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montikarla

Why is it so hard to find the right saddle?

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I have a Collegiate on trail and it tips me forward, it is way too slippery, and my horse refuses to bend in it. I have tried a Stubben Avalon, I love it but I can't keep my legs in the right position and the used one was a bit too wide for my undermuscled mare, even with a half pad. Everything else I have sat in hurts me because the twist is too wide. ARG! I also can't seem to find anything that my knee doesn't go past the flap in. I hate my conformation. It also seems that tack shops don't carry saddles in bigger seat sizes than 18" and generally I need at least an 18 1/2" seat. My budget also totally sucks and $1500 is pretty well my top price. I am looking at anything right now.

Yeah, I know, venting.

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Hehe...I swear, saddle shopping is the only thing worse than horse shopping. And if I ever buy another horse, it's going to fit my saddle, because that'll be easier to find than another saddle!

[Huggy][Huggy] We feel your pain!

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I will try e-bay when I know what saddle works for Ellie and I. So far nothing has been right. And when the saddle isn't right for Ellie, she bucks like she is in the rodeo. I am going to try some more expensive saddles when I take the Collegiate back to the tack shop. Keep fingers crossed for me? Please?

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You mention your mare is undermuscled… do you expect her to become more muscled and/or change in shape any time soon? For that budget I'd be all over the wintec isabell. You won't slide around, they have a narrow twist, you can adjust the thigh block for your leg shape/thigh length, and you can change out the gullet to fit your changing horse. They're really nice saddles in that price range, imho.

Edited to add: Drat, I just checked and the largest they come is 18"... I wonder if that might work for you. It would certainly be worth a shot! Good luck!

[smiley Wavey]

[ 05-01-2008, 12:47 AM: Message edited by: e.s.dressage ]

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I am going to ride in my friend's Isabelle (18") this week, but I have a hip injury and last time I did ride in it I could barely walk when I got off, and I was only riding in it for about 5 minutes at a walk. Ellie has been lame on and off for most of the winter so she will be muscling up soon because of more work. I really want to get away from Wintecs though. I have an AP with CAIR and it pisses me off everytime I use it. I really hate the CAIR and my very opinionated mare doesn't always like it either.

I am going to try some new saddles that are out of my budget and then see if I can find them used or on ebay in my price range. It would be nice if I had the body type that the more inexpensive and readily available saddles were designed for. I am shortish (5'6" on a tall day) and my thighs are really long so I need more of a forward flap, which is definately not the norm for dressage saddles. I am done with AP's too.

Thanks for the suggestions. If I sound a bit bratty, it is just because I am frustrated. I found horse shopping to be easier than saddle shopping because I really didn't have an ideal horse in mind, except for the fact that I didn't want a mare and I definately didn't want a TB. So what did I end up with? A 3-year-old OTTB mare. Go figure! [Razz]

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Hey...just an idea since it's probably not something you've tried, look out for certain Custom Saddlery models. I bought a Royal Star used for $1200 (the current Laguna and the just retired Victory are also similar). http://mysaddle.com/MYSADD~3/Royal_Star.html

The flaps are bit more forward, the twist is narrow (HUGE for me with screwed up hips, ruptured discs in my lower back, SI issues, etc), and while I've not tried a more medium tree on a narrower horse, I will say that my wide tree has fit a LARGE number of horses, even picky ones - from WBs to roly poly ponies to Morgans, etc. If you can find one to try, it might be worth it!

[ 05-01-2008, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: ironbessflint ]

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quote:

Originally posted by ironbessflint:

Hey...just an idea since it's probably not something you've tried, look out for certain Custom Saddlery models. I bought a Royal Star used for $1200 (the current Laguna and the just retired Victory are also similar).

The flaps are bit more forward, the twist is narrow (HUGE for me with screwed up hips, ruptured discs in my lower back, SI issues, etc), and while I've not tried a more medium tree on a narrower horse, I will say that my wide tree has fit a LARGE number of horses, even picky ones - from WBs to roly poly ponies to Morgans, etc. If you can find one to try, it might be worth it!

Thanks for the suggestion. I will look into it. My right hip was badly messed up in a fall two years ago, and my left hip has weakened because I couldn't put any weight on my right leg for awhile so the stress that was put on my left side has messed it up. Right side damage is pretty well permanent. My back is all messed up too with locked vertibrae and muscle injuries. Ahhh, the life of a clutz who can't sit a buck, lol. Take it from me, don't ride a horse named Dispatch, it is just asking for trouble. [big Grin]

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It's so interesting how differently people/horses react to the same things. Reading how you and your horse don't like CAIR makes me think about this issue of Dressage Today, where it is suggested that many horses go more comfortably in Wintecs/Bates (in the Ask the Experts section).

