Saddle question

nicolenlolly

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11 August 2011
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Chittlehampton
Think I know the answer but would just like your opinions please...

Bought a new pony for my daughter (beautiful full up 14.2 Connie mare) and the saddle we tried her in is not the one she came with when hubby went to pick her up :( lesson learnt - she was a friend of a friend and I thought I could trust her!

She has come with a Kent and masters which is enormous in fact I think two people would fit in it so my daughter’s little tush gets rather lost in it. My saddler who I have used and trusted for the last 4 years “re-flocked and adjusted” old saddle from old pony to fit or so I thought...a little searching on here found some horror stories😬😢

Fast forward just over 5 weeks off work due to pinching from said badly fitted saddle (I could kick myself) and several physio appointments plus lots of bareback work to put right muscle weakness and we have an appointment with local and recommended saddler.

So, if you had a modest budget would you prefer a decent gp saddle or a separate dressage and jumping saddle I’m looking at the thorowgood t8 specifically as long as it fits?!

I feel I should add, I wasn’t lucky enough to do the whole horse thing when I was younger so I’m still quite new to all this. I’m mortified I didn’t realise the saddle was not right on the mare and has caused her discomfort. I wish I could apologise to her because she remained so damn honest and still went out placing in massive classes for my daughter. She literally just had her ears back and looked a bit flat, so I stopped all riding and called the back lady...please don’t judge me 😬

Many thanks
 

chaps89

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No judgement here from me, well done on admitting something went wrong and sorting it in fact :)
The trouble with saddle fitting is you have to be guided by what fits horse and rider. So if that's a single, more expensive GP then so be it, if you're fortunate and it's 2 more affordable dressage and jump saddles then happy days.
I'd suggest having an open mind and seeing what fits and go from there. Obviously if the options there though to have 2 well fitting saddles then yippee!
 

asmp

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13 March 2010
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How old is the mare? Is she likely to change shape again? If so, I wouldn't spend a huge amount on saddles just yet. A good master saddler will be able to advise you.
 

Kaylum

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29 May 2010
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Saddles have different shaped trees and fit different equines better than others. Forget the makes you fancy and go with what fits and make sure all your other equipment fits with it like the saddlepad/numnah and girth. It's the whole package you need to look at.
 

Red-1

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Yorkshire
Of course the saddle is determined by the horse and what suits, but also budget and what the purpose of the horse is.

My horse is intended to be an eventer, but was still 4 when I got her, so had a GP and then a VSD as she grew. This month she was 6 and has just had her "big girl" saddles purchased. She now has a dressage and a jump saddle. Goodness me, they are better. I have had many eventers over the years so I knew they would be better, but still as a 4 year old I got a GP then VSD just because I knew she would change shape and did not want 2 saddles to sell each time.

As for make, if the pony is young then I would go secondhand with well known brands. That way you can sell again without too much £££ pain. That only works though if you are confident to fit, which it sounds like you are not, so a trusted saddler is the way to go. Good saddlers often have a selection of second hand. I would still watch out for horror stories, a physio visit after 6 weeks in a new saddle is a great idea to check that all is well.

My latest saddles, one should have been £2,500 and had only been sat in 10 times from new last year purchased for £1650. The jump should have been £4,300 and has barely any marks on it, the leather is all but new, from new last year, and I paid £1,900. That is why I like second hand. You do have to drop on though. Both of mine didn't even have any marks on the girth straps.

BTW, no judging here either, many people just blame the horse for unwanted behaviour. At least you got it sorted before she had to get really naughty!
 

Shay

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17 August 2008
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If your daughter wants to compete at a reasonable level (affilliated / PC NAt Champs etc) seperate saddles can be a real blessing. (As long as the mare's shape is going to be reasonably stable - she is not young, or significantly over or under weight). But is she is more interested in lower levels, hacking etc then a good GP is much easier. Connies can be awkward to fit so you may need to go with what is available and fits your budget.
 

bubsqueaks

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16 July 2015
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318
Join the saddle club of errors!
We have found our AH GP Sports saddle bought secondhand for 700 to be ideal for both dressage & jumping.
The AH saddles specialize in fitting tricky wide natives.
I now wouldn't use anything else on our natives.
There's a brilliant facebook page where secondhand saddles for natives are listed - used native pony & cob saddles
 

sbloom

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14 September 2011
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Suffolk
I fit mostly GPs as most people can only afford one saddle, and depending on how good a fit you can find for the rider, many riders can compete to half decent levels in one saddle. I would see what your fitter can find, see how they fit the rider for both flatwork and jumping, and definitely don't try and get one type of saddle to fit, never a good way to go unless you're going for a specialist brand that is designed for your shape of horse or pony (as they will have a range of trees to fit that type of shape, generalist companies might have one that's roughly right, but not close enough).
 

sjp1

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4 February 2010
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626
I also feel your pain - had a saddle altered for my lad via template but it wasn't and isn't right and he has piled on the pounds not being ridden which is worrying whilst I search out a new one. I have discovered there are so many things to look at rather than just width which can be very hit and miss even via templates. Angles have a lot to play in it as do the girth straps. If the girth straps don't line up properly according to the girth groove - WALK AWAY!! The saddle will move bumping into places it shouldn't and it won't be a good outcome no matter what anyone tells you. Gullets also play an important part I have learned - just because the fit looks right, the gullet may be too narrow and may be pinching the wither. Saddle fitting is a nightmare - and I suppose thats why there are so many second hand saddles for sale! Hope you find the 'one'!!
 
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