After finally getting weight on my man (15.3 hh TB) as well as him broadening, found out my saddle doesn't fit anymore. Of course right now is not a good time for me (financially) to buy a saddle, but I don't want my horse in pain, either. I LOVE my world cup and am sad to see it part, so I think I might just move to the Gold. My saddle seems to pinch right at the twist, so I'm wondering if I can get away with a medium tree in the Gold or do I go with wide? Anyone know of the difference of the 2? I know Beval claims to have widened the twist for the Gold but I don't know how much. I've also considered a Natural (flat seat) but don't know again go medium or wide? Any suggestions? My World Cup fits him fine currently everywhere but where the twist hits. Thanks in advance!
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I would get the world cup gold with a medium tree. I have it, and its twist really is wider than the original world cup. I could tell the difference the second I sat in the saddle! Its made for slightly broader withers, like that of most warmbloods. I found that the large TB I lease goes well in it, although he usually rides in a Butet, which (again with a medium tree) also works well. I would say that the twist of the world cup gold is a few centimeters wider than the twist of the world cup. If you do decide to buy, try to find a good deal (around $800 used, but looking good). This way, you probably won't lose money if it doesn't work out and you have to sell it. Once used, those saddles generally stay around the $800 range, no matter how many times they are re-sold.
I have owned two World Cups (one old enough to still have suede flaps) whereas I have only ridden in the World Cup Gold, so take this with a grain of salt.
I found the fit of the WC Gold to be totally different from the WC. The WC I found comparable to an old-school Crosby or Crump, only with better balance. It was fairly narrow through the gullet and flat front to back. The WC Gold had a moderately deep seat. Not a true deep or even a half-deep- the comparison that is sticking in my head is to the Pessoa A/O, if you're familiar with that. The twist was also wider, but not uncomfortably so. I recall the tree as being basically the same shape, but the gullet was certainly wider, and I have the recollection that it was more amenable to a horse with withers.
Based on that, I wouldn't think that a horse who found the WC too narrow would necessarily require a wide in the WC Gold because of the increased gullet width. However, I'd recommend sitting in the WC Gold first to make sure you like it, because they don't really ride like the same saddle.
As for the Beval Natural, I haven't ridden in any that were manufactured anytime soon, and I have no idea if they've changed the fit in any way. That saddle is flat and narrow. I would recommend a wide tree on that one if your standard tree WC is too narrow. The Naturals with regular trees that I've ridden in were not good fits on horses with any breadth of back, though they suited more finely-built horses very nicely and were great crossover saddles for people who rode both ponies and small horses. If you like the fit of the original WC, you may very well prefer a flat Natural to the WC Gold, but you may find the same fit problems for your horse. I can't imagine you'd have a hard time finding one of these to test ride.
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