Saddle for awkward pony

ShadowHunter

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Joined
11 July 2012
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627
Location
North West, UK
Currently looking for a saddle to break in my pony but she's a bit of an awkward shape. She's a 13.2 cob, relatively short back with no withers at all. She's got pretty tiny shoulders which I'm hoping will muscle up once in work. Ive had my other cobs saddle on her which fits her wither but doesn't sit flush against her side. Im almost wondering if a dressage saddle would suit her shape better. Is there such a thing as a low withered, narrow shouldered saddle..?
 

Fransurrey

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27 April 2004
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5,798
Location
Surrey
She sounds very similar shaped to my Exmoor. On her I use a Thorn pad on top of an Acavallo twin sided gel pad saddle cloth or a Le Mieux pro sport saddle cloth. They don't make the Acavallo one in pony size anymore, sadly. I have a hip saver on my pad to add twist, as I have a dodgy back. It's extremely comfortable and feels like riding in a close contact working hunter style saddle!
 

sbloom

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14 September 2011
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7,430
Location
Suffolk
Saddle fit is very little to do with the shoulder. The tree and panel shape under the weight bearing area is way more significant than anything else. Wedge shaped ponies like these are hard to fit - the smaller seat size the pony can take, the flatter the tree and the shorter the panel (of course it also should be the right width, in balance etc etc) then the more likely it is to stay back. You will also likely need a point strap. The flap cut is much less relevant, if you're a taller rider then a GP will likely give you more leg room in a smaller seat size and is likely to be a better option that a larger dressage saddle that would fit further back.

I will say that this may not be a cheap exercise, most tricky ponies end up with saddles that are permanently on their shoulders because no-one wants to spend money on them. Pads with stirrups on them aren't really recommended at all, though some people get away with them, they can't spread the pressure from the stirrup bars even with padding under them.
 

pennyturner

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Joined
1 August 2006
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2,594
I found with a similar pony that an old flat half-panelled hunting saddle fit well, and afforded more space for the rider than a modern saddle of similar length. The seat goes all the way to the back of the panels (and in some cases beyond), without sweeping up into a big bulky cantle, maximising the seat area available on the relatively short load-bearing space available. You won't win any fashion prizes, but many of these old things are beautifully made and still sound if well looked-after and I'd rather ride in something ancient that fits, than modern which doesn't.

Good luck.
 

Jellymoon

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Joined
17 August 2008
Messages
725
Thorn pad could be a good option, but if you prefer more support, have a look at Solution saddles. Like most saddles, they are only as good as the fitter, and I highly recommend Emily Howe. They are very expensive new, but you can get older versions second hand, which would be good for backing your youngster.
 
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