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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2010
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    121

    Default Saddle brands with hoop/U-shaped trees for BIG shoulders?

    Can anyone tell me which saddle brands to look at for hoop or U-shaped trees (NOT V-shaped)? I am having a lot of trouble finding a dressage or AP saddle that has enough shoulder clearance for my horse. Horse is relatively wide and has BIG shoulders. It's the shoulders, not the wideness, that are presenting the fitting problem.

    So far the only saddle I've tried that did work was a Crosby XL, which is not in my price range and is the wrong discipline, anyway. I really wanted to get a wide Tekna dressage saddle, but after looking at wither tracings the Tekna rep didn't think it would have enough shoulder clearance. I was also looking at a wide Toulouse Octavio, but after searching some COTH threads on that brand and model I am a bit hesitant.

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Location
    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA
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    3,244

    Default

    #1 - Send tracings to Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop. They kind of specialize in fitting the wide horses, and they are wonderful to work with. They will give thoughts and advice, even if what may work best is not something they have in their store.

    #2 - Black Country

    #3 - Duett (especially if you are in the sub-$1000 category)

    #4 - It never hurts to *try* an extra-wide version of a saddle built on a traditional tree... Wintec/Bates/Collegiate XW, County XW, Thorowgood...
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.



  3. #3

    Default

    Regarding number 4 above:

    It doesn't hurt, sure...but if the angle is wrong, it won't matter that the tree is "extra wide", it still won't fit right.

    I'm a Duett fan, myself, though Thornhills also seem to fit my wide guy well.
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2006
    Location
    Ferrisburgh, VT, USA
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    636

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pattnic View Post
    #1 - Send tracings to Trumbull Mountain Tack Shop. They kind of specialize in fitting the wide horses, and they are wonderful to work with. They will give thoughts and advice, even if what may work best is not something they have in their store.

    #2 - Black Country

    #3 - Duett (especially if you are in the sub-$1000 category)
    Ditto this.


    I believe that in addition to BCS and Duett, that Passier and some other manufacturers now offer hoop trees. Trumbull Mtn. will be able to give you excellent guidance. :-)

    (I have three BCS saddles with hoop trees and LOVE them as do my horses with well sprung ribs and big shoulders.)



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2004
    Location
    Mitchellville, Iowa
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Black Country's Eloquence X works for wide shoulders and is more of a hoop tree. Fine Used Saddles has a used one for sale: http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/cat...Iit=951&Ict=82



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Desert Southwest
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    6,208

    Default

    Many British saddles are built on hoop trees. Consider Albions. A wide or extra wide, perhaps. I have a medium wide used Albion Original Comfort and it is actually WIDER than my wide Neidersuss.

    Ditto looking at Duett saddles and consulting with Trumbull Mountain. They are excellent.



  7. #7
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    Feb. 26, 2007
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    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by analise View Post
    Regarding number 4 above:

    It doesn't hurt, sure...but if the angle is wrong, it won't matter that the tree is "extra wide", it still won't fit right.
    Perhaps I should have qualified my statement. Just because something *shouldn't* be what the horse is most comfortable wearing, doesn't mean that it isn't. As was mentioned to me several times recently (in regards to my own saddle search), there are times when even a good saddle fitter just has to say, "Well, I'll be damned!"

    So no, it's certainly not first choice (which is why it's #4! - lol), but it is an option that potentially warrants exploration should all else fail.
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    666

    Default

    Another saddle to look for is a Lovatt and Ricketts ELLIPSE saddle, they are built on a hoop-u-shape tree, and don't impinge on horses with long laid back shoulders. I have one and the leather is the softest, yummiest leather and very comfy, and fits my short backed, long-shouldered, wide horses well...allows their shoulder to be free.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2006
    Location
    Larkspur, Colo.
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    Default

    What to you mean exactly by shoulder "clearance"? Clearance where, exactly? Do you mean wither clearance?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2010
    Posts
    1,644

    Default I feel your pain...

    I have what looks like a lean Arab who happens to have *wide* shoulders. I tried every brand of saddle known to humankind - and ended up with a Luc Childeric dressage saddle. They are not all that common, but darn if it didn't fit - and it is a super saddle to ride in. I also tried a Thornhill from Trumbull Mountain that came so close to being right (and yes, they are super people to work with).

