Saddle fit issue - why is this happening?

I have the exact same issue as you. Most saddles the pommel is too steep/ the balance point is too far back, the stirrups bars are too far forward. I end up hollowing my back and fighting the saddle to maintain my balance, even in a half seat. The result is crippling levels of back pain, even from just 10 minutes of walking. I can manage in a very flat seat with small blocks, but the only saddles that really fit seem to be Italian saddles or Bliss of London saddles (not Loxley saddles though).

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Have you tried Amerigo? They say they put the stirrup bar in a more correct position and the balance is forward, I loved riding one (just my horse didn’t like it).

I have not! I’ll see if I can find one to try. Thanks!

I hate the chair seat so when I was trying saddles the county rep suggested the HJ solution. They make it for those riders who prefer to have their leg more underneath and not get left behind in the air of the jump. County will let you get whatever model tree you need (mine are innovation) but the seat can be different ( mine are the HJ SOLUTION)

Imho a lot of the French saddles really exacerbate the chair seat. Devoucoux, Voltaire and Cwd. Butet not so much. Haven’t tried others.

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I’d wonder if maybe it’s that the type of horse you are riding is different than you are used to. Is this horse built significantly differently than the horse you were riding before?

This made me think of something that happened to me. I struggled because I couldn’t find a saddle that fit this horse I was riding. I felt like all of them put me in a horrible chair seat, and I couldn’t figure out why.
I finally took a saddle I was trying and put it on another horse I have. Voila, no chair seat. Turns out all the saddles were fine, the ‘struggle’ horse had a short neck and a slightly downhill conformation and I was always overcompensating by sitting back too far. I had to change the way I was riding and it felt TERRIBLE for a week or two, but eventually my body learned how to ride that horse properly without looking like I was sitting on a couch.

Sadly not - the Stubben has been annoying in every horse I’ve ridden in it on (4 so far) :confused:

I picked up a CWD, a Delgrange and an Antares yesterday so have new options. Also emailed Amerigo to see if there’s a local fitter. The struggle continues with renewed fervor!

I :heart:ed my Stubbens but they also put me in a chair seat. Going down a seat size even though I measure properly for an 18" (18" femur), and switching to a (well used) Hennig solved my issues. I also sat nicely in a Devoucoux Makila Harmonie but too many reports of horses getting back sore from them scared me off.

I missed the part that it was only stubbens you had tried, sorry.

I have to say in my teenage years I remember riding in stubbens and thinking they were a nice saddle. A few years ago I was in the market for a new saddle and contacted the stubben rep. I HATED every saddle they had. They were hard, made me feel like i was behind the motion, and the leather quality was horrible.
I think I was pampered with my French leather saddles in the in between time. I went with a devoucoux

Ah no - sorry, elsewhere in the thread I mentioned I’ve tried Devocoux, CWD, Bruno Delgrange, Voltaire, Bates and other Stubbens. All the same. It’s not about the hardness of the seat - it’s the balance of the saddle which makes my back hurt :frowning:

If you have the same issues in other saddles on other horses, and those saddles are big enough for you, I would look to your riding and perhaps see a physiotherapist about your back and a biomechanics type coach about your seat and posture.

A couple of years ago I was riding a borrowed horse in a 17 inch dressage saddle. Not particularly deep. I knew it was too small but it was the best choice for that horse. Fine at walk and trot. But canter left me with lower back pain the next day because there wasn’t room for my hips to follow the motion. I got shims and traded up to a 17.5. My own saddle is 18. These were all similar enough Passiers of the same vintage, circa 2000. Modern but not sofas.

If you are in a jump saddle how much are you riding light seat/two point versus sitting deep?

Try a Tad Coffin, a more flat seat, low pommel and low cantle. I don’t really know that it would address your issue but I loved mine.

Yeah it does seem like I am the common denominator, but then again I have sat in saddles that don’t cause pain, and aren’t a huge struggle to ride in, where people watching have complimented my position. So I’m inclined to think it’s an ergonomics issue and not just a “being bad at riding” issue. I would have hoped at least one instructor over the last 35 years would have said something to me about it if it was! :joy:

I did have a dressage saddle once that always left my legs too far forward. Swapped saddles and the problem disappeared overnight. Feels like the same problem here: some saddles are always just a fight, some put you in a good spot right off the bat.

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Ok I thought I read it wrong. My original point still stands then; might be the horse type and not the saddle.
I tried a lot of different brands before figuring out it was just my horse, and the way I was used to other horses. I just needed to re-teach myself how to sit on a very differently shaped horse.

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Well as an update in case it helps anyone I got a used Voltaire Stuttgart 17” that totally doesn’t annoy my back. And an EQ Saddle Science dressage saddle with adjustable bars that I have set to the farthest back position. Horse seems happy too. So relieved to be done with saddle shopping for now!


Quite possibly you are placing your saddle too far forward