Monday, January 12, 2009

Saddle Recommendation for Tipperary and Renn Goldberg

Here's our first "Saddle Recommendation" installment, and thanks to Renn Goldberg for patiently complying with my photo requests.
This is Renn's boy, Tipperary. He's a 15.2 1/2 h. Irish Sport Horse, whom Renn describes as having a "big ribcage and a gigantic shoulder":
My initial impression here is a nicely balanced horse, just a tad rump-high, fairly short back. Girth spot is decently long, and I can see what Renn means about a big shoulder and a well-sprung rib cage. Tip has a moderate wither and while he's not completely flat front-to-back, he's not going to need a lot of curve or "scoop" in the tree. The saddle should have a fairly shallow rear gusset and possibly (depending on seat size) an upswept panel.
Now let's look at the rest of Tip's back. Just FYI, that white spot on Tip's wither is NOT Renn's doing - it was there when she bought him:

Tip is a little bigger on the left than the right (left shoulder more developed, left haunch higher), which isn't unusual. All horses (like all people) have a preferred side, and that side will be more muscular (and often less flexible - they'll bend to the left with no problem, but going to the right is tougher because they have to stretch that muscled side). From a saddle fitting standpoint, it's not a big deal unless this is a chronic issue that won't be changing, and then we'd most likely deal with it through flocking adjustments. However, I'm guessing that this is a stage he's at in his development, and it will change.

Though it's hard to tell for sure without a tracing (or without getting my hands on his back), I think Tip can be fit with a fairly generous standard tree - I don't think a hoop tree will be necessary; he doesn't appear to be that broad through the withers. Again, a panel with a fairly shallow gusset would offer a nice broad weight-bearing surface for his nice, broad back without making it sit too high in the cantle.

Now for Tip's sides:

This looks pretty straightforward - no major dips or divots (small one below the wither on the left side), so probably wouldn't need wither gussets or a trapezius panel (can't tell for sure without a tracing). So, based on the photos and Renn's description, my recommendation would be a Black Country Quantum. Since Renn's femur is about 14" and the Quantum has a flap that will accommodate a long thigh, a 16.5" seat might work, or perhaps a short flap option would be worth investigating.

Some other possibilities for Renn and Tip would be a Frank Baines Reflex cc, a County Stabilizer, or one of Albion's close contacts.

Renn, thank you so much for being the first. And if you'd care to send a tracing, I'll make further recommendations.


Anonymous said...

This seems like a cool site, but could you possibly write an article for us first-time horse owners about how to find a saddle for our horses? Thanks :)

saddlefitter said...

Excellent idea ,thank you - it's on the "blog about" list!