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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at Crest Ridge Saddles, Steele Saddles, and Dixieland Saddles for my Peruvian Paso mare who is lower withered with a wide flat back making her a bit difficult to fit. If people could give me some opinions on these saddlries I'd love to hear them. dixieland is definitely more affordable for me, then crest ridge but now that steele is having a month long sale I could get a steel for the same price as a crest ridge. I love a scoop seat with a high rise and high cantle! That's why I was eyeing steele so much!
 

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That's what I was worried about the rise is so high on it, but I'm no saddle fitting pro so... I could be wrong. I met up with one of the saddle fitters at crest ridge today to show her pictures of my two horses... The first she got easily but then she saw my mare and was like "that's a hard to fit horse, defintly going to need measurements for her."
 

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That's what I was worried about the rise is so high on it, but I'm no saddle fitting pro so... I could be wrong. I met up with one of the saddle fitters at crest ridge today to show her pictures of my two horses... The first she got easily but then she saw my mare and was like "that's a hard to fit horse, defintly going to need measurements for her."
Not sure how big you are but a Peruvian needs a short saddle because they are not very big or long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not sure how big you are but a Peruvian needs a short saddle because they are not very big or long.
Yes she is shorter backed, I'm 5'3 and shift between 168-173lbs so I prefer a 17"... Even sat on a crest ridge today and they measured me out a 17". I'm real careful with not wanting to get anything too long for her. She's 14.3.
 

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Yes she is shorter backed, I'm 5'3 and shift between 168-173lbs so I prefer a 17"... Even sat on a crest ridge today and they measured me out a 17". I'm real careful with not wanting to get anything too long for her. She's 14.3.
Wow, are you sure? I weigh about 45lbs more than you and I really like riding in a 16, or a 17," but most 17"s feel a bit sloppy to me. Or I feel like I am behind the horse's center of gravity. I have a good sized belly on me too. So I would hate to see what I measured out to with your saddle fitter! :shock:

I ride a stocky 14.3 Mustang with a 17" wade saddle with no problems with length. The tree is made by Steele, but I'm not sure if Steele saddles and Steele trees are both the same company? My saddles have Steele trees but are not Steele saddles. I would *assume* if they are a part of the same family, Steele saddles use Steele trees, but I have no idea.

Anyhow, I have had really good luck with Steele trees fitting my horses. I use both Full QH and QH Bar Steele trees on my horses. Much more versatile than ralide. I have had horrible luck with ralide fitting anything. I have no experience with Pasos though, so it is likely that the trees I have had good luck with would not fit your horse.
 

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All 3 of those brands use Steele Trees, it is all a matter of if the Saddle Maker chooses the correct Tree for your Horse

Ask for the Fitting Forms, that will help determine which Tree is needed for your Horse, they are small lightweight forms that they can ship to you for testing, be ready to take lots of pictures to send to the Saddle Maker for evaluation :wink:


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In most cases, the bars of a 17" saddle are too long for a smaller short-backed horse. Do not allow the bar to go beyond the last true rib. Find the rib about mid way down then scuff the hair in a vertical line. Chalk works well. Measure this length from just behind the scapula to your mark, about 6" from the spine and subtract 1". This is the length you can't exceed. The shoulder of a gaited horse has a lot of movement so you also need to check that the shoulder can move freely under the saddle.
 

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I guess my reaction is the same as trailhorserider. You sure? I'm about that size, 5'4", 165-170 and I fit into a 15 inch western, even have one that feels a little loose at 15 inches. English saddles I seem to like them around 17.5 but have had them go an inch either way depending on how the seat put me.

Maybe an arab tree? Round, short and wide. Seems the saddles that fit my arab fit my walker fine too even though the two looked to be shaped much differently.
 

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I would steer clear of Dixieland Saddles. I've seen the sad results of one that was custom made. And it was very upsetting to see too.

The length from front to back was uneven and noticeable. Buyer talked to owner of Dixieland, and sent saddle back for repair. When saddle came back to owner?

It was worse than before. After wrangling with the owner of Dixieland, she took it to a saddle repair shop in her area. He stripped saddle down and found the tree was lopsided, and other things were seriously wrong internally.

She contacted Dixieland with the pictures from the repair shop, and Dixieland owner was an idiot too.

I wrote to Dixieland and told her I was appalled by the e-mails she had sent the buyer, and that I would never recommend a saddle from her company either. She wrote me and was all high headed about "her company quality" to which I replied via e-mail...that from what I saw of her company and its saddles?

She had no company quality to speak of, and should be ashamed of herself.

Owner was out money for brand new saddle....shipping it back AND the money to repair it.

I would never buy anything from them. I saw the pictures and that made a big impression on me.
 

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In most cases, the bars of a 17" saddle are too long for a smaller short-backed horse. Do not allow the bar to go beyond the last true rib. Find the rib about mid way down then scuff the hair in a vertical line. Chalk works well. Measure this length from just behind the scapula to your mark, about 6" from the spine and subtract 1". This is the length you can't exceed. The shoulder of a gaited horse has a lot of movement so you also need to check that the shoulder can move freely under the saddle.
I have been told this is a myth. Here are some really good articles on this subject:

All western saddles extend over the loin

Can the loin of the horse carry weight?
 
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