Alternatives to a crupper? Help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Alternatives to a crupper? Help!

Hello, Horse Forum folks. I have a little problem, and I'm confident someone here can help.

I have a half arab with a very short back, who also is half draft, so even when in great shape, she has a very round belly. These two things together create the perfect storm for an English saddle to slide too far forward. The cinch slides up under her arm/leg pits and then the saddle follows.

I tried a crupper today for the first time. Luckily, I free-lunged her first. When we asked for the canter, she bucked like a bronc, and this is a girl who in a year and a half I've never seen buck even once. We loosened the crupper a notch and she quit doing that.

I then had my lesson, but never moved beyond a trot because I was worried the crupper would tighten up as the saddle moved forward and I'd get launched into next week. She doesn't buck much, but when she does, woof. Lets just say that rear end of hers is very drafty-sized but the kick is pretty arab-athletic.

The problem besides this is I've started jumping, and my instructor said I shouldn't use the crupper during jumping, which means the saddle will move forward again.

Is there a good alternative to the crupper to keep her saddle back and usable during jumping?

ETA: this saddle has been professionally fitted, but it's new and still being broken in. I have a rear wedge gel pad thing in between the saddle blanket and saddle (I don't know the word in English... it's "amortisseur" in French) keeping the back up a little. The saddle rep said it would help break the saddle in and if he needed to add flocking in the back in a couple months he would. The reason he suggested putting something back there is it looked to him like there wasn't enough flocking for her. I guess the saddle was tilted up in the front a little when in the correct position.

ETA2: the saddle pad itself isn't slipping ... the saddle is slipping forward and coming off the saddle pad in the front.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #2 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 12:13 PM
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I've seen a back britching being used on pack mules to stop the saddle from moving forward.

I'm not sure that will work though

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post #3 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Red Gate Farm View Post
I've seen a back britching being used on pack mules to stop the saddle from moving forward.

I'm not sure that will work though
No, that won't work for jumping. But thanks for replying!

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 12:32 PM
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I'm not sure there is one. I had a jumping pony with that trouble and hated having a crupper on him because other kids would compare him to a seaside donkey - even though he looked like a typical welshie. I used to slide backwards onto his backside and pull the saddle back to where it should be - not ideal!!!
I used the crupper when competing
Sorry no help though I would think that building the saddle up at the back would make the problem worse as its going to tilt it forwards
Willow is very 'downhill' with a huge back end and quite straight shoulders and her saddle was built up at the front to compensate for that and it never slides up her neck
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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I was wondering if one of those sticky pads between the saddle and the saddle blanket might help. And also an anatomical girth and maybe some sort of pad blockers in front. (been googling)

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 02:16 PM
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If you don't mind spending the money to try them then probably worth it - you can always sell them if they don't help and get a bit of cash back
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 03:36 PM
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I am sorry, I don't think a lot of your so called saddle fitter!
A well fitted English saddle should need nothing more than a thin cotton pad to keep the underside clean.

I agree with Jay, more padding behind will make the problem worse and if the front iA higher than the bak without the pads then it is probably to narrow.

Pictures would help!

As for the crupper horses usually buc when they are first put on but the get use to them. Usually, apart from driving horses, they are only used on rotund ponies with no withers.
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 03:39 PM
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If I recall correctly, the one used with mules is called spider breeching. Similar to harness breeching but with more straps to stabilize saddle movement. A sticky pad will only ruff the hair the wrong way and may create soreness. Can we see a nekid pick of his back with him standing square?



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post #9 of 23 Old 05-22-2015, 08:43 PM
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1 the crupper shouldn't be at all tight when *training* the horse to get used to it. It should only be tightened after the horse is comfortable carrying it loosely.

2 as with other 'scaries', you should *train* the horse to get used to it, gradual desensitisation as much as necessary, in a non confrontational, low stress manner, not just a quick lunge in it before riding. Ensure the horse is comfortable & confident at ALL paces with something, before riding, & ensure then they're relaxed with it at slow paces under saddle before trying at speed.

3 A crupper shouldn't be eternally tight - should be generally loose, except on occasions such as going downhill, that saddle placement needs restricting. If a crupper is needed to keep the saddle in place at all times, the saddle doesn't fit & this is goiing to cause problems, including discomfort/wear under his tail. I certainly wouldn't be jumping in that gear.

The only alternative to a crupper is breeching, but same applies to this, that if it's engaged to keep the saddle in place in normal situations, then it's going to be too tight/constant & cause further issues, and it wouldn't be appropriate for jumping, as he won't be able to stretch out.
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-23-2015, 09:26 AM
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Sounds like that gel pad that is lifting the back, is making the saddle slide forward.
Try going for a ride without it.
I agree, you shouldn't need it on a saddle that has been fitted to your horse. Better to have a bit less padding back there than a saddle that is pushing forward and pinching your horse's shoulders.
Cheers, D.
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