one from them they specialize in fitting hard to fit horses and have a lot of good reviews all over the net. they will refit any saddle that make until it fits too for free.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-12-2011, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I primarily ride dressage and I have a wonderful Kieffer Wien that fits him great. It's what I've been using for the past year, but I also love to go trail riding and it just seems almost sacrilegious to ride the trails in a Kieffer that cost more than my horse did.

I ended up taking a tip from one of my favorite clinicians that visits our stable once month. I got one of those really really good yoga pads, not the thin ones but the 2 inch thick ones and cut a custom pad with wither relief and that seems to be absolutely perfect with this saddle YAY. We did our first trail ride a couple days ago...just a little 1 hour trail, but we went up and down hills, through streams and had a lot of fun. There was no fuss about the saddle at all, no sore spots or rub marks of any kind, so I consider it a success :)
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-12-2011, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny View Post
...I also love to go trail riding and it just seems almost sacrilegious to ride the trails in a Kieffer that cost more than my horse did.

If that's the case, then I better find another saddle for all of my horses! I have more money invested in my saddle than I do the purchase of all 3 of my horses put together!!

Money only matters when you're talking about tack. You get what you pay for in tack.
For example, I invested in a saddle that first I am comfortable in, second my horse is comfortable in, and third its built to last forever. It fits one horse with a Classic Equine Sensorflex fleece pad, but I have to ride the other horse with a wither support pad, Classic Equine Biofit, but both horses use the same saddle.
Both chiro (who is also prof saddle fitter) and vet said I was ahead of the game by having more money invested in tack than I do livestock.

It sounds like you are trying to work with your horse to the best of your ablility and listening to him very well. If everything had to "go by the book" then there would be a lot of unhappy people... horses.... dogs..... cars.... Nothing in life truely "goes by the book"!
If the horse is happy, but isn't following "protocol", why worry? Like my dad used to say about raising us kids "they didn't give me a manual, so as long as ya'll weren't breaking laws I didn't see any problem in being a little "unconventional" sometimes...."

One is closer to God's heart on a horse than anywhere else on earth!
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-12-2011, 10:16 PM
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I use a regular old english wither relief pad with my western saddles and it helps build things up in the front. Finding a Western saddle to fit a TB is almost impossible.
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