Saddle Fitting Extravaganza

On Thursday night, we tried on saddles.  So. Many. Saddles.

(Actually just four)

And there are pictures!  Because my mom was in town starting Thursday night for our "All horse weekend"  (more on that later).

Eligible bachelor #4, trainer's Albion.  Connor's like "Why yes, I can stand here instead of doing a lesson, thanks."
PC: My momma!

This story actually starts two weeks ago, when I took an Ideal Jessica Pony on trial from Hastilow.  I freaking loved it.  It's the first Dressage saddle I've ever sat in that fit me, and I was in love.  Alas, wrong tree shape for my homie (too flat). It fit so badly I only did one lap in it to judge how I felt in it:


So on Thursday, Liz brought out two Prestiges for me to try.


I was especially sad that this pretty brown thing didn't work.  In fact, neither one of them worked.  They sat fairly well on his back while standing, but once we got moving, they were clearly not a good fit.  Lots of moving around and coming up off his back.

Next we tried my trainer's Albion.  Same as the Prestige - looked okay standing, terrible when moving.

I was just about to go get my CWD when the girl riding her 17hh Trakehner was finishing up her ride, and offered to let me try her saddle.  And what do you know....


It fit absolutely perfectly.  Go figure.

After starting the lesson with saddle fitting, he was pretty 'meh' the rest of the lesson.

If you ever had any doubts that JenJ and I are actually twins (work in the same industry, both have opinionated Malamute mixes, both ride - uh - "Haflingers"), let me put them to rest: the first Dressage saddle to fit Connor is an Adam Ellis.  Which JenJ rides in.


So, to recap, I have figured out that he actually has quite a curvy back for a native pony.  Native pony saddles are too flat for him, and he's got more in common with a giant warmblood than with other Cobs.

Brands that don't work:
- Ideal
- Thorowgood
- Albion
- Prestige

Brands that do work:
- CWD
- Adam Ellis

Very nice Trakhener rider offered to let me show in it that weekend, but I declined given the 100% chance of rain on Saturday, and chose instead to show rated Dressage in the CWD.  It's a horse show, not a tack show!

26 comments:

  1. Ahhhhhhh. SADDLE FIT UGH I HATE IT BUT ALSO LOVE IT UGH

    Glad you found something that works!! Also good luck this weekend :)

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    1. It was last weekend that I showed :D But thanks! I'm catching up on posting instead of riding this afternoon, actually...lol. #bloggerproblems

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  2. I'm so excited you have pictures finally!! Also yay saddle. :-)

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  3. Ah the fun of saddle fit (not)! But it's good that you found some that work for him!

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    1. Yep, starting to get a good feel for what brands will/will not work.

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  4. Ugh, saddle fit sucks, you know I know haha. but Yay!! so glad that you found a good one!

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    1. I did, but it's someone else's saddle! At least I am starting to learn what brands do/do not work. The worst part is, I loved that pony saddle on him, and there are so few of those out there.

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    2. Yeah, for short equines and short riders pony saddles are a god send. I wonder if there is a different brand of pony saddle that might work. Would he possibly be a fit for the Stubbed Juventus?

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    3. I desperately want to try one of those, but I can't find a trial of it. Normally I'm okay with taking a risk on saddles, but I can't imagine the resale market is that big for a pony/kid Dressage saddle.

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  5. So I just sold my Kent & Masters. Such a shame, the saddle held so much promise. That's how it goes tho. Glad you found something that works!

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    1. Yeah, I doubt your new guy has the same back as Isabel anyway!

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  6. Yay glad you found something that works for you guys & such lolz at C having more in common wih a warmblood than his own breed...oh equines, how they amuse us by being so different one from the other

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  7. What tree size does Connor go best in? I recently went thru 2 saddle fittings with Fergie and happily get to keep riding her in my (Riva's!) beloved County Perfection, with a shimmed pad for now.

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    1. That's great! Size, he was a wide/XW in Thorowgood and County's wide fit was too narrow for him. But shape seems to matter more with him, when I got the Thorowgood wide enough in the front, it didn't even sit on his back under the cantle anymore.

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    2. I wondered - my W/XW County fits Fergie pretty well with shims at the withers for now. Amazing that our Cobs take that width!

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    3. Totally! But there are some, like Lisa's really classically built Athanasia, that are the classic flat back/no withers, and there are some like Connor and Fergie that are just as wide but have withers that make them a more curvy fit. It's maddening! Glad yours is working for you. I should look at County again - they gave me a bad taste in my mouth a while ago and I've shunned them on principle, but I know the tree shape is good for Connor.

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  8. So glad that you found something that works! Wanna send the brown Prestige my way?? Then I could have a matching set: dressage and jumping!

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    1. Ahhh I loved that saddle. Dang it. I was so disappointed when it didn't fit.

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  9. I"m very disappointed for you that the brown beauty didn't work. It's gorgeous.

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  10. Such a relief to have a good saddle!

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