Smitty Saddle Woes

Oh man. So, the saddle fitter came and went. And is coming and going tonight. And then I’m seeing her at the AEC’s. And well, and the end of this whole process we’re going to know each other pretty well I think.

Smitty is built unlike any horse I have ever owned before. He is the gawkiest, gangliest, narrowest thing, and I feel like a sack of potatoes trying to ride him. I’ve already lamented that my PS of Sweden Bridle didn’t fit him thanks to his tiny little nose, and it was obvious that my jumping saddle is every kind of wrong for him. I had hoped that perhaps my dressage saddle could be salvaged, but it turns out even that is too wide for him.


Everything about this horse is long. Long neck, long legs, long back…

In an ideal world, the [Stubben] saddle that I would actually need is a custom saddle, using the narrowest tree plus a tree addition that would make it even more narrow. Because I’m in no rush to sell a kidney (though plasma and eggs are not out of question. What? Don’t judge), I’m opting not to go the custom route.


I’m currently in the process of hawking my wares online in hopes that I can then find myself a used saddle that with fit Smitty with the help of a shim pad. I’ll also be able to borrow a dressage saddle this week that could be a model to look for in the future.

I need some serious tack ho help, guys. Where do I go besides facebook to sell both my saddles, and where is the place to look for a super specific narrow Stubben that won’t break the bank?

23 thoughts on “Smitty Saddle Woes

  1. I sold my last two saddles to Leah from Redwood tack. I contacted her through Facebook but she has a website as well. I actually sort of did a trade in one case (we sent money back and forth for safety) since she had a saddle I wanted. At the time I really frequented all of the french used saddle sites, they have quite a mix of inventory. If I found something that might work I would get the ID info then call the saddle maker for more details. Lots of work but I have been successful that way with patience.

    Stampede has a custom paneled CWD because he has an atrocious long/high wither combo with a big shoulder so I understand the $pain$. Have you asked what the seller rode him in?

    Certainly there is some concern about how he will likely fill out as he gets older so that is rough too. Maybe Prestige since you can change the tree a bit as he changes?

  2. I feel your pain, former CWD saddle fitter best friend Mary was just here and said my Dressage saddle doesn’t fit Connor. 😦 You don’t happen to be selling a 16.5 or 17 dressage saddle with a fairly flat tree in a wide do you?

  3. Never underestimate the power of eBay. Might be worth a look. You can see what previous auctions have gone for and that will give you a clue about value. When selling, you can also start the bidding at a price of your choosing. There’s a fee for setting a hidden reserve value though.

    Charles H.

  4. I sold my County Connection thru ebay – ended up a local woman saw it on ebay and we were able to meet at a show to complete the sale. I sold my Kieffer a few years back on I had no luck with FaceBook sites.

  5. My only advice is to make sure you are careful buying things before smitty fills out. Houston grew/ filled out so much between 5-6 that my saddles didn’t fit. It was depressing and expensive.

  6. A word of advice….when I got Roger, he was a skinny, awkward, gangly dude, and has now exploded into more of a true sporthorse body. For that reason, I have yet to get my saddle fit to him, but probably will do so later this year. If you can make your saddle work with some shimming or maybe enlist the help of an Ogilvy (though I know they are not miracle half pads), I’d definitely wait to go custom or get a saddle to perfectly fit him. His body will fill out and change so much that you’ll end up getting a saddle re-fit down the road anyway, so maybe look into temporary fixes to save your wallet 🙂

  7. Ebay for real. I’ve bought and sold 5 saddles on there and never been disappointed. Just do your research! Facebook is sketchy for high end items like that and I’ve seen too many people get scammed. Ebay has buyer and seller protection.

    I will agree with others, if hes narrow now, he may not be in the near future!! I didn’t buy nice(er) saddles until my boys filled out, and even now with some time off, B’s saddle is a wee too wide. I used to have a wintec (yea yeah, junk I know) with interchangebale gullets that helped a lot with the changes. Not perfect by any means, but I simply coudl not afford a custom saddle or refitting every 6 months liek some people I know. Now even with B and his loss of muscle tone, finding a nicer saddle that fit him at his normal weight and muscle is no concern when hes not. Nothing a half pad with shims cant fix and soon enough it will be backing to fitting perfectly again.

    Saddle woes are the worst. I am no help in the fancy saddle dept since I refuse to spend a couple thousand on a saddle.

    • Depending on how things shake out, I may be looking at a Bates with an interchangeable gullet. But the one I sat in in the past had a wide twist that I wasn’t a fan on… so maybe not. But you’re not the only one to suggest an interchangeable gullet saddle until he’s more matured 🙂

  8. I would second everyone else’s advice to not get a custom or anything too expensive as his back will definitely change with work. Maybe get something with a changeable tree for now? Also, I’ve used eBay and don’t know of any great alternatives, but I really hate it. There are so many things that can go wrong.

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