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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm working with a saddle fitter remotely (what a challenge), but I like the idea of getting some second opinions because I'm not sure I feel any closer to figuring this out even with her help.

In addition to the one my fitter brought out when she took tracings, this is my 5th saddle I've tried for Coralie and my absolute favorite so far on how it looks from the side and how it feels for me.

It's a 16.5 Crosby Centennial Internationale - the seller listed it as MW but I just see an M on the stirrup bar (I think they are known to be a little wide so probably why she listed it that way).

I want this one to work so bad. But...this wither clearance looks tight? (It might be a bit far forward but I don't have a lot of back to work with here so I tried to make sure the tree starts 3 fingers back from her scapula.) At this point, I'd be willing to convert it to wool if some flocking would help. Any chance this saddle could work?

(I know the picture from the back is awful and dark - Coralie wasn't behaving because it was a windy day and I was all alone. I think there was enough of a channel for her spine but will need to confirm...)
 

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I think the clearance looks fine but would need to see how it changes when a riders weight is in the saddle
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the clearance looks fine but would need to see how it changes when a riders weight is in the saddle
Thank you! That's a bit of a concern for me. I don't think the pommel was on her withers when I was riding, but it might have been making contact a few inches back (so might be sitting a bit low).

I have a nice shimmed half pad that came with it on trial that I can try - maybe that will give it more lift?
 

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I think its best to do a sweat mark test and ride her with and without the shims. In my limited experience with english saddle they do not "squash" down much so the 3 finger clearance at the wither is good. The spine clearance looks good as well
 

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Sorry, chaps, but the clearance may look fine but that's not the issue. The problem is the saddle sits pommel-low, so the front/rear balance is off and it'll only get worse with a rider up.

You can't see if shoulder and front arch angles seem to match from the pics, but if they do I suspect the horse hollows behind the shoulder. The saddle has a felt or foam panel, probably non-adjustable, which means the only way to get it level is with a pad of some sort - I'd have thought converting the panel to a flocked one is pretty uneconomic. Be careful, though - a too-narrow saddle can often sit pommel low, depending on the horse's conformation, so you'd be better making a wither template to check against the arch width before you fit a shimmed pad. That should also give you an idea how much the horse is one-sided (and they all are, to a greater or lesser degree). Extra thickness of a pad, if the saddle is too narrow, will only make the arch tighter and more uncomfortable.

You can safely ignore the 3-finger (or 4 finger, or 5) 'rule' . It's not a rule at all, simply a very vague guideline someone made up. The rule is actually there must be clearance along the whole channel at all times.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the information, @unclearthur!

I am not sure if it's truly too pommel-low or the pictures were just poor. Admittedly, I couldn't get a really good side picture or proper squaring as she was pacing like crazy and I didn't want the saddle to end up on the ground. I'm going to try to get a bunch of better, brighter pictures along with some video today per my saddle fitter.
 

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I agree with unclearthur....
Saddle is sitting down not level.
Possible a tweak of fit could help. :think:

Not sure if you have room for a graduated pad that would raise the pommel and not the cantle to level the saddle off.
Hands on is so much easier to see and determine fit...sometimes really tough to do from pictures as you can tell.
When you do do pictures make sure she is standing square and on level hard ground...cross-ties work great for keeping them still and minimal wiggling around usually.
:runninghorse2:...
 
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