But just in case you do like the Isabell this weekend (although it sounds like you already know you aren't comfortable in that saddle) keep in mind that they used to make them without the CAIR panels, and rather traditionally flocked panels. I had one back in the day, and you can still find them traditionally flocked.

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Have you tried a Kieffer? I am tall with a long thigh, and I found the size 2 seat to be too big for me, as in I was reaching for the knee rolls. They have a narrow twist and seem to fit the TB types really well. You can pick them up used for well under $1000, and they hold their resale value.

That is one saddle that may be worth buying on ebay, because you can always resell it for about what you paid.

And if she is undermuscled, you need to fix the fit with extra flocking or a half pad, NOT a narrower tree. A too-narrow tree will not allow the horse to build muscle.

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I am looking for a wider tree. When she is fully muscled she fits well in a 32 cm Stubben tree, which is fairly wide, especially for a TB. I have sat in a few Keiffers and they are too wide for me. They really hurt.

I am going to try some Prestige saddles on Saturday. Hopefully I will find something.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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If you haven't already, try some of the other Stubben models. I am 5'3" but with long legs and I love my Stubben Scandica DL. Didn't like one of the other models I tried (don't recall the name). Since you already know that the 32cm tree will work with your horse and she is fussy it might be worth seeing how you like the other models.

Good Luck!

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I am going to try the Mestoso (however you spell it) tomorrow. I don't know if this tack shop has other models at this point. I am a big fan of Stubbens, I have been riding in them since I was little. The problem is, Ellie is so unmuscly that the 31 cm tree is too big, even with a half pad. My current saddle is not helping her get her muscle back. I do hope they have the Scandica at the store because I have been interested in it for awhile.

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quote:

Originally posted by montikarla:

I am going to try the Mestoso (however you spell it) tomorrow. I don't know if this tack shop has other models at this point. I am a big fan of Stubbens, I have been riding in them since I was little. The problem is, Ellie is so unmuscly that the 31 cm tree is too big, even with a half pad. My current saddle is not helping her get her muscle back. I do hope they have the Scandica at the store because I have been interested in it for awhile.

If a 32 fits her when she is muscled, then a 32 is what you should get now. Use a sheepskin halfpad that has the saddle fitter pockets to fill in the dips behind her withers. Or you could use a thick pad, like a western pad. Cashel also makes a front riser pad that would work.

The reason you need the bigger saddle is because the bigger size fits her skeletal structure. Unless she is still growing, not just muscling up, then her skeleton is not going to change with more correct work. If you buy a narrower saddle, then the angle is too narrow to allow for muscle development. It will press into her barrel at the points of the tree.

There is much more to saddle fit than wither clearance and front to back balance of the saddle. It's the angle of the tree that matters, as well as the shape of the tree and panels. A saddle that fits otherwise but is a touch low in the front due to improper muscling can always be flocked and padded up to fit while the muscle develops, but a saddle that is too narrow is just plain too narrow.

Balance Saddlery has a good website that explains all of this. Google them and read all of the info on the site. It is really wonderful information, and it pertains to any saddle, not just theirs.

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You may want to try Ann at Equestrian Imports. They do have a payment plan so that may work for you. Ann is fantastic at working with the rider and the horse and really helped me and several other riders I ride with. She also has used saddles in stock, and quite a variety of saddles. Very professional, knowledgeable, and excellent to work with. They are in Florida and the shipping is very affordable.

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I might have found a saddle. It is a Kieffer on a really good sale because the store is clearing the model out and that sale puts it in my budget. I liked it when I sat in it, it fits my leg, and the tree is adjustible by trained saddlers, which this tack shop has. I haven't tried it on Ellie yet because she is a bit back sore so I am giving her the week to chill and I am calling her chiropractor to see if I can schedule an appointment in the next few days.

I hope it works out. I am so tired of saddle shopping.

I just moved though, so I must get back to unpacking. Yay [Crazy]

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aggh I LOVE balance saddles. They are expensive but I am so getting one in the future.

And I sort of feel you pain. I am not saddle shopping right now because I am just sticking it through with the one I have. pretty much NO saddle fits MY conformation! And the one I have is definitely not wide enough for my horses so I have to use special pads and its kind of a pain in the neck.

Once I rode in the wintec isabelle dressage saddle, it was aweful, I hated it and my horse was pinning his ears like mad.

But definitely listen to your horse, she will tell you if something hurts

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now see your lucky your horse gives you feedback...mine just looks like shes in pain like 70% of the time...i have a wintec 500 wide and it fits her okay and she seems to like it....and my other horse just widend up past my normal 500 so i have to wide horses now...and 1 saddle (now i know this dosnt sound bad but thier technically at 2 diffrent barns...only seprated by a dirt driveway but w/ever

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