Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Saddle shopping hell, trip 3

I do NOT know why I thought shopping for a western saddle would be easier than my dressage or jump saddles.  At least my horse is shaped like a dressage horse and isn't freaky looking at a jump show.  When I took Theo to his Vitor clinic, it was at a working cow ranch.  Everyone thought Theo was gigantic.  Everyone.  That should have been an indicator to me that he's not the typical western disciplines type.

He doesn't exactly look like a QH or a Paint.

Still cute.

It seemed simpler since there was just the two options:  semi or QH bars.  And clearly, with those withers, he needs a semi-QH bars tree.  Clearly.  Easy peasy.

So my saddle showed up and I, with great excitement, tacked my poor dressage horse up.  And realized I still can't tie a cinch to save my life.  Fortunately someone that knows western tack was there to help me check fit and help me get my tack on safely.  With her help, I was able to get things cinched up and hop on for a few minutes.  I'd already ridden him in a lesson, so it was strictly a test ride.  No need for a bridle.  We jogged and loped around with just a lead rope to let me steer.

The saddle fit me well and fit his back well, but was too tight on his shoulders.  I put my fingers under the front edge of the saddle and got a rather painful squeeze.  Damn it.  Such a pretty saddle, but no dice for the magnificence that is mi papi.  Back it goes to Smartpak.

I'm going to order up this saddle's very close sibling that comes in a round skirt since the saddle looks big on Theo's short back.  I'm also going to try a wide to see if we can give his shoulders some room without dropping the pommel right on his withers.  If that doesn't work, I have to start branching out.  There's a gaited version of the tree with extra room in the shoulders . . .

I hate saddle shopping.


  1. Ha good luck. My saddle (that was literally brand new ugh) fit Zoe in width PERFECTLY but the tree was too curvy for her flat back. I'm just going to let her grow for a couple years before I try a western saddle again I think.

  2. Saddle shopping sucks. I had a gaited tree western saddle on my previous horse and it does have more room in the shoulder. However, the real problem I had with finding a western saddle that fit was the lack of curve in western saddles. They're generally built for flatter-backed horses.