Saddle for older woman and short, wide backed pony

Mum is looking at saddles and seems to really like an endurance style one.

She is older and can’t lift super awesome or pull on straps and just bought some easy up stirrups to get on the 13.2hh pony easier if that says anything. So, looking at lightest weights. Pony is draft wide. Currently using a wintec lite, wide cut, with an extra wide gullet in (which is supposed to be a pink one not the normal white extra wide).

So, need light weight, easy to manage, wide, and of course short because pony is short coupled.

Any thoughts on the specialized saddles?

If she likes the Wintec, maybe she should look at some of the Australian and endurance saddles in their line. Wintecs are typically lightweight and hold up well to use and they have the adjustable gullet. There are a variety of adapters to make the Australian saddles easier to girth including a sort of lever system and conversions to western girthing.

I’m old, so need all the help I can get. I don’t know if it would go wide enough, but I have a couple of Wintec Contourblocs and they’re very similar to the Aussie saddles (deep seat, high cantle, thigh blocks). I’m using one on my short, sway backed pony and it’s short enough that it clears the front of his loin where it swoops back up to his rump.

As we have a bates and wintec specialist down the road it is a sure possibility, I’ve looked at the Wintec’s endurance line. But, she keeps looking at customized saddles partially because the short back narrows a lot of options quickly. The mare is pregnant with a late summer foal so I’m encouraging she wait or do it soon so the mare isn’t even wider. She has the wintec lite but feels she’s not secure on the mare as she is on an older gelding she rides…which makes sense given it isn’t fitted to the mare really. Also, the billets on the lite are hard for her to lift up from such a low angle. I’d think she would need one of those converters.

The majority of our barn use Wintecs actually. I’ve got one in use I’ve had for about 14-15 years.

I saw the Specialized makes one that is 9lbs. I’m not sure what her lifting weight limit is. She’s had a hard time since an infection years ago that left some early arthritis in her joints. I think the lite 14lbs and maybe the top. Not that the pony is particularly wiggly or tall! I’ll send her the Allegany link thank you!

I was trying to see if they still make these. May be they phased them out?
I forgot, i guess a narrow twist is better for her.

Best custom made saddle I’ve experienced for wide and short backed horses is http://desotosaddles.com/ A couple of friends had them made for radically different horses, one a short backed narrow Arabian and the other a super flat-backed, wide shouldered, Spanish Mustang (Andalusian type). Each saddle fit its respective horse like a glove. Given my own disappointing trials with trying to fit wide-and-short-backed horses, I’d definitely talk to the woman who makes DeSotos. They are shockingly inexpensive given their quality and the care she puts into creating the perfect fit. Did I mention it’s the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever sat in? And it’s very light? Cool combo of English and western elements makes it a terrific endurance saddle.

They’ve been making them for long enough so that if cost is a concern you can buy used ones for about half what a new one costs. https://www.statelinetack.com/item/wintec-pro-dressage-contourbloc-saddle-cair/SLT901411/

They’ve been making them for long enough that if cost is a concern they can be had used for about half what a new one costs. https://www.doversaddlery.com/wintec-pro-dressage-saddle/p/X1-15628/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0qCd8raD5wIVh4NaBR0RwgRcEAQYBCABEgLWDPD_BwE

I have this same pony LOL He was a nightmare to get right but an aussie saddle has been peeeeerfect!! The one we got is lightweight, too, so it is possible :slight_smile:

I was in the same situation as your mom – little old lady with a small horse (13.3).

I worked with a saddle fitter and ordered a custom made dressage saddle with upswept panels to accommodate his short back. The saddle was made to fit me AND my horse, and it does. The fitter came out with different saddles to try out to determine which one would be most suitable. It has extra dees from which to hang stuff, plus a suede seat for “stickiness”, the right twist, gullet, flap length, etc.

If you decide to go this route (which I recommend), I would do due diligence to make sure the saddle fitter you are using is knowledgeable.

Regarding Specialized Saddles – years ago I had ordered one (for a different horse). I could not get it to “work” or fit the horse. I ordered through the manufacturer and found them difficult to work with. I have heard since then that with these saddles the best route is to go through the sales reps who seem more willing to help.

Good luck!

Interesting thank you.

I’m actually ordering a custom saddle from Chunkey Monkey in the UK for my own guy and it may be a good option as this type of pony is what she does.

The short panel is the biggest hurdle. I’ve noticed so many brands have that longer panel that sits just a hair too close to the last rib on a lot of these ponies. Even when you order a smaller seat size the panels can stay long. And, the thing I got into with my guy is that the channel can’t adjusted so his back changed a bit and I can go wider up front but not behind. Plus, so many saddles weigh 20lbs+ or so…that’s a big number for a smaller pony. When you add in rider weight and other gear your pony is pushing past the 20% mark in no time.

The upside of this brand is we can get down to the nitty gritty and drop leather and add bulky D-rings to get it light and also durable. The down side is they don’t really do endurance style saddles but I’m wondering if just thigh blocks would help. I think that’s why the endurance saddle felt like a good fit. Maybe a monoflap cross country saddle with bulky D rings and such.

I noticed the specialized has a super super light saddle. We decided to keep the weight to roughly 14lbs max.

Specialized saddles are super comfy, but they do need someone familiar with them to fit them appropriately. If you don’t have someone in your area to help, it may be a daunting task to try to do yourself.

Oooff that would suck. I don’t think we live anywhere near a rep.

Ghost saddles!! Only 10 lbs, all hand made with italian leather and under $1,000.

OP did you ever find a saddle and BTW Wintec won’t work for that kind of horse. My horse is wide , very short backed and I am also “old lady”. I am currently using a very old fiberglass western saddle which fits him but is painful for me . It weighs about 13 pounds!

Check out Sharon Sarre Saddles. They make endurance and western and come in lots of trees to fit different backs. I bought a used for a three year old Arabian since he is to young to have one made for him still …a fitter looked at pictures and suggested what tree and it works! They are light and high quality.