Saddles sliding forward- long girth straps not suitable?

sidesaddlegirl

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Hmm..had the saddler out last night to try dressage saddles and they kept sliding forward. The fit of them looked good (2-3 fingers wither clearance, fit shoulders, panels fit her straight back) but after a couple (literally a couple!), they ended up on her shoulders!

The saddler was perplexed as the general fit of them suited her well- we tried all trypes of short girths that she brought with her and even resorted to using my son's 38" pony girth on the top holes in an attempt to see if she needed a higher girth placement.

She put it down to her being wide barreled, having smooth shoulders and having a forward girth groove.

She said about a crupper or trying a grip pad but I don't want to resort to using things like this.

I had this trouble with a Wintec dressage saddle I used to have and I'm wondering if saddles with long girth straps or dressage saddles in general just aren't suitable for her?!

I never had trouble with saddle slippage with my two previous close contact saddles (until she muscled up and outgrew them) but they had short girth straps.

Should I try a VSD saddle with normal grith straps? Stick to what I know and get another close contact saddle to do dressage in (I have no intention of jumping again)?
 

quirky

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Can you have balance straps added to a saddle, that should solve the problem.

I am potentially going to have this problem with my girl and bought a saddle with balance strap loops on advice of the saddler. We can add them later if necessary.
 

sidesaddlegirl

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I didn't even know that you could have a balance strap on a saddle other than a side saddle! So is it the same placement then as it would be on a side saddle? I've not seen one on a normal saddle so not sure how they look on one.

Normal saddles are fine on her, it's the long billeted dressage ones that don't seem to fit
frown.gif
 

MrsMozart

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A point strap, or balance strap, are a no-no as far as the back man and (our) saddler are concerned. The back man says it's a way of 'making' a saddle fit, when it doesn't
blush.gif


How many makes/types of saddles did you try? Try a different saddler?
 

teddyt

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How weird. Most dressage saddles have wider girthing than short strap saddles, this should reduce movement, not increase it! Also, many close contact saddles are girthed over a very narrow area and so you would expect if the saddle was going to move then it would do it with these.

What you need to do is look for a dressage saddle that has a very forward first girth strap, like a point strap, to bring the girthing further forward to meet the girth groove. The back strap can still be a Y shape to help stability at the back. Use as wide a girth as possible. A wow H girth would also really help. They are about £140 but they are great for your shaped horse
 

teddyt

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Some people do try and use point straps to make a saddle fit but in the case of a forward girth groove you often need them to align the girth with the groove. Otherwise it doesnt matter how well the saddle fits on the back, the forward girth will always pull the saddle forward. Without a point strap the girth is lieing backwards, like this: / , so as the horse moves the saddle gradually comes forward. A point strap may allow the girth to be more like this: l under the saddle, hence the saddle is less likely to move forward.
 

ironhorse

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Echo teddy t on girth strap positioning - while my saddler was doing some very complex reflocking on my Ideal VSD she lent me a Thorogood cob saddle with wide spaced straps (tho the front one is not a point strap, she's not a big fan of these as they can drive the saddle into the shoulder) which sat beautifully.
My issue is not the position of the horse's girth groove but her somewhat downhill build and very powerful loins and rear end (american quarter horse) which fires the saddle forward. We're persevering with the VSD at the mo which is the best shape for her as it doesn't restrict the shoulder but it's nice to know there's an alternative.
You're not too far away from us, so I could recommend my saddler if you wish (be warned she has a long waiting list!) . Who do you use at the mo?
 

shokkyy

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In the past I had a lot of problems with numerous different saddles on my horse, dressage, GP and jumping, all of which moved around on his back. Some did slide forward, as you describe, some moved back and some went sideways. Depending which way it moved, different saddlers put it down to the fact that my horse has a forward girth line, wasn't straight enough, didn't have enough withers, was close coupled, had a big pop in the rear end, etc., etc.

I then found an extremely good saddle fitter who said the underlying problem was the fact that my horse basically has a fairly flat back, with no real dip in it, which is a feature of his breed. He simply needs a saddle that sits down on his back, with the right shape of tree for the shape of his back, regardless if dressage, GP or whatever. This saddle fitter has now sold me 3 different saddles for my horse and none of them have ever moved on his back in any way.

Basically, if the saddle is the right fit and shape for your horse, it won't move. But good saddle fitters are very hard to find.
 

charlie55

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What about getting a show saddle with short girth straps instead of a dressage saddle? They are straight cut like the dressage saddles..
 

sidesaddlegirl

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Hattie does have a flat back and yup, I always have to look for a saddle with flat panels. The Wintecs are just too curved. I tried a Barnsby and a Jeffries saddle (both dressage). The Barnsby didn't slip forward as quick as the Jeffires one though!

I'm not really a fan of show saddles, I used to ride in one with the cob I had on loan and hated it. I like the big knee blocks that dressage saddles have, they give me some purchase as Hattie can be quite bouncy and forward going from behind. Do they make show saddles with big knee blocks?
 
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