Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saddle Fitting Experts: Your Opinions, Please!

OK, let's cut right to the chase here. Does this saddle fit Salem? *crosses fingers* Pleasepleasepleaseplease  fit...











Of course, I am going to have someone look at this saddle in person to determine if it fits Salem well. Just looking for some general opinions here since I am woefully clueless about saddle fit. Fire away!

9 comments:

Kate said...

What's happening underneath the saddle is more important than what you can see, and can't do that over the internet. Saddle does appear to be sitting fairly level, which is good. Take your hand and run it along the front and then back under the top area - are there areas where the saddle is pressing more closely or "bridging" - leaving a gap between saddle and horse? And an important test - ride in it (without a lot of extra padding or shimming - what does your horse think? Is his movement more free or less free than usual? While riding, put your hand between the front of the flap and the horse - does the saddle get tight in the shoulder area as he moves, inhibiting his movement? - you want the saddle to not press on his shoulder as it moves back and forth. Fit in the shoulders is a frequent problem with saddles - many are too tight in that area, and I've found many saddle fitters aren't that knowledgeable about things like that - although the best ones are.

Good luck!

SprinklerBandit said...

The pictures look great, but like Kate said, we can't see the stuff underneath.

As long as it isn't bridging like crazy and doesn't settle under your weight--since you really can't evaluate saddle fit without actually girthing up and getting on and moving around--it looks like it will work.

Frizzle said...

Thanks, guys! Oy...Salem hasn't been ridden in over a year and a half, and I haven't ridden since last July. This is going to be interesting!

I do have to wait until his abscess is grown out before I can really do anything with him (hopefully a month or two), and I do still need to buy a dressage girth, leathers, and pad. But, riding will be happening SOON!

eventer79 said...

It looks like it needs some flocking tweaks in back and front but it doesn't look far off, from what little one can tell from pictures. Let him tell you.

Frizzle said...

Anyone think it looks a tad pommel-high? I'm uber paranoid about saddle fit after our last fiasco--I still feel much guilt for that. ;-/

Val said...

Hi Frizzle. Just stopped by from Kristen and Laz's blog.

In reference to your last comment, I do think the saddle looks a little pommel high, although the shot from the front looks okay to me.

The thing that I noticed and wanted to mention is the channel. The channel looks fairly narrow in the rear photo and your horse appears to have a nice, broad back further back behind the wither. The panels do not look like they are making great contact at the back of the saddle. I am not sure if reflocking can fix this.

Like others have said, you really need to ride in the saddle to see if your horse is happy and if you stay centered. A saddle that pitches the rider forward or backward is a very frustrating saddle to work in. Ask me how I know!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

How about this old school ghetto trick; use a thin pad to ride in it. 2nd to Salem's reaction to saddle of course, the sweat marks on pad, after riding may be able to tell you where it's pinching along shoulder-if you are thinking it's too tight. If there are dry spots vs wet. Check both sides b/c sometimes, as we know, they are more developed on one side, etc etc. Sorry-it's the best I've got. :)

Frizzle said...

Hi Val,
Thanks, I've been thinking the same thing. The gullet fits 3.5-4 fingers in the back and 4.5-5 in the front, so I figured it would be a good fit for Salem. But now I'm wondering if it will be even a passable fit. :-/ So frustrating!

Frizzle said...

Yes, Kristen, I will try the "ghetto trick." :-) I'm just worried I won't be able to tell the difference between "This saddle is uncomfortable" and "I haven't been ridden in almost 2 years" naughtiness!