How do you get round this problem??

ImmyS

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So Arlo has been out of ridden work on holiday since end of August. I plan to bring him back into ridden work in January, I will therefore be contacting the saddler soon as she needs a few weeks notice to come out.

So currently I don’t have a saddle that I know fits and Arlo has changed shape a lot. I have a couple of saddles for the saddler to try on him and adjust. However I don’t know what to do regarding checking saddle for when ridden, which can be very different to how it fits the horse without a rider.

So how do you get round this problem? I don’t want to bring him back into ridden work without a saddle that I know fits well, but it would be obviously useful to check the fit of saddle when riding during fitting? So how do you get round this problem? Do you fit the saddles as best as possible then ride for a few weeks then get them rechecked ridden? I’m really not sure.

I do not feel that bringing into work bareback is an option for us currently.

Any suggestions? Just want to do it the right way!
 
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With all of mine I bought changeable gullet saddles. I love the Monarch GFS GP saddle, changeable gullet and so comfy fits both my cobs lovely.

They had their saddles fitted while they were fat and had little muscle, I then got the saddler out again once they were fitter and in better shape to refit (usually means go down 1-2 gullets)

I wouldn't just put a non fitted saddle on and ride, like you, to much chance of ill fitting, pressure in the wrong place etc.
 

SpringArising

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I have a good enough understanding of basic fit to be happy with making a judgement call myself, so I can't say riding for a few weeks in a saddle not 'fitter approved' would worry me. Why don't you long line and lunge if you're not happy fitting one yourself in the short-term?
 

ImmyS

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I have a good enough understanding of basic fit to be happy with making a judgement call myself, so I can't say riding for a few weeks in a saddle not 'fitter approved' would worry me. Why don't you long line and lunge if you're not happy fitting one yourself in the short-term?

I lunge and long rein him anyway, I do a lot of groundwork with him. He had quite a few mounting issues when I initially bought him so although all these issues were ironed out I plan to introduce ridden work carefully again, hence why I loathe to put an ill fitting saddle on but also I then won’t be in a position to ride for the saddle fitter.
 

ImmyS

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I would say that I am able to judge the basic fit of a saddle and have experienced equestrian friends I can ask for second opinion so maybe it’ll be a case of use what fits best then get saddler out after a couple of weeks of work.
 

ImmyS

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With all of mine I bought changeable gullet saddles. I love the Monarch GFS GP saddle, changeable gullet and so comfy fits both my cobs lovely.

They had their saddles fitted while they were fat and had little muscle, I then got the saddler out again once they were fitter and in better shape to refit (usually means go down 1-2 gullets)

I wouldn't just put a non fitted saddle on and ride, like you, to much chance of ill fitting, pressure in the wrong place etc.
Hi, I had a thorowgood on him last year which fitted him nicely, was just starting to not fit him as great, as I decided to turn him away. I have since sold that saddle as I found it SO uncomfortable, to the point that I was in tears after riding because it exacerbated an old injury so badly, which I didn’t experience riding in other people’s saddles. I’m thinking I might have to get the fitter out, adjust the saddles as good as possible then start riding him, then get the saddler back to recheck fit once Hes in ridden work. I’ve never experienced this issue before so not sure what the best option is! 😊
 

catkin

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When I had a saddle reflocked before backing the youngster the saddler checked the balance 'fore and aft' as much as we could without a rider on top. It was a saddle I already had so we had an idea where the sweet-spot was for me. once we got going it was obviously checked again. Perhaps something similar could work for you?
 

ImmyS

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When I had a saddle reflocked before backing the youngster the saddler checked the balance 'fore and aft' as much as we could without a rider on top. It was a saddle I already had so we had an idea where the sweet-spot was for me. once we got going it was obviously checked again. Perhaps something similar could work for you?
Thank you for the reply, I’m thinking this is the route I will have to go down.
 

SpringArising

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I’m naughty and just ride in whatever fits well enough.
Half the time the saddle fitters are no wiser than the owner! I've seen so many saddles fitted by 'professionals' causing terrible muscle wastage on horses, not fitting but being told to use XYZ to correct the fit, and so on and so forth. I fit most saddles myself and only use fitters for re-flocking/obvious adjustments.
 

