My wonderful mare Lily is blessed with an a typical back. Decent wither, wide to extra-wide shoulders, short curvy back, and forward girth groove. Most saddles wide enough don't provide enough wither clearance. Most with wither clearance are too narrow. I probably need an 18" seat, but her back is too short and needs a 17 and V-billets seem to exaggerate this issue.
List of the DRESSAGE saddles we've been through (won't even get into all the jumping saddles right now)
1. Rembrandt integra adjustable tree. 18" Super comfortable, too big for me, too long for Lily
2. HDR dressage 18" 3.5 fit (wide). Loved the feel, fit me, but too flat & long for Lily
3. Courbette cresta. 17.5" m/w Fit me like a glove, too narrow for Lily
4. M.Toulouse Aachen. 17.5" extra wide. Fit Lily perfectly, too deep, tight, restrictive for me
5. Thornhill Zurich. 17" 33cm. Liked the closer contact feel, again too narrow for Lily
6. Another HDR dressage. 17" wide, short flap. Eh. Fit Lily ok, short flap and deep enough seat, but ehh.
7. Amerigo dressage. 18" wide. Fit ok, seat too shallow for me.
8. Frank Baines dressage. 17.5" wide. Loved how it fit me, but wither point too low for Lily
9th time's a charm. FINALLY think we got it! Stumbled upon an older Karl Niedersuss at my local tack shop on consignment for an excellent price & figured it wouldn't hurt to try it.
Holy cow! 17" wide tree, slight cutback pommel, straight billets, deepish seat, incredibly well balanced, just enough knee roll, yadda, yadda. My second ride in it, Lily willingly gave me a stretchy canter (remarkable in its own right for us) to a transition to walk on a long rein, completely off my seat!
There are a couple issues that I'll have to address since (if I'm deciphering the serial number correctly) the saddle is a 1999 model. There is a significant rub/rip along the seam of the seat, it will need new billets in the near future, and....... it's brown. Not 100% sure if I like the color or not, but so happy with it as a whole that I'm sure I'll get over it.
Now back to training!
|The winning fit! Although, yes too far forward in the picture.|
|Here's the damage to the seam of the seat. Very willing to have it repaired!|