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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  10:00:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
I have been having problems with finding a saddle for this mare. She is wide in the shoulder area but that isn't the problem. I can get saddles more then wide enough there. The problem is that in the middle of her back is it wide and totally flat. Her back is flat from wither to hip but also from side to side. So that saddles put all of the pressure on the middle of the bars but on the bottom edge of them also. They look kind of like this <( on her back. You can actually look down the front or back of the saddle and see how there is no pressure on most of the bar, just the bottom edge. I have tried so many saddles and none of them are flat enough in that area. It is too the point that I can't do much with her and she is just sitting out in the pasture. I do ride her bare back but it's hard to get a young one started on cantering that way when it throws my hip everytime. It's to the point that I am going to have to go english or treeless, neither of which I want because I can't show western in them. Is there any other type of western saddle that might work. Or what about an aussie, I still couldn't show it in but it would be easier for trail riding then an english.

galadriel
Beginning Rider

53 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  10:11:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit galadriel's Homepage Send galadriel a Private Message
There are Western treeless saddles, the Bob Marshall and the Barefoot.

You could also have a tree custom made for you, then have a saddle built on that tree.
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galadriel
Beginning Rider

53 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2005 :  10:11:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit galadriel's Homepage Send galadriel a Private Message
There are Western treeless saddles, the Bob Marshall and the Barefoot.

You could also have a tree custom made for you, then have a saddle built on that tree.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  12:33:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
I can't show western in a treeless though. Plus I'm worried about a treeless slipping on her. I don't care for the idea of the treeless, I would go that way if I have to but I know they tend to slip on the really round ones. I can't find anyone close enough to make a custom tree. They all tell me that they want the horse there and the closed was over 8 hours away and well over $3000 for a very basic model.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  12:33:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
I can't show western in a treeless though. Plus I'm worried about a treeless slipping on her. I don't care for the idea of the treeless, I would go that way if I have to but I know they tend to slip on the really round ones. I can't find anyone close enough to make a custom tree. They all tell me that they want the horse there and the closed was over 8 hours away and well over $3000 for a very basic model.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  12:47:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Here is a photo of her back. It's an odd angle but it shows how wide and flat it is.


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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2005 :  12:47:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Here is a photo of her back. It's an odd angle but it shows how wide and flat it is.


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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2005 :  12:53:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Yep I get the same thing where the whole pressure is in the middle of the saddle. I can find ones with a good gullet fit but they just don't fit in the middle. I'll check out the link. Glad to know I'm not the only one with a horse like this but it isn't anything I would wish on anyone! I don't understand why she is like this, neither of her parents and not of her half broths and sisters have been like this. Thanks
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2005 :  12:53:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Yep I get the same thing where the whole pressure is in the middle of the saddle. I can find ones with a good gullet fit but they just don't fit in the middle. I'll check out the link. Glad to know I'm not the only one with a horse like this but it isn't anything I would wish on anyone! I don't understand why she is like this, neither of her parents and not of her half broths and sisters have been like this. Thanks
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galadriel
Beginning Rider

53 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  12:07:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit galadriel's Homepage Send galadriel a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Stormie

I don't understand why she is like this, neither of her parents and not of her half broths and sisters have been like this.


Well, for one thing, she's fat. That indentation all down her spine is an indication that she is *too* fat. A lot of the width *and* flatness of her back is due to being overweight. If you could get somew eight off of her, you might find that she has a more typical back. That's especially the case when you know that she has siblings who aren't so unusual to fit.
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galadriel
Beginning Rider

53 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  12:07:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit galadriel's Homepage Send galadriel a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Stormie

I don't understand why she is like this, neither of her parents and not of her half broths and sisters have been like this.


Well, for one thing, she's fat. That indentation all down her spine is an indication that she is *too* fat. A lot of the width *and* flatness of her back is due to being overweight. If you could get somew eight off of her, you might find that she has a more typical back. That's especially the case when you know that she has siblings who aren't so unusual to fit.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  01:30:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Actually even when she is in great shape she still has that 'rain drain' down her back. It's mainly muscle across her back. She is bred right now and in good weight for that so I don't want her any skinner. I can just feel her ribs, no fat pockets anywhere. I work hard to keep her slimmer because it is easy for her to get fat. Here are some photos from this spring when she was more in working shape.





I wish I had photos from last year when she was being worked everyday. But I still had the same problem with the middle of her back. Saddles just didn't sit down on it.

I have been dealing with this problem since she was 3(she is 5 now) and she has always been wide and flat like this no matter what her weight is. For awhile I did think it was just fatness but even skinny I have the same problems with fit.