Leo Walker

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Its what I have always done. Saddler out and adjusted to best fit, then back out in a couple of months or before if deemed necessary. There isnt really any other way to do it. What fits now wont fit once hes gained some muscle.
 

ImmyS

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Its what I have always done. Saddler out and adjusted to best fit, then back out in a couple of months or before if deemed necessary. There isnt really any other way to do it. What fits now wont fit once hes gained some muscle.

Thank you. I think this is what I’ll do, just wanted some reassurance of other how people get round it, as never experienced this before, only ever had saddles fitted to horses already in work.
 

Tarragon

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I have a treeless saddle that I always bring out initially for these sort of situations (e.g. just backed, or too fat or under muscled) and then buy a treed saddle when they stop changing shape so much. My treed saddle is also adjustable (Saddle Company Saddle) so that I can get it re-fitted regularly from then on.
My treeless saddle is probably 12 years old now and been very useful over the years.
A tricky one though!
 

ImmyS

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If he's been ridden before, why can't you just pop on him whilst the saddler is there?

If you see in above post, I had to reback him when I bought him as he had significant mounting issues, therefore after 4 months off work I would be reluctant to just jump on for the saddlers visit. If he was an established horse then that is what I’d do 😊
 

cobgoblin

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If you see in above post, I had to reback him when I bought him as he had significant mounting issues, therefore after 4 months off work I would be reluctant to just jump on for the saddlers visit. If he was an established horse then that is what I’d do 😊
You also said that you had resolved the problems.
I would let the saddle fitter know that you have had problems in the past...make sure you have adequate people to support you on the day... If necessary, your instructor present... And bite the bullet.
Is getting on the first time in a saddle that has not been tested whilst ridden in going to be better any other day?
 

ImmyS

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You also said that you had resolved the problems.
I would let the saddle fitter know that you have had problems in the past...make sure you have adequate people to support you on the day... If necessary, your instructor present... And bite the bullet.
Is getting on the first time in a saddle that has not been tested whilst ridden in going to be better any other day?

Knowing my horse I just don’t think it would be the best for him, that’s a lot going on for a young horse, first time being ridden in months. He finds other people putting on saddles etc stresseful as it is as he’s a nervous type. We also do not have good facilities, last time I had the saddle checked I had to ride on the stubble! I am constantly working on his nervous issues. Jumping on him on a saddle fitting I just don’t believe would be best for him.
 

Northern

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Whilst obviously not an expert, I feel I am well able to judge a "sufficient" saddle fit when I am bringing an unfit horse back into work. IMO its a waste to have a saddler come out before initial muscle buildup, because that fit can change within weeks. What I do is use a slightly wider saddle and use pads underneath until the horse is in regular work and has built up muscle. I would then source a fitter to look it over and make adjustments as necessary. Time of year also has a lot to do with it, I've found my horses tend to drop off more during winter, which means they are a different shape to middle of summer for example. If you aren't confident, by all means have someone out to look some saddles over before you start (especially if he has had issues before), but a good enough fit is perfectly adequate.
 

ImmyS

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Whilst obviously not an expert, I feel I am well able to judge a "sufficient" saddle fit when I am bringing an unfit horse back into work. IMO its a waste to have a saddler come out before initial muscle buildup, because that fit can change within weeks. What I do is use a slightly wider saddle and use pads underneath until the horse is in regular work and has built up muscle. I would then source a fitter to look it over and make adjustments as necessary. Time of year also has a lot to do with it, I've found my horses tend to drop off more during winter, which means they are a different shape to middle of summer for example. If you aren't confident, by all means have someone out to look some saddles over before you start (especially if he has had issues before), but a good enough fit is perfectly adequate.

Thank you for your reply, it isn’t all helped by the fact he’s not the easiest to fit, shortbacked, slightly croup high with massive shoulders! I’m hoping he’ll lose a bit more weight over the next few weeks then I’ll have a look at the saddles on him and reassess whether the fit is good enough to ride in for a few weeks before getting saddler out.
 
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