Saddle fit, take #2 - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Saddle fit, take #2

I know I posted before but never ended up posting my pictures. I'm frustrated now that I can't seem to fit this horse. Here are some pics, I can get more if I need to. the Semi qh barrel saddle (not pictured) doesn't fit. Too big. Should I look into Arabian or gaited trees?



Here's what her back looks like. She's standing mostly square but wouldn't stop moving around.





and here's a saddle I have that's 6 1/2 inch gullet.










for some reason I didn't manage to get a good pic from the front.



but anyway. no idea what will fit her.

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post #2 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 02:14 PM
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I'm sorry, I just can't get any kind of read on that fit from those photos.


She has a roached back, so fit may be quite a challenge. She appears narrow


Have you ever tried a Bighorn saddle? They are a synthetic mix, and tend to have a more 'flat' tree, meaning not much rock to it, so might work better for her flat back. She is also quite narrow in the shoulder area, so I would have thought a SQHB tree would have been the ticket.

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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The one in the pictures is a bighorn. It just still seems big to me when I look at it.



I'll try to get some pictures that actually work. these are kind of terrible.

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post #4 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 03:10 PM
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I'm not seeing a big issue...
The skirting is big being double-square.
The actual weight distribution area of seat and balance point are fine.
I think you are looking at overall length and you need to look at it differently but I can't easily describe that to you...
I also see a balance pommel to cantle...and I see the center line of the saddle hug but not collapse on her spine.
From the back it is not high off her with to wide often gives appearance of.

I think the fit is pretty good.
Your saddle needs some serious cleaning and conditioning of leather so it would be "softer", more form fitting than it is right now and that would change your thoughts.
Wish you had a front on picture as that would tell the balance of the story...need that picture!

What bothers your eye is square skirting length.
A round skirted saddle would not crowd her pelvic area as it is cut significantly smaller.
...
jmo...
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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I could get pictures with the other western saddle I usually ride in, but I think I know that doesn't fit. She bucked me off when I rode with a normal pad and not one with the built in wither pads.

The one in the picture has been sitting in my tack room for a year. I have only used it once.

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post #6 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 04:13 PM
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When I enlarged your pictures and looked at the wither bone area itself, she doesn't have much "meat" there in the fat pad area...she bony!!
I would be very cautious of any saddle being used on her without extra padding in that area as saddles fit one way till you put us sitting in them, then they fit different.
I can see her getting a bad pinch or bang on the bone itself easily....
I can see a happening....check that tree really carefully for crack/breakage for rock, twist and anything loose sticking out or in the fleece underside...
The spine is such a nerve dense area...they feel everything, just everything here.
Make sure you tent that saddle pad/blanket too up high into the gullet so she not get pressure from cinch tightening and then discomfort she could react to.
Although she is not "skinny", she is a tad underweight with the shadowing I see in that wither pad of fat missing and a hint of her shoulder point visible....
I've discovered feeding alfalfa cubes have made the difference in those specific areas on my horse...
Can you try giving her some alfalfa cubes wet/damp/soaked....
1 bags worth and see if she doesn't weight up in those areas and make your saddle finding/fitting easier?

I've recently started my "impossible-keeper" on those cubes per my new vets instructions and what a difference it is making.
Filling in, now... when I ride him I took away the built-up pad and am using just a regular 3/4 -1" pad and his saddle fits, really fits him so much better.
I was told to feed 2 - 3 large dry handfuls, fully soaked each day, 1x a day in addition to his normal rations...
My guys back suddenly has a covering of "meat" I have not been able to achieve no matter what I tired or did...
Wish I had this vet 2 years ago...might not be so gray haired now from frustration.
I buy my cubes at Tractor Supply in their own brand as the bags are 50 pounds versus Standlee brand 40 pounds...cheaper too!
just an idea....
...
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 04:18 PM
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Without seeing a front view, I am going to assume this saddle is too wide for your horse. It does not look like you have much gullet clearance between the saddle and her spine.



She does appear to be fairly narrow and I agree with tinyliny that she does have a roached back, so that may make saddle fitting much more difficult. You are going to need a saddle that does NOT have a lot of rock.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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My trainer thought my other saddle was rocking and thats why she bucked.

I'll try the alfalfa. I've noticed she doesn't have as much squish on her shoulders as she used to.

Also what do you all think of her butt? I'm used to horses with a bigger hind end to say the least. Does she look under muscled there at all (from what you can tell in the pics...) I would do some hill work (in a proper saddle) to try to build topline and hind end but we're in Florida don't really have hills. Would poles help?
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 05:25 PM
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What is her breeding?


She has a roach in her back, and this may change the angle of her pelvis, which makes it look more truncated , more of a steep drop off. It also can affect the angle of the lower leg, it looks like she might be a wee bit camped under in the hind end.


I think all horses can benefit from hillwork, but since you don't have hills, then yes, working over poles, and doing some backing up, and some more transitions from like walk to canter, where the horse needs to push off into the new gait.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-06-2019, 05:45 PM
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We don't have hills but we have sand...

Some, not to deep, ride a sandy trail just walking would also build that butt, shoulder and top-line...
Everything in moderation as walking in deeper footing is very strenuous to the body...go slow, go easy and take rests of getting onto firm footing... leave the sand and hit the trail sides of grass.
You don't need to go fast either...
Many may not agree with this but it is harder work for a horse to trot over time and distance than to canter/lope...
Stamina will also be built and fit, real fit she will become.
Start with a few minutes of walking in deeper sand or loose sand...then get out of it...rinse and repeat a few minutes later...
I would only do this on the way out trail riding at this point and come home on firmer footing if your horse is sweating or at all fatigued...do not over do.
Build up the riding time as you condition and build the muscle/stamina...
Give a nice wash-down when done with some water laced with liniment splashed in it...if you know how to rub the legs it would probably feel good, but making a brace water is soothing to tired muscle and legs.
I use to take my horses for walks when to hot to ride...early morning and with a light breeze so mosquito and flies were absent for part of the walk...we both built muscle and stamina.

...

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