It pours saddles! Huh? Yep, that's right! I have embarked on the most unsatisfying and annoying part of horse riding there is: The Great Saddle Hunt. I wonder if anyone out there actually has a horse that any old saddle off the rack at any old saddle shop will fit. If there is, I dislike you. And I am very jealous.
Gem is a fitting nightmare as I do believe I have mentioned a time or two (or twelve) in the past. In the beginning I could hide behind ignorance. Its a saddle. It is made for a horse. It should fit. But no. Now I have gone and done my research and learned all I could possibly learn and now I know too much. Now I have to make sure I have done all I could to ensure her comfort. Honestly, its a drag being this way. Just ask the hubs who I think is about as interested in hearing me talk saddle fit as he would be about by last gyno appointment. But that's what you get when you are married.
If I planned to just tinker around the farm forever, my current saddle would be perfect. She isn't sore after I ride, but she does have spots where the hair is ruffled up after I remove it (it should lay perfectly smooth and flat) and it tends to ride up her neck a bit causing impingement of her shoulders during movement. I absolutely adore my saddle. The leather is butter soft and it fits me like a glove. I feel secure even through her tantrums and random spooks. It is lightweight and breathes well. I got it at a discount at Rolex in 2011 and right afterward the price skyrocketed as the saddle gained popularity. That means that selling it to pay for a new one should be possible. But, I am not looking to tinker around the farm. I am looking to ask her to carry/run with me for 50 miles over probably 9-10 hours. I need to make sure it is as perfect as possible.
But I went through all of this back in late 2010-2011 and tried dozens of saddles. She just doesn't fit well. Her issues are not easily compensated for in the regular, standard saddle on the market. And believe me when I say that I've tried just about every type of saddle out there - dressage, endurance, western, jumping, all purpose, cross country, treeless. One would solve one problem, but create another. It fit her and not me or me and not her. AAAAHHHH! The hubs smartly pointed out to me a month ago that re-trying the same old would be pointless. What has changed in the last year or so that would give me any hope that any saddle would fit better than her current one? "Why don't you just break her to pull a cart instead?" Blasphemy! Rest assured, honeybear, there is one last type that I didn't try - the flexible panel saddle.