Friday, October 9, 2009

Sometimes, There's No Answer

When I was going through my photo files, searching for different equine body types, I ran into this photo.  While it certainly illustrates an extreme of conformation, it wasn't particularly helpful, since this is one horse who has defied all my efforts to find a saddle that fits.  I e-mailed this photo to about every saddler / saddle fitter I know, and while they said, "You can try this tree and this panel," it was universally followed by, "... but even that probably wouldn't be optimal."  One suggested a good course of conditioning, dressage and abdominal lifts. (This horse's owner wanted to trail ride.  At the walk.  Once a week.  I knew that wasn't going to happen.)  One suggested a treeless saddle (that had been in the back of my mind), and a couple said, "Harness."  (That had also been in the back of my mind, to be perfectly frank.)

So here's my bête noir, my nemesis, my downfall, The One I Couldn't Fit (and incidentally, one of the kindest, sweetest horses I've ever met):

7 comments:

Richard said...

I think that one is a good candidate for Bareback. Or the Cashel Soft saddle http://www.cashelcompany.com/products.aspx?C=3&SC=0. My question is this. Is the horse cleared for riding by a veterinary Chiropractor? As in Can the horse really take a rider? I realize that sometimes they look in much worse condition than they are, but I usually prefer to have a vet go over the horse before starting.

saddlefitter said...

Those are good points, Richard. I have to say that I simply assumed the horse had been vetted, since he's in a barn whose owner/trainer is very meticulous about the care her students' horses receive. And given that the rider in question weighs all of 110 lbs. and rides for 20 minutes once a week - as I said, all at the walk (or maybe "leisurely toddle" would be more accurate) - the horse would have to be in seriously bad shape if he couldn't do that!

Galadriel said...

...and if you were me, that rider would be trying to put the horse in a *Western* saddle.

20 minutes at the walk once a week definitely sounds like bareback :)

Melissa said...

Wow - I confess the Cashel saddle came to mind, and the Christ Lamfelle sheepskin pad (though that might be too long!) Of course, cushings and IR come to mind as well, but that's another story.

Richard said...

I agree that 110lb for 20 min would not be much work for any horse. So, that being the case and assuming the horse has been vetted, What are your thoughts on bareback, or Cashel? I am truly curious. I have a Cashel, but have not used it in years because I just can't ride a western rig, and haven't had the inspiration to convert it.

hurakan said...

A perfect candidate for a ReactorPanel. Sadly I can't find Wendy Jago's book on using NLP for Schoolin Solutions where the horse can be seen "naked" but here is a pic of him wearing his RP - he worked at 3rd level in his late teens. Taken from Wendy's book "Solo Schooling":

http://s209.photobucket.com/albums/bb29/volatishurakan/Miscellaneous/?action=view&current=Lollyridden.jpg

allshebe said...

That is quite a dip in the back. What about the saddlepads designed for dippy backs (I know Cashel has some)? The dip along with the relatively high withers (relative to the dip) would make even most treeless saddles problematical. It "might" be possible to get a Rebecca Softride custom made for this horse (one would need to check with the manufacturer).