ANOTHER saddle problem. RANT - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Louisville, KY
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ANOTHER saddle problem. RANT

About a month ago, I was in heaven. I had been trying for over a year to get a trail saddle that I liked the looks of and that fit both Nibbles and me. I finally found it - an older Wade that makes my heart beat a ltitle faster when I look at it, and fits both of us like a glove. I have ridden in DOZENS of saddles, and I have NEVER been more comfortable in a saddle. It feels like it was made for me, and I feel very secure in it. It is the only one that I've found that fits Nibbles. (all of the other that I tried, no matter what type of bars, left dry spots on either side of her back as shown in pictures. The other pictures are of my 'perfect' saddle)

ANYWAY, I thought my search was over. Then I realized a had one tiny, minute problem.


Because of my disease, most of the time, my arms just don't work right. When I'm ok, I can lift it and put it on Nibbles' back. (barely). The problem is, those days are few and far between, and I don't want to have to rely on other people to saddle my horse. I have been standing on a bale of straw, and sort of 'working' it on, which doesn't bother Nibbles at all, but she's 15.1 now and she's still growing. The vet said to plan on a couple of more inches. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

I HATE to get rid of it, but I'm starting to feel it would be the smart thing to do . Anyway, just wanted to rant, and if anyone has any input on why almost evry other saddle leaves those dry spots, I'd appreciate input, because it looks like I'll soon be in the saddle market again.
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Last edited by Customcanines; 07-21-2013 at 07:31 PM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:01 PM
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Not knowing your medical condition (or needing too, really) I would wonder if its progressive. If its something that is going to get worse (and even if its not) I would consider talking to a custom saddle fitter (if its in your budget). You could take your current lovely saddle and asking them to do the same sort of design but with lighter weight materials.

The other option is a larger/taller mounting block. I use to work at a place with a three stair mounting block. Where folks that were mobility impaired (often leg strength) could easily walk up and literally step on to the horse. That same sort of thing might be good for you. Where you could carry it to Nibbles, walk up the stairs and "plop" it on from knee height. I don't know what your boarding situation is but it something that could be fairly easily built and would increase the value of the boarding barn and probably be enjoyed by many riders.
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post #3 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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I have been using a bale of straw, and it works fairly well, but I need something a little higher, but I would need to step up on something lower first. - a mounting block is a good idea. Nibbles is at my daughter;s farm, so no problems there. My condition is similar to Multiple Sclerosis, but it is not progressive. However, I am 60, so I don't think I'll be getting stronger as the years go by. I'm just frustrated and I must admit there are days that thinking about putting the saddle on her seems overwhelming. Thanks for the suggestion, though. I just might try it, and Nibbles is pretty cooperative to whatever insanity I try!

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post #4 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:11 PM
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I read an article once about a one armed gentleman that had a pulley system in his barn. He was able to raise the heavy western saddle and lower it down onto the horses back. Not sure what you're setup looks like but it might be worth a thought.
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:22 PM
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My husband has had radiation to his lower back and has been told not to lift anything greater than 20 pounds for the rest of his life, or he risks a compression fracture of his spine. Even though he would love a leather saddle, they are just too heavy.
Have you considered a synthic saddle? I am not here to debate leather over synthic, he really has no choice if he wants to ride. The synthic saddles he is looking at weigh anywhere from 17 to 23 pounds.
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:23 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear that. ):

If you do end up looking for another saddle, have you thought about giving Abetta a try? My friend has one and its very comfy, let alone it weighs only 15lbs. Of course its a synthetic.

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post #7 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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I know, synthetic is probably what I need - it just isn't what i want. LOL I just love the old timey ranch saddles. ANd I STILL have the problem of trying to fit my horse. I had such a hard time before I found this saddle, and I had tried everything from endurance saddles To Aussie saddles to western.

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post #8 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:38 PM
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One thing I wonder, do you have access to a building with open rafters where you could saddle her?

Only reason I ask is because I know of a method used by some of the shorter Amish men to get heavy harness on their big work horses. What they do is they build a little "standing stall" that will keep the horse mostly stationary...and they hang the harness on hooks at the end of a rope from the rafter above them. That way, all they have to do is lead the horse into the stall, unhook the end of the rope that's holding the harness, and lower it onto the horse's back. No lifting required. Then, they can unharness the same, putting in on the hooks and then using the rope to pull it back up into the rafters.

Do you have much issue straightening the saddle/pad once it's on her? If that isn't difficult, then hanging your saddle from the rafters to lower down onto her back might be a perfect solution.

Also, you can use a pulley system to lessen the weight that you have to support and make it easier to raise/lower.
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:40 PM
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I agree, that saddle is beautiful!! Sorry you cannot lift it. I cannot lift DH's saddle, either! I would take the fenders off and put synthetic ones on, with lightwieght stirrups, and take the flank cinch and hoof pick off. Keep the leather ones oiled and then if you decide to sell it, you still have it all original.


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post #10 of 28 Old 07-21-2013, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by swimminchikin View Post
I read an article once about a one armed gentleman that had a pulley system in his barn. He was able to raise the heavy western saddle and lower it down onto the horses back. Not sure what you're setup looks like but it might be worth a thought.
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There is a trail riding place that I was at that did that. They had the horses stand in a straight stall and they had a pulley system to lift the saddles off and on the horses backs. I thought it was pretty darn brilliant!
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