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How does this saddle fit my horse?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by neiner neiner 1 year, 8 months ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • wbponycross Original Poster
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    This is a 16.5 HDR saddle that I’ve had for years. I just never liked the fit of it on my horse who’s got high withers and a big shoulder and long back. I’ve noticed HDR saddles always seem to be wider.

    It also always slides back and for it to sit in the right spot for what my horse’s conformation allows I feel like I’m reaching my arms way too far forward because it’s so far back. I’m used to putting saddles as far forward as possible so I stay over the horse’s center of gravity better. I feel I’m always having to lean forward to catch up in this saddle. The girth never fits around the narrowest part of his belly because the saddle has to go so far back.

    What can you tell me about the fit of this? I’d love to get a new saddle that fits him better, and even myself.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    If the saddle won’t stay where you put it on the horse, either it does not fit right or you are putting it in the wrong place to begin with. In this case, it sounds like it is too wide.

    BLBStables
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    What type of pad or pads do you use with this saddle?

    wbponycross Original Poster
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    Sometimes I use just a back riser, sometimes I use a regular half pad with the back riser on top. I just can’t decide what to do

    BLBStables
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    The way it sits, he definitely needs a riser pad to help level out the saddle. If you think it is too wide for him, maybe try a memory foam type half pad. One that will conform to his body and fill in the space where needed. Also, if you dont use one already get a breast plate. I like the ones with the elastic but if you show hunters you will need a traditional leather chest plate. My gelding has the same problem his withers are high, so i ride him with a chest plate, baby pad and an ogilvy pad(it was a gift) or a thick fleece half pad. My saddle generally stays where i need it to. I have an m toulouse and it fits well a little wide for him but the half pad makes up for that. If buying a new saddle is not really in your budget i would look into a good half pad. Maybe ask around your barn or other horse friends to try different half pads to see what helps then purchase the best one. Good luck!

    wbponycross Original Poster
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    Thank you! He is a jumper so I can use pretty much anything luckily :)

    neiner neiner
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 8

    I agree with G&S. If your saddle is sliding around, either you’re putting it in the wrong spot, or the fit is wrong, or both. It’s hard to tell from a few pictures, but if it’s too wide, then a riser pad will actually make your horse less comfortable and your saddle more ill-fitting. Just because you are “used to putting saddles as far forward as possible” doesn’t mean that’s where it should be, and if you have to use a plethora of other equipment to try to “fix” it, then you need to start over and get a real saddler out there to look at your horse. I went through similar struggles with my boy. He changes shape depending on how in shape he is, which is extraordinarily obnoxious, and when I bought him, the saddle I had appeared to fit fine in the wither but bowed in the middle. After much researching, I decided to buy a Mattes half pad (the one you can put shims in) and cut up the shims in such a way to improve the fit. After he’d been in consistent work for 4 months (and monitoring saddle fit), I re-evaluated the fit again. No bowing, but now it was too narrow through the withers. I wanted to get a saddler out, but none are in my area, so I sent in photos, videos of him moving freely and with me aboard, and good old chalk-covered sheets. Long story short: I bought a new saddle, one with XCH, so that I could alter the fit for when his shape(s) were different. Best investment ever. He moves SO much better (and probably feels better!) and you can’t put a price on that. My $0.02? Find a reputable saddler, and go from there. Your current saddle may even be able to work for your horse with a little re-flocking or some other adjustment. A good saddler would know. He/she would also be able to tell you where your saddle should sit (this depends on their spine and where their shoulder starts and ribs end), where your girth should be, etc. You might be surprised.

    "Gentle in what you do; firm in how you do it." -Buck Brannaman

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