Scooby Doo’s custom saddle

I’ve been far too busy working on your saddles to keep you updated on Scooby’s progress, but it’s been remarkable, and so much fun! It’s also been remarkable how many saddles he’s gone through. Why? Well, out of shape horses, and horses learning a new job in a new discipline often change a great deal as they develop. Scooby had the added challenge of having been malnourished in a previous home. The person I got him from in late 2019 had rescued him from a neglectful situation in which he was fed so little that his body condition was given a score of 2 on a 10 point scale, emaciated. When he came to live with me his body condition score was still only about a 3 and while his previous owner had fed him and attended to his feet, teeth, and all his medical needs, she did not work him and he was turned out in a flat field and so he didn’t gain muscle. His neck was thin, his hindquarters were actually concave where they should have been round, and he couldn’t even keep himself warm on a cold day! He had a lot of weight to put on and a lot of muscles to grow.

The above pictures were taken 6 months apart in 2020. His back is still swayed, and I expect it will always be, but everything else is so much rounder!

During his development he wore a Harry Dabbs Avant XL dressage saddle, then a Frank Baines Omni dressage, then a Harry Dabbs Pro jump, then a Harry Dabbs DJ jump, then an Omni again, then a Harry Dabbs Extra dressage, and then an Omni again! Depending on his stage of development he was in a medium, medium-wide, or even wide saddle (he wore Omnis in all 3 sizes)! Now, a full year later, Scooby is close to normal in terms of weight and muscle mass. And he’s outgrown his saddle again. This time, I don’t have anything in my collection that is quite right for him. This is the same situation that many of my clients find themselves in – needing to order a custom saddle.  So what did we do?

The Frank Baines Rococco was the closest to fitting him, and he works the most comfortably in it, however we need to make some changes. The demo saddle has a front gusset which pushes against his shoulder (pushing the saddle back), and a point billet which is great to prevent a saddle from sliding foward but we have the opposite problem. Scooby’s saddle tends to slide backward, therefore Scooby’s saddle will not have a front gusset or a point billet. For me, the Rococco is extremely comfortable, balanced, and secure, but the thigh block is at the wrong angle. It will be repositioned to match the angle of my thigh, and the flap will be made a bit longer. 

Since we are making a whole new saddle just for us, we may as well make it stand out, right? Frank Baines has so many decorative options it would be a shame not to at least entertain some possibilities… Scooby likes green, and he looks so handsome in it! I wouldn’t have considered a green saddle, but as I was leafing through the options, the one that jumped out at me was Krypton green. It’s shimmery like (depending on who you ask) Peacock feathers, mermaid scales, or dragon scales! I couldn’t resist. So we ordered Krypton green cantle insert with bottle green welting and back facing and deep green stitching (the very bottom one in the thread sample shown, the one that doesn’t even look green). The pictures don’t do it justice

Now I just have to hope that he won’t change too much before we have a chance to enjoy it! Scooby is still very much a work in progress and is just learning to engage his hindquarters and lift through his back and base of his neck so realistically this saddle will be available for someone else to enjoy before too long.

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