I have a very hard to fit horse with wide shoulders and a sensitive back. Meyer saddles have been suggested. Has anyone had any experience with the cutaway panel and carbon plate technology for their wide shouldered horses? How it works, did it work for your horse? I am in contact with Meyer but interested in hearing if anyone has had experience with them and what your thoughts are - thank you in advance for any information!
I haven’t personally but one of my closest trainer friends ADORES his Meyer, a lot of the clients are leaving butet and switching over. He says they must “fit” a lot of the big warm bloods he rides, and he says they are super easy to break even (he gets the grain saddles) and very comfortable. I’m supposed to ride in his this week
Thank you, Belmont, I’ll be interested to see what you think if you are able to post back afterwards.
I am also interested in this. I was in contact with Meyer before our area shut down then put this on the back burner (we also weren’t sure if my horse would be a regular or wide tree and there is no local rep). But I’ve tried following up recently and they won’t respond to my messages to the main USA manager. So I might do a trial on a couple used ones I found for sale without the carbon plate to at least figure out the tree issue. I haven’t seen a carbon plate one on the used market. The panel in the shoulder should be similar anyway.
I have had one for the last 3 weeks. My horse has been so hard to fit, he has a tall and long withers and gigantic shoulders. Everything slides back.
I had an independent saddle fitter come and a Meyer was her recommendation. First of all, this is the first saddle that does not move on his back. I don’t need a breastplate at all. Secondly his trot is completely different. It felt short and very up and down before and now he stretches over his back so much more comfortably. This fitter does body work and pointed out that the muscle in the neck that contributes to this short step is no longer overdeveloped. In 3 weeks! Kind of amazing.
for me, I find it very secure and I can really get my leg around him. It’s not as narrow a twist as the Hermes and Butets I was riding in, but not as wide as maybe a Voltaire. It looks like a lot more saddle than my Butet, but I feel very connected. It feels like much less saddle than a CWD for example.
One thing to note, you are spreading the weight of the horse over a smaller area. So for horses that don’t have a strong back, it might not be a good fit. She recommended I upgrade him from a basic sheepskin half pad to the thin-line trifecta to give the lumbar area more cushion. What’s great is bc of the cutaway panel, I don’t have to worry if that’s just going to make the saddle tighter.
I have another horse who also has good size shoulders and a tall wither but it’s not as extreme. The telltale sign was we good put a small riser in the half pad and it wouldn’t cause the saddle to slide back. Not true of the other horse.
if you’re on the Noelle Floyd master class thing, she did a great tutorial on saddle fit. You realize that the panel shape is really critical whereas people fixate on the tree.
Her name is Carolyn Cohen and if you’re in SoCal or show around there or thermal, I highly recommend working with her. I had no idea how big a difference it all could make.
I was reading this thinking “wow - this sounds like Carolyn!” I’m glad you had such a good experience with her. She is the BEST.
@2nd time around, I will let you know. Hoping to ride in it this week sometime!
I sat in one at the Royal and it honestly felt like I was riding a fence post…ouch. I don’t know if it was the model or what. It was at the Bruno booth. They had several new ones in their “used-pre-loved” section.
I haven’t ridden in one, but I’ve seen John French and Carl Cook use them. John commented that he liked it a lot.
greysfordays this is really helpful, Thank you! Do you have the carbon plate or the regular panel?
Mine has a large shoulder, but not a large wither, and he is very back sensitive so I guess we will see. Part of the issue the fitters think, is that he needs a small seat because there isn’t much room for a saddle (he was ok in a 17, 17.5 a total no-go for him, he’d prefer a 16.5), but then he has a large shoulder so this might work. One of them also thought a Meyer might be a good fit for him. From what you say I think it would work for me - I was fine in the Voltaire PB (he wasn’t) so from what you say it should work for me, as I agree CWD is too much saddle for both of us. I too loved my Hermes - for me it was the perfect fit, but he outgrew it width-wise. Most saddles jump up and down on him - his shoulders have no where to go so they bump up the saddle every step. Here’s hoping, although I’m almost afraid to do that anymore it has been such a train wreck trying to find one. I forgot how often you need to buy new clothes for growing babies - we just did this less than 2 years ago - hopefully this will be his big boy saddle if we ever find one!
I purchased a demo model last Fall and adore it. I’ve been a long time CWD rider but we couldn’t get the right fit on my mare’s shoulders. She’s moving/jumping great in the Meyer and I find it very comfortable. Plus, it is lovely to look at.
