dancing horses

dancing horses

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Cinderella



I've been beginning to suspect that Carmen's saddle was not fitting quite right and that is might be pinching her a bit. She's entering her 7th year and is starting to fill out. And being the fussy sensitive mare she's not going to tolerate much. The difficult that arises is that Carmen can be resistant for many reasons: wind, mood, fear of a spot, finding it hard, etc so it's not always easy to pinpoint the cause.

I contacted the saddle fitter and she said that she could come on Wednesday. I took a vacation day because I really wanted this sorted out. It turns out that I was right:

This is the same sized gullet that was in her saddle. You can see that it's tight on the shoulders.

Here's the next size up:

You can see that it fits much better. The saddle flocking needed adjustment as well. 



Carmen took this fussing all in stride. After all, princesses are used to people waiting on helping them.


We had a lot of rain the night before and it only stopped about an hour before Rachael came. The ring was very mucky but when I mounted I could feel a difference immediately. My seat felt really secure and balanced. Rachael commented that my body was in alignment and I really didn't have to do anything but sit there. Carmen strode right out and she seemed to feel more balanced and relaxed. After that there were just some minor adjustments to the flocking and she was done.

Rachael took new tracings and I was thrilled to see that she was much more even then she had been at her last adjustment. This means that I'm working her correctly (insert happy dance).

I cannot say enough about my Kent and Masters saddle.



It is good quality leather, wool flocking and very reasonably priced. I find the seat incredibly comfortable. And most importantly I am not saddle shopping because we can change out the gullet. That makes it invaluable. I would much rather have a collection of gullets then a saddle collection. Instead of looking at spending thousands I'm spending a couple hundred. Plus I have a happy horse which is priceless.


29 comments:

  1. Great news that she's evened out. The story of the Princess & the Pea came to mind.

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    1. That analogy is in my brain all the time.

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  2. That is so cool that you can change out the gullet. It almost makes me want to switch to English.

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    1. It really saves a lot of aggravation.

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  3. glad you got your answers!! And even better that Carmen's muscles are developing so well! I've def been drawn in by the siren song of adjustable gullet saddles... Both mine are bates, and the jump saddle has been converted from CAIR panels to wool. All the same, the fit never seems quite perfect tho and I've not been super impressed by some fitters I've used. Ugh saddle fitting.

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    1. I'm lucky to have a Master Saddler that i can access. I do sometimes think that I might pursue saddle fitting when I retire just to be sure I can do my horses. As for the adjustable gullet- do it. You won't regret it.

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    2. I've had three - both my dressage and jump saddles are bates with the adjustable system. I bought a K&M at one point but sold it bc it was a terrible fit for both of us.... I love the bates saddles for me tho even if they never seem quite right for the horses

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  4. Kent and Masters are very similar to Hastilows, which I love beyond belief....although I love Bliss of London above all haha. Glad you got it sorted out!

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    1. I had to google Hastilow- they do look very similar but the K& M are cheaper. The Bliss are interesting- the suede might be neat.

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  5. How nice to just be able to change a gullet and a bit of flocking. I have had issues with Jessie, she so tolerant its hard to tell if it fits right cause she just takes it (opposite of Carmen Im thinking) But when we got a good one boy does she move out makes me feel kinda bad for not having it right all along.

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    1. I think that we probably go to the saddle last because the stoic ones take it and the sensitive ones react to everything!

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  6. Priceless indeed! I love my saddle as well and definitely prefer to spend time and money with a saddle fitter than buying a new saddle. Fit is such a personal thing for both human and horse.

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    1. It certainly is personal. I would have hated to be saddle shopping.

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  7. We're having a fitter out next week and a dealer out the week after for trials. I'm so hoping one of them has a kent and masters for me to look at, they look and sound very much like they'd work for us!

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    1. I hope that they have one too- the cob lines are well suited to the PREs and cobs.

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  8. I bought a Wintec for this exact same reason. I figured it would be a great schooling saddle because the babies could trash it and I wouldn't cry like I would over a leather saddle and I could change the gullet any time I needed. However, I didn't not know there were other adjustable saddles beyond Wintecs. I may have to look at K&M for a show saddle.

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    1. I think that the synthetic ones were the first to start with that (I may be wrong on that but that's my memory). It's nice to it moving into other areas. I believe that the Wow saddles are adjustable too but those are outside of my budget. :)

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  9. I have a Wintec with the adjustable gullets, but I really don't like it. The M. Toulouse adjusted via a test of a hidden gear. I really like that design, but the saddle was too big for me so I traded it to my husband. You're lucky to have a good saddle fitter available to you.

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    1. I really appreciate having her here.

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  10. I had an adjustable Laser that I loved, and my jump saddle (that has been gathering dust for 7 years haha) is a Collegiate with an adjustable gullet. They're great when you're riding multiple horses, or for growing ones! Glad you got things sorted out for both you and Carmen!

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    1. I've not heard of the Laser- so much to learn! I'm really happy to have it sorted out.

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  11. That's so exciting that Carmen is becoming more even. Good for you, that has to feel great.

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    1. I was thrilled- since the last time she was there I have been trying to focus on it and it's nice to see that it's working.

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  12. I have had people try to convince me to change from my Isabell to a "normal" dressage saddle. I am with you, I love the adjustability of the changeable gullet. I didn't like the feel of the jumping saddles I have tried with the changeable gullet which is why I went with a traditional tree. That said, you are so lucky to have a good fitter. They are so hard to find.

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    2. I haven't ridden in a jumping saddle that adjusted. I can see that it would feel different!

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  13. That sounds like a really great saddle and fitter. It's a good feeling to see all your work is paying off with Carmen!

    I tried them years ago for Dusty (when I still had her) but even the widest adjustable gullet ones didn't fit and she was wither challenged. I was at my wits end until I found a company in England called Black Country Saddles and they made her a custom saddle for a reasonably good price. I'm glad it now fits Blue too.

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    1. I've heard good things about Black Country- it's amazing how tricky horses can be to fit!

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  14. I, too, would rather have a collection of gullets!! Working on finding a jumping saddle to fulfill that goal. I currently have a Wintec (nice ol' beater to do whatever I please with) and a treeless Ansur (LOVE and wish I had the $$$$ for a newer model). If you ever get a chance to sit or ride in an Ansur, do it. So comfortable!

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