Has anyone ever tried a Heather Moffett HIP SAVER to get a narrower twist on a saddle

I have a very round no withered Lipizzan pony mare that is proving very, very hard to fit. I have purchased probably 60 saddles to try on her, and have had several fitters out, and still can’t agree on a saddle that she likes that I also like. I just purchased a couple of new saddles from Europe, including a Euroriding Luxor and a Carl Hester Integro, however, if a saddle is wide enough for her, the twist kills my problematic hip and low back. I recently stumbled upon an old Chesterland Saddlery Pariesienne saddle that was made for Stalkers in Walsall England. Well, without even being fitted, it fits her to a tee, and with the perfect balance, It is even very nice for me to ride in. However, the seat is wide and flat and I usually need a built up waist/narrow twist to feel comfortable. I can feel my hip twinging when I ride in it, but she goes so well, and otherwise it works great. I used to have the Heather Moffett seat savers, so it got me to wondering about the Heather Moffett Hip Saver, if it is worth the money? http://www.hmsaddles.com/products/hm-hipsaver-english It would be great if I could be comfortable in saddles that fit her well. TIA

I dist trust these kinds of things since I had a bad fall that resulted in a broken pelvis years ago when a seat saver I was using (not this model but similar straps ) slipped during a bad spook…I feel I could have stayed on but the seat saver slipper over to side of the saddle was too much and sent me flying

There are worse things than being a tad uncomfortable and often increasing our own flexibility and strength off horse through yoga or pilates/similar and strength training actually will make us more conformable (and safer) than gadgets will

yes, that’s something to think about. I have had this problem for over 24 years after a bad work accident, and I do yoga and stretching, but have a sacroiliac dysfunction that my pelvis will actually slip out of place. I’ve tried and tried, but can be quite lame if I ride in wide saddles too much, then I can’t ride at all. Will be going to a pain specialist soon who does acupuncture and trigger point injection to try to address the issue. I’m at the point where I’m ready to try surgery as it interferes with my whole life.

keep looking for a saddle with a narrow twist which fits your horse. For me it was an Albion with custom tree.

HM also thinks pelhams are the bees knees for dressage.

Shortcuts and gadgets.

keep looking for a saddle with a narrow twist which fits your wide horse.

For me it was an Albion with custom tree.

HM also thinks pelhams are the bees knees for dressage.

Shortcuts and gadgets.

It sounds like you must have already spent a ton of money buying (and returning, I assume?) saddles, so why not just shell out another £54.95 to try it? Keeping in mind, of course, the issue brought up by Countrywood.

Not sure whether you’ve tried the Thorowgood T8 Cob? I just got one on trial for my “cobby”, fat, witherless, flat-backed 3 year old WB; since it’s adjustable (and they will buy it back if it doesn’t fit her–or adjust to fit her–once she grows some withers and loses some weight), I think of it as a “starter saddle.” She hasn’t been officially started yet, so as of now I have only sat in it on a saddle stand :wink:

It’s a W/XW tree, but the twist is actually quite comfortable; and I’m another one who cannot sit comfortably in a wide twist saddle.

Worth a try if you haven’t tried it! I got it from Hastilow Saddlery in PA.


There are worse things than being a tad uncomfortable and often increasing our own flexibility and strength off horse through yoga or pilates/similar and strength training actually will make us more conformable (and safer) than gadgets will[/QUOTE]

I think people without hip pain don’t understand people with hip pain. It was like when I was taking ballet and my teacher tried to tell me that if I just stretched enough I’d be able to do the splits. No, I will never be able to do the splits and it isn’t because I don’t stretch enough (because at the time I was also teaching yoga and doing pilates!); it is because of the conformation of my hips.

“Just stretch more” is not an answer to everything, especially when one has a chronic problem that is confirmed by a doctor and various diagnostics. Yes, yoga and strengthening and stretching help to a degree, but if one has a conformational issue, there’s only so much help that can be done.

Can you tell this is an issue for me because I’m currently going through a period of hip pain that is keeping me out of the saddle? I tried muddling through with the thought of “there are worse things than being a tad uncomfortable” and now I’ve got such pain that I can’t sleep at night, I can’t ride, I can’t walk for long, I can’t do some of the yoga postures that I used to do, etc.

OP, take care of yourself. I agree with Miss Anne Thrope - at this point, you’ve spent so much money on various saddles that you’ve nothing to lose if it doesn’t work out, but if it helps you then it could be the saving grace for you to be comfortable while you ride.

Best of luck to you - I’d be interested to know if it helps!

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ok try it, take what happened to me as a warning to check the straps each time before you ride that they have not stretched or slipped loose!

All the saddles I’ve bought I have resold and made a little money on each. I have sat in the Thorowgood saddles, but not ridden in them, I wasn’t sure I liked the way they felt…I am about out of options, since I’ve tried just about everything out there.

She is just a little bit of a round powerhouse of a pony, so besides being extra extra wide, she is extremely short backed. The recent little English saddle works so well for her, first saddle I’ve ever really felt her lift her back and round and collect in, I’d like to make it work for me. It’s actually such a nice close contact, balanced saddle, and I’m so much closer to her that I can really feel her, I was hoping to be able to just make it a little more comy and not so wide feeling at the sitting trot. I may try the hip saver, as I did really like my seat savers, but I will definitely keep an eye on the straps and maybe even rig something up so they can’t come apart or loosen unexpectedly. Thanks…

I used to ride a super wide Haflinger and a round, short backed pony in a Fhoenix Vogue. I have an old L5 fracture, and it was really hard to find a saddle that I could be comfortable in and worked on my horses. I’m pretty sure there’s a dealer in the US. If you go to the Enlightened Equitation website, you should be able to find out.

