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I hate to tell you folks but there are very few real saddle fitters in both Canada and US. To be fully qualified they should be either saddle makers or taken a course thro the Master Saddlers. Most of the so-called fitters merely represent a company. Next time you talk to one ask for their qualifications. There's a lot more to fitting a saddle than seeing how it fits when the horse is standing still. If a horse moves with a hollow back there is more chance of rubbing because of front to back bridging.
 

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Forgive me as I know nothing about western tack :lol: but what is it about a western saddle that makes it able to be used on any horse and not fitted at all to the horse's back?
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A western saddle doesnt fit all horse backs and must be fitted well also just like engligh saddles. Because of the design (covers a wider area for weight dispersement) this can create a rather annoying problem and cant be altered with "simple" reflocking a panel. Some Western saddles can be to long for a short back and to short for a long back, gullets to wide or to narrow, bars to wide or to narrow or set at the wrong angles and etc. Just like with english saddles there are various different kinds of western saddles to suit the purpose there of. For example roping saddles designed with the roping horse and rider in mind and a barrel saddle designed for such and a reigning saddle designed for such and so forth and so on. Just like in english saddles you have a dressage saddle designed with the rider and horse in mind for such diciplines and a jumping saddle and etc. etc. etc. Does that mean all barrel saddles fit a barrel horse? no more than all jumping saddles fit a jumping horse. Thank goodness though they come in varous sizes/shape to help with fitting just like english saddles. I west through 3 western saddles to finally find one that fit my late mare. It was a pain in the rear.

There are no "one size fits all" model in any saddle of any type. A horse's back and body build varys way to much.
 
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Forgive me as I know nothing about western tack :lol: but what is it about a western saddle that makes it able to be used on any horse and not fitted at all to the horse's back?
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I think Zaney said it best, it's definitely not a one-size-fits-all deal with western saddles either. Just seems to me that a lot of times it's easier to find ones that work, but that's also potentially because I've worked with mostly QHs. Not that there aren't plenty of uniquely shaped individuals within the breed, but having worked with a lot of warmbloods and TBs and dealing with trying to fit them to English saddles it just seems that there's a much greater range of shapes in general.

Something I thought of recently and may also be relevant, I've heard about air-filled padding in some newer English saddles that supposedly conform to the horse's back without flocking or anything? Interesting concept, anyway, I wonder how well they work. :think:
 

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Discussion Starter #64
I think Zaney said it best, it's definitely not a one-size-fits-all deal with western saddles either. Just seems to me that a lot of times it's easier to find ones that work, but that's also potentially because I've worked with mostly QHs. Not that there aren't plenty of uniquely shaped individuals within the breed, but having worked with a lot of warmbloods and TBs and dealing with trying to fit them to English saddles it just seems that there's a much greater range of shapes in general.
Ok that makes more sense...and mine's a QH/Paint and apparently is a turning out to be a PITA to fit, so she is definitely proof that every horse is very unique and different and has its own needs regardless of the breed :wink:
 
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Discussion Starter #65
I hate to tell you folks but there are very few real saddle fitters in both Canada and US. To be fully qualified they should be either saddle makers or taken a course thro the Master Saddlers. Most of the so-called fitters merely represent a company. Next time you talk to one ask for their qualifications. There's a lot more to fitting a saddle than seeing how it fits when the horse is standing still. If a horse moves with a hollow back there is more chance of rubbing because of front to back bridging.
I should mention, my saddle fitter is a Qualified Saddle Fitter for the Society of Master Saddlers in the UK. She's actually over in the UK at the moment, so she won't be able to see my mare until the 23rd when she's back in the States.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
i know nothing of english saddles. but i have a saddle that will float on my current horse. its a tight girth issue, but it also means it doesnt fit that well.

i also see a size difference in your horse in the summer photos compared to more recent. shes got a few extra lbs on her. burn some weight off her the saddle will probably be a better fit.
Very good point...it does tend to happen in the winter, and the barn definitely fattened her up a bit in anticipation of the cold winter, so she is carrying a few extra lbs :wink: Although last winter she was underweight and it still happened, so I'm not sure.

The too-tight girth mention has me wondering/second guessing myself...how tight SHOULD the girth really be? I mean, obviously you want it tight enough so that your saddle isn't moving around/sliding or you'll have issues, but mine doesn't. So how would I tell though if it is TOO tight?
 

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Discussion Starter #67
And for the sake of weight comparison...here's a photo from this fall, around the time when we had the saddle fitted to her back:



And here is a current one:


I actually don't think it's that big a difference...?
 

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Discussion Starter #68
This was her last winter, when she was a tad underweight :( But she had the exact same rubbing issue then. But that was prior to me ever having a saddle fitter out, so I am really inclined to believe what the saddle fitter has told me recently.

 

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good looking horse.

my opinion is that the general consensus of what i read here (and im new here) is that what most folks think is under weight is really a well conditioned horse. where as what most think is good condtion, is either over weight to down right obese.

your horse looks good. dont get me wrong, but imo she looked in better condition in post #68 than she does currently. hard to tell from the photos but her coat looks better now than earlier, but she looks over weight now. its probably just the angle of photo and stance but she does look heavier (slightly) in current compared to in fall.

mine has definitly put on weight since the fall, b/c ive gone from riding miles and miles on trail to every couple wks putting the saddle on him for about 30 mins.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
good looking horse.

my opinion is that the general consensus of what i read here (and im new here) is that what most folks think is under weight is really a well conditioned horse. where as what most think is good condtion, is either over weight to down right obese.

your horse looks good. dont get me wrong, but imo she looked in better condition in post #68 than she does currently. hard to tell from the photos but her coat looks better now than earlier, but she looks over weight now. its probably just the angle of photo and stance but she does look heavier (slightly) in current compared to in fall.

mine has definitly put on weight since the fall, b/c ive gone from riding miles and miles on trail to every couple wks putting the saddle on him for about 30 mins.
Interesting! I definitely think she needed some weight on her in post#68, but very interesting to hear another opinion...here are some other recent photos since I know the angle is kind of strange in the one where she is standing in her stall...







Oh well, I like them to have a few extra lbs in the winter rather than the other extreme. I would say she is carrying a few but she'll lose them once we get back into our spring/summer workout schedule, and I don't think she's obese or anything at the moment :lol: Now when I first bought her, that was another story!!
 

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Hi, this may already be solved, but I thought I may as well say something. I have the same exact problem with my western mare and the pad rubs her in the same exact place. I tried every single type of pad with no help. So then I went looking for another solution. Corona Ointment seems pretty promising, although I haven't tried it.
 

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Hmm interesting note! I HAVE been told that I tend to ride too much on the cantle and need to tip my pelvis more forward...but why would it only be happening each winter though? I don't ride differently in the summer vs the winter each year? :-|
I have the same problem and it doesn't make a difference if I stay off the cantle. It only happens when my horse has a winter coat. The pad causes the longer hairs to break. Sheepskin pads seem to be available for English only.
 

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MODERATORS NOTE:

This thread is from 2014....quite a time ago.
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