My Journey in Becoming a Strong Leader - Page 440 - The Horse Forum
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post #4391 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
DraftyAiresMum, I'd worry about your saddle touching the withers with a rider on. It doesn't look like there is more than the tiniest amount of space between the saddle and the withers in front. But of course any clearance is enough, and you might be light enough it doesn't drop any more when you get on.
I did the check with my fingers when I got on Fly. I made her stand and tried to stick the tips of my fingers between her and the pad. I could easily get them in the very front (where I pulled the pad right up to the sky before tightening her cinch), but after that (with me on her) I couldn't get my fingers any further, unless I really REALLY tried then I could get them in a tiny bit. Is that normal? Of course when I'm off her, I can easily get my finger tips between her and the pad very easily, no problems.

Is this normal?

I also took some pics like BSMS requested. I turned up the exposure so hopefullt it helps. BSMS is this a good enough angle? I hope so.




Quote:
It appears from your pictures that since your new saddle is shorter, you are avoiding the part of the horse's back that goes uphill/downhill. Your saddle now appears to sit level. If I were you, I'd continue riding with the pad in the photos and see if you run into any problems. Everything looks good.
Oh really? what part is this exactly? I can continue riding her with this saddle like this. It's great that I took pics for reference. I think a really short saddle like this could possibly be very beneficial for Fly because she has a short back.

Quote:
I'm not sure what the issue is with the cinch? You have room to tighten it more if you need to. It also is above your horse's elbows so won't interfere with her movement. Those are the only issues I know of. If a saddle has a real slipping problem, it can help to use a shorter cinch that tightens to just above a horse's elbows.
Well my fitter said my Classic Equine cinch (used in these pics) is 4" too long and I should drop down to a 28" (which is what the Billy Cook cinch that came with the saddle is at). I felt them both and I just much prefer the stiffer resistance on the Classic Equine. Plus I like the colour better.

The saddle was slipping yesterday because of that 30" pad I was using. I used my pad today and it felt like I was in my old saddle again in terms of how solid it was. 100% it was the pad from yesterday. I didn't tighten that cinch any tighter today than yesterday.

Quote:
I disagree slightly with @bsms and the issue of a downhill horse. It's not the saddle slipping forward that is a concern, that is most often not caused by downhill build but rather from a horse that has a large barrel, short girth groove, flat shoulder and wither. I've ridden several downhill horses that did not have issues with the saddle sliding forward down hills, because they had a big shoulder and wither that prevented the saddle from sliding.

I've ridden several horses built level that had terrible problems with saddles sliding downhill, and it was due to the above mentioned problems.

Of course, the worst nightmare horse (I have not run into yet, thankfully) would be one that was built downhill and also had a tiny girth groove, wide barrel, flat shoulder and no withers.

For me the issue is that in your daily riding if your saddle sits downhill, all your weight will be concentrated onto a small portion of the horse's anatomy, right behind the shoulders. This can make horses sore. That is why I would shim a saddle to make the saddle sit level, not for rider comfort or to keep the saddle in place. That is why I shim my horse's saddle pad. She has no issues with the saddle sliding forward. I just want to keep my weight evenly distributed over the entire saddle and not concentrated onto the front.
That makes sense and I agree with you. Are the shims you use for your horse stand alone shims or a pad with shim pockets?

I picked up a set of 2 shims last night when I was at the tack shop and wondering if these would do the trick. Obviously i would just stick them between the pad and saddle. How you get them to stay to the pad is beyond me. I will take a pic shortly.
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post #4392 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 08:18 PM
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@gottatrot , there's actually more clearance there than it looks like. His mane is so thick that it gets in the way, but I can easily fit three fingers in between his withers and the pommel. That and I was holding the phone at about neck-height on me to get the pics of the bar angle, so his withers are way above the phone level (his withers are just above eye-level on me and I'm 5'7"). Helps that he has basically no withers. lol With the riser pad in there, I can fit four fingers with a little room to spare.

@natisha , that strap does have a name. It's called the stirrup leather.
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post #4393 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 08:46 PM
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"So, how does the “downhillness” affect what we do with the tree? It doesn’t really. We can’t change the horse and we can’t change gravity (which always works), so these horses will always be more prone to having the tree move too far forward on them if the saddle doesn’t fit well.



We have heard some theories on how you can get the tree more level on a really downhill horse. ... No, none of these ways will level out the tree relative to the ground without having negative repercussions for the horse.

So we don’t adjust the way we build our trees when fitting a downhill horse compared to a more level horse. We make sure our customer knows that a downhill horse may have more issues, and then we fit the body shape of the horse so there is lots of contact over a wide surface area to help keep the saddle it place..." - emphasis mine

Evaluating a horse's back for saddle fit - part one

This article I excerpted from the Nikkel's website is worth reading in its entirety.

In terms of rider feel: I've shimmed both my Australian and Western saddles in the front. I noticed the tilt a lot more with the Australian one. I'm guessing it is because the 3" western stirrup straps create more stability than the 1" English ones I used with the Australian saddle. Or maybe it was the difference in tree length, since a western saddle was designed to accept a steer attached to the horn, and that would create pressures far in excess of what any rider creates.

However, none of my horses are built downhill. I use them going down hills, and my Australian saddle is too wide in the front, so I either shimmed it or felt tilted forward. But that was a saddle fitting defect in my Aussie saddle.

It really doesn't look to me like Fly will need any shims. A cheap way to compare is to spend $20 on a Wintec pad, cut it in half, and try the front half under the saddle. That solution is more stable than the felt or fleece wither pads I tried.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #4394 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha View Post
The strap behind the fenders with the holes for stirrup adjustments. It makes a big loop with the fenders & goes up inside the saddle where you can't see it. Kind of like how you can slide a belt around your waist without undoing a belt buckle. Pull down on that strap while pushing up on the fenders.
Oh okay thank you. I looked at it today and couldn't figure it out. I had no idea that fenders are brought up that way. Do I need to make my stirrups longer after I do this?

