saddle fitting problem

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Well-known member
Apr 28, 2004
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southeastern Indiana
We have a 14 year old walker/quarter mix that we bought with tack a year ago. She's got a real broad, flat back and we're having trouble keeping a saddle on her. It wants to slip sideways when anyone over 50lbs trys to get in the saddle. We've tried several different girths (leather, neoprene, etc.) with no luck. I think it's time to look for a new saddle, but we're so green at this horse stuff, that I have no clue what to look for. Any one out there with any experience in this area? Thanks!
Is she real good at puffing up when you girth her up? I 've seen horses that you tighten the girth up 2 or three times , the last time after you've ridden several minutes.
Are you looking for an english or western style saddle?

Most of the good, reputable saddle shops will let you "try" a saddle for 24 hours.. to make sure it will fit your horse.

Most saddle shops have people working in the saddle departments that can help you.
Thanks guys. No she's not a bloater, just kinda barrel bodied I guess. We're looking for a western (comfortable) saddle. We use her in the summer to round up our cattle (not too tough on just 300 acres) and hacking around for pleasure. A friend of ours thought she might have had training as a cutting horse as she is really great with the cattle. Seems to sort of instinctively know what to do with very little direction from us. Any recomendations as to saddle type or brand?
I have a 3 yr old Paint with no withers yet, had the saddle slipping problem. A friend let me try her neoprene saddle blanket. neoprene next to the horse, felt under saddle. Zero slipping the whole trail ride, including mounts and dismounts. I bought one the next day. Love it and the neoprene gives me a better saddle fit, it's kinda molds around the bumps in the horse and saddle.

Thanks for the Neoprene saddle blanket tip. I also have a broad backed quarter mare, a fancy, flashy "no withered" 6 year old paint "filly" that is difficult to fit a saddle to. I am in search for a lighter saddle made of material that will mold to her back. The one I have, an old '81 trophy saddle is too heavy for me to swing on her back without difficulty. She is not getting enough riding, hasn't been ridden in months, and boy am I going to be in for an "energetic" ride one day soon.
The neoprene pad that you are talking about is called tacky tack. It is sorda a waffle weave and does work really well.


Saddle fitting is a huge a problem. If your horse looks more like the walker body type and moves out like that then you are faced with the extra shoulder movement. If she took after the quarter type, then you have the problem of width.

I would check out Circle Y new line of flex tree saddles. They are to mold to the horses back. I do not think that these saddle will work if you try to use them for Roping but they do fit several body types.

If you use your saddle for Roping then make sure to get one that is specific for that. It will have a stronger tree for that sport.

If you run a search for saddle fit, you will be able to get some info on how to see if the saddle fits the horse or not. One test that I use is, if after I have ridden for several hours and my horse has worked up a sweat, when I remove the saddle is there any dry spots. If there is, that means one of two things, the saddle is fitting to tight in that spot or there is a gap/air pocket and the saddle is bridging.

Keep in mind that a poorly fitting saddle will not make the ride pleasent for the horse. Your horse may develope a bad attitude.
Couple of ideas:

If nothing else works and saddle slips back, try using a breast collar.

My wife get a saddle from the Steele Saddle Co. for her TWH's. They will send you a loaner for a reasonable deposit (after you tell them about your horse) and you can try it for couple of weeks. They custom-make a saddle for you. She's highly satisfied with her new custom saddle! It's a beauty too! They're not inexpensive, but "when you care enough to..." make it easier on your horse and your butt.
If I could put in my two cents worth in.In training, The saddle brand I used on all my horses was a Tex Tan They have the Quarter horse tree and bars, for the gated or arab type of horse You can order it in the 3/4 tree and bars. I also only use Prof. Choice pads and blankets because of this I have old horses that would make alot of younger horses blush!!
These are excelent products,and the products I recomended to my clients.My oldest saddle is 20 years old and been through everthing including lakes and has all the orgional parts. The only thing I replaced was the stirrups.It needs to be taken care of but any good leather dose. Horses with no withers allways get over tightened in saddleing so the saddle wil not slip. but even then they will slip,even with a brest collar or a crupper. Best to you Cindy

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