Saddle for a big shouldered beastie

Grinchmass

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I'm wondering if anyone could give me some suggestions of a saddle that may be suitable for my chunky mare.

My mare is 15hh cob x tb, has a large shoulder, short back, and a small wither. She can only take a 17inch saddle.

Currently I have a farrington gp, which I don't like (to the amazement of the saddler.) I'll persevere with it as it fits my mare very well, and she's comfortable in it, I'd much rather she be comfortable than me. However in the long term I'd like something that's better for me to jump in. I'm not that tall, only 5"5/6 buit have rather long legs and don't particularly like jumping in the farrington.

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or something to look in to.

She had a jeffires with her last owner although I'm now guessing it was a gp.

Also a dressage saddle.

Ive spoke to the saddler, she's informed me she will be a rather difficult fit, and may not get a jump on her, didn't ask about a more forward cut gp though. She also said I may find it difficult to get a stressage saddle due to needing a 17 inch.

Maybe a bit of a pointless thread but any ideas would be appreciated.
 

SuperH

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I've also got a large shouldered and short backed pony. She is a Welsh D. No withers either. I had a fitter who came and we tried lots of different saddles on her and settled on the Ideal Cob (17") with a forward cut girth. I was slightly concerned about my knees tipping over the front when jumping as it is a reasonably straight cut saddle and I have quite long hip to knee but it has been fine so far and very comfortable for both pony and I, a huge improvement on my hideously unstable saddle she was in before.

Do you have a fitter who can bring you a selection of saddles to try? We tried on several before I even got on one, then I rode in five others before choosing this one.

She was easier to fit than my other Welsh D, she is even wider and just as short but with slightly less shoulder. She needed the fitter to bring two van loads of saddles before getting one that fitted (we nearly went with the Ideal Event for her which may be worth a try for you as the knee rolls were super but ended up with another Ideal Cob, just a wider one than the other ponies).
 

soloequestrian

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Balance International - their saddles are lovely for any horse, but they have a particular model which is designed to be short for the horse while giving the rider a little more seat room.
 

sbloom

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I'm wondering why would it be hard to fit a 17" dressage saddle? There may be slightly fewer of them available second hand, as, with the deeper seat, the average seat size can be bigger, but it's a common size and in fact I would say I fit more 16.5" and 17" saddles than 17.5". I also dispute that big shouldered horses can't have forward cut saddles - it is more about how the muscle immediately at the wither flows, or doesn't, into the shoulder blade. If the shoulder sits out from the body and there is little muscle behind it then a forward cut saddle could be tricky, if not then it shouldn't be a major problem.
 

Grinchmass

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Sorry I've only just noticed the replies to this, thanks for the replies.

SuperH I have an excellent saddle fitter, she's the one who fitted her with her previous owner, so she knows what is likely to fit her, she doesn't have anything in at the moment that I would like and would fit her,in which case I'd be better of sticking with my farrington until I find something I actually like.

Getting my saddle fitter out can prove a bit difficult, she's always super busy because she's so good, and now she's got a backlog due to having a long period off following an operation.

Frumpoon I don't have any pictures on my (archaic iPad, and I'm at work) but I'll try get some later.

Sbloom fitting a stressage saddle won't be too difficult, finding one may prove more difficult though.

I actually by the off chance tried an Albion k2 gp on her the other day, the fit looked good without me on board, but was a tad tight in spots with me on her, I think she'd need the next size up so I shall keep an eye out for one to try... Plus I liked the Albion, I could jump in it too and my bum just about fits. Just. Even with my giant bum it's still comfier than mine at the moment.
 

Copperpot

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I had the same problem with my horse. Same confirmation at yours. Tried a K2 and bought a new Wow. Neither worked. Now have an Ideal Impala pro which firs lovely. Gives his massive shoulders lots of room. And he can only take a 17" and I always have. 17.5". But I fitted in a 17" Impala.
 

Grinchmass

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A picture for those that asked... If it works. And copperpot the ideal imapla looks really nice, I'll have to keep an eye out to try one on her.

Saddle shopping is irritating, I may just give up for a while and get a seat saver, and save for something really nice :)
 

Rocky01

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Looks very similar to my boy. (connxtb) who is brilliant in the bates wide range. Can fit to the horse really really well.
 

Grinchmass

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Looks very similar to my boy. (connxtb) who is brilliant in the bates wide range. Can fit to the horse really really well.

Funny you said bates, my friend had a bates jump, 2 horses, didn't fit either. One with a wither and slight sway back, the other pretty much ideal back shape, both took a mw.

Do you find your bates comfy? I remember riding in one and finding it rather uncomfy, may just have been that particular saddle though.
 

Rocky01

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I think bates has changed quite a bit recently. I find the saddles comfy and now along with a changeable gullet you can put in shims of varying thicknesses to perfect fit where the horse needs it. Also the bates wide my boy is in is called a bates wide not a normal bates with a wide gullet. My other boy is in a bates isabelle but he is a very different back shape from the boy in the bates wide.
 

Dexydoodle

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I think there are mixed opinions on them, but I have a 17" saddle company saddle for my 14.3 extremely wide cob. has interchangeable knee blocks so could put bigger ones in for jumping. I really struggled to find something for her - was recommended Ideal H&C, Kent & Masters and can't remember what else but will pop back on if I do
 

Grinchmass

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I think bates has changed quite a bit recently. I find the saddles comfy and now along with a changeable gullet you can put in shims of varying thicknesses to perfect fit where the horse needs it. Also the bates wide my boy is in is called a bates wide not a normal bates with a wide gullet. My other boy is in a bates isabelle but he is a very different back shape from the boy in the bates wide.

Ahh I see, I may take a look then. She's more finicky than my old horse, and will apparently let me know if the fit is slightly out.
 

Love

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I had to change from a GP saddle that was too forward cut for my Connies big shoulders and interfered with them. You could try a working hunter saddle, they are much straighter cut but still great for jumping in. I have a Fylde show saddle and have no problems jumping in that either
 

Grinchmass

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I had to change from a GP saddle that was too forward cut for my Connies big shoulders and interfered with them. You could try a working hunter saddle, they are much straighter cut but still great for jumping in. I have a Fylde show saddle and have no problems jumping in that either

The saddle I have now is quite straight cut to be honest, my issue is that I'm short but with relatively long legs compared to my height, so jumping in it is doable but my knees poke over the sides. It's ok for doing tiddly jumps at the moment, but just not very comfortable. Although I'll have a look at working hunters, see if I can find something that suits us both.
 
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