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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have a 15hh standardbred and am looking at getting another saddle for her. She came with an abetta saddle but I am looking to get another one. When she came to me she was underweight and now that she has filled out I can’t tell if the gullet fits her. I would get her fitted but there are no saddle fitters in the area so I’m out of luck.. the saddle she has now has full qtr horse bars. I’ve attached some pictures below with the saddle on and one of her back.
 

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Welcome to the Forum!!

To me the saddle is a tad forward of where I would like to see it...otherwise...
Its not a bad fit.
Wither clearance seen.
Not seeing a "pinch" of to tight with it just sitting there.
I would not be using a thick saddle pad myself but a thinner pad or doubled blanket if that.
To much padding will make the saddle pitch and pinch.
Wish you had shown a rear forward facing picture so we could see how and where the gullet lies on the spine better...
It is not only how the front of a saddle sits that makes a fit or not...
It is how the entire saddle sits and fits the horses shoulder, back, spine and sides that tell the story.
No saddle fit standards exist today so brand to brand sizing can change and does.
It can be trial and error finding a fit that works well, but your mare is not a strange shape or exhibit things that would make fit difficult..

If you can go to a saddle shop, sit in a few saddles that fit you then ask that store if they can bring them to your barn for a horse fit... a serious potential sale can make a lot of good happen.
Or, ask if you can trailer the horse to the store and have a safe location/place to unload for trying saddles and you would like to sit on them and ride a bit cause it feels different sitting on a wooden horse versus the real thing moving under you.
Major saddle companies have saddle reps who are decent at fitting saddles, just recognize they are going to push their products..
You can find that with fitters too if they are affiliated with any companies and get a kickback or perk from selling a particular something or other.
Stores know when and what days those reps will be at their store or they can arrange a time and date if seriously looking/buying will result in a sale.
:runninghorse2:...
 
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I agree; the saddle is fine. Though she filled out, her back shape is still the same. She's a gorgeous, healthy looking horse, btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay thank you! I’m going to get more pictures to post when I get home. The closest saddle shop in my area is over an hour away and just sells English tack so I’ve been researching the best that I could online. I found a used Dakota saddle online that I really like and is full Qh bars but I’ve heard mixed reviews. I’ve also been looking at Circle Y saddles with flex trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi, my friend let me borrow her Dakota to see how it fit my horse. I took pictures of it on her back not cinched up, pictures of no pad and it cinched up, and a pad and all. I also walked her around and it didn’t move forward or backwards. I think it fits her but I would like a second opinion.
 

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Again, saddle needs to be back far enough to be clear of the scapula.

1st pic is an eg of approx scapula placement & where saddle tree should sit in relation(disregard arrows) & second pic shows how far back the top of it can move when the leg is in extension.
 

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No, not a good fit.
Saddle sits low in front, rear is popped up off her back no matter just sitting, cinched or pad & cinched...
It doesn't fit nearly as well as your saddle.
The reason you did not see it "pop up" is because it is already popped up.
Loosie shares good graphics to better understand where the sweet spot is in setting a saddle but if you set a saddle forward on the neck and slide it backward it actually drops where it needs to on that particular horse and horses build if you allow it.
My vote is, keep looking.
There is a better fit out there for the horse, for you.

I know you did not ask but I noticed...
When you saddle the horse to actually ride, please for comfort of the horse...
Pull your saddle pad/blanket a bit up into the saddle gullet area, aka tenting, which will give a bit of extra room to the wither area so it is not strangled under to tight a blanket/pad which can lead to rubs and sores on the horse when wearing a attached saddle no matter the discipline of tack used.
Something I learned a long time ago by a old-horseman who noticed my horse had a sore, was sore I had no explanation for.
You may already do this but just did not when doing the pictures, in which case, "me shutting up".
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay thank you! Do you know of any brands that you would think would better fit her, I don’t have a saddle shop around so I can’t just go try on saddles which really sucks. I think Dakotas are just too narrow for her. I tried it on my Rocky Mountain and also think it didn’t fit. I put it two fingers behind her shoulder blade.
 

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Do you know how old your saddle is?
Abetta was bought by Action Saddle Company at some point so your tree could be made by different manufacturers for that reason.
Knowing your saddle fits if you really think you have a difficult fit issue I would start by looking for whose tree is in what really fits her back well today.

Now, for other saddlers...
Try Circle Y or High Horse who are affiliated and use same trees.
Try Tex Tan as they are also a good company with trees that fit many, many horses like your horses build is.
Look at the various Billy Cook saddles as they are different companies so trees come from different manufacturers...
There are many fine saddle makers, and many small custom saddlers around...
You just need to look, touch, feel and check fit of any used or take a chance and buy online and hope it fits, it is good quality nothing wrong with it...

Stay away from the cheap saddles...they are a recipe for potential problems.
When I mean cheap, if a new saddle is $400 -$500, you must figure the cost of materials and employees work hours and profit...how the heck does a company make quality or decent at those prices is beyond me.
If you are looking at new anywhere the price of $350 or less, just walk away please.
:runninghorse2:...
jmo...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don’t know how old my a betta is, I’ve had her for 5 years so he had to have bought it a while back since she came with it... do you know how to find out the age? There’s no serial number or anything on the saddle.
 

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Sometimes saddle trees are etched, stenciled with symbols, numbers and a makers mark.
Usually there is some sort of number someplace on the saddle...
Along cantle underside, under the saddle flaps where the rigging is, under the pommel in the gullet area...
I don't know where else to suggest looking but if you have the horse and you know he had the saddle ?? years, then you have to figure it wasn't new when he gave it to you and he considered it not worth anything to sell...probably 15 years maybe older is where I would begin searching.
Then the digging to uncover model and approximate age begins.
Contact Abetta too as they may be able to give you more information than you think by looking at a couple of pictures too...
:runninghorse2:...
 
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