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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all! I'm looking for a new saddle for my older APHA gelding, and I'm wondering whether I'm likely to do better with a stock saddle with swinging fenders. I have a below-knee prosthesis for my right leg, but because of my particular amputation, the prosthesis fits in a way where I can bend that knee very little.

I currently ride in a western, but because of the knee thing, it's pretty uncomfortable to use the stirrup on that side, so I just ride without my fake leg. It works okay, but I would like to have the security of two stirrups sometimes. Right now, I limit my cantering to the arena and straightaways on the trail, and even at walk/trot, balance can be tricky on steep terrain with just the one foot.

No one I know has a swinging fender saddle for me to try, but I'm wondering if that might solve my issue. What I'm wondering is whether they decrease rider stability more than riding one-legged.

I want to get a new saddle anyway, and I may just end up with another western, but I've always been interested in stock and Aussie saddles.

Any advice is appreciated! <3
 

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Well, barrel saddles are the ones that tend to have more swing in the fenders. However, that also can mean needing more muscle/control to keep your legs from going everywhere. My roping saddle has minimal fender movement and I can post in it so easy, last time I rode a friends horse she put me in a barrel saddle and me trying to post wasn't exactly a walk in the park lol.
 

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What about a Dressage saddle with large knee rolls?

English style saddles have leather straps connecting the stirrups to the saddle. Large knee rolls would give you something to “lean” on To help with swing the leather straps might produce.

The English irons are easy enough to change out to any type of stirrup you would need.

These types of saddles are also easier to fit to the horse, so finding one to fit both of you might not be as big of a deal:)

Or, you could do the reverse and put english leather stirrup straps on a western saddle:)
 

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Or, you could do the reverse and put english leather stirrup straps on a western saddle:)
^^^ This was my first thought. Easy enough to try (borrow leathers and stirrups for a test ride and see if this helps). If you feel like it's working better than fenders, then you can still consider getting wide trail/endurance stirrups instead of regular irons.
 

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I ride in a Tucker River Plantation saddle that has English leathers on it and I love it. That may help you. Tucker Endurance saddles have great knee rolls too in case you like something that keeps your leg in position
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, all! I will take your suggestions into consideration. Saddle shopping is stressing me the heck out!!!
 

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Thanks, all! I will take your suggestions into consideration. Saddle shopping is stressing me the heck out!!!
Aw. That's a shame.

I like figuring out what will work. Even for those tough to fit ones. My friends and I stare at their backs. Reminisce about other horses. Watch each other ride him around. Compare a particular horse's body to another one we've seen. Call people we know.

Apparently we may be weird.

I hope you find a just right saddle for your horse. Soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I like figuring out what will work. Even for those tough to fit ones.
The stressful part is that I'm afraid I'll get the wrong thing and my guy will hate it :eek: The confusing thing for me is the fact that trees vary so much. Like, I'm pretty sure he needs a SQH, and I can measure the gullet, but beyond that, how do I choose which brand has the right angles? People say that trees vary even within a single line from a particular brand, so I'd have to somehow find a copy of the exact saddle to try on him?

Or maybe it's not actually as difficult to get a healthy fit as I'm fearing?
 
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I switched out the Aussie fenders for English stirrup straps on my western (with horn) Aussie. I much prefer it. I bought a pair of stability leathers from Total Saddle Fit ( https://www.totalsaddlefit.com/shop/shop/stability-stirrup-leathers/ ) and loved them. Note the loved part. My child absconded with them when he borrowed my saddle for a week. Expensive yes but made so much of a difference it was worth it. I just bought him the SLIM version to go with the new (used) saddle we just purchased. We are debating those. He likes them even more than mine for riding but you can't run the stirrup up and have to cross them for storage. That part he dislikes immensely.
 
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