    All I can say is that you have to be open to any saddle that might fit and try try try everything.

    Good luck!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    35,196

    Default

    Re: the #4 of trying a "traditional" tree - I agree. Not all non-hoop trees are the same A-frame shape. Some are quite narrow at the top of the A, but some are a lot more broad. Prestige, County, and Amerigo (at least some models of the latter) are, IME, in that category.

    So, while they may truly not work, and the horse does need a hoop/U tree, it IS worth looking at those brands in particular, and any others that might fit that bill as well
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    Default

    I just purchased a Duett Fidelio from Trumbull. I too agree that they are a great place to purchase from. The Fidelio fit my 3 year old Morgan who is short coupled, with a wide, table back and huge shoulders. Trumbull can help you take a whither tracing and can try to fit the saddle from that.
    -Kym



  13. #13
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    Feb. 28, 2008
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    3,856

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dapples7 View Post
    I was also looking at a wide Toulouse Octavio, but after searching some COTH threads on that brand and model I am a bit hesitant.

    Thanks!
    I've heard only lovely things about the octavio, and its quite hoopy, I've seen photos but not in person. I owned an aachen, and it was a very yummy saddle, and I'm a saddle snob who is not easily impressed
    healthywhitetea.com castingforrecovery.org
    Laugh it up fuzzball

    Life, like all other games, becomes fun when one realizes that it's just a game – Nerijus Stasiulis



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2008
    Location
    Windsor SC till Aug
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    Default

    I havent seen the octavio in person but a friend at my barn has the Vienna, has had it for a couple years, and man that thing is awesome. SUPER soft and comfy leather, kinda grippy without being suede, puts her in a lovely position and fits her belgian/arab gelding who has big shoulders but some wither and in a medium tree even! She had originally ordered a wide, but it was too big on him.

    As someone who has been in similar saddle fit hell, i feel for you. I did really like the Niedersuss Olympik and it fit my wide mare like a dream, but sadly did not work for me. It's all i've tried on her so far. The tack store i ordered from recommended a kieffer because they can be widened quite a bit and fit her wide horse, and also an isabell (older model, i dont know if the newer models are the same tree?) as she had good luck fitting that to wider horses. I can second that as it fit a WIDE appy mare i used to ride for a friend of mine years ago. I have not tried one of those on my wide cob as i personally didnt like the isabell. Though i am eyeing the newer isabell, and curious if it fits the same...



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2010
    Posts
    642

    Default A second vote for L&R

    My arab is really difficult to fit. I ended up with a L&R Berkeley and I LOVE it. I will say the Thornhill fit him, but the L&R is much better. As soon as I put it on him, he began to move a different way. He was much freer with more swing. I cannot say enough good things about this saddle for a wide, big shouldered horse.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2011
    Location
    where it is bitter cold and stinking hot
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    24

    Default

    CUSTOM makes monoflap styles with super shoulder room...they will make it for your horse's specifics. I have the Valor. I had the Detente ISIS prior and it wasn't giving enough shoulder room in movement but standing still the fit looked good. Only way to really find out was to ride in several saddles.

    The Duett is a good alternative for inexpensive(relatively speaking ofcourse) saddles but resale is very low compared to retail. My Detente cost me a loss of $800 in resale.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2010
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Thank you so much for all your help! I think I may go with an L&R. There are some decent internet deals on used ones, and from the photos I've looked at they definitely look like they'll fit!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
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    1,784

    Default I just got a Lovatt & Ricketts Ellipse dressage saddle....

    I'm scouring for information on this saddle, because I JUST bought a used one for my very broad-backed, round, Morgan mare

    It's being shipped to me now, and I've contacted Lovatt & Ricketts directly to get more info on it (serial number)

    I know it's made with a hoop tree, has upswept panels and is shaped so that the shoulder has lots of room. I'm HOPING it fits my mare, but I bought it "blindly" just based on the features/description and feedback I've heard about this saddle.

