saddle widths

Janette

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How do you know what fitting your horse is. Star came with her saddle and although its a very nice saddle, its quite forward cut, and her shoulders are quite straight. I know that I could get a saddler to come and measure her, but I'm just playing with the idea in my mind, and want to know what size to consider. Exactly how wide is Xwide. She is a 6yearold 14.3 1/2hh cob, MW at the moment, but still growing I think. She has grown an inch and a half in the last year.
 
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Yann

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It might be a good idea to get a copy of Kay Humphries' Saddle Fitting, which is part of the Allen Photographic Guides series, and available from places such as Robinsons or the BHS online bookshop. It's a brief but very good guide as to what to look for regarding a saddle fit.

The best way to check is to make a wither pattern and produce a cardboard template from it, you will then be able to check whether saddles you are looking at will be anything like a proper fit. If your horse is a cob then it is likely to be a wide or extra wide at least, if not wider than that as many are. A properly fitting saddle will make so much difference to how your horse goes and feels about its work. If yours is still growing it might be worth looking at a Saddle Co saddle as they can be adjusted as often as you need, or perhaps the new Wintec Wide saddle if that's what she is. Most other saddles can't be adjusted. The ordinary Wintecs are too narrow at the back for most cobs. The other alternative is to go treeless, not everyones cup of tea appearance wise but if it suits your horse then no more saddle fitting worries:)

Don't compromise, saddle fit is very important and often overlooked by horse owners.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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You find a huge variation in the differnece makes of saddles anyway - I have just spent the summer trying to fit a very wide cob - nothing sat on her at all not even an extra wide.

BUT she is currently ridden in an Albion med/wide which is 9 years old and while it is not perfect, it sits on her very well - the only way apart from that would be a made to measure, but she is overweight and will change shape, so for the moment the Albion is fine - interesting the cob it came off also was fitted this summer and most wide saddles didn't fit her either!

For wider horses Ideal and Black Country seem to fit quite well.
 

Janette

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I was looking at The Saddle Company web page, and liked the look of the WH saddles, especiall the synthetic/leather combinations. The prices seem excellent value.
The idea of the template and then comparing it it is a good one, I'll give that a go.
Currently, she is in an Ideal Event, but I don't have a clue as to its width measurement.
 
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Yann

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If she's in an Ideal then it' s quite likely she's wider than a mass market XW. I would throroughly recommend Saddle Co saddles, they are made to your horse's template rather than an off the shelf size, and as I said before can be altered as often as necessary. The quality is very good, with soft but grippy serge panels and the saddle is very light. Moneywise if you were to go for the model with synthetic underneath and leather on top (who's to know:D) then I don' t think you'd pay more than about £450, which is brilliant value.

The fitter who covers this part of the world ie. Yorkshire travels up from down south periodically, I think her next trip will be round about February time. Feel free to PM me if you want any more info.
 
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Yann

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PS. - You might find that your horse is wider than the standard Wintec width gauge, in which case it will be useless to you, it was certainly the case for me with Rio. If so I think they do one for the wide saddles now too.
 

Wally

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Wintec's XXXX whatever wide is still not as wide as some of our Saddle Co. saddles.....and our horses are not that wide.
 

Janette

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If I were to go for the Saddle company model, which is made to a template, does this guarantee a correct fit? I know a saddler would have to check it.
Would I order it from the Makers, or through a local saddler, because I'm sure I would have to pay for it before I recieved it. I got caught out like that once before, when I ordered a Mears Hacking jacket, cut ato a more 'generous' size, and when it arrived, it wasn't quite generous enough.
I would be worried about forking out £400++, to find thast it didn't fit when it arrived.
 

H & Bailey

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I got a sythetic thorowgood griffin cob saddle in x-wide for bailey .It did fit when I got it but he has changed shape and now it doesnt,I did manage to get hold of an ex-wide leather saddle which fits perfectly...
So i tried my griffin saddle on rose..it looks lovely and seemed to be ok to start with but ive trimmed her down in weight and she was limping/walking funny and Ive put it down to the saddle so she is back in her leather saddle and seems ok but it looks awful!...I wouldnt say star was as wide as rosie so i wouldnt get a cob ex wide synthetic as they seem ok to start with then seem to bed down more and more but they do look lovely and are light and easy to clean and I find it comfortable. Id opt for the leather ones and get someone to try a few different ones for you.
Is it for showing or just for hacking etc?
when i was looking for a saddle I got an old wire coat hanger and bent it over the withers..if star has any? then took that with me so i could line it up with the saddles to see if they were wide enough.
 
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Yann

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I know a lot of Saddle Co saddles are sold via Saddlecheck fitters, who have been trained by Kay Humphries and work closely with the Saddle Co and Barry Swain amongst others. Cathy Holloway did ours, she came and did an initial fitting and took a template for the saddle to be made to. The new saddle is then sent direct to you or she will bring it on her next visit, in our case it was the former, so it was well bedded in by the time she came. The check was extremely thorough, with the horse ridden at all paces and even jumped, and a further wither pattern taken.

You only pay for the first visit, and there was no sales pitch. If the saddle has to be sent back for minor alteration this is free of charge, they have an excellent track record in customer care. You put a deposit down, naturally but aren't expected to pay the balance until you have the saddle and are happy with it. Do a search on 'saddle co' on www.intelligenthorsemanship.co.uk for some glowing recommendations.

I've heard and seen first hand so many bad things about the saddlers in this part of the world that I'd be hard pushed to trust any of them. The only one that is supposed to be OK is the chap from Throstle Nest at Silkstone Common.

The Throwogood Cob saddle is quite nice, but wasn't wide enough for Rio, I don't think its a lot different size wise to the Wintec XW plate.

It amazes me that up to now mass market saddles have stopped at 'XW' there are so many horses out there that are wider, some much more. If the angle of the shoulder and the saddle don't match and you can drive a bus under the pommel then its too narrow:(
 

Janette

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Thanks Yann, I like Throstlenest, they are really helpful aren't they. Will defiantely seriously consider them, esp if they do Saddle Co. saddles.

Where abouts in Sheffield are you, I live right next to the M1, and Sheffield is only about 25mins away.
 

bexj

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At the recent Equine Fair in Harrogate I saw some xxxxwide saddles made by the Native Pony Company - specially designed for the horizontally challenged horse. Don't have any more details though - which is useless!

Janette - you must be near me somewhere - I'm in Morley, right near the M62!
 
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Yann

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We're at Gleadless, about 10 mins off junction 33. Let me know if you want to pop down and have a look at the saddle and meet Rio, it's always great fun meeting people off NR:)
 

Janette

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Wow - isn't the internet a fab place.

I live very close to junction39 on the M1, the Cedar Court junction, and eith the last or the first major route into Wakefield, depending on which direction you are coming from. It would be great to meet up with both of you sometime.
HHmmmm - Isn't this the time when book carrying strangers meet, with a red rose? At least that what Meg Ryan did in 'You've Got Mail' - as long as you are not Tom Hanks;)


However. If you ARE Tom Hanks.........................
 

nat17

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janette, be wary of meeting people from the net! Especially Yann:D :D :D He he, sorry yann:D :D
I can vouch that he is not a spotty 12yo boy or a mad axe murderer!:D :D ;) :p