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Heather moffit phoenix/fheonix might have misjudged this saddle opinions please

Discussion in 'Tack & Saddlery' started by Brychen, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Brychen

    Brychen Member

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    I posted a few days ago about being less than impressed with this saddle which I have on trial. I now think I may have to eat my words. I had a good think about it as it suited pony but not me , the main issues for me were leg position, couldnt get knee near saddle and back ache. My current saddle it the saddle company easi-sit which is the near identical treed version but dressage cut (the HM I an trialing is the GP model) with huge knee rolls and conventional stirrup leathers -the HM came with 'dressage leathers'.

    So tonight I put my huge knee rolls on the treeless HM and my normal stirrup leathers. There was a suprising difference. Suddenly the knees have contact and I could twiddle my stirrup leathers to the correct length! Leg position felt okay but I still think its too wide for me.

    I still ended up with back ache (weirdly mid back muslces about a hands span below the bottom of the shoudler blades).

    Pony seems to like it , his walk has lengthened and the saddle doesnt move forward on him . I can see the hollows where his previous saddles have rested this one sits behind and away from this area so it might fill out again. As his shoulder blades rotate I can feel the nub end coming towards the saddle but it doesnt bang up against the edge.

    The wierdest thing though is the site from above the pommel (thats the front bit I hope always get the names mixed up!). I have had saddles that moved from side to side when his shoulders moved so they did a less exagerated version of tick toc from one side of his withers to the other, I have ones that stayed central to his withers that didnt seem to move.

    With the HM one there is a whole lot of movement of shoulder and the wither sort of goes with it, but the saddle stays central and doesnt move. I cant really explain this or how strange it looked. it sort of looked like his whole shoulder area had been freed up.

    I asked some on at the yard to take a photo of me and whilst it isnt great (pony standing at angle on slope, I need to lose 1 1/2 stone) I think the leg position looks okay - anyone have any views feel free to disagree with me!


    The person whose other half took the photo commented on what a nice saddle it appeared to be and that it would see my horse out (hes 19) as it will change from season to season (horses here change massively from summer 24 hour turnout to winter leg stretch on bare ground).Also if I get a similiar built horse after Mr B passes on it will fit. Given that she is as far as I can tell quite a conventional welsh cob showing person I thought that was interesting.

    I am very tempted now to invest in one of these but worry about the back pian which I think is linked with it being too wide for me. Does any one know if the vogue is significantly narrower?
     

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  2. No_Angel

    No_Angel Well-Known Member

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    It looks a bit low at the wither (cantle looks higher than pommel) which could be why it's causing you back pain, as you are being tipped forward.
     
  3. Brychen

    Brychen Member

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    Odd thing is I could get two fingers under the front arch which is a first for me with a treeless. I looked straight when viewed from a car windows reflection. Do you think I am sort of tipped but pulling myself up and back which would effect this muscle group?

    I am seriously reconsidering treeless if I can get one that suits both me and pony , otherwise I will stick with my easi seat.
     
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  5. No_Angel

    No_Angel Well-Known Member

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    If the saddle is tipping forward you are most likely trying to straighten yourself which is causing the back pain.

    Try a bit of fibergee under the pommel wither side of the withers to see if that helps at all.
    I think you can still shim the new style fhoenix saddles.
     
  6. noodle

    noodle New Member

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    i HATED my HM saddle, used it twice and felt my legs too far back and gave me backache, used again recently before I put it on ebay and LOVED it.
     
  7. Bay Mare

    Bay Mare www.maggieslaw.co.uk

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    I've always said that you have to use it a few times before you make a decision :p It is such a different feeling that you have to give it a chance. Maybe you'll grow to like it, maybe not.

    The *problem* with set back stirrup bars is that your body is just so used to having to pull your legs back to achieve the correct alignment in other saddles that you still do it when you're in a saddle with the set back bars. I nearly fell on my nose the first time I rode in my SBS, even now I sometimes regress and try and pull my legs back (duh!).