    My mare has big shoulders, a wide back, not much withers, and is somewhat compact (15.3 on her tip toes)

    I love that these are made in England, super high quality, and really have the back-shape in mind for Morgans, Arabs, Cobs, Friesians, Halflingers or compact WBs.

    I'm excited about it! I just pray it fits. She's in the XW gullet on my Bates Close Contact saddle (we do eventing)

    If it doesn't fit, I have to sell it......

    Glad to see it mentioned on this thread! Check out my mares' back/build:
    http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/k...pplessmall.jpg

    http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/k...hite_hairs.jpg


    Quote Originally Posted by artisticgold View Post
    Another saddle to look for is a Lovatt and Ricketts ELLIPSE saddle, they are built on a hoop-u-shape tree, and don't impinge on horses with long laid back shoulders. I have one and the leather is the softest, yummiest leather and very comfy, and fits my short backed, long-shouldered, wide horses well...allows their shoulder to be free.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
    www.elainehickman.com
    **Morgans Do It All**



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    627

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fancy That View Post
    I'm scouring for information on this saddle, because I JUST bought a used one for my very broad-backed, round, Morgan mare

    It's being shipped to me now, and I've contacted Lovatt & Ricketts directly to get more info on it (serial number)

    I know it's made with a hoop tree, has upswept panels and is shaped so that the shoulder has lots of room. I'm HOPING it fits my mare, but I bought it "blindly" just based on the features/description and feedback I've heard about this saddle.

    My mare has big shoulders, a wide back, not much withers, and is somewhat compact (15.3 on her tip toes)

    I love that these are made in England, super high quality, and really have the back-shape in mind for Morgans, Arabs, Cobs, Friesians, Halflingers or compact WBs.

    I'm excited about it! I just pray it fits. She's in the XW gullet on my Bates Close Contact saddle (we do eventing)

    If it doesn't fit, I have to sell it......

    Glad to see it mentioned on this thread! Check out my mares' back/build:
    http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/k...pplessmall.jpg

    http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/k...hite_hairs.jpg

    Fancy That- My Anglo-Arab gelding is built like your mare - huge shoulders, very broad back, no wither, just a smidge under 16H. After many painful months of saddle searching, I ended up with an XW L&R Ellipse for him and it fits perfectly. Good luck with yours.

    OP- I have BTDT with the hoop tree saddles with the above mentioned horse. I think all the ones I tried have already been mentioned, but I will reiterate - Black Country Eloqunce X (X means hoop tree. Regular Eloquence is not a hoop tree, I believe), Duett, Thornhill and L&R Ellipse. I believe the Ellipse is the only L&R model with the hoop tree, but I could be wrong. Trumbull Mtn was VERY helpful in my search. The only other one they recommended that I was unable to try (could never find one in the correct size!) is the Frank Baines Omni. Good Luck!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    1,784

    Default Lovatt & Ricketts Ellipse dressage saddle

    Brilliant! Thanks for the feedback, HCF I've never seen a Half TB built like my mare (she is shaped like a propane tank) Your Anglo-Arab must have gotten the well-sprung-ribs from the Arab side?

    Can't wait to hear back from L&R on the actual tree width based on the serial number. My only concern is it wont' be wide enough. I'm sure even their standard MW, is probably like a Wide in most other brands (and the hoop tree gives more shoulder space and it's good for the no-withers

    We shall see! Thanks again

    Quote Originally Posted by HCF View Post
    Fancy That- My Anglo-Arab gelding is built like your mare - huge shoulders, very broad back, no wither, just a smidge under 16H. After many painful months of saddle searching, I ended up with an XW L&R Ellipse for him and it fits perfectly. Good luck with yours.

    OP- I have BTDT with the hoop tree saddles with the above mentioned horse. I think all the ones I tried are listed above, but I will reiterate - Black Country Eloqunce X (X means hoop tree. regular Eloquence is not a hoop tree, I believe), Duett, Thornhill and L&R Ellipse. I believe the Ellipse is the only L&R model with the hoop tree, but I could be wrong. Trumbull Mtn was VERY helpful in my search. The only other one they recommended that I was unable to try (could never find one in the correct sizze!) is the Frank Baines Omni. Good Luck!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
    www.elainehickman.com
    **Morgans Do It All**



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