The comment about her parents and sibs was more about the flat from front to back. Over all she is much stockier then everyone else in her family. She is build like a real foundation QH. Her dam was a little narrower. Her sire was wide but much taller so he didn't look it and he wasn't wide in the back at all. I never had to fit a saddle to any of her sibs or her sire. I sold the only other foal I got from the mare as a yearling but as a 6 yr old he looked nothing like this mare. Of the other foals out of her sire they tended to have more of semi QH back from what I saw of them. Nothing odd at all.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  01:30:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Actually even when she is in great shape she still has that 'rain drain' down her back. It's mainly muscle across her back. She is bred right now and in good weight for that so I don't want her any skinner. I can just feel her ribs, no fat pockets anywhere. I work hard to keep her slimmer because it is easy for her to get fat. Here are some photos from this spring when she was more in working shape.





I wish I had photos from last year when she was being worked everyday. But I still had the same problem with the middle of her back. Saddles just didn't sit down on it.

I have been dealing with this problem since she was 3(she is 5 now) and she has always been wide and flat like this no matter what her weight is. For awhile I did think it was just fatness but even skinny I have the same problems with fit.

The comment about her parents and sibs was more about the flat from front to back. Over all she is much stockier then everyone else in her family. She is build like a real foundation QH. Her dam was a little narrower. Her sire was wide but much taller so he didn't look it and he wasn't wide in the back at all. I never had to fit a saddle to any of her sibs or her sire. I sold the only other foal I got from the mare as a yearling but as a 6 yr old he looked nothing like this mare. Of the other foals out of her sire they tended to have more of semi QH back from what I saw of them. Nothing odd at all.
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pjb30153
Tenderfoot

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  09:38:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit pjb30153's Homepage Send pjb30153 a Private Message
I agree she might be a little on the heavy side, as I know my Mare is. But if you remove the excess weight, I think this would make a very minimal difference in the shape and width of her back. So if you did luck up and get a saddle that fits her as she is now, and she does loose a little weight, you could easily make up the difference by ADDING an extra thin blanket on her. Just my thoughts on the weight issue.
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pjb30153
Tenderfoot

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  09:38:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit pjb30153's Homepage Send pjb30153 a Private Message
I agree she might be a little on the heavy side, as I know my Mare is. But if you remove the excess weight, I think this would make a very minimal difference in the shape and width of her back. So if you did luck up and get a saddle that fits her as she is now, and she does loose a little weight, you could easily make up the difference by ADDING an extra thin blanket on her. Just my thoughts on the weight issue.
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  1:59:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Just wondering, pjb and Stormie, are your horses actually being adversely affected by the way their saddles fit? Are they sore, misbehaving, or in some way showing that they are in pain?

If so, you will need to keep trying to find a better fit through changing saddles and/or pads.

If your horses seem happy enough, and your saddles fit as well as anything you've tried, I would leave well enough alone. A totally perfect fit is not possible for some, maybe even many, horses.

Another consideration is how you are using the horse. What might be comfortable for the horse for short daily rides, might not work for endurance riding, for example.

EZ2SPOT
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  1:59:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
Just wondering, pjb and Stormie, are your horses actually being adversely affected by the way their saddles fit? Are they sore, misbehaving, or in some way showing that they are in pain?

If so, you will need to keep trying to find a better fit through changing saddles and/or pads.

If your horses seem happy enough, and your saddles fit as well as anything you've tried, I would leave well enough alone. A totally perfect fit is not possible for some, maybe even many, horses.

Another consideration is how you are using the horse. What might be comfortable for the horse for short daily rides, might not work for endurance riding, for example.

EZ2SPOT
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galadriel
Beginning Rider

53 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  11:18:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit galadriel's Homepage Send galadriel a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by EZ2SPOT

If your horses seem happy enough, and your saddles fit as well as anything you've tried, I would leave well enough alone. A totally perfect fit is not possible for some, maybe even many, horses.



I'll disagree with you a little here. A perfect fit may not be possible--but it's always worth striving for a *good* fit.

The great majority of horses in poorly fitting saddles don't speak up about it. The problems thus caused are subtle; the horse doesn't seem to be in obvious discomfort, but wearing the poorly fitting saddle really affects the way he moves. He tenses up his back while being ridden--he's uncomfortable--which makes him use his legs badly. Doing so means that he slams them down into the ground with more impact than he'd otherwise take. This leads to increased risk of joint problems in the legs.

