I've been riding in a Dakota barrel saddle for almost half a year. Majority of that was on one horse and I found that it was really rather comfy. I felt more secure in it than my old Tex Tan and was seriously considering trading the owner for it so I could call it my own.
I've recently started riding a different horse with it and now I find the saddle complete misery for my groin/hamstrings. The pain is getting bad enough that I am tensing up, basically wrecking all the positive energy I'm working on with this horse.
The saddle fits the horse...it fit both horses. The two horses are quite different through the barrel which is what I'm thinking is the problem. The first horse was very wide around the mid section -- I could drape my leg nicely and meet his sides without issue. The second horse is more narrow through the barrel and it almost feels like the saddle's trying to create an additional joint in my leg between leg and hip in order for me to get any leg contact with his sides.
Do western saddles have the equivalent of a twist or is it pretty much one width fits all? Is there any way I can remedy this without having to go to a different saddle (switching horses isn't an option either :) )? The Tex Tan weighs a metric ton and is starting to get to be a bit too heavy to raise above shoulder level without aggravating some pinched nerves.