Where do you start when looking for a saddle? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-21-2020, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Question Where do you start when looking for a saddle?

I have a western saddle that we used when I was a kid. It 'worked' on all 3 horses we had, from an old 15 hh buckskin quarter horse to a 7 year old appaloosa. Well, it doesn't work for my currently girl (Or rather my daughter's horse). I posted months ago that ever since my big husband rode her (I was gone), she hasn't accepted a saddle. She puts her right forefoot in front of the other... even if the saddle is barely girthed. We had the vet out and most recently a chiropractor who honestly, after seeing her walk/trot, did not feel a chiro was needed, but did go ahead with the 'procedure' anyway. She looked at the saddle we have and said that in the withers, it was tight, but there was a gap in the back.
I don't want to buy another saddle and have it not fit. We also don't have a trailer, and with covid-19, any saddle fittings I've seen in the past, isn't happening. I'm am gun shy I guess. I don't want to buy a saddle and not have it fit. I don't know anything about my current saddle (I heard it is a kids saddle... but I don't know.).
What is a good place to start? My daughter is 14. Her horse is a curly. The second picture (her being led) is the current horse. A better look at the saddle (on a horse) (perhaps) is the other one with the quarter horse. Main question is where do you start when looking for a saddle. The pictures are probably not necessary.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-21-2020, 03:48 PM
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I tell other horsemen what I'm looking for. I scour pawn shops. If those fail me I look at newspaper online classified ads.

Right now I have three to get rid of. I'll be donating them to local 4H kids.

In your case I would borrow from others to find what fits your daughter and the horse. Then take measurements and try to find something close.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-21-2020, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boots View Post
I tell other horsemen what I'm looking for. I scour pawn shops. If those fail me I look at newspaper online classified ads.

Right now I have three to get rid of. I'll be donating them to local 4H kids.

In your case I would borrow from others to find what fits your daughter and the horse. Then take measurements and try to find something close.
That's awesome that you are willing to donate them to local 4H kids.

Yeah, I had a neighbor lady offer to let me try out her Australian saddle, but the minute she heard that it was most definitely a saddle fit issue, she just flatly refused saying that since I know it's a saddle fit issue, trying out hers was NOT going to work. Yeah, I'm just looking for a starting point. Thank you!
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-21-2020, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CurlyJammer View Post
That's awesome that you are willing to donate them to local 4H kids.

Yeah, I had a neighbor lady offer to let me try out her Australian saddle, but the minute she heard that it was most definitely a saddle fit issue, she just flatly refused saying that since I know it's a saddle fit issue, trying out hers was NOT going to work. Yeah, I'm just looking for a starting point. Thank you!
That's kind of odd, to me. I thought that was the point if trying different saddles!
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-21-2020, 06:53 PM
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You may have given the neighbor a impression of a reactive horse who now sees a saddle and reacts negatively.
She may be concerned her saddle could be damaged by a outburst from your horse.

So, looking at your daughter sitting in that saddle...
She is squished and saddle to me, in my opinion is to small for her to sit and that can create a soreness issue for the horses loin where if you look your daughter is tight against the cantle with the bulk of her weight pressing the saddle skirt to the loin and kidney area.
Daughters legs also are in front of the pommel area I believe, bent more than is desired.
Her knee is definitely in front of the front rigging dee and not sure this happens when sitting in a correct sized and shaped saddle for the rider.
She is not sitting in the seats sweet spot, the placement that best balances her weight in/over the saddle.

The saddle sits different on both hors'es because I bet they are built different.
It appears to sit higher on the quarter horses shoulder and scapula, not pinching him as he moves.
A different saddle pad shows on the appaloosa and with that a slightly downhill look to the pommel is seen by me...a pinching of his scapula/shoulder and that can hurt, make sore and cranky.
It is often that you need a different saddle for different horses with different builds.
Your quarter just looks like a heavier frame, and different shape to his entire body....= real possibility of saddle for each needed.
The dreaded saddle fitting is at hand, but yes to me your daughter sits in to small a saddle.
She sits in a childs saddle by the look of it and she would fit in a adult sized saddle.
She is 14, a teen but a "maturing" adult in her body already...

Some of our members are really good at seat size generalities if you could offer a height and weight approximate of your daughter.
...
jmo..
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-21-2020, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
You may have given the neighbor a impression of a reactive horse who now sees a saddle and reacts negatively.
She may be concerned her saddle could be damaged by a outburst from your horse.

So, looking at your daughter sitting in that saddle...


Some of our members are really good at seat size generalities if you could offer a height and weight approximate of your daughter.
...
jmo..
Oh my gosh!! Thank you for giving me a critique of my daughter's sitting! I appreciate it!

The neighbor.. she knew I was just looking for a start. "But since I am not willing to sell it, it won't help for you to try it." She knew exact what my horse's reaction was with our current saddle. No outburst or anything. It's silly! Her neighbor has an Australian saddle I can try. LOL

I would love to have any of those members talk to me about it. The quarter horse in the first picture was my daughter's first horse (before we found out she was deathly allergic to it) and the second horse is a curly, which is her current horse. Yes, they have very different builds. We only have one horse.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-04-2020, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
So, looking at your daughter sitting in that saddle...
She is squished and saddle to me, in my opinion is to small for her to sit and that can create a soreness issue for the horses loin where if you look your daughter is tight against the cantle with the bulk of her weight pressing the saddle skirt to the loin and kidney area.
She sits in a childs saddle by the look of it and she would fit in a adult sized saddle.
She is 14, a teen but a "maturing" adult in her body already...