In addition, tensing the back strengthens the back muscles without allowing them any kind of relief. So they just get stronger and stronger--and tighter and tighter. This actually makes the back muscles pull too hard on the spine itself; this can cause *skeletal* changes due to the excess pressure in those muscles. Again, this is due to discomfort, not due to pain so bad that the horse wants to buck you off.

The thing to remember when considering whether or not a saddle fits, is that horses don't know that it's supposed to fit. We do all sorts of things to horses that are uncomfortable or downright painful, and we expect them to just grin and bear it. They don't KNOW that we intend for the saddle to be any different. So if you've got a cooperative horse, he's less likely to protest about the saddle...just grit his teeth and bear it (in some cases literally, and horses develop great knots along the jaw from tensing up the jaw that way).

A stoic or determined horse can live with an uncomfortable saddle for a LONG time. I've known of horses who were being ridden in saddles with broken trees! and just dealt with it rather than complained. The thing is, by the time the horse can't stand it anymore, the physical changes caused by the saddle may be permanent and impossible to undo--and may have reduced his soundness/usable life by YEARS.
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galadriel
Beginning Rider

53 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2005 :  11:18:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit galadriel's Homepage Send galadriel a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by EZ2SPOT

If your horses seem happy enough, and your saddles fit as well as anything you've tried, I would leave well enough alone. A totally perfect fit is not possible for some, maybe even many, horses.



I'll disagree with you a little here. A perfect fit may not be possible--but it's always worth striving for a *good* fit.

The great majority of horses in poorly fitting saddles don't speak up about it. The problems thus caused are subtle; the horse doesn't seem to be in obvious discomfort, but wearing the poorly fitting saddle really affects the way he moves. He tenses up his back while being ridden--he's uncomfortable--which makes him use his legs badly. Doing so means that he slams them down into the ground with more impact than he'd otherwise take. This leads to increased risk of joint problems in the legs.

In addition, tensing the back strengthens the back muscles without allowing them any kind of relief. So they just get stronger and stronger--and tighter and tighter. This actually makes the back muscles pull too hard on the spine itself; this can cause *skeletal* changes due to the excess pressure in those muscles. Again, this is due to discomfort, not due to pain so bad that the horse wants to buck you off.

The thing to remember when considering whether or not a saddle fits, is that horses don't know that it's supposed to fit. We do all sorts of things to horses that are uncomfortable or downright painful, and we expect them to just grin and bear it. They don't KNOW that we intend for the saddle to be any different. So if you've got a cooperative horse, he's less likely to protest about the saddle...just grit his teeth and bear it (in some cases literally, and horses develop great knots along the jaw from tensing up the jaw that way).

A stoic or determined horse can live with an uncomfortable saddle for a LONG time. I've known of horses who were being ridden in saddles with broken trees! and just dealt with it rather than complained. The thing is, by the time the horse can't stand it anymore, the physical changes caused by the saddle may be permanent and impossible to undo--and may have reduced his soundness/usable life by YEARS.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  12:01:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
This isn't just a case of an okay fit. It's clearly not a good fit in anyway. Even on the wider flater trees the only area of the bars that is putting pressure in the middle of the back is the bottom of them. That's all of the pressure on the edge of the bar. No way is that going to be something that can just be lived with or padded up for.

I agree that an okay fit is not a place to stop if a better fit can be found.

I started Jazz as a 3 yr old in a saddle that at the time was an okay fit. She never gave me a problem with it and I kept looking for a better saddle. I swapped saddles a number of times over the past 2.5 yrs and each time it was an okay fit but not the best and she never gave me a problem. This is a mare that is just so laid back and lazy that she really doesn't speak up about anything. The only time she has ever bucked with a saddle was this spring in the round pen and even then i think it was more freshness then anything else. Even though she hasn't loudly spoken out I know it doesn't fit and is making her sore so I'm not going to make her live with it.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  12:01:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
This isn't just a case of an okay fit. It's clearly not a good fit in anyway. Even on the wider flater trees the only area of the bars that is putting pressure in the middle of the back is the bottom of them. That's all of the pressure on the edge of the bar. No way is that going to be something that can just be lived with or padded up for.

I agree that an okay fit is not a place to stop if a better fit can be found.

