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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well what I thought I could improve with a thinner pad has turned out to be maybe best improved with a new saddle. My mare is a legit land hippo. She could stand to lose a few lbs but I dont think she will ever lose weight or thickness off her shoulders.

So heres my dilemma. My saddle is a genuine Billy cook FQHB. Its too tight/narrow for her. My trainer tried on HER billy cooks which are all way older than mine (mines a few years old hers are 15+/20+ years). Hers fit. How does that figure. Has billy cook made their saddles narrower as time went on? Or are hers just widened from age and other big horses?
I tried on a corriente at her place too its also narrow. I could custom order one but thats a big risk for it to *maybe* fit.

For now Im searching for used old saddles in the exact models she had on my mare that fit. Which is #1524 and aprox 20 years old. No luck so far. And even then if its just her saddles are very broke in then what im looking for may not fit. She isn't willing to sell me her saddle.

Advice? Help? What should I do.
 

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I don't think a western tree with move/stretch over time, though the fleece can compact.


Billy Cook did sell their operations to another maker, some time back (as did many of the old time favorite names). So, the new maker might use the same name, but different tree.
 

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I tried on a corriente at her place too its also narrow. I could custom order one but thats a big risk for it to *maybe* fit.
If I remember correctly, Corriente builds all of their saddles on the same tree, so custom ordering your own will likely not make a difference.

Have you had a professional saddle fitter out? That is probably the easiest starting point for finding a brand that may work best for your horse, and then looking for a specific model that is ideal.

Do you have any pictures of your horse's back from various angles? Some members on here may have a good starting point for a saddle to try.
 
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Yeah the older saddles must have been made on wider trees - they don't change over time. Unfortunately there is no universal size of 'FQHB' etc, even, it seems, from the same brand. You really need to measure your horse, then measure the width, angle etc of any saddle you want to try. It is not all about gullet width either - people get hung up on that bit & it IS important, but it is but one measurement that's important to fit a saddle well. You may also need flared bars for this horse, to stay off her big shoulders - remember, there should be no pressure over the scapula at all, or immediately behind it. Saddles sitting too far forward are a common problem too.
 

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The original Billy Cook saddle maker was in Greenville, Tx. Sometime in the 90's I believe he moved his shop to Oklahoma. There are "Billy Cook" stamped saddles made in Greenville by Longhorn/Simco. With that said, perhaps yours is a Longhorn/Simco Billy Cook built on their tree and your trainers are made by the original Billy Cook?

Also, trees vary between builders and tree style. Although gullet width is one factor in saddle fit it isn't the only as previously mentioned.
 

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Salty has super wide shoulders. My daughter's first used Corriente was way too narrow for him. My Circle Y flex tree wide fits him okay in the shoulders, but he has high withers as well, so I use a pad with a set back build up to fill in right behind the shoulders. It's the best solution I can figure out and he is going okay with the combination.

I am considering, in the next year or two, getting a custom Usher barrel saddle for him. They are $$$, but built for athletic, muscular high withered barrel horses. Maybe next year, but more likely the year after.

FYI on Corriente saddles... I just ordered my daughter a custom new Lady Wade Ranch saddle for Hoot. It's awesome, but when ordering, I asked about tree sizes and they specifically told me they only use one size that is designed to fit most horses. It does fit Hoot, a normal sized quarter horse, very well.

First pics Salty, second pic Hoot with new Corriente.... they are close to the same size, but Salty's shoulders and chest are much wider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just to clarify. My saddle and my trainers are both the original genuine sulpher OK billy cooks. :) thanks for the feedback so far! Ill grab some pics.
 

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FYI on Corriente saddles... I just ordered my daughter a custom new Lady Wade Ranch saddle for Hoot. It's awesome, but when ordering, I asked about tree sizes and they specifically told me they only use one size that is designed to fit most horses. It does fit Hoot, a normal sized quarter horse, very well.

First pics Salty, second pic Hoot with new Corriente.... they are close to the same size, but Salty's shoulders and chest are much wider.
Not to hi-jack the thread, but I ordered a Corriente Wade recently and got it at the beginning of May! It's just the regular Wade, which weighs quite a bit but I love it. I was curious about the Lady Wades but never asked. How are they different from their regular Wade? I assume they are lighter weight (mine is probably close to 40lbs)? I wonder if the seat is different? I have heard sometimes women's saddles are narrower in the twist. Their regular Wade is definitely not narrow........but I ride it just fine. I would be curious if the Lady Wade would be more comfortable or even if the seat is different at all...........just random thoughts you might not have the answer to, but I am curious about the Lady Wade.

I got the regular Wade with full tooling. Figured I might as well order my dream saddle, it wasn't that much more to get the extra tooling. :smile:

Here is mine.
 

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@trailhorserider

I think the Lady Wade has a narrower twist, but I'm not sure if there any other diffferences.

They sure do make nice saddles! Pictures don't convey the quality of the leather and craftmanship.

If Cedar and Salty weren't such wide loads, I would buy one for myself! I guess I am lucky that both my horses are very close to the same size, so they both fit the same sale with different pads.
 

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Somebody may have told you the Billy Cook was FQHB when they sold it to you, when in fact it was semi. Just guessing here because I don't even know if they make semi bars. I've seen people advertise saddles as full when in fact they're not, they are semi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Somebody may have told you the Billy Cook was FQHB when they sold it to you, when in fact it was semi. Just guessing here because I don't even know if they make semi bars. I've seen people advertise saddles as full when in fact they're not, they are semi.

Saddle was.purchased brand new from pleasant ridge saddlery. The staff memeber I was dealing with was very well informed so I doubt that. Mare is built VERY foundation quarter horse type and is quite wide everywhere.
 

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Somebody may have told you the Billy Cook was FQHB when they sold it to you, when in fact it was semi. Just guessing here because I don't even know if they make semi bars. I've seen people advertise saddles as full when in fact they're not, they are semi.
Yep i've had that happen to me was told saddle was FQHB and wasn't was semi quarter horse bars. I wont buy a saddle until i've seen it in person and measured it myself.
 

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She looks similar to Salty -- very wide in the body, chest and shoulders. For sure, a Corriente did not fit him, and caused a spectacular rodeo bucking fit, sending my daughter flying one way, and her boot sailing another.

I worry about buying any new saddle for him without it being custom. I do know that a wide Circle Y has enough room in the shoulders for him, so that may be a good option for your girl. If it's not, they hold their resale value well. I'm glad you posted about the Billy Cook, because I like them and was wondering whether their FQH would work for my guys, but I'll either go with a Circle Y or a semi-custom or custom Usher when I get a barrel saddle.
 

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Some Billy Cook saddles are built on a QH Bar verses a FQHB.. Even though they are wider than other saddle brands for their QH gullet and marked as a wide.. Some are more narrow. It's possible that the one you have isn't a "true" FQHB saddle of Billy Cook? I would see which one you have and order a new one of what works if you are able? https://www.horsesaddleshop.com/billy-cook-saddles.html. Horse Saddle Shop has templates to measure your horse as well if you need.. But I love this sites ability to navigate through easily!
 
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