Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How does this English (dressage?) saddle fit?

Hey all!
So I am thinking I need to try an English saddle with my boy, since he has an old wound further back on his back that seems to hurt when a saddle touches it. I have a chiro coming out tomorrow, and the vet the next day. But anyway, today I put this saddle on him to see how it fit, and he was calm and fine. I put the long trail saddle on him to get some fit pictures and he actually kicked, not at me, but out and back, tossing his head and whimpering. Gah. So. English saddle, which is shorter, it is, if the vet and chiro think he'll be okay with that.
I got this saddle from a friend:

The pressure is even all down his back, but it's a little tight near the bottom of the shoulders, where the scalpula (? is that right?) is. I am wondering if a wither pad or riser pad of some sort would work for that, or if I should try a different saddle. That it clears his wither and is even along his back is a minor miracle, heh. But I don't want to pinch his shoulders of course. Any opinions? I know pictures can only tell you so much, but I'd love any feedback you can give. Thanks!
(not sure about the tree size, the seat is 18")


ariemay said...

good to see you caught him again LOL

Evergrey said...

Hah yeah, me too!

Well the nice person I visited today (ddranch) made it make so much more sense- he has his herd, basically, and he'd rather be with them, which makes sense. He has this filly that he is really attached to, and there is green grass, and he can be as lazy or energetic as he wants, and has really integrated. So he doesn't want to go out.

Cottagecheap said...

Honestly, a dressage saddle (in this case an AP saddle) covers less area so bears more weight across it's surface. If you are comfortable in a western saddle I would try to find one that works for him.

Also, that saddle looks like it may be as small as a 16 (equal to a 14 in Western) is it right size for you?

Evergrey said...

That saddle is an 18", but it is too narrow for him the vet confirmed.
I would like more surface area to distribute my eight than an English saddle typically provides, though the dressage saddle we borrowed before didn't seem to bother him.
The problem with Western saddles is that the vet thinks he has a bit of nerve damage from an old injury on his back, rather back, close to the croup. Western saddles (especially of the appropriate seat size) press on that and exacerbate the injury, causing the nerve to swell. I know all about nerve pain, I get sciatica, and that is not something I'd wish on anyone. So POSSIBLY an Aussie trail saddle would work, it's hard to say, but a dressage saddle is short enough to not mess with it. I do not ride for long, and I rarely do more than an easy walk, which the vet felt would be fine for my size and his, though I will make sure to watch very carefully and get him checked out regularly.
There's a saddle that is actually a dressage saddle (this is an all=purpose, I was informed, which gets closer to the scalpula than a dressage saddle) with a warmblood tree and a 19" seat that I want to try on him, but first I have to sell the trail saddle. :/