Sunday, March 22, 2015

As the Withers Turn

Tia is very hard to fit saddle wise; she has those shark fin TB withers. I was riding her for a while a few years ago, and borrowed her for a medal final, and had a hell of time trying to get a saddle to work for her.  The only saddle in the barn that fits her really well is a Wintec all purpose that I hate.  I can't get my calf on her and I can't get out of the saddle over the fences. My saddle fits ok with a large Beval wither relief pad but after our last ride I noticed it was rubbing her.

Today after our warm up, when I started asking for more bend and for her to come on the bit, she stopped.  We were trotting along and she just petered out and halted.  When I got after her she got pissy and hopped up on her front end.  I've been through enough saddle fit issues with her to know that's her way of saying "Ow" so I got off and took her back to the crossties.  I pulled my saddle and was staring at my BO's saddles trying to remember what I've tried on her in the past. My BO has 2 dressage (one fits Tia, but obviously not going to jump in it), 1 all purpose (hate), 1 jumping Wintec (doesn't fit), and 1 Dover Circuit jumping saddle.  The last time we went through this with Tia she didn't have the Dover so as a last ditch effort into not having to use the all purpose I tried it.
Dover Circuit

Surprisingly it fit pretty well.  It's maybe a touch narrow but gives really nice wither clearance.  I used the same Beval pad with it and did some easy w-t-c and jumped a small crossrail and the mare was happy with it.  I however, felt like a fish out of water.  It's narrower than my saddle, and while it's stamped the same size as mine it felt smaller. The knee rolls/pads are kinda weird and my leg goes over them a bit but I think it will just take some getting used to. 

Close up of the odd knee rolls
The Sprenger offset jointed stirrups just about killed my ankles and I think I'm going to need to punch some half holes in the leathers. The saddle came with a horse my BO's got last year, which it actually doesn't fit very well, so it's not used much and my BO said I can use it as much as I want and I can switch the stirrups. I gave it a good conditioning and swapped out the stirrups for my regular jointed ones and put my composite stirrups back on my saddle. I had taken the composites off because I can't show in the eq in them, but since I won't be using my saddle to show Tia in, I can have them back on mine.


  1. Ohh saddle fit issues.... I'm currently going through that whole process because my TB has changed back muscling so dramatically since coming into the barn. Lucky you've got a good (ish) option available to you!

  2. Finding saddles to fit humans and horses can be such an ordeal. This is a minefield I'm going to have to start re-investigating as i think it is about time i get my 6yr old FriesianX her own saddle *gulp*

    1. Oops hit submit too soon, I meant to say that I hope all works out with this new saddle for Tia and that you both keep progressing ☺☺☺

  3. good luck... sounds like you at least got half the equation figured out. hopefully a change in the stirrups will get you partway to fitting the saddle to yourself too!