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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

Looking for advice - I purchased a Collegiate Convertible Dressage saddle with interchangeable gullet system for my daughter. We have all of the gullet plates. Here is the issue - my daughter is away at college as is her horse and now the saddle. Daughter is claiming that NONE of the gullets fit her horse. To be honest I find it hard to believe - her horse is a tall fairly narrow Tennessee Walking Horse. She is currently riding her in a semi QH bar western saddle that fits her really well. So how can none of these gullets match up to a semi QH bar western saddle?

Since she is 6 hours away I cannot be there to help or over see. And I do not ride English. This is a dressage saddle if that makes a difference. My daughter has primarily ridden in a Dressage saddle the last 3 years and that is why we purchased this saddle as her other saddle is far too wide for this mare.

I need help from anyone with experience with this type of saddle. We also have the gullet measuring tool if that helps at all.

Daughter is very discouraged and I would hate to think I wasted all that money on a saddle that we cannot use.

FWIW - the saddle is 3 years old - the seller gave me a copy of her original receipt.
 

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Which exact model is it though?
I went to the manufacturers website and what you called it doesn't fit anything that jumps off the page at me...
https://www.collegiatesaddlery.com/saddles-saddlery/saddles?cat=271
Without knowing exactly which model...there could be differences because the foundation is different the saddle is made upon...
Also if you are not aware there is a recall on certain models of Collegiate saddles because a screw is wrong and creates safety issues to horse and rider...
https://www.collegiatesaddlery.com/recall-notification
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The model is the Collegiate Intellect Dressage saddle. I think her issue is she is not placing it behind the shoulders and is trying to place it over her shoulders and wither. Her last horse had no shoulders or wither (super mutton withered) so saddle placement looked different.

I contacted Collegiate directly and they suggested a professional saddle fitter. That may come at a later date.
 

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Which exact model is it though?
I went to the manufacturers website and what you called it doesn't fit anything that jumps off the page at me...
https://www.collegiatesaddlery.com/saddles-saddlery/saddles?cat=271
Without knowing exactly which model...there could be differences because the foundation is different the saddle is made upon...
Also if you are not aware there is a recall on certain models of Collegiate saddles because a screw is wrong and creates safety issues to horse and rider...
https://www.collegiatesaddlery.com/recall-notification
:runninghorse2:...
This is the one she is talking about. :) https://www.collegiatesaddlery.com.au/products/dressage-saddles/intellect-dressage-saddle
 

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Easiest method, since you have a set of gullets, is to place each on the horse in the right position ie. over the withers 2" behind the back of the shoulder blade. The right width should sit against the horse without any more than a very small gap between it and the spine (less than the thickness of your little finger) and without it rattling from side to side to any great extent. The latter may be caused by hollowing behind the shoulder, (that's what you may need a saddle fitter to deal with) so to double-check you can sit the gullet further forward, over the shoulders themselves, when again it should be a close fit without lifting clear of the withers/spine.

You have to bear in mind that with English saddles, the tree and panel are both as important as one another.

Best of luck :)
 

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Having gone through two saddles before I met my saddle fitter, and now having been with the same saddle longer than I had the other two....

I really can't suggest a saddle fitter enough. I thought I knew enough about saddle fit. The muscle wastage behind Izzie's shoulders proved I didn't know anything.

I don't know that saddle well, but I had a wintec. If he's as narrow as you suggest, I definitely think she's on the shoulders as opposed to behind them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think we found the right gullet through trial and error and the help of some youtube videos and doing as @unclearthur suggested. She rode her for about an hour in the saddle last night - it was 80 degrees in So IL and the mare sweated a lot. No dry marks behind the shoulders but palm size dry mark at the back of the saddle on one side. I said probably from how the saddle fit and formed to the last horse and that my daughter was sitting off to one side as they were working in an arena around poles and barrels.

Sawyer (the horse) was not sore after the ride and daughter said she moved extremely well and free at her gait (running walk, flat walk and canter)

Are we worried about a pretty large dry spot at the back where the back of the saddle rests? FWIW my daughter is 5'10" and weights 125lbs.

I tried to upload pics but they are fairly dark and are hard to see
 

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I second sending a fitter over there to check it out.
 

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I would try it a couple more times and see if the dry spot still appears, and if your horse gets sore, then look into other options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I need to find a fitter. I am not in any way close to any barns that ride English or Dressage. Remember NW IL - as in close to WI and IA borders by 30 miles or less. Getting someone who is knowledgeable in fitting a dressage saddle may be a bit tough. The only place that used to do this type of thing was Libertyville Saddle shop which was about 3 hours east of me and they closed their doors.
 
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