Simple solution to the saddle sliding up the neck (pics)

Discussion in 'General' started by Pink's lady, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Pink's lady

    Pink's lady Banned

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    Trying to keep a saddle back and off the shoulders is an absolute nightmare on quite a few horses

    Tia especially is one. She has huge shoulders, a forward girth groove, is built very on the forehand (very bum high) and when she engages her back the saddle is thrown forwards by her huge movement. She is also totally round with no withers and a very short back.

    Every saddle fitters favourite:rolleyes:

    After having no end of trouble with her bucking in canter (her saddle was banging off her shoulders) her owner started to loose confidence and I orgainsied the saddler to come out and have a look.

    Tia had a wintec wide. Although a fairly nice fit width ways it was too curved and the girth pulled it forwards. If you used the point strap to help prevent the girth pull the back rocked up and off her back.

    So she now has Pink's old xx-wide 17'5 inch Thorowgood griffin cob which had been altered to dressage girth straps and Flair instead of flocking. But even then the saddle still slide forwards:(

    So the saddler has been rather clever and rigged my girthing arrangement for me and it's has almost elimated the problem. No longer does the saddle slide 6inches up her neck. It slides about an inch, if that. And Tia has finally stopped bucking:D

    I know others have had this problem and have been interested in the girthing so I finally got round to taking pictures. (excuse the colour tint - it's my phone camera)

    This is what used to happen. The saddle was right on top of her shoulders (shown by red line) and was very uncomfortable. Notice the 'normal' girth position - on the centre of the saddle flaps
    [​IMG]

    The saddle is actually wide enought for her but the balance is rubbish - all the weight is tipped onto the panels at the back and causes a very uncomfy pressure point.
    [​IMG]

    This is Tia's saddle where is should be. It sits behind her shoulders and no longer interferes. But notice how far forwards the girthing is in relation to the saddle.
    [​IMG]

    The balance is now good and pressure distributed evenly.
    [​IMG]

    This is what the saddle has done to the saddle. The saddle already had dressae straps attached from when Pink had it (helps stop it rolling sideways) but she has fashioned a leather donut girth keeper. The back (balance strap) has been used to keep the back down but the point strap holds it far forwards.
    [​IMG]

    The keeper is very thick, strong and inflexible leathers. The point strap holder is a very very tight fit (very hard to adjust) and anchors the keeper at a set point on the point girth strap. The back strap's hole is a little looser (but still tight) and slides a bit better. When shuffled to the correct balance between the two the keep holds the girth forwards. Note the angled slits so the straps aren't too distorted.
    [​IMG]

    Its very easy to do and not too expensive. The dressage girth straps were expensive (£40) since I chose to have good quality leather used but they can be done with thorowgood synthetic stirrup straps. The donut cost £5 each. A very simple way to eliminate the pull of the girth, which is the cause of 90% of the forward sliding.

    It's not perfect - the front has had to be lifted (using air in on this saddle since it's got Flair) otherwise the it sits too low. You wouldn't want to use it on a saddle that has small surface bearing panles at the front (the Thorowgood cobs has HUGE panel area) as it pins the front down. The flocking easpically needs to be good. But since no saddle will ever not slide on Tia due to her shape, it's solved a really annoying and common problem.

    I've tested the saddle with my Port-Lewis Impression pad and the weight is almost evenly distributed. The is very slight more weight on the front 3/4 of the saddle, but not enought to cause problems. Tia is certainly happier.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2006
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  2. domane

    domane Well-Known Member

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    Wow! That's fascinating and ingenious.... and I hope Tia is now a lot happier...

    Thanks for sharing... very educational :D
    #2
  3. poohsmate

    poohsmate Active Member

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    This is a fairly standard procedure, and most saddle makers use it.
    i have only had one saddle company that slipped forward on a very well covered mare, and by using this configuration with a cranked girth it did resolve the problem, simple and as Pl said at around £40 is good value:D :D
    #3
  4. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting, I have been told Bo's saddle needs replacing due to his big shoulder and the saddle sitting up on it, he also seems to have a forward girth grove and has a very flat back so getting a saddle to fit might be fun (certainly was for a western one, we gave up in the end!).
    I must book the saddler today :rolleyes:
    #4
  5. Mehitabel

    Mehitabel New Member

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    we've got a few saddles girthed like that. the first time i saw it was one one that YM won in about 1995. it hasn't got dressage straps thuogh - do you think that makes a difference?
    #5
  6. teabiscuit

    teabiscuit Moooo

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    thanks for the info PL
    having similar probs with a roundy so very useful
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  7. phil55

    phil55 Banned

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    #7
  8. Mehitabel

    Mehitabel New Member

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    i';ve reported the above post as spam.
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  9. Pink's lady

    Pink's lady Banned

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    Yes, absolutly. They solved the creeping forward problem on Pink without anything else (who wasn't too bad anyways) and I don't see how I could get enough directional deviation on Tia without them.