    I agree with No Angel, though, that the saddle needs shimming at the front which won't be helping your back. It's probably worth speaking to Fiona @ Fhoenix Saddles for advice:

    http://www.fhoenix-saddles.com/

    To answer your question, yes, the Vogue is narrower and very, very gorgeous.
     
  8. NoviceNic

    NoviceNic Sexy Dressage Pony

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    I would say it is too low at the front too. Have you got any shims you can pop at the front? :)

    I suffer strongly with back ache and bum bone ache when riding in a tree'd saddle. Im going to trial a HM treeless.
     
  9. Bebe

    Bebe New Member

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    I agree with those who suspect that it needs to be shimmed. I'd go a step further and say check for the opposite of bridging, in that you get all the pressure under you seat and none over the rest of the saddle when mounted. I think your horses back conformation may make this likely, in which case I'd want additional padding to extend under the stirrup bars.
     
  10. Peaches

    Peaches New Member

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    Definately needs to be shimmed up the front, as if you look at the flat part of the seat, between pommel and cantle, that is not level but instead downhill. I suspect this could be causing your back issues yep - personally I think you look as though you are 'pulling yourself back and up' in the ridden photo, rather than being able to sit upright naturally. There's lots of shimming methods but if you contact fiona, or the agent you are trialling the saddle from, they'll talk you through everything.
    Is the horse built croup high? It looks it in the photo's but not sure if that's just unlevel ground he's on? If the horse is down hill, or had muscle wastage behind the shoulders or anything, the saddle will sit lower at the front until shimmed. My fella has muscle wastage behind shoulders from previous saddle and I have to shim for that. He's not normally croup high but at present he's wearing remedial shoes which raise his heels on the hind feet - even this tiny difference is enough to make the saddle look very slightly 'down hill' if not shimmed to accomadate it.

    Leg position looks spot on =].

    Vogue is narrower, but there is also the hipsaver or the topper which can be used on the fhoenix saddles to narrow the twist, so if you can't stretch to a vogue, this might be another option.

    Definately worth a play - as you've already found, setting the saddle up to suit you makes a huge difference so a bit more fiddling may solve your back problem too. Good luck with it =]

    BTW, I just wanted to say, careful with your normal stirrup leathers on there (although I'm not saying don't use them if they work for you ;) )- the soft italian leather can sometimes be damaged by the buckle under the thigh so just keep an eye out for that...
     
  11. Brychen

    Brychen Member

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    I am going to have a bash at putting a sort of shim underneath the front inc the stirrup bars as I have some reacto foam I can use under the saddle. I dont think that the stirrup position is the main issue as my easi sit treed saddles stirrups are set back in the same place!
     
  12. western-saddler

    western-saddler New Member

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    You want the flat part of the seat to be... flat. You can see it is tipping down at the front so agree with the others who say about your back ache being caused by this imbalance.

    Mattes do a Pro-Correction shimmable pad with pockets. This is a great pad for balancing the saddle. If you are looking for a permanent solution to the bridging you might want to either get a Mattes pad or use something that tapers down so you do not get a pressure point and bridging.

    Good luck - I love my HM saddle! I rode in it yesterday for the first time in a few months (been riding western) and it felt like I was riding on a sponge, SO COMFY! :D
     
  13. Brychen

    Brychen Member

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    well I shimmed it with some reacta foam under the saddle (not inside as its on loan so didnt want to fiddle with it). that set the seat so it was level. Horse walked out very nicely in it, but my back still killed.If I adjust the stirrups to a lenght where my back doesnt kill I cant use my legs, if they are long enough to use my legs my back kills. Also the sweat patches indicate more pressure under my bum and a narrow strip at the back of the saddle which concerns me.

    So I think its back to plan A and get my saddle company saddle properly fitted. If that isnt possible or doesnt work then maybe I will buy one of these.
     
    #12 Brychen, Jun 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  14. parsharainbow

    parsharainbow Angel&the Big Ginger Thug

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    Have you booked your trial?? I have mine on Saturday :)
     
  15. Peaches

    Peaches New Member

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    Have PM'd you Brychen, hope you don't mind... =]
     
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