View Full Version : what saddle will fit a wide flat back?
Aug. 22, 2010, 11:00 PM
I am looking for a jumping saddle for a welsh cob with a wide flat back.
Aug. 23, 2010, 12:22 AM
I have a warmblood with a wide, flat back that I was recently trying saddles on -- he was a hard fit as so often the wide saddles would roll on him (slip from side to side). One that I was really happy with was a Black Country Quantum X -- so it had the freedom tree that is for the wider horse. I had sent Trumbull Mtn tracings of my horse and had a demo sent out that ended up being the best of any that I tried. He also did well in a County (WXW in Stabilizer, or W in Innovation) but I really think the BC tree was a better fit as it seemed more stable from side to side. Since he is young and still growing, I didn't want to spend the $$$ for a custom County, so the $$ for Black Country was also a lot more appealing. The BC was not necessarily the best fit for me, however, but I think I could have lived with it to make him happy. He unfortunately has some stifle issues that reared up again at that time, so I didn't buy the BC, but if he does ever go back to work, it will be highest on my list again.
Aug. 23, 2010, 01:47 AM
I wish we had BC around here
Aug. 23, 2010, 03:46 AM
We don't have a dealer near me, either, but I was able to work with Trumbull Mtn via e-mail and phone and that went really well. So you still might consider it.
Aug. 23, 2010, 09:26 AM
In order of price (lowest - highest)... Thorowgood,Thornhill, Fairfax and Albion.
Aug. 23, 2010, 10:41 AM
I have a Barnsby Milton for my fluffy pony. Love it.
Aug. 23, 2010, 11:17 AM
Not the horse, per se, but your preferences.
How old is the horse? Young enough that he may get withers later?
How much do you want to spend?
Do you want a wide saddle for your permanent saddle library and which cost some money but makes you very happy each ride? Or do you just want one to work well enough on this horse for a short time?
What do you like in a saddle? Deep or shallow? Lots of knee roll or not? Forward or straight flap?
Aug. 23, 2010, 12:03 PM
He is 9 but still green, long story
I am very petite
I don't want a very forward flap
I don't want to waste money, done that way too many times
Want something good quality, comfortable but useful
want wool flocked so it can be adjusted
In a perfect world a bit of a narrow twist for me
Aug. 23, 2010, 12:24 PM
When we were buying a saddle for Ms.FluffyButt, the saddler brought out a number of both new and used saddles that he thought may fit the pony, the rider and our budget. We had a Bates with the widest gullet until my daughter outgrew it and then the Barnsby Milton was the next one that fit. We tried Pessoas, HDRs, Wintecs, Thorowgoods, plus many others I can't think of the names of. Having a saddler come out and help was a huge time saver. Good luck. :)
Aug. 23, 2010, 12:26 PM
Aug. 23, 2010, 01:19 PM
I am very petite
I don't want a very forward flap
Black Country might not work for you - I am on the shorter side, with short legs, and I did find the flap to be a bit too forward for me. But that was just the demo I tried and there might be some customization possible to improve the fit. I was willing to compromise the fit for me to make the horse happy, if need be. To be honest, my favorite for ME was my Tad Coffin, but it didn't fit my horse at all, which was a shame as I loved it!
Aug. 23, 2010, 03:57 PM
I have a calibre which is an awesome saddle for petite riders but it of course does not fit him.
Aug. 23, 2010, 04:27 PM
Black Country might not work for you - I am on the shorter side, with short legs, and I did find the flap to be a bit too forward for me. But that was just the demo I tried and there might be some customization possible to improve the fit.
Black Country will customize anything--flap length, flap angle, you name it they'll do it.
Thanks for the extra info, jillya--that really helps narrow it down. Thorowgood and Fairfax, which are actually the same design/companies, and Duett have quite wide twists. So maybe not where you want to start.
Thornhill, Black Country, Lovatt and Ricketts, Frank Baines, and some of the Albions and Prestiges might fit the bill. Trumbull Mountain can talk to you re: Black Country, Frank Baines, and Lovatt and Ricketts. Albion has regional reps. If I had questions about Prestige I'd probably call VTO Saddlery. And for Thornhill, which is the most economical of this bunch, I'd probably call Netfilly.com.
Honestly if you are looking for something "in your area", you are probably going to strike out. The widest thing that I *routinely* see in all areas is the Bates/Wintec/Collegiate adjustable gullet tack, and for a lot of horses like you're describing, even the XW gullet is not wide enough. That leaves the Wintec Wide AP which is a nice saddle if it suits the rider. But if you're determined to try local first, that would be the place to start. You'll be able to tell really fast whether the A-shaped gullets on the Bates/Wintec stuff is going to work or not.
Aug. 23, 2010, 04:52 PM
Wintec does not fit, when I got him last year I had a thoroughgood broad back dressage and it rolled all over on him.
I am going to try some Stubben's because there are some here to try, also Lovett and Rickets. The problem with being in Canada is that everytime something is shipped I have to pay duty which adds up to huge dollars so I am not crazy about working with any US stores. Also we have very limited reps here, we have County, Antares, Regal and that's about it.
