A saddle for a Shetland...

HeresHoping

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Hello...

My dinky daughter (9) is a lucky so and so and gets to ride a Sh-1-tland as many time a week as she'd like. Now I know that we should all learn to ride in what we're given, yadayada, and under normal circs, I'd be on it like a shot.

However, said Shetland has an old felt saddle and said Shetland has a habit, when not keen on trotting around in circles, of sticking two rear hooves in the air, about head height, and daughter has been eating dirt rather a lot. It's also not doing very much for her lower leg stability. She is finding it very hard to rise to the trot as his legs go 19 to the dozen and her legs are swinging all over the place. I'm trying to teach her to trot in that nasty mean way they used to at PC when PC dragons ruled the roost - arms out to the side and learn to balance so you don't hang on the pony's mouth. I think I may have been responsible for her eating dirt more than a few times :eek: .

Thing is, she doesn't have this problem when she rides Jams - she can rise much more easily, and straight, without some strange corkscrew effect. The problem there is, a) Jams is 15.1 and a quarter and as much as she's worth her considerable bulk in gold, I don't want to send her round on the lunge with a pipsqueak without the greatest balance (she fell off Jams once when she decided she could canter before she could walk and Jams wondered what the annoying fly was tickling her flanks), and b) my saddle is 17,5" dressage saddle and her legs don't actually come below the saddle flaps.:D

So, any suggestions, please? He's a standard, kept on the slim side thanks to several past bouts of lami. Would one of those cub saddles be a sensible option? I have been offered one on loan, as well as a 12" leather job that seems to fit but must have been made circa 1905 (serge panels) and feels about as soft as a brick.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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The felt saddles are awesome! They really teach you how to use your legs and seat correctly! I ride a lot if my ponies in them and prefer them over 'proper ' saddles.

You will probably find that a cub saddle is too small for your kid more than anything.
 

FfionWinnie

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We had a Zoe snape saddle which is basically a posh felt saddle.

I'm afraid rising to a Shetland trot IS harder than a 15.2 trot whatever saddle you have.

My daughter fell off her Shetland on a near daily basis, often more than once. She is really good at falling off now but does it less often thank god.

I would stick with it. It helps them develop a much better seat and lower leg than the majority of other small pony saddles will.
 

sbloom

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I would say she is struggling with the "twist", there isn't one with a pad, so it's as wide as the pony is, a saddle with a narrowish twost will help her wrap her legs around the pony and keep them stable. You will need a super flat tree in most cases, going for a curved upswept panel if the back is at all dropped rather than a curvy tree. Keep the seat size as small as possible.
 

pennyturner

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Cub saddles are rubbish. Best for a Shetland, if you can find one, is one of the old flat pony hunting saddles. Usually no more than £20 as they're out of fashion now, but they're built to last.

Half panel, if you can find one. Also, fit a crupper, as often it is saddle slipping forward which cause Shetlands to buck.
 

HeresHoping

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Thank you all, for your suggestions. I am so grateful.

I shall have a look for something with a narrower twist. Crupper we already have. In the meantime I shall be a mean Mummy and continue to tell her than a fall a day is good for her, and that once she has licked the Shetty into shape (the darling boy has 'taught' many people to ride ;) ) she can ride Jams to her heart's content. That's probably part of the problem - she adores Jams more than worms canape, and the Shetland erodes most of her affection for him every time he tips her in the dirt.
 
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