Augh! (Saddle innards)

galadriel

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Originally posted by KarinUS
I thought the anatomy part was so crucial to saddle fit that spending a day with a vet did not seem like a waste of time.

Oh, yes, it definitely is--it's actually the main reason I started looking into the horse massage course. They recommend that course or something like it before taking their saddle fit course. It's just that, since you're expected to already know it (one way or another), it wasn't covered in the saddle fit/flocking course.

Of course, taking the horse massage course nearly blew my brain out ;) just due to all the things I saw about muscles & how they relate to behaviors. But the saddle fitting course really added to the picture. There's so much interaction between muscle issues and saddle issues.
 

galadriel

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Originally posted by KarinUS
On a different note, I found a whole bunch of gadgets that eliminate eyeballing and measure more scienfically:
SaddleTech

Very interesting. That's much closer to the type of measuring we were doing :)

After bouncing around the site repeatedly, I finally found the prices:
$100/day to rent (2 day minimum, + 2nd day freight both ways) or
$3000 to buy. Yikes. I think I'll stick to my posterboard tracings :)
 

KarinUS

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You did better than I did then. I NEVER was able to locate a price!

I guess the prior knowledge requirement explains why the course in Maryland is 2 weeks long instead of 1 week like the one in Florida.

What kind of flocking do Courbette saddles have? I found a saddle fitter that will travel to San Antonio on Sunday! But he will only fix them up if they are wool.
 

Lgd

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Galadriel - If you are interested in new concepts have a look at this www.flair.uk.com/wow/wow concept.htm

I'll be able to give you some more detailed feedback soon as mine has arrived and Tavia had it fitted on Monday.

Initial impression from the fitting is that she is moving very freely and is very soft in her back, much better engaged and through to the contact. The lateral work was very flowing - she has mainly been getting 7's for her half pass work but most of them on monday would have scored 8's and even the odd 9. She has been very hit and miss with the flying changes but after the first few in the WOW they became very clean and she was jumping them through a lot better with loads more expression.

My saddler says the only drawback she has found is that because the horses can move so much better they change their shape very quickly after the first fitting. She is now routinely making 4 week follow-up appointments to adjust the saddle.
 

galadriel

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I was going to say..I thought yours was a German one :) Mine's foam, and I may or may not be simply rebuilding the panels completely (at some point). The panels it currently has are not really suitable for real flocking, so even if I could get the foam out, I couldn't flock them too well. But for some reason they have openings at the top for adding/removing flocking! Some things are just bizarre.
 

RachelEvent

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Yes the WOW saddles are very interesting - sat and closely inspected the insides and outsides of one at Badminton last year, and I was very impressed. If I actually had enough money I would be first to look into buying one :)

Rachel xx
 

KarinUS

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It's a deal! DJ-pooh is getting an evaluation this weekend.
If you are interested in the price down here by the way:

the evaluation will be $35 and any adjustments will range from $65 to $130.
So definately a good living to be made with this...

My worst fear of course would be if the saddle fitter says:
a) my saddle is horrible and b) nothing would improve it.

So I am kind of nervous right now... :eek:
 

ros

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Well - we got there in the end, Galadriel :) :) :)

Karin - I really don't know if it's the same in the States, but I wouldn't dream of taking up saddle-fitting as a career over here. For every one person who genuinely wants a decent saddle for their horse there seem to be at least another twenty who make all the right noises but are really only interested in getting something for nothing. It's extremely disheartening, and in some ways it explains why a lot of saddlers appear to be quite hard-nosed about selling saddles :rolleyes: . Still, someone has to do it, and better that it should be someone who really cares.

