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Help... can't find a Semi Flex 18 inch Dressage Saddle Wide fit

7 replies

mummyof2munchkins · 23/01/2018 22:49

I've had a very expensive search for a saddle that is comfortable for my horse (and me) for more than about 3 months. I'm on my 6th saddle in 18 months and current saddle (Albion K2 Dressage) is now showing the usual signs of not being quite right. It's shifting slightly and feels a bit snug on one side.

My horse is a 16hh large hunter type, she is changing dicipline from hunting to dressage which is affecting her shape, she is also still filling out. I've had many saddlers out who have either sold me another saddle or adjusted my saddle slightly but within a few months things aren't right again.

Latest saddler suggested a semi flex Barrie Swain saddle would offer more flexibility and would be easier to adjust. New price is £2500 (ish) and way out of my budget. I have been in contact with Barrie Swain,, if i am able to find a second hand BS Semi flex he will attend my yard and adjust it to fit my horse.

Spent weeks searching ebay, preloved etc. Would be easier to find a new horse. Any ideas?

OP posts:
Gabilan · 24/01/2018 07:40

There is, or used to be, a site that sold 2nd hand specialist saddles - Barry Swain and other similar makes. You can pick them up for a few hundred 2nd hand. I have an absolutely lovely one, which has made so much difference to my horse.

Try asking on the H&H forum - there are several semi-flex people on there who might have some ideas. Which end of the country are you? I know someone who fitted my saddle who might have some ideas. Also, look up Kay Humphries and see what she might have. This site might help

Don't use a master saddler for semi flex or BS saddles - they don't understand them and cannot fit them properly. But I can thoroughly recommend them as saddles. I'd be reluctant to touch anything else now.

Frouby · 24/01/2018 07:51

I have a highland pony. And welsh ponies so feel your pain. I am on a fb page run by Andrea Hicks who was part of the native ponies saddle company. There are sales in there and another group I think for wide saddles.

I know AH has a new company and they do dressage saddles. Am not sure if they are the sort of thing you are looking for but they do fittings as well. And you can have a fitting and they have 2nd hand and ex demo stuff for sale.

mummyof2munchkins · 24/01/2018 20:42

Thank you. I'll have a look at that link.

I'm in the north west but happy to travel for a saddle that would suit us. I've ridden her in a semi flex and her movement was so much bigger. I'll have to make sure I can ride it but what a lovely problem to have.

I've tried treeless but neither of us really liked it. Thought about balance saddles but I worry I'd spend more time worrying if I've got the pads right than I'd spend riding.

OP posts:
Gabilan · 24/01/2018 20:44

Here you are OP

It's a flexi tree, owen panels. The owen panels (basically much shortened panels) are much better for large-shouldered horses. It's a badged saddle so if you contact Barry Swain's company they'll be able to tell you its history. I got something similar 2 years ago after years of expensive saddle problems. Horse has never looked back.

You will find them very different from anything with a conventional tree though so do get some help and advice from someone on the ground who knows about them.

Nearlyoldenoughtowearpurple · 24/01/2018 21:20

Not semi flex but I have a little broad Coblet and a fell and I had an ideal dressage monoflap Saddle made to measure and it’s been fab. Doesn’t move a jot ( luckily fits both) and straight cut to clear shoulder.
I feel your pain, Saddles are th e only thing that make me long for a skinny minnie with a wither 😁

mummyof2munchkins · 24/01/2018 22:43

Gabilan, Thank you so much. I've sent some questions to the seller and I'll call Barrie Swain tomorrow.

OP posts:
Polkadotties · 25/01/2018 13:17

Going saddle shopping for my lad next Friday. First time I’ve been saddle shopping, he came with the saddle he currently has.
I really hope he’s an easy horse to fit. 17hh chunky ID, 6 years old so still maturing Confused

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