I did try the hip saver…but it put me soooo far above the saddle that i really hated it. I think on a treeless (which it was designed for) it might be different.

Sometimes her western model can help…

You cannot show with a seat-saver type pad on your saddle, illegal equipment.

I would keep looking for a narrow twist. I feel for you, OP, because I too need a narrow twist, and have a dickens of a time finding one, at all, much less one that would fit a wide horse. My horse happens to be a sharp withered oldenburg, TB x havnovarian cross, so lots of bone, but a high wither.

I sored up my left hip in 2005 when playing soccer with my gdaughter one spring. Problems ever since, and my conformation is such that my pelvis is narrow. I have been fortunate to nearly always end up with narrow twist trees. One day I sat in all the saddles at a large tack shop, looking for a new one for me and the boy, and dang, I couldn’t figure out why those saddles were so awful, they actually HURT to sit in them. I had never experienced that before, and by the time I went home, I was in pain. I couldn’t walk well for another 4 or 5 days, just from trying saddles, not even riding, or staying in one very long.

I too am a dancer and yoga-ista.

I am not sure whether wide twist are made for men or narrow twists are, one or the other is for men and the one for women, someone once said. It seems like most peple are riding in the wide tiwsts, if the number of them is anything, and I am looking for a narrow twist.

I’ve tried it and it helps.

I’ve got the exact same issue with my propane shaped tank morgan. Honestly the hip and back pain were getting so bad, so I really didn’t want to ride him. Our saddle fitter has told me that it is impossible for him to be any wider. Anyway, rather than get rid of my horse, I thought I’d give the hip saver a try and it definitely helps me. It works better on a saddle where you aren’t locked into position. I have a fantastic Hastilow saddle that I adore, but it really fixes me into one spot and the hip saver isn’t nearly as effective. It isn’t show legal, but it certainly gives me the ability to ride him on a much more regular basis. Please feel free to PM if you have any further questions.

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I had my fitter do a permanent adjustment to the seat of my Black Country. She basically built up the seat so as to narrow the twist. We kind of did something similar to the Stubben Biomex seat. My guy is 17.3 and in a 39 cm tree working FEI, so that means his huge trapezius was getting larger and larger and making it impossible on my hips and low back (think wishbone). The down side is that is somewhat devaules the saddle, but it’s already a custom for him. Happy to give you her contact information.


I lose the use of my left leg. On a horse and while walking. I’ve fallen down steps because of it. There’s “a little discomfort” and there’s “causing yourself massive pain in a way which will eventually cripple you.”

If you have a wide horse, just due to the geometry of it all you HAVE to end up with a saddle which moves you a bit away from the horse. If the saddle fits both of you well, you can learn to still feel and interpret the messages your horse is sending you. Theoretically, I want close contact everything. In reality, on my TB who is only a MW, not super wide and barrel shaped, I have to have a saddle which lifts me up a bit so it can get narrow enough.

Typically, and not always true, the tall, lean types of builds with Scandinavian type descent will prefer a wider twist. Their hip sockets tend to point outward, which allows easy adjustment to wider saddles and causes chafing from narrow twists. Those of us with more middle Eastern descent often have hip sockets which point more forward. This means the BONE does not allow as wide a twist, and attempting to force it has a tendency to do back things to muscles and nerves in the area. I have yet to sit on a saddle which chafes, though.

Another way of looking at it is those of us who have to fight having the duck butt effect, tipped too far onto our crotches with tailbone sticking out behind us, tend to like narrow twists. Those who naturally have a flatter back or even round it into a slouch tend to like wider twists and suffer chafing issues if the saddle is too narrow.

Of course, those are all generalities, and each person is an individual.

I do think countrywood had a VERY good safety reminder which hopefully anyone using this or anything similar will heed. But I would recommend just continuing to look for a saddle which actually fits both halves of the partnership.

I wonder if a saddle pad with shims or padding in the front would accomplish it?

Have you tried a Gullikson-Baines? They carry a line made for baroque type horses. My trainer breeds lippys and that’s what they all go in. I have one, an Aute De Airs, for my Arab/Swedish gelding. Fits him (round barreled arab type body) like a glove and there are 3 different placements for the stirrup bar to customize to your pelvic type. I’ve had hip surgery and have very tight hips and these saddle are amazing. www.equine-inspired.info

Thanks for all the imput, and advice! If the pain specialist can’t help me with my hip/pelvic/low back issues, I’m about ready to find a surgeon. After 21 years, I am sick of not even being able to sit in a chair, drive, stand, walk, or anything for a long period of time. I also have fibro, a few broken vertabrae, torn shoulder, and a herniated disc in my neck. I believe riding helps me keep healthy and flexible, but if anything is at all out of balance or wrong, I can’t even sleep without waking up in pain. I will keep all of the saddle recommendations in mind. I need to sell the Carl Hester Integro, a Euroriding Luxor, an Albion SLK and a Wintec Isabell before I am ready to buy. Since the little maresie loves the saddle so much I was hoping the hipsaver could keep me comfortable enough to use it in the meantime. She’s a very talented horse with big horse movement, not having a saddle that she’s happy in has kept us from progressing. She had so much shoulder freedom and rounded up so easily in the wee brown saddle, it just felt fantastic! I did buy the hipsaver, directly from the U.K., if it works I’ll keep it, if not I’m sure I can sell it!