Saddle Position

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  MHBTAvatar 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • Naimi95 Original Poster Naimi95
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 14

    I’m new to english saddles and have not been able to figure out the position, how close is this? Also, the saddle was to big so I bought a comfort fleece correction pad and had to put 2 pairs of shims in the front and it still seems a bit big. Are there any better correction pads or should I just get another saddle?

    Naimi95 Original Poster Naimi95
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 14

    for some reason I don’t think the picture attached..

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I would suggest you purchase a saddle that properly fits both you and the horse. Most dealers will allow returns, since it isn’t really feasible to take the horse shopping with you. If it doesn’t fit, you won’t be comfortable, and your horse will suffer even more.

    It is never the horse's fault

    Mapale Mapale
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 421

    For the record, that is the sweetest looking horse. What a baby face – and I love the black and white mane and tail. Hard to concentrate on the saddle when she is so cute. But….

    If you don’t feel comfortable, and she can’t move freely, it is the wrong saddle. (Several years ago I bought a gorgeous new show saddle and the most gentle gelding in the universe tried to buck me/it off the first time we tried it. It matters to us, but it matters MORE to them. He had the final say and I returned it.)

    Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...

    Naimi95 Original Poster Naimi95
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 14

    Thank you!

    I had researched how to measure for saddle fit because it’s hard to take her with me lol but still managed to get one to big. Could you possibly tell me everything I need to measure and how to tell if my horse needs narrow or medium tree? Most of what I read wasn’t clear on some stuff.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Over the years (half a century actually), I have found that one can measure from here to eternity and still end up with a bad fit. First, find out which style you prefer, and what size you need, then work out what fits the horse best. Even if you find the perfect saddle for the horse, if it doesn’t also fit you, you won’t be happy. Same thing the other way around – if it fits you and not the horse, you just won’t find the comfort you both deserve. Unless you find a saddler who is really, really good and makes a custom saddle, there will usually be some areas where you have to compromise. She looks a bit like my neighbor’s Fjord horses – what is her breeding?

    It is never the horse's fault

    Naimi95 Original Poster Naimi95
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 14

    What are your thoughts on saddles with changeable gullets?

    I can’t remember what her breeding is at the moment. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    I have no experience with those saddles, sorry.

    It is never the horse's fault

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    The mare does appear to be an adorable Norwegian Fjord : )

    Saddle fit for the horse is about shape of the back.

    Wintec is one of several brands that offers changeable gullets but that is pretty much all I know about them, sorry!

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Dano
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 21

    Hi! I would agree she looks like if she isn’t full, she has quite a bit of Norwegian Fjord. I would love to own one, but am tall and would look a little silly. It would also end up being a pet that my friends/children rode if I did not have to pay board! Any way, these breeds are related to draft-types and easy keepers that ideally should not have high-carb or sugar diets. Is there an equine nutritionist in the area you could get an exact amount and recommendation? There is usually no charge for this and as a courtesy, you purchase the grain they recommend or almost no grain and a good supplement for drafty types.

    Look at the feed calculator Purina or Nutrena has online and other feed companies do this as well. I feed Enrich Plus to our half-draft and QH during the months when pasture great and add more fat calories and/or chopped hay in winter if needed. I also feed a hoof and joint supplement as they need extra help with that. I think it is somewhat inherited in our case.

    Sorry to just get to the saddle, but I have learned that V-shaped trees do not fit very well on what some call “mutton’withered” or flat/wide shouldered types. They roll easily in my experience. It appears that the tree is wide enough that it tips down even without you in the saddle. You may struggle to sit upright and even be unbalanced. Is there a good tack shop or independent saddle fitter in your area? If so, definitely go to them with pictures, your height, weight, hip to knee length and type of riding for help. They would be able to tell you if you should return the saddle or if the tree can be adjusted or flocked to fit. It looks like the saddle you have in possibly an all-purpose to do some jumping, dressage and trail riding. Is that right? I have seen saddles specifically made for Haflingers (a cousin to your Fjord) and they might fit her well. As another option, since we don’t have many local, independent saddle fitters in KS, I have sent saddles with wither tracings they give instructions for, to Smith-Worthington saddlers (east coast). Shipping to and from varies, but they put their prices on their site and a tree adjustment (widened) cost me about $90. There is also a place called Horse of Course I have heard does good work in OK.

    What part of the country do you live? Best wishes!

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    “Mutton withered” horses (and this includes almost all Arabians, & most draft and draft crosses) typically need a wider saddle than horses with a pronounced wither, such as TB’s. The reason for this is that the part of the horse that the saddle actually rests on in front is wider. This means that a lot of smaller horses need wider English saddles. People tend to associate “small height” with narrow, and since Arabians & some of the smaller draft breeds are not very tall, there is an assumption made that the horse will need a norrower saddle than a taller horses.

    There are actually couple of companies that make adjustable tree English saddles, and how the saddle opens will tend to determine if that saddle will fit your horse. The Wintec’s tend to open as a “V”, a opening that frequently does not fit Arabians & draft crosses. So if you are looking at adjustable tree saddles, look for one that gets wider in a “U” shape.

    If you are really having problems, there are very good professional saddle fitters who could come out, usually with several saddles to try on your horse, and the better saddle fitters also repair & know how to adjust and English saddle to fit correct, and which saddles brands might correctly fit your horse. Hiring a saddle fitter is not inexpensive, but neither is buying multiple saddles and the time & gas (and possibly shipping) to get the saddles to you and return them when they don’t fit.

    Dano
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 21

    I agree with the above post that V-shaped trees like Wintec and most adjustable tree saddles, usually don’t fit wider shouldered, or more flat withered horses such as yours very well. Examples of U or also called “hoop-shaped” trees are found in brands such as Duett (usually less $$), Black Country (a bit more $$$), but if you can find one used that fits, they are gems. Thornhill’s Danube model works on some wide or mutton-withered types ($-$$). I know there are other hoop treed brands out there, but can’t recall them all. Smith-Worthington saddles have what they call modified or hybrid, hoop trees and I have a dressage saddle that fits our draft cross pretty well. The advantage of the above brands is the trees can be adjusted by a saddler for a reasonable fee if needed.

    I don’t think the saddles with changeable gullets can have further tree adjustments.. Hope this helps!

    MHBTAvatar
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 31

    A good friend got a used Black Country for her Icelandic that is made specifically for the breed. Since they appear to be a similar build to your pony, something like that might work for you, but I imagine you would be lucky to find one (try tracking down an Icey or similar stable in your area?). This is also assuming you won’t be doing much jumping as they aren’t really designed for that. My horse is somewhat broad, but with significant withers (I think he got his barrel from the Arab and his withers from the TB – so yes, I can commiserate with having a hard to fit horse!), but I also have a Black Country (Ricochet) and I can definitely vouch for them. They are wonderful if you’ve got the budget or can find a used one.

    In doing some research I keep seeing ‘Comfort Pro Pony’ saddles coming up as especially suitable for Fjords. They don’t look like a penny pincher’s dream, but may be worth looking into depending on your priorities & budget.

    I agree with Dano – – especially as you’re not too familiar with English tack: a good saddle fitter could be invaluable to you at this point (and may quickly pay for themselves quickly in reduced chiro expenses!). Ponies can be terribly hard to fit – – just think how many photos you’ve seen of a pony after taking a jump with his saddle on his neck! If you don’t know any in your area start pestering local pony clubs or hunt clubs for recommendations, or again, anyone locally who specializes in pony breeds. It would be money well spent.

    Good luck.

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