    I know others used them but it's interesting that others have seen it - of three saddles I know two haven't seen it used before (although they are pretty rubbish;)).

    It's so simple to do and would solve a lot of peoples problems if only they knew.
    #9
  10. BeachRiding

    BeachRiding New Member

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    me too...
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  11. jumper_stars

    jumper_stars TaMz

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    wow!! thanks for sharing!:D
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  12. horseaholic

    horseaholic New Member

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    Which saddler was it?
    #12
  13. elise

    elise New Member

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    Oh dang the photos are gone.
    #13
  14. Pink's lady

    Pink's lady Banned

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    Photo's back again - tidied up my photobucket album last night and it's broken the links.

    Horsey1 - it's Ali from the Grange. Can't fit a wintec to save herself but she's a very good leathersmith
    #14
  15. Floob

    Floob New Member

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    That's great, will try it on Ruby's saddle as any saddle will slip forwards on her unless its soo narrow it actually digs in behind her shoulders (a place where she used to be tried to do that to her gave her a really sore back)

    Ruby has a slightly different shape to Tia. She has no shoulders (very narrow in front with a short neck), a very forward girth groove, is built on the forehand and she throws the saddle forward especially in canter. She is also totally round with no withers, a big belly a and a very short back like Tia.

    Part of her problem is the girth pull too (and yes she too has a thorowgood griffin cob but an X-wide and only 16.5" long) and your system will probably really help for that.
    But anything slides forwards on her, if riding bareback on a level surface you have to continually slide yourself back to the right position in trot and canter.

    We have alternated between the point strap and second strap (to accomadate for froward girth groove) which lifted the back so wasn't any good and it didn't stop the saddle slipping, and point strap and balance strap which keeps the back down, but the saddle slides forwards more than with the other arrangement.

    If we adapt our saddle to have the same girthing arrangement, we would have to get rid of the knee rolls altogether as to be comfortable for my long legs they sit right at the bottom of the flaps and would therefore interfere with the more forward girth.
    That together with a limpet pad should stop the saddle slipping forwards. (It has been checked by 2 saddle fitters who both say that it is a nice fit if it stays where it is supposed to)
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  16. Pink's lady

    Pink's lady Banned

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    Not nessesarily - with some shuffling about you can manage both. For those pictures I took the knee rolls off and stuck then on higher so you could see the lether dounut better. But they usually sit much lower, under the girth straps a little.

    That was pretty much Tia's case and applies to the other saddle too. A good fit until you use the girth:rolleyes: A limpet pad (well, an Impakt pad) has made a huge differnce.

    It would be worth a try. It can be done with normal girth straps but I would have thought it would be fiddly.
    #16
  17. Floob

    Floob New Member

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    Tried an old impakt that came with her (was for 17.5" saddles and bigger )
    conclusion: EITHER the pad stays on her back and the saddle slips forwards over the pad OR the pad and saddle stay together and both slide.
    That isn't supposed to happen

    Maybe the fact that it is old and doesn't fit the saddle has something to do with it. Do you think a pony pad would fit a 16.5" saddle? (of either limpet or impakt)

    I am definetly going to try it now. My friend has done a saddlery course and could easily make the donut, I wouldn't trust her to change the girth straps completely yet (Ill let her experiment on the old saddles at the yard first) as she has only changed 2 girth straps so far.

    Until she makes it we will just poke the balancing strap through the second or third hole of the synthetic buckle guard and will use the saddle as little as possible (only for hacking).

    Thank you so much for sharing
    #17
  18. Pink's lady

    Pink's lady Banned

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    Even cheap way of doing it, getting your friend to make it;)

    The leather needs to be REALLY thick - my one's are full thickness cow hide and far too thick to bend or fold - it takes two hands to change it's shape. The point strap slits also have to be very tight to hold it in place.

    Since you're using the girth straps that come with the saddle you will need to play about with the slit angles so the girth lies as evenly as possible. Maybe get her to make a thin leather template frist before chopping up your bit of thick leather;)
    #18
  19. Floob

    Floob New Member

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    Yeah normal girth straps to start off with.
    Will ask her to make dressage straps next year when she is very unlikely to get it wrong. The template thing is a great idea
    #19
  20. Wally

    Wally Well-Known Member

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    Spam merchant gone!
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