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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,155

    Default Saddling the mutton-withered horse

    Good friend of mine has a 3yo QH filly who she is starting slowly under tack. Friend is VERY slender, and the rides have been quite short. The saddle issue is a dilemma though - the filly pretty much has no withers to speak of, and her current saddle (Circle Y with QH bars) is very happy to roll sideways if she shifts her balance at all. She is still an inch butt-high, but looks like she will finish out at 14.3 max.
    Any suggestions about where to proceed from here? Any brand suggestions or tree types would be very welcome for her!
    Thanks,
    Dee
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 31, 2012
    Location
    Coastal NC
    Posts
    995

    Default

    I have a similiarly shaped gelding, who at 5 has outgrown his Circly Y with Full Quarter Horse Bars. I struggled to find a saddle that fit him for a while before I stumbled across a Koen cutting saddle that my friend was selling. I had the luxury of riding in it a few times before buying. It fits well with no rolling/slipping. It is, however, a lot heavier than the Circle Y which draws complaints from my rather petite 15 year old daughter.

    In similiar threads others have suggested Tucker Saddles with Extra wide bars. SouthernTrailsGa is extremely knowledgeable about saddle fit and should be able to chime in and point you in the right direction.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,467

    Default

    Perhaps the use of a breastplate or a higher friction saddle pad and cinch?
    The pony is roughly circular in cross section and I really hate cinching them so tight they a) have a hard time breathing or b) take away an unpleasant experience and get cinchy. His saddle is full QH bars and regularly slips one way or the other - makes me work to stay balanced but not a good idea on a green horse. I use a Weaver quilted pad and I'm thinking that a navajo blanket would be much better, much "stickier", or perhaps one of those neoprene breathable things.

    Good luck. I've always had more horses with big withers and those related issues but mutton withers are no joke either.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, GA
    Posts
    75

    Default

    If the angle of the Bars is correct and there is no pinching you may be able to play around with various pads to find something that will help.

    But, a young downhill may change many times before the age of 5, therefore I never suggest anyone buy a new Saddle at age 3, I would look around for an inexpensive used brand name saddle, it will be trial and error, not all FQH, SQH or RQH Trees will fit exactly the same among various manufactures, a few will if they all use the same brand of tree in them

    It is also very possible such a young Horse may be needing a narrower Tree than a Full QH, every one of our QH's started with a Semi-QH Tree at the age of 3, one grew to need a Reg. QH Bar, he is 7, one grew to a Full QH Bar, she is 13 and one stayed at semi-qh the whole time, he is 11 now....

    .
    A More Comfortable Horse Performs Better
    www.westernsaddlery.us
    Kevin



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    5,253

    Default

    Ugh, saddle fit...they're like women's pants...what size & fit you like in one brand isn't even close to all the other brands out there.

    I have a mutton-withered Arabian, and my Dakota Full-QH bars fits her perfectly, no rolling (even during barrel racing). I use a barrel saddle for the short skirt issue, her back isn't long enough for a equitation or trail saddle.

    Now my gelding has very prominent shoulder blades...I am using my Dakota FQHB show saddle on him, but it doesn't fit ideal. His should blade like sticks out, so if the saddle isn't wide enough int he front, his blade drives into the front of it when he moves. My Dakota isn't the perfect fit, but it goes over the blade to at least allow movement underneath the saddle, instead of the shoulder blade coming back and jamming into the front of the saddle (I've tried Circle Y, TexTan, Billy Cook, Ruffs, Alamo, and other Dakota styles on him, NOTHING FITS, NOT EVEN CLOSE!)
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2004
    Location
    E. Washington
    Posts
    701

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    Ugh, saddle fit...they're like women's pants...what size & fit you like in one brand isn't even close to all the other brands out there.

    I have a mutton-withered Arabian, and my Dakota Full-QH bars fits her perfectly, no rolling (even during barrel racing). I use a barrel saddle for the short skirt issue, her back isn't long enough for a equitation or trail saddle.

    Now my gelding has very prominent shoulder blades...I am using my Dakota FQHB show saddle on him, but it doesn't fit ideal. His should blade like sticks out, so if the saddle isn't wide enough int he front, his blade drives into the front of it when he moves. My Dakota isn't the perfect fit, but it goes over the blade to at least allow movement underneath the saddle, instead of the shoulder blade coming back and jamming into the front of the saddle (I've tried Circle Y, TexTan, Billy Cook, Ruffs, Alamo, and other Dakota styles on him, NOTHING FITS, NOT EVEN CLOSE!)
    Yes, and messing with saddle fit right now for my big shouldered mare. Same issues as you. Long story, but she has grown out of even my Paul Custom saddle. In the mean while, I did find an used Cactus Charmaine James barrel saddle that is working fine for now. 7 inch gullet with shoulder flare. You may want to check out Martin Saddlery with their wide gullets. The 8 in was too wide and the angles not right for my mare, but they didn't have a 7.5 to test ride in. Cool Horse was great to work with out of Texas and that's who I bought the Cactus from. You might also look at new Cactus, they have up to 7.5 inch gullets in some models.

    I tried on a bunch of saddles here locally and the only saddle that fit was a Wade tree, but it was huge on me and the skirts were too long. Also, $3K. The second best fit was a saddle by J Stead, it was a Bowman roper and is a decent quality saddle. It fit me great. I have decided to go the custom Wade saddle route, J Stead is supposed to be sending me a sample tree to try on before making a saddle. I did the wither and back tracings and now just waiting for the tree to come and see how it fits or whether to a custom tree. I hate waiting, but need to be patient.

    I guess I will be doing a Joe Wolter clinic in September in a barrel saddle, and I don't barrel race.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Check out Teskeys Saddlery, they are reasonably priced and wide. I have a mutton withered APHA gelding, and ride in a Ralph Shimon which fits like a glove. They are custom made and cost a bit more, if he is even still making saddles.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 4, 2004
    Location
    E. Washington
    Posts
    701

    Default

    Just an update here, I got the sample saddle tree from J Stead saddlery from Texas. I had sent wither and back tracings. He was right on. The tree fit perfect, and fit my other wide qh, too. So a new custom saddle is in the works for me.

    The saddler does quarantee the saddle will fit or he will remake the saddle to fit. Much better than ordering a production line saddle to should fit and then doesn't and then what do you do with a brand name saddle that can't be returned.

    If the saddle tree did not fit, my mare's tracings would be sent to the tree maker for a custom fit.

    Now to wait the couple of months or so until its done.



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