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Thread: Using an un-fitted saddle for backing?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HJ View Post
    I just meant for actually getting the horse used to having a saddle on, thats all
    Oh right, I see, I usually only think of sitting on them as backing.
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  2. #12
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    River has had Salsa's saddle on her back for very short periods (literally five minutes here and there when she's been more convienient than actually running it back to the tack room if I know I need it again - I hate resting it on stable doors). She's never been bothered in the slightest by it, but my intention is to do her initial backing bareback until she's used to the idea of someone sitting up there, and then to have a saddle fitting. It won't be the swishest saddle going, as the plan is to buy her a second hand adjustable one and splash out on something nicer when she's four or five, but having seen poor Salsa through a lot of back troubles caused by ill-fitting saddles, it's something I'm quite paranoid about. I've got no issue with resting a saddle on a back for a few minutes to see how they react, but I'd not sit a person on one that doesn't fit. That's not to say that you MUST have a saddle fitter out rather than use your own good sense, but having seen how easy it is to make a mistake or even overlook a damaged tree, I'd personally always ask a second opinion from someone I trust to give me their honest and experienced opinion.
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  3. #13
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    My friend backs all of hers using the same saddle - with a pad that we shall not name underneath them
    As long as the basic fit is okay then you should be alright. Might be worth investing in something like a prolite adjustable riser pad or similar if you find it just needs a minor adjustment - I use one under Wilbys (non-fitted ) saddle just to lift the front up and he's perfectly happy with it!

  4. #14
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    Thanks everyone - you've put my mind at rest.

    TBH, my y/o uses the same 3 stubben saddles interchangeably on all her horses with no apparent ill-effects - a couple have higher withers so have a pad to lift the front a bit but thats all.

    I DO plan to have the saddle I eventually buy fitted but am glad you don't all think I'm an evil horse torturer for backing in the spare one!

  5. #15
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    I would say it's a very sensible option. I backed both Tammy & Duchess in the same saddle that wasn't fitted to either of them, but fitted well enough.
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  6. #16
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    Kaiser's being backed in Rio's jumping saddle thats fits him pretty well. He'll get his own saddle for Christmas next year I imagine



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  7. #17
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    I really don't see it being a problem. Honestly, as long as it fits ok go on ahead, not many people will have a saddle fitted to a young horse that is just being backed. Then when he's 4 or so you can get him his proper saddle.

  8. #18
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    I wouldn't dream of backing a horse in a saddle that I wasn't 110% confident fitted correctly.

    This is hard work in youngsters as they obviously change shape at such a speed that it's pretty much a weekly event to check the saddle fit.

    If you have a hard to fit horse and/or your not 110% confident that the saddle fits correctly then a professional fitter is the only way.

    Being backed is an experience that you want to be positive for the horse, having a horse who is uncomfortable can result in training in rearing, bucking and all sorts of other pain related behaviours you (and the horse!) would like to avoid.

    You also need to check that the saddle is suitable for you, if you find that the saddle throws you off balance or that you don't feel comfortable in then that will affect your riding, stability and potentially confidence, all of which will contribute to your horses experience of being backed. You don't need to go galloping and jumping to do damage in a saddle that isn't a good fit and it's the one thing you really shouldn't scrimp on. Needless to say it can end up costing a fortune in the long run, time off, vets, physio, professional re-training etc.

  9. #19

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    and suddenly i LOVE this forum soo much more than the other one i'm on :P on there I asked the same question and got b**ched and moaned at and basically told I was going to screw up a 3 year old etc etc etc. I used an un-fitted saddle anyway, and he's fine, he's now 5 and working lovely, in a new saddle :P I'll be doing the same with the other 2 I'm breaking this year :P It's a total waste of money to buy a new saddle for a 3/4 yr old who is inevitably going to change shape lots in the next year or 2 :/ xx

  10. #20
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    I've backed about 10 youngsters in the same saddle! All are fit, well, competing and doing well now. No ill effects whatsoever.

    Belle was backed in biggles saddle in january, and alfie will be soon too.
    Native pony addict!

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