So your saddle fits just fine and dandy? Might want to think again.

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by meljean, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. meljean

    meljean Senior Member

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    How many times have we all read, or heard...MY SADDLE FITS FINE?

    Or saddle fit is NOT the problem as to why my horse is bucking, balking, acting up. I KNOW this isn't the reason because it is new, been checked by fitter, my trainer says it is perfect fit.

    Well, might want to guess again in that case.

    The saddle below, shows just what can be going on, and just what could be making your horse troublesome.

    The saddlemaker who shared these photos, also does saddle repair. This is what he found when he tore down a saddle. He has given me permission to share this story with members.

    Bill Wilm wrote the following.

    Client bought a saddle and noticed it was not fitting their horse very well. Brought their horse and saddle over to have it checked out and this is what we found, under the skirts. This is how the riggings were attached!
    Have seen a few of these types of saddle trees - hollow fibreglass. All manufactured the same way, as nothing holds together, when it is hollow. No wonder there were lumps and it was not sitting on the horse right. Caution - buyers beware when you are purchasing inexpensive tack. Light weight is not always better. There are alot of inferior products being manufactured for sale. Too bad these companies can not be held liable for making these types of saddles that put the horse at risk (and the rider when they get pitched off). Fortunately they were not using it. Also unfortunate, it was a young girl that saved up her own money to buy this saddle, from Kijiji, that was sold by a private party ( that probably got took the same way).
    But, the companies that put out these saddles prey on the first time, inexperienced consumer. It is up to the more educated consumer (and retail outlets) to say no to buying these saddles and helping educate the inexperienced horse lovers. There are plenty of older, well made saddles for sale, at a lower cost than new. At least they are worth repairing and can be made usable and safe.
    One good thing was, her older sister had taken a saddle fitting clinic (conducted by me) and told her parents that this saddle does not fit the horse and it should be checked out.
    The other good thing - saddles like this, make other low end manufactured saddles, made in north america, look alot more appealing.
    This saddle carries no brand name, number or mark.
    Besides having the bolts sticking through the tree, the bars are crooked, 1 inch deviation from front to back, with wrong angle for any horse - maybe better suited to a cow. They are wide at the top and narrow next to the shoulder; with an 8" gullet.
    THANK YOU to everyone for sharing this post. It is a great way to make the industry aware of what is out there and to help educate the inexperienced horse owner, to shop wisely.

    wilm saddles 2.jpg wilm saddles 3.jpg wilm saddles.jpg



    News Feed
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    Bill Wilm
    18 hrs ·
    THANK YOU to all who continue to share the previous post of the inferior workmanship on the "off shore" production saddles. This old cowboy never thought this post would go global! But really glad it has become a topic of conversation with everyone. There are some really good comments, take the time to read through them. The only way to bring these so called "saddles" to a stop is by public awareness and education.
    These companies (especially the ones like this saddle, that has no brand name) prey on the inexperienced, first time buyer looking to purchase an inexpensive saddle. The production line is most likely a sweat shop or close to it and the employees are just thankful to make a dollar that day. The onus is on the business that is selling/exporting them and the companies that are importing them. It is the consumer that can put a stop to buying these items. They are not fit to be called a saddle, as that only implies to the uneducated that they are usable. They are unsafe, unusable, to both the horse and rider, plus being non repairable. If we can prevent another horse from experiencing harm or a rider from being hurt, paralyzed or death from a horse related accident from wearing this ill fitting equipment - we have accomplished a step in the correction this industry needs. Unfortunately mass production of inferior, throw away items is not exempt from the horse industry. It can have far greater effects than just a persons pocket book.
    If in doubt when purchasing tack, get a second or third opinion. Common sense rules.
    Proper saddle fit and quality construction has fallen by the wayside with the multitude of companys looking to make a buck. There is alot of choice out there, choose wisely. Even second hand, quality saddles can be wrong for you if you make the incorrect choice.
    Bill made his living off the back of a horse for 45 years, never sored their back, always having at least 3 different saddles to make sure they fit. Never had a lame horse, trimmed his own feet. In Bill's own words - "Maybe I was just lucky" but at the end of the day the horse was his responsability and he could not do his job without them.
    The bulk of the industry today is recreational riders. Have the older generation with more experience let the industry down by not sharing what is important?
    A few things to keep in mind when saddle shopping - not every saddle is usable on every horse. Bar angle, bar width, bar shape is important and must be a very close match to the horse it is being used on. You can only pad so much. Too much, too little padding can cause its own trouble. Proper saddle construction is important. The rider must be safe and sitting in a proper position, which can vary a bit depending on todays specialized disciplines which is dictated by show ring standards. Whether one is riding for leisure/ riding to win a championship / riding for a living, the basic principles are the same. A well maintained, good piece of equipment holds its value.
    Bill and Rhonda Wilm
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Wow.