By the way, muscle atrophy tends to be overlooked an awful lot, simply because it's so very common and therefore appears to be the norm. The easiest place to spot it is over the withers, where the muscles of the "junction box" (where the neck and back muscles all meet) should be evenly rounded, and not hollow. I would tend to regard any degree of hollowing with suspicion - at least until I'd had a good look at saddle fit and got to know the horse. The other place is over the back, where the muscles adjacent to the spine (the ones we've been talking about) have been restricted. Atrophy in that area is quite often labelled "lack of topline" - if it's saddle damage there's absolutely no point filling a horse with buckets full of topline cubes and the like :p .
 

galadriel

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That shouldn't be a problem, Karin :) There are all sorts of things that you can do to adjust an English saddle to make it fit better.

You can change the flocking to match the horse's back better; you can change the shape of the panels if they're not right; you can even replace the gullet plate in the tree itself to make it more narrow or wide (although it's a more extensive alteration than on a Wintec).

Most things *can* be done, although it's a question of cost effectiveness. If you've got a cheap saddle or a badly maintained one, then altering it is probably not worth the cost. But your saddle's not cheap and I suspect that you lavish it with care & maintenance ;)
 

KarinUS

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See that was part of the consideration. I love my saddle. I got it as a close out model. It's an old fashioned German made Courbette. As I understand it they now favor more the Swissmade ones with the different tree and foam panels. Retail on my Pandur would have been $1,600 but I got mine for $850 so if I sink another $200 into it and make it fit perfectly for my baby I will still have gotten away with a very good deal!

I'll let you know how it goes!

ros,
I'd never considered saddle fitter to be someone who sells saddles! I just thought about adjustments and repairs!
 

ros

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No, but the trouble is that when you tell someone their saddle is a load of c--p and should be thrown on the bonfire, they invariably ask you where they can get one that DOES fit, and I'm afraid I never had the answer they wanted to hear :( .
 

galadriel

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Originally posted by ros
By the way, muscle atrophy tends to be overlooked an awful lot

Having gotten a good look at the "tree" from a half-tree exercise saddle, I suddenly have a much greater understanding of why most off-track TB's have that giant jutting wither. It's partly conformational, sure, but it's also greatly affected by the muscle at the wither & spine just melting as it pulls away. It's very impressive (and not in a good way) how so many off-track TB's have backs that are shaped exactly the same from the withers to the hips, from the muscles in the back tensing up & withering away.
 

galadriel

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Originally posted by ros
they invariably ask you where they can get one that DOES fit, and I'm afraid I never had the answer they wanted to hear :( .

Which, "buy one that's good quality"?

That's why I've been scanning the saddles on eBay, actually. I figure if I get a good look at the *designs* of a wide class of saddles, then I'll know where to start when looking for saddles that are actually worth buying.

It's all very well & good to tell someone that they can buy a County or a Schleese for $2500-3000 and have it arrive just right, but most of the people in thois world are not going to have that sitting around, even if they are willing to scrimp on all other expenses in favor of their horse for a while.
 

ros

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Karin - I know, I know. But quite a lot of people can't even be bothered to pay for a re-flock, never mind a decent saddle.

Going back to a previous question about what you do with the old saddle, only your conscience can tell you that. I gave mine to Heather as an example of what NOT to put on a horse. However, I was very fortunate to be in a position to do it, and nowadays I would really have to think twice before giving away a saddle that I could quite easily flog to some poor unsuspecting soul, or some unscrupulous or ignorant saddler. I would probably do it again because I know what damage it could do, but it would certainly hurt my pocket :(

That's one of the saddest things about all this. You do meet genuine people who discover that they've been paid a lot of hard-earned money for a saddle that's damaging their horse, and it's heart-rending to watch their faces when the realisation hits - both that they've hurt their horse, and that they have no choice but to sell a dodgy saddle to someone else to enable them to afford a better one for their own horse.

PS - Sorry, I'm getting confused now with all this cross-posting :p It was G. who was talking about the price of a decent saddle. Apologies, Karin.
 
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Bebe

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Galadriel, I'll pass your compliment on to Bebe tonight, she'll appreciate it (she likes to be told she's pretty!) :) The pic I posted isn't the worlds greatest, I had to lose some quality to get it small enough to post on that website and Bebe was half asleep! She usually looks more cheerful than that, honest :D
 
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