Aug. 23, 2010, 05:08 PM
I am going to try some Stubben's because there are some here to try,
From a Stubben rep's mouth to my ear to your screen: pretty much the ONLY thing they build that is flat enough in the rear part of the panel for a horse like you're describing is the Stubben Genesis S. It's a nice saddle (says jn4jenny who sat in one at a trade fair) so if your fellow is wide but curvy in the back, it could be an option. If he's flat as a coffee table, don't even bother with a Stubben. They are designed for curvy-backed, fairly thin horses (think Thoroughbred eventers). Their idea of "extra wide" is everyone else's idea of "barely a wide." :lol:
Also we have very limited reps here, we have County, Antares, Regal and that's about it.
FWIW the County Innovation has a fairly U-shaped tree and I have seen it work on horses in the neighborhood of extra-wide.
Aug. 23, 2010, 05:12 PM
He is definately flat and pretty wide, not much wither, he is husky
So no bother with Stubben
We do not have an Albion rep in western Canada
That leaves Lovett and Rickets here and County? anything else?
Aug. 23, 2010, 05:25 PM
If you've got the money, I think you'll find that Lovatt and Ricketts and/or County can accommodate you. The County Innovation has a medium twist and is a very comfortable saddle (extra padding in seat, etc.). Lovatt and Ricketts makes a very narrow-twisted jump saddle called the Elan that has naturally short flaps. This is from their US site but you'll get a good look at the Elan:
There is a Black Country rep in Alberta, so maybe she can help you via mail order even if you're West of her?
Aug. 23, 2010, 07:25 PM
Re/wide horse and saddle sliding from side to side -- sometimes it is hard to find a saddle that won't move around a little just because of the way the horse is built. Mine is like that -- not much wither, so saddles tend to slide. I happened to pick up one of those LeTixerant girths on clearance and that helped a lot -- it is funny looking but it works! I have also used no-slip pads to help with it as well. You still have to get a saddle that fits, of course, but that may not end the side-to-side sliding completely without other help, depending on how the horse is built.
Aug. 24, 2010, 12:21 PM
Thanks for all of your suggestions
Aug. 24, 2010, 12:41 PM
The problem with being in Canada is that everytime something is shipped I have to pay duty which adds up to huge dollars so I am not crazy about working with any US stores.
I am also in Canada. If you are interested in some Canadian info, please feel free to pm me.
Aug. 24, 2010, 12:42 PM
Didn't see it mentioned but you might also check into Duetts as they are made with horses with a wide, flat back in mind.
Aug. 24, 2010, 02:04 PM
I hear you on the import duties problem!
I also understand-- no live-- the Short-on-Wide problem.
If you happen to come across a wide Crosby Victory, try it. It ended up being the one for me. I think it was Crosby's answer to the County Stabilizer. It is wool flocked and has a relatively straight flap. Those things were on my wish list.
You might also try a Crosby Axcess or Crosby Centennial if you can find them in wide trees. They each are quite "minimalist"-- relatively straight flaps, flat seats and thin, foam panels. If the tree happens to fit you horse well, you both might be very happy. The Crosby Axcess was built on the original tree that Crosby and Tad Coffin designed when they teamed up long ago, before TC went out on his own. I believe the Centennial (designed in the 1990s) was their answer to the Butet. And it did a good job of that. Both are well-build, comfortable and balanced saddles in their own right.
If you can contact a Canadian fitter who works in BC saddles, that may ultimately the best option.
BCs tend to fit wide and narrow horses well, at least up to a point. After that, you really do need a tree that is shaped differently at the top, not just widened at the points.
BC will also make you what you want. But it's up to you (or you and your fitter) to know what to order. I think they do have a straighter, GP flap pattern that they can use on a Quantum tree, so it's not like you are shooting entirely in the dark, designing your own saddle from the ground up. Unless you are knowledgeable or brave or thick-walleted, I'd have a fitter's help for this kind of customization.
County is similar. If basic shape of the Stabilizer or Innovation trees work for your horse, they can cut the flap to fit you. They have some standard patterns. County does guarantee horse fit, but not rider fit. If you think you want a flap that's really unusual and this saddle feels like a big investment for you, see if you can get your County fitter to find you a "Low Forward" or "Short" flap (or other option) to try before you buy.
You may want something unusual, so it will help *any* fitter for you to be able to list the saddles you have ridden in and what you like or do not like about them.
Best of luck!
Aug. 30, 2010, 06:03 PM
what about pessoa's?
Aug. 30, 2010, 06:56 PM
The only Pessoa I had was years ago and gave my horse welts. Literally left a welt imprint on her back. She wasn't even that wide, and it was a wide tree. But that was a longgggg time ago, before I knew a thing about saddle fitting.
Aug. 30, 2010, 07:04 PM
that does not sound good
Aug. 30, 2010, 08:00 PM
I would see if anyone else weighs in that might have more recent experience with the Pessoas as they may be different now. When I had one, that was at least 10 years ago, so I'm sure they have changed since then!