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Haflinger Saddle Fit/Update Question on Girths, Post #12

My son has finally renewed his interest in learning to ride while home from school during this COVID time. He’s 12 years old and I’m absolutely thrilled!! Our Haflinger mare, Austria, hasn’t been ridden in several years so we started her back slowly. He learned how to lunge her and we started getting her fit and used to working with saddle and bridle again.

The original saddle we bought still fits her fabulously, but it is far too small for my son now. Problem is the saddle was a one off demo that we bought and I can’t find identifying info on the saddle. That makes buying a larger version of our saddle a dead end. I bought a Wintec Wide saddle with a complete gullet kit. BIG problem with the straight panels, they are bridging over her back, she must need something with curvier panels.

She is a bit pudgy still and needs more muscle, but she has been working for about 30 days now so she’s on her way. She is right around 14.2ish, round with very little withers. I also use a shaped girth on her to help with fit plus a breast plate. I believe she needs a hoop tree rather than a traditional tree. Anyone have suggestions for fitting a round, bodacious girl with curves and a forward girth groove? Also any suggestion of any shops/fitters with good experience for rounder horses? My horses have all been high withered TB’s or ISH’s so she is a challenge for me with saddle fit!

I’m located in South Jersey and willing to put her on a trailer and take her somewhere to try saddles. Thinking I could maybe unload her and just let the saddle fitter work with her while I keep the proper social distance away. Also wiling to work with someone to walk me through taking photos and measurements to help fit her.

I would prefer used and under $1000, but if that’s not possible, I am willing to pay what I have to for a saddle that fits properly. I am am a former competitive eventer, so would prefer something that could be used as one saddle for lower level eventing. If I had to choose between more dressage focus vs jumping focus, I would choose jumping and eventually buy a dressage saddle if he stays with the sport (or if I choose to ride the pony, too!).

It’s taken years to get my son’s interest back and I really want to find something that will fit her so we can keep moving forward. Thank you to anyone willing to offer some positive suggestions.

I think a duett would be a good place to look. I’m not sure about the forward girth groove. Perhaps an anatomical girth? I wonder if different billet attachment systems are more or less suited to a forward girth groove?

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I’ve used Thorowgood Cob style on my Welsh/Andalusian cross before who also needs a hoop tree.This saddle worked great for her and the Haflinger I was training at the time! Those saddles run fairly decently priced but are difficult to find used. Everyone I know who has one won’t part with it.

My current saddles are a Wintec Isabell for dressage and a custom fit Schleese jump that I found for under $1,000. Both these saddles fit my girl well and don’t seem to cause her any issue. Once the ancient Isabell wears out I’ll be replacing it with a Thorowgood Cob dressage saddle due to them being specifically for the shorter backed, broad horses.

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Thank you for the suggestions, I’m going to check both of those out. I’ve heard of Duett saddles before but not the Thorowgood Cob.

I should have been more specific when I said I used a shaped girth, I did mean that I use an anatomical girth to help with her forward girth groove.

Try a Duett saddle. I bought a used one and am pleased with the comfort, quality, affordability and most importantly how int fit my mare who is a haflinger ( basically) with spots :slight_smile:

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You could keep an eye open for British brands too - they have lots of cobs over there so many saddle makers have hoop trees. For example, I saw a Black Country GP/eventing hoop tree saddle pop up used on FB recently (in Canada), for $850CAN

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I also suggest the Thorowgood Cob. It worked well on my former wide backed, no withers Arab. Thorowgood has several different models for different back configurations, so make sure you are looking at the cob model. For example - https://www.thorowgood.com/t4-saddles/item/15-t4-cob-gp#.XpIbAyUpDDs

If you want leather, Kent & Masters may be worth looking at as well. I believe they use the same changeable gullet system. I don’t have any personal experience, but have heard good things.

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Black Country and Harry Dabbs have hoop tree options for all disciplines of riding. Frank Baines has them for dressage and GP. Other wide horse specialists include Chunky Monkey saddles, AH saddlery, Arabian Saddle Company aka Lovatt and Rickets, Smith Worthington, Balance International, and more. All made in England as they know cobs!

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I have nothing to add to this discussion, but I need to say that I am absolutely enchanted with the idea of having a Chunky Monkey saddle. :lol:

i have a horse with broken withers and i had to find a wide saddle for ihim. I just wanted to mention that the Professionals Choice Neoprene Girth keeps it in position. i am not generally a fan of Neoprene, but it has been wonderful for this horse. My own saddles are a wintec, and a Bob Marshall treeless. And i can keep either in place with the neoprene girths.

Resurrecting this thread for an update. We now are the proud owners of a Kent and Masters Cob Saddle that seems to be a good fit for her. I’m also using one of my other horse’s anatomic girth to better fit her forward girth groove.

Here’s my question; I have heard from someone that round, chunky cob types do better with girths without elastic ends. Anybody have an opinion or personal experience with this? What types of girth do you all find work best with this round cob build? I appreciate the advice. 😊

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My Professionals choice neprene girth has elastic at both ends and it works great on my stocky guy. ( no withers)