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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to start a new thread for the new saddles I'm trying. @unclearthur said the W/XW gullet probably wouldn't be wide enough, but since I had the gullet and the saddle I decided to go ahead and try it. I will say that I don't think Pony liked this saddle (Thorowgood) very much. Here are some pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm sorry, I couldn't get these to attach quite the way I wanted, but hopefully it makes sense.



These are pictures of the saddle with me in it. I thought my weight might change the fit enough that I asked my daughter to take some closeups of front and back with me in it.

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Two pictures of me (sitting and moving) with the stirrups long like I like them. But I couldn't post like this, not at all.
Saddle_T8_sitting_long (1).jpg



So I had to adjust the stirrups up, which made posting OK, but my legs felt weird.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Now for the free saddle. It's the one I posted about maybe having something wrong with the tree. So I also took some pictures of it from the bottom.
saddle_free_B (1).jpg

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I sat in this one on Pony but didn't try to ride in it. It's still giving me weird vibes. I'll ride him in it if you guys think it's worth a try.

I also had my daughter take a picture of the back with me sitting in it, because I really though my weight would squish it down and change the fit.
 

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I dislike the way the panels are angled on the second saddle; as I would much prefer a flatter panel to evenly spread weight better. These panels look like they would cause pressure points/sore points on your horse's back. I also would steer clear of any saddle that has potential tree problems. It is costly to get a broken tree fixed and you'd be better off just buying a different saddle.

It looks like there is decent spinal clearance with both saddles. You say pony didn't like the first one? What did he do?
 

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I don't like either saddle for fit to pony or to you yourself...
First saddle to me has a strange way of sitting on his spine, not centered and tilted and don't think it is Pony resting a hoof...the entire saddle looks canted to me, off-center and panels not evenly stuffed for some reason.

I also don't see you sitting in the sweet spot of seat depth but further back on the cantle...you need to slide your crotch forward and sit in the saddle not on top of the saddle.
As soon as you shortened your stirrup you barely fit in the saddle flap area with your long femur length.

2nd saddle....nope, nope, nope...
First picture showing the underneath panels...look at the gullet channel critically...
To my eyes it is not even nor straight but angles inward.
With you sitting on the saddle look at the "touch" on Ponies back and how pointed and angled the one side rear panel is compared to the other...
Just something is really off...
Don't know what or why but gut instinct should not be ignored when you feel this strongly about it..

I don't like how either saddle fits the animal.
I also realize you were not fully girthed up with the second saddle, but look at how the girth is so angled even loosely...that alone should tell you something is wrong with fit..
There is a clear difference in how the first saddle sat and the second with where the girth fit in the groove.
Pass positively on saddle #2...

:runninghorse2:...
 

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The first saddle is probably not back quite far enough.
If you lift your horse's front leg and feel where the shoulder blade rotates back to, the saddle nail (brad on the pommel area) should sit behind that. This looks too far back to most people. Especially if you are used to using saddles that are too narrow and sit up on top of the withers.

Are there three billets on this saddle, and is your girth on the front two?
Horses like this with a forward girth groove can really benefit from forward billets. If they are too far back, the girth will slide forward and take the saddle up onto the horse's shoulder which can be very uncomfortable for the horse and even cause bucking.
Here is an example of a saddle with the billets back that will only work on a horse with slab sides and a long girth groove.

Here are forward billets that help with round horses and ones with forward girth grooves.


Your girth also looks too thick for a horse with a forward girth groove and may interfere with his leg movement or rub. Shorter girths are also much more stable on round horses. The buckles need to be above the elbow height, however.


If the saddle was level when sitting at the correct spot, then I would say it might work OK if the billets were forward enough to not pull the saddle forward. However, it does look like the seat is too small for you. Your femur is too long for the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@cbar I'm glad you saw this, I was going to tag you otherwise. I feel like he didn't like the first saddle because he pinned his ears and swished his tail when asked to trot, which is unusual for him. When I got up into two-point, he seemed happier, but still much less happy than when ridden bareback. His trot also seemed a lot smaller and choppier, not open like it was when riding bareback.

@gottatrot I realized that about the saddle being too far forward at some point, so I got off and fixed it. But I didn't take any pictures of it on his back like that. He seemed a little happier once I had fixed that, but still not super happy.

