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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m looking for advice/opinions.
My new 5 year old has been a pain to fit.
I was hoping to get a custom saddle, or order a McCall wade with the modified tree (what his previous owner rode him in—but all the sudden a $4k saddle is NOT in the cards—just found out I’m pregnant, so I’m in money saving mode. I’d like to comment that I am in Canada, and saddles are that expensive here, and there seems to be a lack of quality used saddles.
I’ve tried several on him—they’re too wide, too narrow, too much/not enough rock, issues with flare, etc. This saddle seemed to fit relatively well, until he moves. It’s an old N.porter Arizona roper that IS sound—it just had a visit with a saddle maker and was refleeced and gone over. I’d like to add the back of the skirt is ‘split’ and the leather lifts a bit. The thing is—it is one of the most comfy saddles I’ve sat in 😞 Lol. It’s mine for the cost of a few art commissions from a friend—if I want it. I guess I’m really hoping I can make it work.
I’ve read that this bouncing can happen due to the rigging or the saddle being too wide—which is hard to believe.
If it’s a rigging issue—is there a way to fix this?
I’ve measured his back with a wintec saddle gauge—it’s pretty close when compared to the saddle
The link is a video to show the Sergio bouncing 😞
Would a ride with a white sheet underneath be worth it—I’ve never done this before and don’t really know how well it actually shows fitting issues.

https://youtu.be/6UmQDC2myis
 

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I can't comment on the saddle fit too much - it looks like from the pic you posted that there is good spinal clearance.

I have been told that the white towel/white sheet method can work really well to determine if there is bridging or pressure points, so it wouldn't hurt to try this. I don't find that just reading sweat patterns is a great way to determine if the saddle fits or not.

I would suggest doing up the back cinch though - as that would alleviate the saddle bouncing around.
 

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I prefer a baby pad (thin square pad used under english saddles. Doesn't move around as much as the sheet I tried it with. I have a white but any color works - even the black ones we have for showing patterns. Trying to fit my child and the horse he rides I have a photo gallery of pad pics and the horse with the saddle and pad removed so you can see his sweat marks. All were sent to the saddle maker for evaluation. We are purchasing a used saddle that they will adjust flocking and adjust the tree.



Better if you don't groom heavily so there is plenty of dust to mark the pad.
 

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I have been told that the white towel/white sheet method can work really well to determine if there is bridging or pressure points, so it wouldn't hurt to try this. I don't find that just reading sweat patterns is a great way to determine if the saddle fits or not.
If you think you are going to be a little bit obsessive about saddle fit (like me :oops:) you can make yourself an impression pad for cheap.
Here are the instructions:
https://blackestofallcreatures.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/diy-saddle-impression-pad-the-carola-pad/
Mine is over a year old and still works... It has some dry spots on the corners, where I didn't seal it completely, but still works...
I find it easier to read than the white baby pad (and works on a clean horse too).
 

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the rigging on that saddle requires a back cinch to properly evaluate the fit. It looks like a full rigged (not sure of the correct name), but where the 'pull' of the cinch is as far forward as possible. it needs a back cinch, and not one that is 'hanging down for looks only', but rather one that is engaged, touching the body and has some actual tension.

be careful if this horse has never had a back cinch [email protected]!
 

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the rigging on that saddle requires a back cinch to properly evaluate the fit. It looks like a full rigged (not sure of the correct name), but where the 'pull' of the cinch is as far forward as possible. it needs a back cinch, and not one that is 'hanging down for looks only', but rather one that is engaged, touching the body and has some actual tension.

be careful if this horse has never had a back cinch [email protected]!
And use a cinch hobble!!

To OP, if horse doesn't know a rear cinch, put it on the lunge line in a small yard. Then use another real long line and loop it over the horse, so your holding both ends. Hand tighten it or lift it up to simulate pressure from the withers first and slowly inch it back, repeating the pressure as you go. If it happens to be okay with it and stood for it all, then repeat while having the horse walk, trot and lastly canter. You can also use a suringicle to be hands free, but you don't want them to buck it off as your tightening it, so using the line may be best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. He is used to a rear cinch. I’m going to try that with the saddle in my next days off, and also try a white sheet underneath. I hope it’ll make it work and give me a better idea. I’ve also purchased a longer and slightly thinner pad, so hopefully that will help. I’ll likely have a friend out whose job is horses to come have a look as well. I was getting stressed out about trying to find a saddle to use, as I want to get riding, and don’t want a sore horse.
 

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I also can’t tell anything from the photos. What exactly makes you think the saddle is a poor fit?

Here is my two cents. Personally I would never buy a saddle specifically made for one horse. I ride several different horse each year using the same saddle in most all cases. I adjust for each different horse by changing the thickness of saddle pads & this work for most all situations except maybe a draft or extreme muntin backed horse.
 

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I also can’t tell anything from the photos. What exactly makes you think the saddle is a poor fit?

Here is my two cents. Personally I would never buy a saddle specifically made for one horse. I ride several different horse each year using the same saddle in most all cases. I adjust for each different horse by changing the thickness of saddle pads & this work for most all situations except maybe a draft or extreme muntin backed horse.
I agree.

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Use of a back cinch would help eliminate the bouncing I see in the video. Back cinches are meant to be used on double rigging to create an even pull on the tree regardless of the job you're doing.

In the video, is the placement of the saddle where you saddled him or did it run up on his shoulders while you were gyping him around?
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I also can’t tell anything from the photos. What exactly makes you think the saddle is a poor fit?

Here is my two cents. Personally I would never buy a saddle specifically made for one horse. I ride several different horse each year using the same saddle in most all cases. I adjust for each different horse by changing the thickness of saddle pads & this work for most all situations except maybe a draft or extreme muntin backed horse.
I don’t think it’s particularly a bad fit—I’ve just never seen a saddle bounce around like this before—that’s what mostly has me concerned.
 

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I would not be concerned with the bounce since there is no rider on the horse. If it were me I would try the existing saddle with your current pad for a few weeks and see how evenly it sweats the horse on longer rides. If you find consistent dry spots in certain areas adjust you pad thickness accordingly.

Best of luck,
 
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