Broncing after jump/saddle fit

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1 July 2021
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Just bought a new horse (very excited!) and had my first ride on him today, i knew the bit was too big anyway so I did gentle work and popped some baby jumps. I was using my other horses saddle and she’s a 15.1 medium tb so probably too small for my new chunkier 16hh. After jumping a jump he bronced a bit, would this be a result of ill fitting saddle? Just need a bit of reassurance as he wasn’t cheap and I don’t want things going wrong already 😅
 

Quigleyandme

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I’m afraid buying the horse is just the beginning of it. He will need his own saddle fitted by a suitably qualified saddle fitter together with bit that suits his mouth conformation. I would urge you not to ride him again in a saddle you suspect is too tight unless you are prepared to damage him physically and psychologically and for him to dump you on the ground. I’m sorry to sound preachy but your post astonishes me.
 
Joined
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I’m afraid buying the horse is just the beginning of it. He will need his own saddle fitted by a suitably qualified saddle fitter together with bit that suits his mouth conformation. I would urge you not to ride him again in a saddle you suspect is too tight unless you are prepared to damage him physically and psychologically and for him to dump you on the ground. I’m sorry to sound preachy but your post astonishes me.
don’t worry, it’s only 3 days in, I’m contacting saddle fitters. he didn’t come with tack so I’m making do, I’ve only ridden him once and won’t again until it’s sorted, hence why I took it really gently. The bit I ordered was what the owners said would fit him so that was just unlucky, I’ve owned horses before and I’m aware of the damage!
 

Sossigpoker

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Has the horse jumped before? Sometimes if the horse isn't desensitised to the rider moving in the saddle, they can bronc after a jump as a reaction.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I simply don'tunderstand why you rode him in tack that you know doesn't fit. How difficult is it to find a bit of the right size? I understand that not everybody has loads of saddles hanging around to try on a new horse but I simply can't understand the mindset of using a saddle that obviously wouldn't fit, if the horse that usually wears it is a completely different shape? And in whose world is jumping 'taking it gently'? I hope that you haven't caused enough of a problem that your saddle fitter can't find a saddle that he is comfortable in next week.
 
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I simply don'tunderstand why you rode him in tack that you know doesn't fit. How difficult is it to find a bit of the right size? I understand that not everybody has loads of saddles hanging around to try on a new horse but I simply can't understand the mindset of using a saddle that obviously wouldn't fit, if the horse that usually wears it is a completely different shape? And in whose world is jumping 'taking it gently'? I hope that you haven't caused enough of a problem that your saddle fitter can't find a saddle that he is comfortable in next week.
I get where your coming from but I rode him once for about 15min. Mostly walk and a bit of trot, a little canter to 2 little cross poles, I would call that gentle. The saddle wasn’t obviously too ill fitting for him, I did the usual checks ive learnt about saddle fitting over the years and to my surprise it was decently ok, despite the height/breed difference they are about the same width wise. but I’m not a professional so obviously I could have made mistakes, so I’m getting a saddle fitter which was my original plan anyway. he felt lovely and relaxed on the flat hence the having a little go on cross poles. The bit was what I had ordered as that is what the owner told me but for some reason it didn’t fit so that was plain bad luck, again, I took it GENTLY, soft hands, no sharp turns etc. The broncs weren’t big unseating ones, but little up and down movements that were enough to tell me something might be uncomfy. So I stopped. I get it was not perfect but it was not anything that is going to cause damage.
 

Marigold4

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Could you contact the seller and ask to buy this horse's old saddle ? Saddlefitting is a nightmare - expensive and time-consuming. If there's a saddle out there that already fits him/ her, I'd try and buy it from seller, even if you have to pay a premium.
 

sbloom

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The saddle wasn’t obviously too ill fitting for him, I did the usual checks ive learnt about saddle fitting over the years and to my surprise it was decently ok, despite the height/breed difference they are about the same width wise. but I’m not a professional so obviously I could have made mistakes, so I’m getting a saddle fitter which was my original plan anyway.
It sounds like you did a lot of the right things but this also shows how saddle fitting IS an art. I would bet it was tipping back (and a saddle being in balance is one of the things most people really struggle with) and it possibly ran forwards in the more active canter of jumping, or even on landing.

Could you contact the seller and ask to buy this horse's old saddle ? Saddlefitting is a nightmare - expensive and time-consuming. If there's a saddle out there that already fits him/ her, I'd try and buy it from seller, even if you have to pay a premium.
Way too many cases of the saddle not actually fitting the horse, and certainly may not be suitable for the rider, for this to be a dead cert solution. Too often even the saddle the new owner buys with the horse wasn't the one they were wearing but a piece of junk from the tack room that they no longer needed. I would only recommend borrowing the saddle and having a truly trusted fitter checking it for horse and new rider, otherwise just start again with a standard saddle fitting. And do lots of groundwork :)
 

Marigold4

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It sounds like you did a lot of the right things but this also shows how saddle fitting IS an art. I would bet it was tipping back (and a saddle being in balance is one of the things most people really struggle with) and it possibly ran forwards in the more active canter of jumping, or even on landing.



Way too many cases of the saddle not actually fitting the horse, and certainly may not be suitable for the rider, for this to be a dead cert solution. Too often even the saddle the new owner buys with the horse wasn't the one they were wearing but a piece of junk from the tack room that they no longer needed. I would only recommend borrowing the saddle and having a truly trusted fitter checking it for horse and new rider, otherwise just start again with a standard saddle fitting. And do lots of groundwork :)
Not everyone is up to no good though and lots of sellers care enormously about the good of the horse they are selling, so not necessarily a 'piece of junk' from the tack room. Seller may have a perfectly good saddle available or perhaps as a loan. OP says the horse went really well in it when she viewed the horse so worth a try.
 

sbloom

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Not everyone is up to no good though and lots of sellers care enormously about the good of the horse they are selling, so not necessarily a 'piece of junk' from the tack room. Seller may have a perfectly good saddle available or perhaps as a loan. OP says the horse went really well in it when she viewed the horse so worth a try.
Yes but how is a buyer to know? So, I stand by my statement, if you can borrow the saddle and have your own trusted fitter check it, then all well and good, buy it, but rider fit affects saddle fit way more than most people realise, so it must be a decent fit for the rider too. Horses can go really well in a saddle that has simply shifted the pressure points from the ones cause by its regular saddle, so on its own it's not an indicator of good fit sadly.
 

Leandy

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It might be the saddle, or it might not be. Only time will tell. It sounds as though you had barely ridden him for enough time to work him in properly so he may just be fresh, or a bit sensitive to a rider with a different seat from the rider he is used to. Also appreciate that he may just be unsettled and so more tense than when you tried him. I agree with the others though to get tack which fits as soon as you can. Be aware that saddle supplies are disrupted at the moment and it may sadly take longer than you hope to get the new saddle for him. In the meantime, i think it is perfectly natural, and normal, to use whatever tack you can get hold of that isn't too bad a fit in order to be doing a bit with your new horse. Its an exciting time! If what you have isn't great, see if you can beg or borrow something more suitable until you are properly kitted out. I wouldn't be jumping a strange horse in a saddle which clearly wasn't a good fit though. I'd stick to gentle schooling and hacking and aim to ride light and keep off his back (ie not lots of sitting trot!). Good luck with your new purchase!
 
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