And yes the saddle a really interesting billet set up. The instructions on the website said to start with the girth where I put it (second and last billet straps) at first. Then, if it creeps forward, to change where it's attached. I will do that for sure, when the saddle fitter comes, and maybe take pictures of it also.

Really interesting about the girth. If I end up with a normal saddle, and not a treeless, I'm going to re-evaluate my whole girthing set-up. I was reading some other stuff about girthing the round, no-withered pony, and I need to ask the experts here what you guys think about it. Also, maybe the dressage saddle (the last saddle I ordered, the one I'm waiting for the right gullet to come) will be better because of that. I do have a true mohair string girth that fits him (or used to) with a dressage saddle that has the longer billets. That girth is nice and thin.

@horselovinguy I guess that's what people mean about my supposedly long legs. I love Pony, but if I had realized how much of a mis-match I was, size-wise, for him, and all of the problems it would cause, I'm not sure if I would still have gotten him.

Once the new gullet comes for the last (dressage) saddle, I will try it. I'm worried now that the gullet is going to be too narrow, but I guess we'll just see what happens and go from there.
 

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@gottatrot I realized that about the saddle being too far forward at some point, so I got off and fixed it. But I didn't take any pictures of it on his back like that. He seemed a little happier once I had fixed that, but still not super happy.

And yes the saddle a really interesting billet set up. The instructions on the website said to start with the girth where I put it (second and last billet straps) at first. Then, if it creeps forward, to change where it's attached. I will do that for sure, when the saddle fitter comes, and maybe take pictures of it also.

Really interesting about the girth. If I end up with a normal saddle, and not a treeless, I'm going to re-evaluate my whole girthing set-up. I was reading some other stuff about girthing the round, no-withered pony, and I need to ask the experts here what you guys think about it. Also, maybe the dressage saddle (the last saddle I ordered, the one I'm waiting for the right gullet to come) will be better because of that. I do have a true mohair string girth that fits him (or used to) with a dressage saddle that has the longer billets. That girth is nice and thin.
For my round horse with a forward girth groove, those flat mohair girths worked best. Also if you do end up with treeless, the shorter girths help prevent the saddle from slipping side to side.
 

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@horselovinguy I guess that's what people mean about my supposedly long legs. I love Pony, but if I had realized how much of a mis-match I was, size-wise, for him, and all of the problems it would cause, I'm not sure if I would still have gotten him.
Actually, you are not a disproportionate size for Pony.
He covers most of your leg well when extended and certainly when shorter stirrup.
No horse that I know of carries their head & neck equal to the torso and head height of a rider naturally. :neutral:

For me, finding a saddle for you would mean finding a saddle with a more forward flap so your longer femur is covered.
I also would like to see you in 1/2" -1" larger a seat size to see if that made a difference in your ability to sit the sweet spot of balance between butt, saddles seat, stirrup bars and help to give you the added fine-tuned balance we all can use to our benefit.
As saddle parts are made to balance a saddle together, just sitting in a larger sized seat may fix many issues you currently have in fit I see by just looking at pictures.
Pony's fitting issues are a different matter than yours though.
What size seat are you trying if I can ask?

I know my English saddle is a 17.5" close contact.
I rode the exact same saddle in a 17" and there was a marked difference in sweet spot placing me deepest, length and shape of the flap. Surprised was I..
I was astonished to see it, but pictures do not lie when "fitting"...
I wanted to try a 18" to see what would happen, what it would feel like, but there were none available and we fit the 17.5 and were comfortable so 17.5 is what I bought...

It is only a number was told and that is true...and Pony can carry a larger saddle too!
Something to think about...
:runninghorse2:...
 

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For my round horse with a forward girth groove, those flat mohair girths worked best. Also if you do end up with treeless, the shorter girths help prevent the saddle from slipping side to side.
Agreed. The roper-style endurance mohair girths are the best in my opinion because I have a horse with similar shaping (rotund in winter, forward girth groove all year round). The wider base on the endurance ones really help prevent saddle slipping, particularly with treeless. I’ve been riding in my new-to-me Freeform and just use my short mohair girth, and a breastcollar and I’ve got no slipping at all. I need to get a shorter one though because my 20” one is too long for the Freeform and almost at the top of the billets. The only downside to them is they’re not cheap, so be prepare for a little sticker shock, but they are worth every cent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@horselovinguy this was a 17.5 inch saddle. They also have a 18 inch saddle I could trial. I am happy to go up a size for my own comfort, but you really think the 18 inch wouldn't be too big for him?