I started Jazz as a 3 yr old in a saddle that at the time was an okay fit. She never gave me a problem with it and I kept looking for a better saddle. I swapped saddles a number of times over the past 2.5 yrs and each time it was an okay fit but not the best and she never gave me a problem. This is a mare that is just so laid back and lazy that she really doesn't speak up about anything. The only time she has ever bucked with a saddle was this spring in the round pen and even then i think it was more freshness then anything else. Even though she hasn't loudly spoken out I know it doesn't fit and is making her sore so I'm not going to make her live with it.
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pjb30153
Tenderfoot

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  2:04:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit pjb30153's Homepage Send pjb30153 a Private Message
Hey Stormie. With all the confusion about Tree Sizes, no industry standards, every one has there own oppion about where to measure the Gullet Width, and different oppions about Wide, Medium, and Narrow, I figured my next attempt at getting a properly fitting saddle would be an Ortho-Flex. I decided to bit the bullet today and purchased one of the Older models (way out of my budget here). I know there is a lot of negative feedback about the Ortho-Flex saddles, but I have talked with several people who have used them for several years with great success and would not have anything else. So, hopefully in a week or so, I'll know if the Ortho-Flex works for me. Darn this is getting expensive!
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pjb30153
Tenderfoot

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  2:04:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit pjb30153's Homepage Send pjb30153 a Private Message
Hey Stormie. With all the confusion about Tree Sizes, no industry standards, every one has there own oppion about where to measure the Gullet Width, and different oppions about Wide, Medium, and Narrow, I figured my next attempt at getting a properly fitting saddle would be an Ortho-Flex. I decided to bit the bullet today and purchased one of the Older models (way out of my budget here). I know there is a lot of negative feedback about the Ortho-Flex saddles, but I have talked with several people who have used them for several years with great success and would not have anything else. So, hopefully in a week or so, I'll know if the Ortho-Flex works for me. Darn this is getting expensive!
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  2:16:03 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by pjb30153

Hey Stormie. With all the confusion about Tree Sizes, no industry standards, every one has there own oppion about where to measure the Gullet Width, and different oppions about Wide, Medium, and Narrow, I figured my next attempt at getting a properly fitting saddle would be an Ortho-Flex. I decided to bit the bullet today and purchased one of the Older models (way out of my budget here). I know there is a lot of negative feedback about the Ortho-Flex saddles, but I have talked with several people who have used them for several years with great success and would not have anything else. So, hopefully in a week or so, I'll know if the Ortho-Flex works for me. Darn this is getting expensive!



Can't remember where you're located, but my good friend EZ has one for sale... darn cheap, too, for an Ortho-Flex .



"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  2:16:03 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by pjb30153

Hey Stormie. With all the confusion about Tree Sizes, no industry standards, every one has there own oppion about where to measure the Gullet Width, and different oppions about Wide, Medium, and Narrow, I figured my next attempt at getting a properly fitting saddle would be an Ortho-Flex. I decided to bit the bullet today and purchased one of the Older models (way out of my budget here). I know there is a lot of negative feedback about the Ortho-Flex saddles, but I have talked with several people who have used them for several years with great success and would not have anything else. So, hopefully in a week or so, I'll know if the Ortho-Flex works for me. Darn this is getting expensive!



Can't remember where you're located, but my good friend EZ has one for sale... darn cheap, too, for an Ortho-Flex .



"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2005 :  8:41:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Red Hawk

[quote]
Can't remember where you're located, but my good friend EZ has one for sale... darn cheap, too, for an Ortho-Flex .



Too late; I sold it last spring!

pjb & Stormie, I've found that Ortho-Flex saddles work well on horses that are unusually hard to fit. I currently have two of these saddles, a Caliente (my favorite), and a Trail Pardner (also very nice). The saddle I sold was a Renegade. It fit my bigger horse well, and was very comfortable for me, but I hated that it was so heavy.

Another saddle I sold, several years ago, was a Softseat Traditional. This was a last resort for the gal who bought it...she had been unable to find anything to fit her very round horse, and in fact had to leave a clinic we both attended, because her saddle (4th one she'd bought for this particular horse) kept slipping over sideways.

Some of the Ortho-Flex models are not suitable for certain horses--and that, I think, is where some people run into trouble. A big, heavy, long-tree'd saddle is not going to fit a small short-backed horse. And Ortho-Flex does use different sizes of trees; some used on the smaller saddles might not fit a bigger horse. I remember reading about some people who bought two Ortho-Flex saddles, and were very unhappy with them. Then when I found out the model they had chosen, I was not surprised. What they had ordered were big, heavy "roper" type saddles, for narrow, short-backed gaited horses. Now, the original Ortho-Flex company probably would not have sold saddles like this to these people, realizing they would not work, but the new company does not seem to be real big on customer service or communication.

EZ2SPOT
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