most secure saddle for a young girl with ASD? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-20-2013, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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most secure saddle for a young girl with ASD?

What kind of saddle do you recommend for the most secure seat? I saw theres a tack forum also and can ask this question there if thats better but I have more confidence in people experienced with kids who's coordination hasn't always been the best (though its decent now). I'm told my daughter has a good seat (shes learned her riding skills with a bareback pad, no stir-ups and a side-pull halter so shes had to work for good balance and good communication with the horse) but I need to buy a regular saddle and I want one that she can someday use (a long time from now) when we think shes ready to try riding off of our property. The woman whos worked with my daughter before has recommended an australian style saddle.

Any thoughts on the best type of saddle for safety?
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-20-2013, 09:32 PM
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Something like a Beartrap Barrel Saddle, has a nice high cantle and beartrap swells to help keep you in the seat

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-20-2013, 10:43 PM
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I like Australian style saddles because the poleys acts similar to a 'bear trap', but lower on the thigh where it does more good, IMHO. However, my wife and youngest daughter hate Aussie-style saddles. My oldest daughter and I prefer them. Barrel racing saddles are deeper than most Australian saddles, and a tall horn is pretty nice if you are sliding off the side. The Aussie saddles have a more English feel to them. I'd like to try a barrel racing saddle, but my wife seems to think eating is a higher priority for our budget...women!
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-21-2013, 10:27 PM
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Another vote for the Aussie! Although trained in dressage, my preference for the trails is a saddle that "hugs" my seat with the deep cantle, and has the poleys for that extra thigh hug. My only issue with the Aussie is when posting at the trot. One has to be a bit of a contortionist to rise.

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post #5 of 14 Old 03-22-2013, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
but my wife seems to think eating is a higher priority for our budget...women!
I must admit to agreeing with your wife!

Thank you all for your replies. I'll see if any of our friends or neighbors have these type of saddles so my daughter can try them to see if she has a preference. If that doesn't work out, then we'll try the local feed stores or tack stores.

Both sound very good!
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-22-2013, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by backyardhorse View Post
My only issue with the Aussie is when posting at the trot. One has to be a bit of a contortionist to rise.
That's only an issue if the Aussie saddle doesn't fit you right, or you rise too high when you're posting.

Take it from an Aussie, they don't get in the way!! You get some pretty impressive bruises if your horse decides to pretend to be a rodeo bronc though. [although idk about you, but I'd rather stay on my horse and prevent possible broken bones/neck... I'll take a few bruises over a broken neck any day!]

If you're a dressage nut and don't want to ride in an Aussie saddle, for whatever reason, a Bates Innova is almost as good. Don't bother with the new ones though, they're rubbish IMO and the leather is just.... ew. Second hand and 3-4 years old or older is best. I rode in two, and neither of them quite fit [one was an 18 inch, can't remember which 'size' that equates to {they come in 0-3 IIRC} but I ride in a 17 to 17.5 inch saddle [long thighs, I'm only about 5'1 and very slender but yeah], and the other was too small], but I loved BOTH of them. Sitting or posting, trot was SOOOO easy. And I was on an FEI dressage horse with absolutely enormous movement. Felt so secure with the big thigh blocks. I was not coming off that horse in a hurry, no matter what he did. [he was quiet and extremely lazy so he wasn't going to do anything really drastic, but I'm a very nervous rider, especially on horses I don't know, so I had a lot of what-ifs running through my head]

I'm not a big fan of Western saddles but the one we have [granted it's a Wintec which haven't had good reviews] is wonderful for beginner riders, we just chuck them up there and tell them to hang on to the horn. The only downside is that the fenders are pretty long. It's a smallish saddle but the fenders are too long for ME and I have really long legs.

We had an ASD kid riding with us in my synthetic dressage saddle which is a cheap copy of the Wintec Isabell. Not a shadow on the original but a decent saddle and very secure. Unfortunately the poor little guy came out of that saddle, but his position is dreadful and he really has nothing to fall back on if his mount spooks [which is what happened, it wasn't even a very big spook!]... I'm on the Spectrum and while I never had motor skills issues I like a little help now and then. The horse I ride with the synthetic dressage saddle is my breaker so you can see why!


Last edited by blue eyed pony; 03-22-2013 at 02:45 AM.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-22-2013, 11:31 PM
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No question in my mind that a stock saddle is the most secure "off the rack" saddle. The high cantles of the Western style saddles really can't compete with the poleys for keeping you in the saddle and while I've heard people say that they get in the way of posting I have to wonder how they are posting. I've never had a problem posting in a stock saddle. Good ones are not cheap.

Not to get too personal (and a little off the subject), but I presume your daughter is still young which is usually the best time for closing the ASD. Hopefully she doesn't have another condition that makes the risk of repairing unacceptable.

None of my business though. Im sure you worry enough about it. Just something as a parent I tend to think about when it comes to children. Thankfully mine survived their childhood (possibly because killing them in their teens was against the law ). No, I must have loved them or I'd have given them to their mother instead of having custody and raising them alone .

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-23-2013, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Lol...I also have a teen...well, young adult now actually. I got her to wear a T-shirt one year for halloween that simply said, "I'm a teenager, isn't that scary enough?"

Yes, my child with ASD is still young and shes already leaving the obvious signs of it behind her. With the problems resolving, shes showing a high IQ and is ahead of her peers now in math, reading and spelling. She has an incredible Problem solving and co-operative work are the areas she struggles with in school. Well, and everything social also. If she was diagnosed based on who she is today, she'd probably get diagnosed as aspergers rather then high-functioning autism. Shes still receiving speech therapy and probably will for a while yet. But I remember how hard it was to get that first sign for 'eat' and her speech sounds perfect to me. She'll definitely be ok and able to be independent when shes all grown up. Intensely focused on anything she cares about; dismissive and impatient with everything else.

Also off topic...I laughed when I read some of the posts discussing aspergers and lies. It made me think of my daughter and how she still very much has her own little world in a less obvious way. She talks out loud to her self a lot of the time, so I get to share in that world a little bit. No one can tell me that she doesn't have a highly active She doesn't lie at this point...but I can certainly see how her private world can overlap the real world at times.

Last edited by Saengchwi; 03-23-2013 at 12:45 AM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-23-2013, 01:26 AM
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Another vote for an Aussie saddle. I won't trail ride in anything else.

My gelding is young and green, so a secure saddle is a must. We were on a trail ride with a friend and Aires threw a little fit because I wouldn't let him go down some rocks after my friend's horse (my friend's horse wasn't out of the way yet). He got halfway down the rocks and I was trying to slow him down so we didn't run up my friend's horse's butt and he jumped and bucked in one motion down the last bunch of rocks (about two feet high). The poleys on my saddle kept me from coming out of the saddle and because I knew I wasn't in danger if coming out, I actually ended up laughing as we landed.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-23-2013, 01:27 AM
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I was thinking that she had the heart condition known as ASD (don't ask me the name, I'm better with abreviations than medical names). Basically it's a problem with the walls between the left and right side of the heart that results in blood passing between them when and where it shouldn't (over simplified, but I'm not a Dr). If it's not treating can lead to even more problems and there are conditions that make treatment almost riskier than not treating it.

Anyway, I better understand what the situation is and in your case I'd certainly recommend a good stock saddle. My girlfriend loves mine because she feels so secure in it.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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