It's a good point about the more forward flaps. The problem is, I just don't find that leg position very comfortable. I'm going to see how the dressage saddle looks once the gullet comes, and then maybe send that one back for an 18 inch. Plus an even wider gullet.
 

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Ok - the Thorowgood. Like we said, this is a round-cantle saddle with the standard GP tree so doesn't fit the pony's back shape as well as the cob GP would. You see the lean over to the offside? That's probably because it's not wide enough allied to the horse's one-sidedness. They're all one-sided to a greater or lesser degree, same as we are, and any in any situation where the saddle is a tight fit the big shoulder has more influence and will throw the saddle away from it.

As far as the seat size is concerned I can't see why 17.5" isn't big enough for you. There's plenty behind you and the flatter cob seat would feel more roomy. I'm also not sure why you feel you can't post, with the longer stirrups in one picture, as you still have plenty of bend in your knee, although your legs may move around more because of the saddle imbalance. That affects all of you, not just your seat, plus the horse, of course, which could be another reason she didn't like the saddle. Plus, in the short stirrup picture, if you could get your heels a little lower, that would bring your knee back further onto the flap, if you see what I mean.

I think it does look as if it's been placed a bit too far forward and the huge (!) saddlecloth won't help stop it slipping forward, though I realise you have to use something when trying on.

I would hope your saddle fitter will say much the same about standard tree vs. cob tree, length and width.

The 2nd saddle. Er...no, sorry :(
 

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Looking at the pictures again, I agree with @unclearthur about the seat size.
I think the 17.5 inch does fit you. One thing I was told to look at along with your leg on the flap is to see if your pelvis angle is tilted forward by a too small seat, where yours looks vertical. So it's not pushing you forward.

There could be several reasons why you were having trouble posting. What it looks like is that since the saddle has a forward flap (designed to be ridden with shorter stirrups), the stirrup bar is placed that way. When you have the stirrup longer, you are having to push the stirrup forward so it is not hanging straight to the ground, and so is not stable or underneath your weight. That is because of the stirrup bar placement.

Another issue which I can't tell is whether the twist on the saddle is wide or narrow - if it is too wide you could have issues posting.
You also could have been in front of the horse's movement with the saddle a bit forward.
Or if the balance of the saddle was slightly uphill (too far forward), you also could have been trying to post uphill against the saddle.

I would think you would do much better with a straighter flap, since you prefer a longer leg. Otherwise your leg will either not be on the flap, or the stirrup bars will make the stirrup placement awkward. Also if the dressage saddle comes with longer billets, it would be easier to get the saddle more stable with a shorter girth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, thanks everyone. I think I will go ahead and send this saddle back, then wait for the gullet for the dressage saddle and try that. If that doesn't work, it's treeless time...
 

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I think you will be much happier in a Dressage saddle. I grew up riding in a close contact english saddle. I switched to western and just last year switched to a Dressage saddle. It's very easy to switch between western and dressage because of the longer stirrups.

The close contact saddle is okay for jumping and very short rides, but downright painful for long rides. The short stirrups strain everything. Indefinitely not a saddle I would take for a long ride.

The problem with a Dressage saddle is you have a long femur. My dressage saddle fits me perfectly, but my friend tried it, and her knees went right over the knee roll. My concern is that even if you fit the pony, it may not fit you. I'm certain there are some made for longer legged riders, but i don't know what brands.

I suggest trying a western saddle (or several). I think you will have much better luck. Western saddles are often made for both men and women and may be a easier fit for you. I would start with an Abetta endurance, as those are wide.

English saddles are more difficult to fit because of differences in stuffing the panels and panel angle. Western can be easier because you have some wiggle room. A close fit that is slightly wide can be acceptable with the right saddle pad on a western.

I recommend trying the Abetta Endurance. The one i bought sat on my Paints withers, it was so wide. She normally takes full QH bars and a 6 3/4 inch gullet. I ended up selling it to a therapeutic riding program because it fit their wide ponies. That is probably one of the widest western saddles i have seen. Regular Abettas would be too narrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@4horses I have no problem with Western, in fact that's what he was in when I got him. It's just that there aren't any people here who fit western saddles, and I really need to get a professional fitter.

For anyone who's wondering about the last saddle, the XW gullet **was** in fact too narrow. I have ordered the XXW gullet but it seems to maybe be lost in the mail. I'll post pictures with it as soon as I get it...
 
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