How far up do fenders sit?
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post #4395 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Oh okay thank you. I looked at it today and couldn't figure it out. I had no idea that fenders are brought up that way. Do I need to make my stirrups longer after I do this?
It doesn't change the length of your stirrups. It just changes the position of the fender. Similar to how restringing your shoelaces doesn't change the overall length of your shoelaces, it just changes the positioning of them.

Look at the pic of my saddle. That's how your fender should look. The top of the fender should rest against the bar where the fender and stirrup leather thread through the tree.
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post #4396 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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There was drama at the barn today but I did my best to tune it out. One of my friends was arguing with one of the barn helpers about something so stupid. I wasn't going to let anyone or anything get in the way of me doing what I planned on doing. Testing out the saddle and taking pictures and finding the sweet spots for the saddle and pad.

The BO was out on the gator today for the first time since getting back home from the hospital. He won't be back to work for awhile but it was really nice to see him again. We talked and everyone talked to him and he doesn't know that I got a new saddle yet. He is still recovering and I wasn't going to ask him about needless things. So I talked to him for a bit and let him have his privacy.

The barn was busy today and everyone noticed my new saddle, all my new friends like it but I kept reminding them that I'm just "testing it out first". Yesterday was really raw in feeling it out but after today, I feel a lot more confident with it and that I do think it is a keeper. I will most likely need one more ride in it before Thursday and that will be my final ride to decide. But right now after today's ride, it felt so good. Obviously I am still adjusting to it but time will get me there.

You know I can't stand people who just always have to make something negative out of something. One of my friends said that it's really nice and likes it a lot. Then all of a sudden one of the young girls saw it and the first thing she says is "Umm isn't that seat a bit small for you?" Ummm no it isn't! Then she just walks off without hearing what I had to say. If you are going to ask such a stupid question, then at least stay there to hear my answer. And no it's not too small. I prefer smaller seats. I have ridden in 16" seats before when I used to ride geldings and I was sliding around and didn't have as much comfort. I have no hips and no but so this allows me to sit in a smaller seat.

But anyway, stupid comments like that just irritates me. You know, she could have said "Oh nice saddle"...."what kind is it?"...."where did you get it from?"....but instead just has to make a smart remark.
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post #4397 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum View Post
@gottatrot , there's actually more clearance there than it looks like. His mane is so thick that it gets in the way, but I can easily fit three fingers in between his withers and the pommel. That and I was holding the phone at about neck-height on me to get the pics of the bar angle, so his withers are way above the phone level (his withers are just above eye-level on me and I'm 5'7"). Helps that he has basically no withers. lol With the riser pad in there, I can fit four fingers with a little room to spare.

@natisha , that strap does have a name. It's called the stirrup leather.
Well that's a good name for it. Thanks
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post #4398 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 09:29 PM
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[QUOTE=Hoofpic;9515018]

Well my fitter said my Classic Equine cinch (used in these pics) is 4" too long and I should drop down to a 28" (which is what the Billy Cook cinch that came with the saddle is at). I felt them both and I just much prefer the stiffer resistance on the Classic Equine. Plus I like the colour better.

The saddle was slipping yesterday because of that 30" pad I was using. I used my pad today and it felt like I was in my old saddle again in terms of how solid it was. 100% it was the pad from yesterday. I didn't tighten that cinch any tighter today than yesterday.



28" sounds small for cinch. took my girl out to trainer for a refresher his saddle had a 32" & it was too small for her,she needs 34-36. Beefcake that she is ,lol
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post #4399 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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28" sounds small for cinch. took my girl out to trainer for a refresher his saddle had a 32" & it was too small for her,she needs 34-36. Beefcake that she is ,lol
That's what i thought too but she said all horses of Fly's size should be a 28" max. I personally don't think my 32" is too small. I got 7" on each side from the cinch buckle to the d-rings and the cinch right in the middle is right in the middle of Fly's chest. When we tried the 28" on Fly on Friday, the d-rings were literally 3 inches from the cinch buckles. I just don't get the logic behind my fitters reasoning that I need a 28. Same goes for her saying I should go with a 30" pad. She's wrong on both. If a saddle fitter was good, they wouldn't have made wrong calls on stuff like that.

As you see in my pics today compared to yesterday, a 28" fits Fly that much better, it's a night and day difference. I could even put a 28" rounded skirt pad if i wanted and it would still be fine.

I'm already upset for giving her $150 but at least I was able to confirm with her that this saddle indeed does fit Fly well.

But honestly, what a nightmare with the fitter. Good god. A forgettable experience and another lesson learned.

Last edited by Hoofpic; 10-30-2016 at 09:45 PM.
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post #4400 of 5347 Old 10-30-2016, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Here are my shims. Has anyone used ones like these before?

They are wither shims (the store didn't have wither pads). As you can see the longest sides are angled so they arch up like a ramp. You stack them on top if you want an even height shim.

Together




Just one




Honestly though, I think $1000cdn for this saddle is a pretty decent deal. The saddle looks and feels brand new. So new that I'm not sure if I would need to put neatsfoot oil on it this early.

I'm still curious as to how long it was used for but I can tell it wasn't used very much. I consider myself very lucky, I just happened to go to the tack shop at the right time and Im very glad that I chose to give this saddle a chance because I see this saddle selling quick. And according to the girls at the shop, this saddle just arrived in their store less than a month ago.

I said that I had nothing to lose making a trip to the tack store on my own and I made out pretty good.

Last edited by Hoofpic; 10-30-2016 at 10:17 PM.
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