Saddle fitters too “cool” to fit cobs???

canteron

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I think cobs seem to be the most challenging horse to fit - barrelled shaped with no withers.

But most saddle fitters I know are young, energetic and seem to want to fit lovely elite horses, not boring old cobs wanting cheap saddles. Even with an open cheque book you kinda feel they look down in you (I’ve just had a made to measure saddle £££££)

With a few notable exceptions the cob saddle market is hugely underserved ..... anyone wanting a change of career look this way????

It is a much greater test of skills to fit a cob properly than a thoroughbred - or maybe that is the reason they avoid them as they may have to have multiple visits so there is little profit there?
 

paddi22

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have you just been unlucky or are you in a weird area where it's a racing area or something? I have tbs, sport horses and cobs and the saddle fitters have never treated any of them them any differently? I've a barrel of a cob and managed to get a saddle for her no bother for 200 quid.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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have you just been unlucky or are you in a weird area where it's a racing area or something? I have tbs, sport horses and cobs and the saddle fitters have never treated any of them them any differently? .
This!

I'm in the packed SE and there are numerous fitters (inc a few who are actually v good!) and specialist native/cob fitters and saddle suppliers, from AH saddles, Fiona Cork saddles and a host of others.

How bizarre!
 

canteron

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Haha you lucky lot, the best saddle fitter around here offered me a new £1500 saddle .... with a croup to hold it in place 😐. May be my fault for living in the back of beyond ..... but I know I’m not alone because if the pure volume of cob saddle fitting woes on here and other media.
 

holeymoley

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I can’t say I’ve ever heard of ours refusing to fit any cobs. At the end of the day money is money regardless what you’re fitting, and as said above, a decent wide saddle that fits a short backed cob can be extortionate!

It may be that the ones that aren’t keen on fitting have customers that aren’t willing to spend the money? I know people with cobs that expect a thorowgood cob saddle to fit because it’s got cob in the name and refuse to spend money on anything else.
 

criso

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There's a certain amount of luck in getting cheap saddles, you need a saddle fitter who has the right secondhand saddle at the right time. If they have a lot of one type of horse on their books, then the saddles they get from cliients to sell on will fit that type of horse, so the whole thing perpetuates. Maybe it also suggests that having got that perfect saddle, cob owners tend to hang on to them.
 

Shay

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I think the issue might be that you want a cheap saddle to fit a cob. Barrel like natives are one of the most expensive forms to fit. To be honest if you contacted a saddler asking for a cheap saddle for a cob - I'm not surprised they are saying no.

Its not that they are too "cool". Its that what you are asking for it not achieveable. Ask them for a bespoke fit - which is really what you need - and they will be there. A cheap saddle to fit to a native is like hen's teeth - folk who have them (and they have usually had them made bespoke in the first place) - keep them!.
 

SEL

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I've been on the end of "it's not a sports horse snobbery". While I was trying out the one they wanted me to buy the lady loudly said to my YO "we don't usually fit THAT type, most of our clients compete".

It definitely wasn't a budget issue either - just a very broad, short backed horse who didn't like the saddle they wanted me to buy.

Complete waste of a callout fee and I've gone out of my way not to advise people use her since
 

Dyllymoo

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Ummmm… not sure on this. I have probably myself been a bit of a cob snob, but J is the just awesome and I wouldn't change him from the cheeky cob he is.

I had a fantastic saddler out for J (who I have been following for a couple of years) and she had no problem fitting a saddle to him, even though she does so many amazing competition horses. Our photo wasn't used on her Facebook posts about the days fittings, but we didn't look a picture if I'm honest (I was nervous, he was trotting around like a giraffe!), so I don't blame her (and I don't think it was cob snobbery as such)
 

oldie48

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The saddler I have used for 20 years will try to fit any breed of horse but doesn't sell synthetics, treeless etc. He also has a fairly big selection of second hand saddles as he will always take a saddle he has sold back in part exchange. However, carrying a large stock of new saddles is a big investment so I suspect he focuses on what he knows he can sell and make a decent profit on I doubt "coolness" has anything to do with it.
 
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I think you might have been unlucky- I found a lovely saddler who mostly fits valuable competition horses, but she came out and fitted a very reasonable thorowgood synthetic on my barely ridden 12hh kids pony. (And she was lovely about it, took her time, explained everything really carefully, what to look out for if the pony changes shape etc etc. She didn't make me feel at all as though the job was beneath her!)
 

MuddyMonster

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I have a native pony and can't say I've encountered snobbery from saddle fitters. But having said that, he does have a made to measure saddle, which has massively helped as the saddle just needs tweaking for each visit.

It might be worth trying an independent saddle fitter, if you havent already, so you aren't limited to a couple of brand's a particular saddle fitter carries?
 

scats

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I’ve honestly never encountered cob snobbery from saddle fitters, but I do know it’s not always easy to fit saddles to particularly wide cobs and some saddlers might only have a limited number of options to try for these types.
 

Frumpoon

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Thorowgood T4 Cob, Fylde, Symonds, Fiona Cork, Kent and Masters, Ideal, all have cob saddles

However I've no idea why anybody has a cob, horrible looking things....
 

