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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

April 1, 2011

Actually Fitting the Euro

I did the first try it on session today.  My fear was that it would be too narrow, and I think it might be a tiny bit too wide.  I moved the panels up and that mostly seemed to help.  My first attempt at getting into it didn't go well.  The saddle slipped a little, so I girthed her up a little tighter.  I haven't had much experience using an english styled girth and I obviously didn't have it snug enough.  Phebes is displaying her nasty challenging behavior of biting her lead rope through this entire process.  Not the Euro, it is just what she does when she doesn't like something.  Clip the breast collar, bite bite bite, put a saddle pad on her back, bite bite bite, rub her belly...well--you get the picture right?  Since it seemed a little wide I tried it first with the inserts still in my Skito but that wasn't getting it.  I took the out and I found it to conforming better to the shape of her back.  She does have a nice clear channel down the spine so that is a non-issue.  In the back we seem to have a little air, but it isn't the panels it is just the skirt, so that is probably okay too.  I decided on securing the leathers in the very rear position to see if it would give me better balance as I tend to fall forward once in awhile.  Not like I used to, but thought I'd try getting my legs well under me for the first time.  If I don't like them I can always pull them forward.

What I like so far:

Quality:  The saddle seems very sturdy and well-made.  Nice thick leather.

Dee's:  There are plenty of them and they are decorative and well-placed.

Feel:  I could feel my horse under me more than I ever have before, and she was more responsive to my legs and seat.

Girth:  I purchased the girth made for the saddle and the billet straps slide right through the buckles, and have nice little straps to tuck in the excess.  It also has adjustment, and is made out of a waffle weave stuff that is very thin. 

Dislike:   Too soon to tell!  I would like to warn prospective buyers that you will need a wide set of fleece leather covers as the 2 1/2 inch won't fit, the leather is too wide at the bottom with the buckle and the buckle guard.  The Distance Depot sells fleece leather covers that are 2 1/2 inch and taper out to 4 inches at the bottom.  I have a set shipping back to them, and a new set coming too me.  Just something to keep in mind. 

I'm not one to like to fiddle with stuff so it is a learning curve.  Once I get it how I want it I'm going to trace the bars on the underside with a marker so I can know where the panels were in case I need to pull them off for some reason.  I think we might have needed a slightly thicker foam panel.  We are okay for now, but if she looses any weight I'll need to try a thicker one.   

I'll be riding in a new position with my leathers back under me.  This isn't really a dislike, but rather a getting used too.  I rode it for just a few minutes and felt like I was back on my seat better than I've ever been, but I was also feeling muscles talking to me that I've never felt before.  So not sure a go in this saddle for the Chicken Chase is a good idea without a long pre-ride first to find out where I need adjustment.  If I haven't had at least a fifteen mile session in the saddle, I'll be hesitant to jump into 25 miles cold turkey.  I need to find out where I will rub, chafe, or be aggravated.  The answer may be nowhere, too early to tell.

Next thing to do is get her pommel pack fitted and adjusted...those straps are like a big glob of spaghetti...I never know exactly what to do or where to attach them.  ~ E.G.


  1. Hooray!

    Get out and ride in that thing, and don't be afraid to "fiddle" with the pads until it's just right! Did you watch the fitting DVD?

    You are absolutely right to not do anything new at a go RIDE!!!!!

    And report back, we're waiting eagerly.

  2. We did some schooling lessons tonight, mostly slow stuff and bending, a little trotting. I'm not certain I like the leathers that far back. Over time, maybe I would get used to it, but I feel a definite stretch to the tendons in my legs, pelvis, groin, that I don't usually feel when I ride. So tomorrow I'm going to try the center position and see if that feels better, and I might take my stirrups up one notch as I felt a bit tipped forward at the trot. Another change I'll definitely make is put my caged stirrups on. These are wider and my foot wants to get further and further forward. I've decided all those straps on my pommel bags have got to go. It was like trying to tie it on with a bag of snakes, at one point I had a lone strap dangling from my hand and not attached to ANYTHING. Those all have to come OFF, and snaps have to go ON. I do think I'm going to really like the pommel packs, having them in front makes so much more sense. My rear ones were hard to operate from the saddle, and if you got off to make it easier to get into them and a horse comes charging up the trail behind you....well--not good.

    As for fitting, I've got the front working, but the back of the saddle wants to tip up into the air a little when I'm not on her back, maybe a bit too wide in front still? Need shims in the back? I'm gonna have to go watch the fitting videos. AGAIN.

  3. EG, How exciting! I know it's a pain to do a lot of adjustments but it is very exciting that you like the saddle so far! And it is great that the saddle can be adjusted so many ways- you can get it just where you like it. I hope Phebes continues to like it as well!

  4. I have a yahoo group for Specialized Saddle folks. Great place to ask questions form users and fitters on the saddles:

    Most of us use fairly thin saddle pads, as the saddle is fit to the horse without a pad. IF you use a thicker pad, then you need to adjust fit for such. Have you added wedge shims to the back to help change the angle if she has a slightly A shape to her back? And watch for bridging. No contact in the middle of her back. Common with some, and you fill with small fitting pads as needed.

    Stirrups in rear position did not work for me. Tipped my pelvis, and had sore hips. lol I prefer them in the front position. Great that the saddle has choices!