Saddling a gaited Paso with no withers

Aug 26, 2018
2
0
1
29
#1
I am about to buy a Paso Fino - I have about 6-8 months to get a saddle sorted of my own. Borrowing the stable one for now. She is currently wearing an extra wide English saddle. All the Paso horses there take the same saddle, but the others have more wither.

1) She's a gaited horse which perhaps means good shoulder movement is needed. I know Icelandics saddles sit further back and accommodate a shorter back. But there are gaited saddles available which describe being higher in the front to accommodate a higher wither i.e.: walking horses. But she also has a ridiculous lack of wither so would she even fit a gaited saddle. See the photo, it's just smooth and round. (She's a dream for anyone wanting to ride bareback, no bony front wedgies!)

She spooks a bit as still young. So I want something nice and stable. Pairing this factor with the smooth movement she has, nobody should ever fall off this horse.

2) Are flex trees any good? I'm a lightweight rider at 50kgs but others may ride her up to 90kgs. I'm ruling out memory foam as it seems like when warming up after a while riding, the girth would need adjusting as the foam gets softer and that doesn't seem safe to me.

I like the look of stock or endurance saddles. Western appeals to me but without the horn. I'm an English rider so far. I will use her for endurance, and want to be able to saddle bag it up and have comfort on long rides.

3) A lot of Paso riders use treeless saddles. With the lack of wither is that a really bad idea for me? Rolling to the side is an issue in the English - we use a breast plate to help keep it in place which makes a big difference. Nothing that I feel will take me with it but I haven't got up to higher speeds yet.

Window shopping online is scary. I can't tell if the "size" is for the human seat or the horse spine.
 

Attachments

mystiquemalaika

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2013
4,137
1,670
113
#2
Sensation treeless saddles would work very well. Nickers saddlery in Canada are the makers and if you email them they will be very happy to assist in helping you with what would work etc.
 
Likes: Kite_Rider

newforest

Tomorrow can change what happens today
Mar 15, 2008
25,465
8,889
113
A field
#4
What about getting out a saddler to fit a saddle?


Unless that's the angle of the photo, that's an overweight horse that will have wither once that fat isn't there.
 
Likes: MrC
Aug 26, 2018
2
0
1
29
#5
She’s not overweight, she’s pregnant and even as a foal there is not much wither. Im looking for general saddle answers of people’s experience with treeless and what works for this shaped horse. I won’t be able to buy $2,000 saddles from Canada though they do look nice. I’m in New Zealand so shipping to here is huge.

Also other people might ride her when I can’t and I’m not sure they’re as stable a rider as me in a treeless.

I don’t know anyone who has one to borrow but logic says a tree would help keep it on a rounder horse?

I will of course get a saddle fitter out when I get one sorted but looking to have some knowledge for that point in time. Be a bit savvy and not be sold a dud that won’t work for me.

I’ve heard people say a stock saddle will have too big flaps for a paso but since she is more Andalusian build and not a English riding pony looking paso like so many I see online perhaps not as much of a problem?
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
7,344
1,163
113
London
#6
I rode a RS mare with a narrow chest and no withers to hold a saddle. She was ridden for years in an old fashioned UK general purpose or hacking saddle.
A treed saddle. GP Lovatt and Ricketts old fashioned with a low cantle. There are other older makes which were recommended by people on NR.
This saddle would slip - one had to ride her with balance, but the same is true of Western saddles used over a blanket.

eml who offered much advice on NR also used this type of saddle. You will find that some people believe that the tree is the best thing for a horse as it places the weight either side of the spine resting on material which in a horse does not move. (unlike the same area in a cat). Some people are religious about treeless.
You are never going to get a measured response.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
8,005
5,082
113
#7
Sensation treeless saddles would work very well. Nickers saddlery in Canada are the makers and if you email them they will be very happy to assist in helping you with what would work etc.
You beat me too it :D fantastic saddles for those of us blessed with no wither, wide backed horses.
 

Jane&Ziggy

Learning together!
Apr 30, 2010
16,909
4,785
113
58
Surrey Hills
#8
You might contact Mariana at bettersaddles.co.uk . She was really helpful to me in fitting my wide backed, short backed, big shouldered native pony. We specialises in treeless, and we tried ordinary treeless, Spanish cut treeless, Western treeless and none fitted him - they were all too long. He ended up in a standard UK treed saddle (a Kent & Masters) and it has fitted him well since then with regular tweaking.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,684
10,027
113
38
Suffolk, UK
#9
My personal experience is treeless are less stable than tree'd, perfectly fine as long as you're balanced but things like mounting from the ground are difficult or impossible with some models.
It's probably worth considering what you plan to do with the mare too, check rules if you plan to compete and that may influence the style of saddle you choose.
There's dozens upon dozens of little things with both treeless and tree'd that can influence which saddle will suit a particular horse so if it's your first time then getting a fitter to bring a selection of saddles to you to try and for them to assess suitability of is going to be the most cost effective way to get the right saddle (buying the wrong one and having to then buy another can end up costing much more) :)
 

newforest

Tomorrow can change what happens today
Mar 15, 2008
25,465
8,889
113
A field
#10
I have two treeless but only because they fit us both.
If it fits you and the horse it didn't matter whether it's treed or not to me.

As you will be bringing back into work after the foal is weaned, the treeless might be the starting point as it will mould and adapt to shape change. They do make models aimed at gaited horses.
How young is young to be pregnant? She's a baby herself?
 
Likes: Cortrasna