Connecticut 10 year old Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Briddle & w/5" shank bit and Tucker Plantation ridden in ring, trail by advanced novice.

Question: Casey is very short coupled?? (backed) and wide through the withers. When I first bought him I was riding him english, then purchased a Tucker Plantation saddle, which I love. He started going lame on me and we decided it was a saddle fit problem. I called the person that we purchased the saddle from and we decided I wasn't using a heavy enough pad. We tried a heavy felt pad and have had no problem with lameness. But, we still had a mounting problem. 

I called the vet to check him. He was having soreness in his wither area, he was x-rayed and is fine in that respect. The vet had me try his saddle on him and told me it was to long,
front to back, and not wide enough through the withers, thus when I rode, the saddle was always jabbing him. This has cause him pain and a behavior problem. I have gone back to
the english saddle and we are working well along on the mounting problem. What kind of saddle would you suggest, short of custom. I thought maybe a saddle that is used on a
paso, but do not believe that the withers would be wide enough. 


Thanks, Pam 

From Panelist Liz
Hi Pam,

If you can find someone that does bare tree to back fit this would be the best route to get the right fit for your horse.  If not find some one that will let you try different saddles before purchasing one. If the horse is this wide you may be going to a tree that has full
quarter horse bars or many Arab saddles have a tree that is specially made for those wide flat withers. Also finding something that the skirting does not interfere with the shoulder and hip movement is important.

It also seems you have now discovered that you can never pad a saddle to fit  a horse but it is the tree that must fit. More pad just increases the pressure on any pressure points.
Good luck in your search. There is a saddle out there for your horse and it just may take some time and patience to find it.


From Panelist Stella

There is variety in tree widths in Paso saddles, so one may fit your horse; I have some 15h Pasos wide thru the wither that some do fit, yet some don't. On these,I use a deep dressage, which provides some extra rider comfort too. Some of the Arab saddles may fit well, as they are also made for short coupled horses with lower withers.

While I have made long trips to a larger saddlery providing a good selection with the horse in tow, so I can take my selections right to the parking lot to try out, many good local saddleries will allow you to borrow 2-3 saddles for a day or two. I have had clients bring these to me with their horse for fitting opinions. You could likely trailer or make an appointment with your vet, since he is knowledgeable and already familiar with the situation. 

If  you take your horse with you to a saddlery, take a knowledgeable person with you, rather than rely on salespeople. This extra time and expense either of these ways is usually much more efficient than mail ordering, waiting, then having to ship saddles back.


From Panelist Laura

Well, Pam, if your english saddle fits well & your horse is comfortable with that, I would suggest that you continue riding him in that saddle.  If you are both comfortable, why look for another saddle?


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