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I have the aluminum/composite saddles that Rex makes and they are great. One of my goats, Romeo, is a stocky guy weighing 200 lbs. He is only 3yo, so he doesn't carry much, but the saddle rides so far forward and the back pops up. When I tighten the cinch, it wants to go to the narrowest area, which is right up to his arm pits. I have tried flattening out the saddle so it fits differently and readjusting the chest and rump straps, but his saddle and packs eventually ride up on his shoulders. The other goats aren't built like him and their saddles look like they fit fine. I did read Rex's post that the more wt. they carry, the more the back side of the saddle weighs down so it is more balanced and maybe that is part of the problem, but he looks uncomfortable (he could care less about it.)
Any ideas on fitting him? He is an alpine/togg/ober from Butthead pack goats.
 

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The custom fit has a concave area on the front of the side boards to allow the saddle to ride up on the shoulder farther than a standard wood saddle. That distributes the weight better than having the extra board hang off the back of the rib cage. To make sure it is in the proper place set the saddle forward of where you want it and slide it back till you feel it drop into place. You should be able to feel the shoulders fitting nicely into the concave portion on the front of the saddle. Adjust the girth attachment forward or back using the extra screws on the sideboard where it attach's. If you have the mountain strap set up you can adjust both the front and back of the Y strap (with the ring on it) to get everything where you want it. The girth should ride on the flat sternum patch just behind the front legs. If the goat is pear shaped (not ideal) and the saddle wants to ride too far forward then you will need to tighten the rump strap to hold it in place.

Your concerns over the rear of the saddle popping up are justified and many others have had the same questions. Over the years I have had dozens of calls from people with young goats who were seeing the rear of their saddle (from all manufacturers) kicking up when the goat was moving around with little or no weight. The reasons are several. First the goat may be pear shaped or barrel shaped making the front area where the saddle attach's much narrower than the rib area where the main sideboard sets. Tightening down the front will cause the rear to tip up with no weight on the saddle. Another reason is that the goat has extra fat on its ribs. In this case when you tighten down the front you are squishing the fat toward the rear and forcing the rear of the saddle up. In most cases this is a non-issue once some weight is on the saddle. The loaded panniers set the saddle back down and the weight is distributed evenly which makes the saddle ride flat. For those who just have to have the saddle set flat regardless of weight then you can add a double girth setup which can be added to any of the NW saddles or buy the mountain strap setup which has a Y strap that attach's to the front and rear of the saddle helping to keep it level on the goat regardless of the load. But in all honestly I'm not a fan of a second girth strap.

My two cents worth.
 

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Rex,
What is your opinion of the second girth strap? Just wondering why you don't really like them. The jury is still out on this with me. I like it for the extra stability on declines but I don't like that it is strapped to soft parts of the goat. No bones or sturdy structures to give the goat protection from a tight cinch or accident and it is really close to the pizzle.
 

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feederseaters said:
Rex,
What is your opinion of the second girth strap? Just wondering why you don't really like them. The jury is still out on this with me. I like it for the extra stability on declines but I don't like that it is strapped to soft parts of the goat. No bones or sturdy structures to give the goat protection from a tight cinch or accident and it is really close to the pizzle.
The reasons I try to avoid it, which you already mentioned are that the second girth comes off of the saddle only about 4-5 inches from the front girth and then has to go over the rib cage and belly of the goat. There is no way to keep it from restricting the rib movement in that position unless you keep it very loose, which sort of defeats the purpose for it in the first place. Not to mention that it presses into their stomach area. None of those are good things. I know several people who have used the double girth setup and say they didn't notice any discomfort from the goat. I just know a goat will tolerate a lot of things even when they are not happy about it.
 

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on horses the second girth strap is never tightened tight,
it is loose. we always used it to keep the saddle from
flipping up going down really steep hills along with butt straps.

so far i have not needed it on the goats.
 

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ryorkies said:
on horses the second girth strap is never tightened tight,
it is loose. we always used it to keep the saddle from
flipping up going down really steep hills along with butt straps.

so far i have not needed it on the goats.
I have used double girths on horses as well. A horse is much longer so the second girth is far enough back to be of some use. Leaving it loose on a goat will let it migrate forward so it is only inches from the first one which is not as useful.
 
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