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Fairfax Saddlery (#22063)

Thorowgood T8 High Wither Compact GP Saddle

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As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just request a return with a FREE SmartPak return label from your Order History within 60 days of the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

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Why We Love This

The Thorowgood T8 High Wither Compact GP Saddle is ideal for shorter backed or croup high horses.  It is a very good option for the petite rider on a large pony or small horse.  Tailored for high-withered horses, such as Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods, with tree and panels specially shaped to give maximum wither clearance.  Compared to other saddles, the High Wither Compact GP is compact for its size, has a neat seat, slimmer rear gussets and the tree is shorter and slightly flatter on the underside.

Made in the UK.

Test Ride this Saddle
Not sure about fit? You can try out this saddle first by ordering one of the “Test Ride” sizes above.
Learn more about the Test Ride Saddle Program

Favorite Features

  • Lightweight and kind to your horse's back, recommended by the Veteran Horse Society and the Veteran Welfare Trust
  • Super-comfy deeper seat that gives you a little extra in-saddle security and locates you centrally
  • Versatile GP that forward enough cut to allow for jumping and cross-country as well as schooling and hacking
  • Quality leather seat and knee pads give the feel of riding on an all leather saddle
  • Changable gullet for a custom fit
  • Flocked with 100% British wool
(Maintenance Dose = )
Ingredient Amount
Available in 17", 17.5", 18"

Flap Lengths:

17"- 13.75"
17.5"- 14.5"
18"- 15.75"
What Customers Say:
Thorowgood T8 High Wither Compact GP Saddle is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 18.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice saddle I trialed this saddle (thanks Smartpak) and found that it fit my high withered mare better than her current saddle. If I had never used higher end saddles, I probably would have loved this but it lacks some of the quality that I have grown accustomed to. It squeaked for me throughout my ride and felt bulky. Also, I sprained my fingers trying to get my leathers on to the very recessed bars. It had some felty fabric on it that I thought would get dirty very quickly. It would probably be great for someone else but not for us. My trainer liked my position in it also.
Date published: 2023-02-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not for us I wanted to love this based on all of the great reviews, but it just didn’t work out for us. There is plenty of wither clearance but this tree is really narrow - barely 3 fingers width and it gets more narrow the further back you go. Not good. It also really pitched me forwards and the stirrup bars are very forward so I was fighting a chair seat the whole time. So glad it works out for others because it’s a beautiful saddle, but it’s not for us.
Date published: 2021-09-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not for me I bought this saddle for my hard to fit Appaloosa. It was way smaller than I thought it would be. It also has a strange chemical smell to it. I ended up retuning it.
Date published: 2021-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pleasantly surprised by the balance of this saddle Very impressed with this saddle. I do wish the brown was a lighter or more rich color. I have a short backed high withered sensitive mare and this saddle works really well for her. I also like how deep the seat feels while feeling really balanced.
Date published: 2021-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great for smaller riders, not for big and tall!! Ordered this as a trial saddle and while it was a great fit for my horse, it wasn’t going to work for me. I felt that the overall quality of the saddle was really nice for the price point. It has some nice features like the changeable gullet plates (trial saddle comes with medium), adjustable Velcro blocks and replaceable billets. The gullet channel is also nice and wide, 4 fingers fit although they get a little snug towards the end. The paneling is very soft and my horse seemed to really like it. The seat is fairly padded and comfortable, however I would have liked the knee pads to be more padded and made out of a grippier leather, I did slide around a lot but I think with some conditioning over time it may be better. My horse is a narrow thoroughbred with a short back, high long withers, and a very mild case of kissing spine. This saddle fit her really well, I think it would fit even better with the narrower gullet plate. The wither clearance was great and the paneling makes the saddle stand up away from the spine so there’s nice spinal clearance all they way down. You can actually see daylight from both sides! She seemed to move really well with it and looked comfortable. Her reaction alone makes me really want to keep it but unfortunately it just wasn’t a good fit for me. I am 5’9” 175lbs with a long femur, plus I don’t have the best balance to start with. the flaps and the center of balance were waaaayyy off for me, i was constantly fighting to stay out of a chair position. I wish they made a forward flap option and hung the stirrups back a little farther. However I think this is a great saddle for someone smaller and shorter. My horse will be sad I sent this one back!!
Date published: 2020-12-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! This saddle fits my shark fin OTTB perfectly. Its super easy to keep clean, and it feels like riding in a lazyboy!
Date published: 2020-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thorowgood Saddle I love the test ride option! The saddle I received looked brand new and I ended up keeping it. It was a perfect fit for my hard to fit, high withered warmblood.The saddle is very well made, looks great, and is super comfortable. I finally have a saddle that is comfortable for my horse as well. I have jumped up to 2' fences so far without any problems and feel very secure. Customer service was great also! They worked with me while I was waiting for a different gullet plate to arrive.
Date published: 2020-09-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fits. I have had this saddle for two weeks now. It's like a mix between a Wintec, on the super synthetic side of things, and a Bates, on the soft leather side. I would like the saddle to be softer and it squeaks against my boots while riding, but I have an OTTB with high and long withers and this saddle fits him well-enough. (I've tried over 20 saddles on the guy and this is the only one that cleared his withers nicely).
Date published: 2019-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lots of space for the withers The saddle is very comfortable and balanced. it fits the hard to fit OTTB that I ride.
Date published: 2019-10-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not for a Wide Horse First of all, I'm really grateful for the SmartPak saddle try-out system. They gave me the chance to try a product I really thought would work...and was the biggest failure of my saddle hunt overall. Being able to return the saddle definitely took some of the sting out! I have an old (old!) Thorogood Maxam and I love it to pieces, so I had high hopes for this T8 with my hard-to-fit horse. He's ridiculously wide in the wither in spite of his modest barrel, short-backed, and has shoulders that won't quit. So the high-wither compact with the widest tree really seemed like a good bet. I wasn't happy with it out of the box. It seemed a clumsy saddle, bulgy in odd places, startlingly difficult to access stirrup bars, weird collapsing spots where the back of the flap met the panel. On the horse it was better than I expected with all of that, sitting compactly on his weight-bearing area. But it seemed to me that while the width was actually perfect for him, the back panels didn't spread or flatten to match the flattish shape you would expect with a horse that wide up front. My horse agreed. I mounted up to get a feel for it (to help with future decisions) and got a flying lesson when he spun away from a pinch. That saddle literally catapulted me into the air--have never felt anything like it. First time I've been out of a saddle in a decade, third time in...well...ever. The first two times, the horse had to try a lot harder. Of course, other people are no doubt better riders, and younger, and bounce better... But I can't by any means advise this saddle for a wide horse, especially one with wide-ish spinal processes. Probably does a lot better in the narrow range.
Date published: 2018-12-12
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Q & A
How to fit a Thorowgood saddle
Vanessa from Thorowgood shows you how to measure your horse to get the perfect size saddle and how to know when you've got the right one.
Changing the gullet bar in a Thorowgood saddle
Watch this video for a step-by-step demonstration of how easy it is to change the gullet bar on your Thorowgood saddle.

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