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Should I get a treed saddle for DD's pony or stick with the pad?

(16 Posts)
Callisto Mon 08-Aug-11 11:04:35

Hi all,

DD and pony completed their first mini camp this weekend and both had loads of fun. Pony is very green but took everything in his stride apart from spooking at the cup-on-bending-pole-monster and dumping DD twice in the space of 5 mins...

Anyway, there was lots of jumping and DD's lack of confidence really became obvious. Pony is small (11hh ish) but has a huge jump. Part of this is his inexperience but part is just how he jumps. DD currently rides him in a lovely Journeyman suede saddle pad which has really taught her how to balance on him, and she has a fairly secure seat for a 6yo. However, the Journeyman does not keep her in place when jumping and, although I'm not keen on buying a treed saddle for pony, with all the expense, bother of fitting etc, I do wonder if DD will only progress with her jumping if she has a proper saddle. So, any advice on what to do, and where to find a saddle to fit a short-backed, round-bellied, witherless 11hh pony?

kayb123 Mon 08-Aug-11 11:30:40

i (personally) dont think the saddle matters to much her balance will come with experiance and riding. I spent many years bare back (lent saddle to someone who broke the tree, i was 17 so couldn't afford one back then) and found this helped alot, including popping over small jumps.

Have you tried setting up a row or half foot jumps i.e 4/5. just enough to make the lil pony pick up its legs so its almost like gentle bouncing over them, i know many learner were taught this to help with seat and jumping and great for the young ponies. always worth trying before spending hundreds.

Disasterpiece Mon 08-Aug-11 13:06:33

I agree with Kayb123.

I think getting a really well fitting for a small, short backed, round tummied pony with no withers will be quite difficult. If the pad fits well then stick with it as I think you may have more problems with a saddle slipping.

Im not really sure a saddle will help with position, it will come with age, size and experience. It already sounds like she is doing really well for a 6 year old.

RE the pony jumping quite high, I agree it will also come with age as he gets more balanced and confident but trotting poles really help then bring them up off the floor slightly so she can canter over them, it will improve balance and rhythm.

Callisto Mon 08-Aug-11 17:34:35

Oh I'm glad you both think she will be ok with the pad. We were the only ones there (apart from a couple of tiny Shetlands) who had a pad - every other pony had a proper saddle. DD now wants a proper saddle and I was feeling that I should get one.

As for doing quite well - there was a 5yo girl a head shorter than average height DD who was riding a 13.2hh pony, and who had the stickiest bum I have ever seen. She trotted, cantered and jumped everything off the lead rein. The pony was a complete push-button who really looked after this little girl, but it really made me think that DD is quite behind for her age. sad

Must stop comparing...

violetwellies Mon 08-Aug-11 17:40:20

If the saddle keeps moving maybe a crupper and a breastplate might help?

Disasterpiece Mon 08-Aug-11 19:34:22

Violetwellies Did you post on the right thread?

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Mon 08-Aug-11 22:28:54

I think your DD sound like she is doing great! Don't be jealous of a 5yo on a 13.2, a/ she Is waay overhorsed, and it's only because it's push button that she didn't come badly unstuck, and b/ a push button horse will make anyone look good. That poor child wont be learning anything. Your DD will be gaining experience every time she rides. Every problem she overcomes is another feather in her cap. Dd12 still rides in a pad, she prefers it to a saddle.

Callisto Tue 09-Aug-11 08:40:29

Thanks Saggy, good to know your DD rides in a pad too. I'm so very proud of DD. At the end of camp all the children were called up one after another, and DD's instructor said some lovely things about DD and her pony (I cried a bit blush), and she got her rosette for being the bravest rider on her ride. I guess the amazing 5yo knocked my confidence in myself, that I am doing the right thing for DD iyswim.

violetwellies Tue 09-Aug-11 16:34:05

Disaster, I'm bf 12 week old ds, anything is possible smile

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Tue 09-Aug-11 23:44:52

That amazing 5 yo, is probably manufactured by her parents. More for looks than anything else. She has a 13.2hh pony! Mine was only 13hh and in 5'2 and 36! Its only going to take one bad nap, or spook, or even just an off day, and that poor little kid will be bolted with, or dumped, with no hope of being able to control that pony, her confidence will be shattered, the pony will be sold with a bad reputation, and another push button pony purchased! Be incredibly proud of your daugher, she is doing great, on a realistically sized pony for her age. Better a good rider than a flashy doll!

Muckyhighchair Wed 10-Aug-11 00:07:19

Their are saddles out that would fit, I know I've got one.
Ask around the yard etc to see if you borrow one and it may or not make a difference.

As with the jumping, do lots of jumping on the lunge without dd, together the pony used it more if it's young. Then stick dd on when it's learnt it does need to jump everything 4 foot high

Also Woking it over blue sheeting, ramps etc to get it trusting it's feet more may help with the jumping

Callisto Wed 10-Aug-11 12:50:52

Well it did cross my mind Saggy. She was massively over-horsed and the pony did look fairly pissed off most of the time. Whack, whack, whack with legs and whip to get the pony moving and no pats or hugs when it had done what she wanted, which I felt a bit sad about. DD isn't allowed a whip as I want her to learn to ride without artificial aids. I was suprised at how many children did carry whips though.

Yes Mucky, I'm going to do lots and lots of trotting poles and low jumps with him on the lunge. Good idea about the sheeting etc which will be good for handy pony classes. DD is really keen to ride him over lots of trotting poles too. She has made a list of the things she wants to be able to do at camp next year: canter, jump, steer, PC games etc all off the lead rein...

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Wed 10-Aug-11 17:31:46

DD has been riding for 8 years, and only got a whip (and for a short time very recently) spurs, when she had mastered making the horse go without them, and knew exactly how to use them!
If the pony is young, just remember that too much lunging isn't good for youngsters joints.

Callisto Wed 10-Aug-11 17:49:41

By lots and lots I mean 15 mins once a week if I can manage it...

Saggyoldclothcatpuss Wed 10-Aug-11 18:15:01

grin sounds like my 'I'm gonna get loads of exercise'! grin

Mirage Wed 10-Aug-11 22:11:11

Callisto,can't advise about a saddle,but my 6 year old trotted and jumped her first jump today,so your dd definitely isn't 'behind'.
sad for the poor pony being whacked and continually kicked.What a life.

We saw something similar at a gymkhana in the summer.a girls was whacking away at her pony.When her dad saw what she was doing he really tore a strip off her.I could hear him yelling 'Don't you dare beat that pony like that ever again!'

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