I’ve yet to see a Meyer in person, but the idea of cutting back the panel and adding a bit of rigidity to the flap to support the rider’s leg is exactly what Harry Dabbs does in their Future panel. It’s absolutely brilliant. Most of the jump saddles I sell are Harry Dabbs saddles with a Future panel. So, OP, go ahead and hope! You now have a back-up plan.
I have had two and love them! The do tend to “bounce” me out of the tack on one of my athletic hunters however, but he goes so well in it! It would not fit my new horse who has a ginormous shoulder so I had to fit him to a tree in a new stubben. The french saddle trees interfered with his shoulder
Just thought I would post the results of my searching. My horse loved the Meyer shoulder free option but unfortunately their seat sizes run large, so we haven’t been able to find a small seat (16.5) to try on him. There just aren’t many out there unfortunately. So the painful saddle search is still on. At least at this point I know what he needs - a very wide/large shoulder, but quite small (front to back) seat that is built up under the cantle. And I need enough space for my long femur. Looking at pony saddles but finding room for my leg on them will be the new challenge. If anyone has any other suggestions (or a small Meyer with the shoulder free option you want to sell LOL) I’d love to hear them!
Coming back to say that after trying one in the right size, the tree is too curvy for my guy. The shoulder fit was great. Maybe a wide tree with a built up panel would have a chance, but I can’t find any of those (except a 16.5 that I tried a while back which I’m sorry to say, OP has sold–but the flap was teeny on that one and it didn’t have the carbon).
I have an Equipe EKGO on trial right now, and it’s actually better than the Meyer as far as his shoulder freedom and movement. It’s got the same kind of cutback pommel sort of feeling. This demo is a MW tree with a built up panel. It only comes in a forward flap which I don’t like (but might be good for you). The 17 is roomy enough for me, and the panels aren’t the most upswept in the back but the pressure point is more forward if that makes sense. It’s also a flat seat which I like and could give you some more room to work with. I’d suggest trying to find a 16.5 in one of those! I’m working through my local rep, but this particular demo is from a fitter in NY. Since the reps own their own saddles, they had to look around to get some different models my rep didn’t have. I’m not sure if it’s “the one” for us yet, and we’d need a different panel than this demo, but I’m really impressed with this model. I think it’s their newest one in the carbon line.
Yes, I can see if your horse has a straighter back where it wouldn’t work. Mine has a very curvy back, which is partially why he needs such a small, built up seat. I didn’t know Equipe had a carbon line so I will take a look. Thank you for the suggestion and good luck with your saddle hunt - it really is the worst experience when you have one built a bit differently!
The EKGO I think is the most curved of their carbon models. Some of them are quite flat. But I mostly have experience with their dressage models in carbon. But the EKGO is not nearly as curved as the Evolution (a spring tree model), which is a nice comfy saddle. But then they say the EK-26 is for an average horse, and I found others in the synthetic tree line with that description to rock on my horse, so maybe they just have a different curve to them. I have a feeling that the EKGO is probably the best in the shoulder fit for what you are looking for, having been able to compare it in person to a Meyer. Equipe seats will fit more true to size overall whereas the 17 Meyer I tried was a little roomy in the seat, feeling like it probably measures a little large.
Saddle shopping is the worst! Too straight of a tree and he gets too much pressure behind. But too curved and it can’t accommodate his rather shelf-like rib cage. And all of that with the need to fit kind of a shark fin withers.
I bought one back in 2016 and have ridden in it for years. My very round - wide backed horse was tough to fit. I tried all the saddles in the barn and none worked. Until I rode in a fellow boarders Meyer. I ordered the exact saddle since my horse would get back sore in everything else. The flap is too short for me and the seat is too small at a 16.5 but it didn’t bother me. I am now riding in a DK saddle that fits me better and don’t use the Meyer anymore.
I have to say the Meyer is a great saddle and has a wide back panel that distributes the saddle weight nicely. My horse has big shoulders that are set far back and the Meyer worked great for him. The leather discolored a bit strange but maybe that was the luck of the draw.
Does anyone know if there is a code for the different color Meyer saddle buttons on the saddles left stirrup leather keepers? If so; what do the colors represent?
I have had two - an older model and a new one - the new one was really nice-however my horses outgrew it at they muscled up - the only problem I had was that the seats were very “bouncy” at 3’6 and up - First few times I jumped big jumps I was literally ‘bounced’ right off the horse! They have decent resale values at least
I sat in John’s and it was soooo comfortable. Given I was only walking around, but I really liked it. I have a Butet Premium and the Meyer’s was more couch-like, but not in a bad way. I felt secure and placed in the right position.