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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my second saddle I've tried for my mare and it just doesn't seem to fit, I just don't know why? I'm not terribly savy fitting a western saddle (english no problem!), so I need some help.
The saddle looks great when my mare has her head up and standing still. But then when she walks the back of the saddle flips up about 3 inches. I tried a couple different pads, but all pretty much the same thing. She naturally drops her head down low when she moves. When she trots the thing just slaps up and down on her back, so she'd just stops trotting.
*I did set the saddle back about an inch or 2 after I took the first couple standing pics, I just wasn't thinking and forgot to retake them. The last pic she is walking up a hill, but it shows pretty well how much the saddle comes up.

And please excuse her hair, she is shedding faster than her hair is growing back. I had a my vet check her yesterday to be sure thats all it was
 

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I think it is common for a saddle to come up when head is down. How is it when you are riding? That is how I would check it. You can also use the rear cinch to help hold the back down. What breed of horse? She looks to have a fairly short back.
 

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I looked at this yesterday, but didn't know enough to say anything. I looked again today and in the 4th picture it looks like it is NOT off her back. Is it or not? On the other pictures is the saddle sitting in the same place as the 4th pic? I think maybe if the saddle is too far up on the withers it might make the saddle sit up in the back. Not sure

I just got a new saddle and a few times I have looked at at it before going out to mount up and the back of the saddle was sitting up and it had a good rock front to back. I was trying to figure out why, I think my horse may have been eating some loose hay on the ground because I would check again and it was fine and with no rock. Try maybe moving it a little furter back and see what happens.

I have been through months of learning and research on forums and the internet on saddlefitting, Just last week I finally bought a saddle that fits my boy but I am no means an expert just very eager to learn and help when I can. I like to read what others post and learn from that.

One thing, on the front shots of the saddle where the top front panel is off the horse is a good thing I learned from a saddlefitter that I talked to at the Equine affair.

Good luck and i hope others post with more knowledge than I have to give and let us know what you find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did not ride in the saddle because it obviously does not fit her, just pushing down on the back of the saddle while standing on the ground was enough to make her uncomfortable. I was just posting to ask why it might not fit so I can find a better fit for her. I think its just that the tree is too narrow for her? Or too much rock in the tree for her?
I did have a flank cinch on it at first- found out quick she does not like them. She bucked like a bronc, it took 4 times around the round pen before I could get her stopped and fix the saddle what was now up on her shoulders. Flank cinchs are not meant to hold a poorly fitting saddle down anyways, they are preventing the saddle flipping up excessively for hard stops, roping, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
garlicbunny- yes you are right the saddle is NOT off her back in any of the standing pics. The problem was when she moved forward, she naturally drops her head down and the saddle comes up. I tried it in several positions on her back, even ridiculously far back and it came up each time.
 

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I had a saddle that was too narrow on my horse when I first got him and he developed sparse white hairs behind his withers (which have gone away) and there was definetely too much rock for his back. If I could email you a pic of the saddle I have now it fits perfect in the front and it was like WOW, this is a good fit, there was no question ...it is the one.

Maybe it is a combination of too narrow and incorrect rock. I will have to take a look again at the length of the saddle, the rear concho should not go beyond the 18th rib and the concho's in front and back should be even. Do you know that the front concho should be 1-2" behind the shoulder blade? A good place for saddle fit info is Horse Saddle Shop, they have loads of info and that is where I ended up purchasing my new saddle after sending in pictures of the gullet templates on him and a wither tracing and a few pictures...well more than a few, they are very helpful there, you might try that route..
 

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The saddle does not look too long, try running the flat of your hand from the top of the bars (where the conchos are) from top to bottom. If the pressure is even and you can get your hand in there, that is good, if it is tighter on the top then the saddle is too wide. If it pinches on the bottom then the saddle is too narrow. Also the pressure from the front of the bars to the back should be pretty even pressure also. Keep posting, I am curious to find out how things turn out for you.. and good luck!
 
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