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 Post subject: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:38 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Washington State, USA
I've been window shopping for a better saddle for Lexie lately. When he's officially mine (soon hopefully) I'll have to give his owner back the current saddle I'm using, and my own saddle doesn't fit him at all. I have an almost new HDR event saddle that I won in a raffle, but it bridges big time on his back. So I have an $900 saddle sitting in my garage collecting dust. I've decided to sell my HDR to buy a new saddle for Lexie that fits him better.

Lots of you on here seem to have saddle fitting experience, so I would appreciate any advice!

Currently I am using an Ainsley ProNational dressage on Lex. It's one of the comfiest saddles ever, I love it's straight flaps, not-so-deep seat, and smaller thigh block. However, Lexie is not the easiest horse to fit. He's an Arab/Warmblood cross. He has high withers like an Arab, but is quite wide like a Warmblood at the same time. I feel like the Ainsley is a little too narrow for him. The saddle clears his withers, but I think it's too high in the front because it's not designed for a wider horse like him. I find that my seat is being pushed further back in the saddle also, because it is too high in front. The panels follow his back well, but I feel like the shoulder area is not a perfect fit.

I've been looking at treeless, leather tree, and flexible saddles, but most are out of my price range (I'm expecting to be able to earn anywhere from 450-700 on my HDR, I haven't taken it in to the tack shop yet) and they are not likely to fit a high withered horse. Of course, Lexie's topline will fill in when he develops better back muscles, but I want to make sure his saddle isn't inhibiting that. Of course, I'm not riding much lately anyways, but it can't hurt to plan ahead.

I've done a wither tracing and conformation pictures also. I think I'll go back and do another wither tracing just to be more accurate. I measured him as a medium to medium wide tree, at 12.75 inches.

Here are a few conformation pictures, and a picture of the Ainsley I use. I can get additional pictures and measurements also. I will get a picture of the current saddle on Alexie tonight.
https://picasaweb.google.com/114223899146732768874/February52012?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCK6gpJzZrpysywE&feat=directlink

Currently, I've been looking at traditional type saddles, with partially flexible trees. One that I found was a Courbette Husar, Swiss made, and memory foam flocked. I just wish the ad had more measurements so I could compare a little more accurately. Courbette's are nice saddles and if I'm not mistaken, the Switzerland made ones have a flexible plastic spring tree. Here's the link to the one I was looking at.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/17-5-med-Courbette-Husar-Touring-XL-Dressage-saddle-/110820262106?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19cd6700da
Also either of these two: http://www.arabianvines.com/used.html

Feel free to point me in the right direction, if you have any other suggestions for saddles. I don't have the money to have the local professional saddle fitter come out, but I do still want to make sure I find tack that fits well.


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:38 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Washington State, USA
I figured I would update this just in case anyone has any comments on what I'm looking at right now. At first, I thought the Heather Moffet Fhoenix Saddles were wayy out of my price range, but I've found some nice used ones for a good price on the Enlightened Equitation forum and am really hoping to get a hold of one of those. The one I'm looking at currently is a Mark I Fhoenix Dressage mode.l I am just in the proccess of researching fitting for Fhoenix saddles as well as shipping from the UK to the states. Has anyone had any experiences with Fhoenix saddles or shipping a saddle overseas? Thanks. :)
-Kala


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 1479
Location: Quebec, Canada
Hi Kala, if I were looking to buy a saddle, I would sure consider this. I bought a Parelli saddle for $3,000 and used it about 10-15 times. It fits me but not my horse. How sad!!!
Anyways, I have a tucker endurance saddle which fortunately fit my small QH.
Hope you like it.

http://youtu.be/3_meL0i8wbQ

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Jocelyne
[Hug your animals everyday. You never know!


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
I used to be a fhoenix dealer. But I have no experience with overseas sending.

Do you know these ones:

http://www.hidalgo-sattel.de/

http://deuber.de/

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
i have send once two saddles (at the same time) to the states. it went well that time. The costumer could follow by track and trace even so i could. And they were happy when it arrived. You have to watch out either for costums payments. I send it as a gift so there were no taxes to pay.
i am not sure but i thought it took one week from over here the Netherlands.


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:38 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Washington State, USA
Thanks for the reccomendations everyone! I will keep those in mind. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:25 pm
Posts: 17
Hi Kala,

If you could afford to save to buy a used higher-end saddle, it would really be worth it since higher quality saddles are often better balanced, and therefore fit a wider variety of horses and riders. And since your horse, from what I can tell from the pictures, has a short back, I would not recommend an ''All Purpose'' saddle.

Also, be sure to mesure the tree on the saddle itself since generic names such as ''narrow'', ''medium'' and ''wide'' vary since there is no established mesurement for each one, therefoire different brands are left to call their brands different sizes. For example, Santa Cruz saddles tend to fit very narrow, I once had what I believed to be a wide, however my horse's massagetherapist informed me upon inspecting the saddle that it was rather a narrow-wide.

Taking into consideration that you expect your horse's back to change, I would recommend a saddle with an 'exchangeable gullet'. That feature allows to change the width of the tree (not the gullet, as the name says). Saddles that have this feature are Bates, Pessoa (that I adore) and Mondega to my knowledge.

Best of luck finding a saddle that fits you both, and remember to verify that you can slide at least four fingers down the gullet the saddle, from front to back, otherwise the saddle will pinch your horse's back muscles and spine and could result in back and behavior problems. You should also consider purchasing a memery foam pad, such as an Ogilvy half-pad, (link bellow), they eliminate any pressure points caused by the saddle and therefore encourage the proper development of the back muscles (no asymetrical backs! haha).

http://www.ogilvyequestrian.com/index.p ... addle-pads

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Gabrielle and Rocky


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:38 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Washington State, USA
Thank you envoked, I really appreciate it. I will look into those saddle brands and the memory foam pade specially. One of the issues I do have with saddle fit on Lex is bridging saddles, not just width however. If you have any tips for that I would love to hear them. :) Thanks.
Kala


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 Post subject: Re: Saddle Shopping Help
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:25 pm
Posts: 17
I use to have trouble with bridging as well with my old saddle, I found (and quite a few riders at my barn did also) that my Ogilvy pad fixed that. Of course, the pad isn't miraculous -- you need a saddle that fits your horse generally well. An ill fitting saddle is just that, no matter how many cushions you stuff under it : )

Although, even today, with a new saddle that fits my horse, I still use my Ogilvy pad for added comfort for my horse's back.

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Gabrielle and Rocky


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