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Fitting a Paso Fino


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#1 firephil

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 03:24 PM

Has anyone had any experience fitting a tree to a Paso Fino? I have been doing some looking and it seems there is a change in confirmation at 3,5 and 7-8 years old. It is quiet a can on worms to open getting involved in this. The customers complain that even the saddles they buy from Columbia where the horse are from don't fit. They are mostly relying on aussie saddles and english but they sure would like a good western one if it can be made.So does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks, Phil

#2 rwc

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 11:28 AM

I have ridden and trained paso's for about 17 years and have had success with McClellan and western saddles, mostly barrel saddles. It has been my experience that "most" of the Columbian saddles are cheap junk. I'm sure there are exceptions. A lot of the show people use orthoflex but I have never been a fan. Paso's vary so much in size you'll probably just have to look around.

#3 jonwatsabaugh

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 01:24 PM

firephil,

I have'nt had any experience with Paso Finos personally but I would be interested in building a tree. I would need some pics and back tracings is all. I have watched them perform at horse fairs and such, and they are truely magnificent little horses. They certainly deserve a good western saddle that fits properly.

Jon

#4 Rod and Denise Nikkel

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:16 AM

We have built a few trees for gaited horses, including Paso Finos. Like Jon, we have asked for back drawings when necessary. We find that they not uncommonly (but not always) have a bit less rock than we would normally put in a tree, but they fit well within the normal parameters of what we build. On the other hand, our range of "normal variations" is probably wider than what you can easily find in an off-the-rack production saddle. Often you read about people worried about shoulder action in these horses. We have not done anything different than we normally do and we have had positive feedback on how the horses have moved. So as far as we are concerned, a "normal" tree made to fit their body shape is all that is needed to allow these horses to move well. (As an extra point, we would caution against having the rigging too far forward. The further forward it is, the more downward pressure is put on the front bar tips and the greater the chance of interference with shoulder movement.)
We are not well enough acquainted with Paso Finos to know about specific conformational changes with age except to say that all horses (and people too, come to think of it) change shape as they mature, and this has to be considered when purchasing a saddle.
If you haven't looked at Dennis Lane's system for communicating back shapes in this thread http://leatherworker...p?showtopic=901 or on his website http://dennislane.com.au I would encourage you to check it out. This would be a handy, repeatable way to compare among the Paso Finos you have access to, and to compare them with other types of horses. It would tell you a lot about what you need to look for in a saddle - comparative width, angle, profile of the bottom of the bar, etc. Or if you wanted to order a custom tree from someone familiar with the system it would be easy to tell them the shape you are trying to fit.
As an aside, Dennis has told me that he had to be convinced to collect information on the breed of horse from people using his system. Correct me if I am wrong, Dennis, but he says that he has found all shapes and sizes within all breeds so he, at this point, doesn't feel that he can use a horse's breed to tell him a whole lot about the shape of the back he is trying to fit. If you do get the system and get readings on a number of horses, it would be very interesting to both send the information to Dennis (he is doing more research with the information people are sending him from their results around the world) and to let those of us on the forum know what you find. All the best in your search.
"Every tree maker does things differently."
www.rodnikkel.com

#5 firephil

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for the responses and i will keep ya'll updated on my progress, unfortunately the horses are spread out geographically and I am becoming more dieselly challenged every day. Phil Dunn





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