Thorowgood and K&M Compact Saddles. Opinions please?

Ellietotz

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I am on the hunt for a saddle again and my saddle fitter has recommended one of the above saddles for my slightly short backed, croup high mare.

However, I'm worried that the saddle itself will feel too small for me. Can anyone confirm if the saddle is the same as a normal say 17" and it's just the panels that are shorter? It does say on the website it is for a more petite person which I suppose I am at 5ft2 and a size 10 but my bottom may say otherwise so I don't want to feel like I'm balancing on it. 🙈
I've also seen some threads where people were seeing the smaller tree can be damaging for the horse too, albeit they are a couple years old.

Advice appreciated.

Thank you! :)
 

Roxylola

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I have fairfax, but I believe they are much of a muchness in terms of basic structure.
I'm similar size to you and love my 17" fairfax, my saddler said they are generous seat sizes, and I've tried a 17.5 it really did feel too big for me.
My owner is a bit taller and bigger than me but shes also happy in the 17
 

gemisastar

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I had a 17" thorowgood compact for my old mare (slightly croup high) and it worked very well for both of us, I found it very comfy and liked the neatness of the seat. My friend also has one on my recommendation for her similarly shaped mare and no complaints, she's about a size 14 and had a 17" seat with no issues, she's about 5'2
 

mavandkaz

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My cob is in a thorowgood t8 compact. It's a 17.5" and it has plenty of room - I'm not small or petite.
Must admit, I've never had a saddler describe them to me in that way. This is my second one on two different horses and have bought them as they seem to be good for horses who have flat, cob like backs, but also a wither.
My TB is short backed, and needs a shorter saddle then I am comfortable with. He ended up with an Ideal with a 17.5" seat and 17" panels.
 

TPO

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I have never had the compact saddle but I did have a Universal K&M. It's for the shorter backed horse and rider with, emm, wider hips...

I had the 17". I'm 5ft5 (& a half!) and size 12. I fitted in it fine and had more than a hands width of space at the back of saddle/cantle. I don't have longs legs or thighs though so that might be an issue if someone did
 

cobgoblin

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I have a k&m cob saddle.. It certainly isn't narrow in the gullet, I can get 4 fingers in.
The seats come up large for the measurement.
 

Cowpony

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I had a TG compact and never felt it fitted my horse well. She is half Welsh and croup high. Got an AH saddle in the end - fits her much better. Can't really comment on the seat size as I'm pretty small, but I've heard that the extra length is often in the upward sweep of the cantle, so not much use if you need the room.
 

Ellietotz

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I've been looking at a Barnsby saddle with an upswept rear. It does have a pretty deep seat by the looks of it but this may possibly be my best option for my mare.
I had a brief look at AH saddles, there don't seem to be many around secondhand and I am really trying not to have to fork out much for a new saddle but it seems unlikely that this will happen so far. :(
 

Henry02

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I've been looking at a Barnsby saddle with an upswept rear. It does have a pretty deep seat by the looks of it but this may possibly be my best option for my mare.
I had a brief look at AH saddles, there don't seem to be many around secondhand and I am really trying not to have to fork out much for a new saddle but it seems unlikely that this will happen so far. :(
If the saddler has recommended the TG/K&M will fit, then this is what I would be buying.
 

Rosietaz

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I really like my K&M compact. I am a size 8, but have long legs so have to have a 17.5 seat (otherwise I’m pushed back in the saddle) and this is the first saddle that I feel really fits me. (And the horse too!)
 

TPO

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The reviews here have put me off though. :( And there is still no guarantee it will definitely work.
I've had 4 K&M saddles and really liked them. They also held their value when I resold three of them. My current one I bought second hand because I knew it would fit and it was as good as new via the K&M second hand fb page
 

Ellietotz

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I've had 4 K&M saddles and really liked them. They also held their value when I resold three of them. My current one I bought second hand because I knew it would fit and it was as good as new via the K&M second hand fb page
Thank you.
I've found a nice T8 compact just outside of my budget which I may just get as they are designed for my type of horse so there is no reason why it won't work. I guess just seeing mixed reviews puts me off, I don't want it to cause her any issues. I've ridden in the standard GPs before and found them fine, I'm more concerned about other threads where I've seen people saying to avoid the compacts as the panels can cause issues for some reason.
 

TPO

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I've not had a compact but had the high wither, the cob, the universal and now the standard (all GPs and all 17 or 17.5").

Ive liked the panels on the ones I've had. Wide area to spread pressure and wide gullet with lots of clearance for the spinal processes.

Im definitely not a high level rider so perhaps someone looking for more finesse might not agree with them but theyve all done a job for me on various types of horses
 

sbloom

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I had a TG compact and never felt it fitted my horse well. She is half Welsh and croup high. Got an AH saddle in the end - fits her much better. Can't really comment on the seat size as I'm pretty small, but I've heard that the extra length is often in the upward sweep of the cantle, so not much use if you need the room.
This.

The tree used in the Compact certainly looks like their standard tree which is designed for a back with some wither height, yet so many short backed horses that need a shorter panel tend to have flat backs and need a flatter tree. Personally, those I have seen would have been better, IMO, in a flatter tree in the next size down. At 5'3" a 16.5" in a flatter brand (the TG/K&M cob rides quite small but the Compact does ride even smaller, it's a deep seat) would give you plenty of room.

Are you the group we run? https://www.facebook.com/groups/1641386762817197/
 

sbloom

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I really like my K&M compact. I am a size 8, but have long legs so have to have a 17.5 seat (otherwise I’m pushed back in the saddle) and this is the first saddle that I feel really fits me. (And the horse too!)
Size 8 bottom potentially fits in a 16", definitely a 16.5", so you're kind of proving the seat rides small :). Yes your leg gives you issues but the TGs and some K&M models also lack leg room compared to many other saddles.
 

sbloom

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Wouldnt touch K&M their so narrow in the gullet - what about AH saddles theres a secondhand facebook page
Sorry for not doing this all in one post!

They are very narrow in the headplate, sadly "gullet" is used interchangeably for headplate and for channel, the channels are mostly wide enough, the headplate shape IS very narrow, an upside down V.
 
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