Some of our members are really good at seat size generalities if you could offer a height and weight approximate of your daughter.
...
jmo..
Ok, Pulling off this quote, we measured our saddle (the one shown in the photos) and it is a 16". That doesn't sound like a kids saddle to me. (Although I seem to remember hearing it was a kids saddle when I was younger.) It does measure 9.5" at the withers. We are starting to look at saddles and really want to get this right. Is it just the way my daughter is sitting in it? We do not use the blanket saddle pad. It was used only because it was clean and didn't want to cross-contaminate horses when we went to look at her.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-04-2020, 12:42 PM
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To me looking at her sitting in that saddle she has her weight shoved against the cantle, tightly.
If your daughter is tall, has a long femur bone those are contributing factors when sitting in a appropriate sized seat.
So she appears to not be sitting in the sweet spot of the saddle, the balanced deepest part of the seat either but like I said...squished to the back, trying to force her leg to be under her body and heel down.
If she is sitting in a saddle that fits her, fits her anatomy all those alignment things easily fall into location and it does not take much effort to hold them...
If, if the saddle does not fit her she can fight till exhausted and not sit right, look right or ever relax to ride correctly.
By appearances though...either your Appy has a extremely long back or the saddle is mis-measured and I would also say the same for your other horse based on how much saddle blanket is behind the saddle with blanket edge being at the point of the hip...
Something is not adding up when I look at the picture and read what you wrote...

Here is links of how to measure saddle seat, pay close attention to placing the tape measure.
HOW TO MEASURE A WESTERN SADDLE SEAT
https://circley.com/measure-saddle-seat-size/

And this:
For a western saddle, you should have about a hand's breadth (4 inches) in front of you and about a hand's width (1-1.5 inches) behind you to the cantle. The seat should not feel constricting nor should there be lumps poking into your thigh.
https://www.equisearch.com/articles/...at_size_062008

Reading the above excerpt caption is why I say the saddle is to tight...without seeing the saddle riderless I can only guesstimate her size sitting in it, but no way to my eye is that 16"...

Please look at and read those links I gave as they give tidbits of information for measuring and how to do do some physical checks when you sit in a actual saddle for better comfort and fit.
I just don't see 16" of seat and a square skirt and that much length of back showing on your horse, either horse. sorry.

I have a 16" Circle Y saddle with double square skirting.
When it is placed on a standard size 30"x32" pad I have about 2" sticking out in front of the skirt and behind the skirt, so my eye sees what I know to have and looks at yours and goes, nope something is off.
...
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-08-2020, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I appreciate the time to put into this response. I will measure again tomorrow, and take a photo of it. Are heels not supposed to be down when riding? The blanket in this next photo is one that we used with the Quarter horse.. who had a bit of sway to her back.it is probably too long for this curly horse, but seemed to work.
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-08-2020, 07:59 AM
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Heels are supposed to be dropped, or level not forced.
Your daughter has a lot of bend in her leg... more than she should.


She is braced against the saddle cantle because she is to big for the saddle, period.
Here is a link... https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...cR9HUPI_nUFYMM
In none of the pictures on that link will you see a rider crushed against a saddle cantle, leg that bent and still out if front of them. Look at pictures and compare to what your daughters pictures show..
There is a lot of explanation, articles connected with each picture for the reader to better understand what is being shown.

What I see is to small a saddle for the rider that will make the horse uncomfortable in time because of the way the rider then sits braced against, concentrating weight distribution on the saddle rear tree edge and into a soft area of the horses anatomy.
When after you look at the pictures, read some of the associated articles with that link, then look at this picture again.. compare and recognize the difference in what you are seeing shown...
Where do you start when looking for a saddle?-screenshot_20200607-234103_gallery_1591591666285.jpg
To me, your daughter is squashed in to small a saddle, period.
She truly can not get in a better position with aligning her leg, body and head {heel, hip, shoulder, head} cause she sits as she does...she also looks stiff as a board, not fluid in motion but forcing that "position"...
I'm not sure why she is trying to ride with so short a stirrup length either as that can make a huge difference in a snug fit or to small a fit...
If her stirrup was longer her leg would relax and lengthen some, she could slide into the saddle more and get off the cantle, maybe.
She would self align in a better balanced position with a longer leg and sitting in the saddle, not perched behind her center of balance struggling to play catch up...she would soften her position not be rigid tense.

Your issue of the blanket being from a swayback horse has nothing to do with this...
Blankets come in a few sizes...30x30, 30x32 or 32x32 is standard sizing and your pad resembles a standard pad, not custom made.
They are supposed to be seen about 2" around a saddles edge to fit properly. Your blanket is half-way up the horses neck and covering the entire loin of the animal... The pommel wear leather is completely seen not under the saddle pommel positioned correctly.
When I look at your picture above and you have 4" in front of and at least that behind sticking out it tells me there is something off if you think this is a 16" saddle you believe your daughter sits in on this horse...
I can't see it or believe it.
As I said, my saddle is 16" and sits on a pad of similar size...no way do I see what you show with that saddle.

Your daughter is tall, look at the length of her leg, look at the length of her femur bone...
It is not all about how much she weighs, it is about how she sits in the saddle, not perched on top or braced onto the cantle..
You can barely see the cantle she sits so heavily on it...no way is she putting her hand between butt cheek and cantle, no way...
You're actually supposed to sit partially on your crotch and seat bone combination...no way is she doing that in these pictures.
Saddle appearance is to small for the rider which in turn will sore the horse carrying it in time to giving a bad back.
Try a longer stirrup length, several inches longer, first and see if that helps her...but gut feeling is saddle is to small because of her anatomy, not because of her weight!
...
jmo..

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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