    We have the same problems with cheap dressage saddles.

    And disturbingly, just because a saddle is expensive, doesn't make it good, either.
     
  3. meljean

    meljean Senior Member

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    A member some time back posted about her Dixieland custom made saddle too, brand new, 1000 dollars, and it was flat out NOT made right.
     
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  4. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Wow..
     
  5. doublelranch

    doublelranch Senior Member

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    I spent the same amount on a brand name. After FINALLY figuring out the skirt was crooked, making the whole saddle crooked when cinched down, the company would do NOTHING because the TREE was fine. They only guaranteed the tree, but not the workmanship. The place I bought it did everything they could to help me. They ended up never carrying their brand again and were just as shocked at the company's ability to look the other way for taking someone's money in exchange for a piece of carp.
     
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  6. Kappa

    Kappa Senior Member

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    It took me seven saddles and a trip to the hospital to find one that fit right. I tell all my friends, one in particular who has a very hard to fit horse and has just about broken down to just ride a bareback pad, that keep trying different brands and eventually something might work. I finally found a Simco Arabian saddle to fit my quarter horse. Would have never guessed it as it sat at my friend's house unused.

    I ran in to quite a few cheap, poorly made things too. It's amazing how little most people know about it with decades in the field.
     
    meljean likes this.
  7. Riosdad

    Riosdad Full Member

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    I like the Abetta endurance western saddle
    Light weight , comfortable and the TREE can be pulled out of them very easily
    I remove the tree and spend about a week building it up in places, grinding it down in other until it mirrors Rio's back
    Western trees bridge, they leave a big hollow in the center to pass the stirrup leathers over and around the tree so this area carries no weight
    By building up and grinding down I am able to get the whole tree resting on Rio's back
    Fiberglass resin and cloth are for building up and a blending disc and grinder for grinding down
    Once the tree fits his back perfectly I reassemble with other mods to the rigging
    Center fire, 22 inch dressage girth with elastic with a big pad over the girth
    These saddles lend themselves to modification and I also use a nice sheep skin over the seat for my comfort and warmth
    If it wasn't so hard to post I would include more pictures of the rigging
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Riosdad

    Riosdad Full Member

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    I was able to include this picture of the custom rigging
    A local harness shop builds them for me for $60 to my specs
    It leaves a clean side under the stirrup leathers for free movement back and forth
    Lately I have gone so far as to remove the fenders and just use the leathers
    Lighter, freer and I have wore out 2 sets of fenders anyway
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Bakkir

    Bakkir Senior Member

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    RD

    Let me know if you want a free set of fenders and stirrups.

    They are in new condition and unused. I changed them out for English leathers and stirrups when I bought the saddle.

    I no longer have the saddle. And I won't ever use them. Almost no one has an Abetta saddle in ON, lol.

    I'm near Hamilton and can drop them off for you.
     
  10. Riosdad

    Riosdad Full Member

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    Bakkir I would love them. But I will not take them for Free. I will pay $50 and that is a steal for me
    My phone number is 519-747-3099
    email nwilhelm@rogers.com
    We can set something up
    Thank you
     

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