IrishMilo

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If you're in Suffolk I'd highly recommend Poppy Webber (PeeWee saddlery) if you can convince her to take on a new client. She also makes her own saddles and specialises in round horses.
 

eggs

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I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment re wanting cheap saddles. Why should a cob's saddle be any cheaper than any other type of horse?

I am just about to fork out just shy of £4k on a saddle for my round barrelled, big shouldered, flat withered warmblood - sigh
 

Baywonder

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I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment re wanting cheap saddles. Why should a cob's saddle be any cheaper than any other type of horse?

I am just about to fork out just shy of £4k on a saddle for my round barrelled, big shouldered, flat withered warmblood - sigh
£4k!!!!! I hope it is gold plated and diamond encrusted for that price! :oops:
 

palo1

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I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment re wanting cheap saddles. Why should a cob's saddle be any cheaper than any other type of horse?

I am just about to fork out just shy of £4k on a saddle for my round barrelled, big shouldered, flat withered warmblood - sigh
I feel your pain and agree that perhaps saddle fitters find that actually the problem is the other way round - (no offence meant to anyone at all here) in that owners of cob shaped horses may possibly be a bit less precious about their horses which are generally more robust it would seem and so they are not so anxious about saddle fit or have less competitive ambitions so feel that precision fit is not so vital etc. Thus they don't feel the need for an expensive saddle. I have 2 very different horses - neither of which have been especially easy to saddle but I have felt particularly irked that my lovely cob should prove so tricky and potentially expensive. I am resigned to it now tbh much to my saddle fitter's relief. She has certainly never been a cob snob but perhaps, unintentionally and very subtly I have been. It never occurred to me that my very fine , athletic sports horse would be anything other than tricky and expensive!! My coblet definately deserves a super saddle - it's just been hard for me to accept that her rather more agricultural frame needs Rolls Royce engineering :p:p
 

sbloom

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I think cobs seem to be the most challenging horse to fit - barrelled shaped with no withers.

But most saddle fitters I know are young, energetic and seem to want to fit lovely elite horses, not boring old cobs wanting cheap saddles. Even with an open cheque book you kinda feel they look down in you (I’ve just had a made to measure saddle £££££)

With a few notable exceptions the cob saddle market is hugely underserved ..... anyone wanting a change of career look this way????

It is a much greater test of skills to fit a cob properly than a thoroughbred - or maybe that is the reason they avoid them as they may have to have multiple visits so there is little profit there?
I am 50, I am definitely not cool, and I fit a ton of cobs. I am one of the specialists mentioned, and if you're in Suffolk...

Haha you lucky lot, the best saddle fitter around here offered me a new £1500 saddle .... with a croup to hold it in place 😐. May be my fault for living in the back of beyond ..... but I know I’m not alone because if the pure volume of cob saddle fitting woes on here and other media.
Never needed to recommend a crupper. I do think budget is your biggest limiting factor - the lower the budget, the trickier the horse, or rider, or combo (common with short backs), and the shorter the time frame, the harder the solution is to find. Change one, or two, and the world opens up. Good wide saddles are in demand, hold their value (if they're well made, reliably, have good customer service, and not all are) and some are made to be just damned good quality saddles with no compromises. Cheaper saddles can be great, but aren't always a solution.

It may simply be the case that they work predominantly/exclusively with certain brands/manufacturers and those brands don't really suit cobs so they are unlikely to have anything to fit.
Yep, many brands have ONE cob suitable tree, but cobs vary a ton. Hence we specialists exist (and I may not be the only one who regular fitters refer their fits to when they feel they don't have the best options).
 
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sbloom

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I feel your pain and agree that perhaps saddle fitters find that actually the problem is the other way round - (no offence meant to anyone at all here) in that owners of cob shaped horses may possibly be a bit less precious about their horses which are generally more robust it would seem and so they are not so anxious about saddle fit or have less competitive ambitions so feel that precision fit is not so vital etc. Thus they don't feel the need for an expensive saddle. I have 2 very different horses - neither of which have been especially easy to saddle but I have felt particularly irked that my lovely cob should prove so tricky and potentially expensive. I am resigned to it now tbh much to my saddle fitter's relief. She has certainly never been a cob snob but perhaps, unintentionally and very subtly I have been. It never occurred to me that my very fine , athletic sports horse would be anything other than tricky and expensive!! My coblet definately deserves a super saddle - it's just been hard for me to accept that her rather more agricultural frame needs Rolls Royce engineering :p:p

Oh the number of times there's a sharp intake of breath because the saddle costs more than their horse - if you're buying a less expensive horse its breeding has had less focus on carrying a saddle, they CAN be tricky to fit, and you'll possibly need to pay a decent sum for a saddle. Still nowhere NEAR the cost of fancy schmancy European competition saddles though, and arguably better quality and longer lasting!
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Specific saddle-fitters for cobs and natives DO exist, AH saddles being one of them.

Perhaps OP was just unlucky with their choice of saddle fitter? I do understand a little of what I think is meant; sometimes a set-up can seem a little bit formidable to someone like myself with a hairy cob that's been dragged out of the field!
 
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