I was recently re-evaluating how my saddle fits my tb, because the marks after a ride were more front and back than even so I thought the saddle might be bridging. When he stands in the cross ties, the saddle looks fabulous on him (and it was fitted to him, and reflocked about 3 months ago), so I couldn't figure out the front/back sweat patches.
Do saddle fitters factor this in when they fit a saddle on a horse standing so that it still fits when the horse is moving and using his back correctly (beyond fitting the saddle in the cross ties then going for a ride to "test" the fit)?
No saddle fitter I've had out has ever worked with the horse in cross ties - horse is assessed moving & relaxed, if horse remains tense, this forms part of the discussion, as does conformation, movement, asymmetries etc ... then comes the rider aspect
The fitter I chose is outstanding at noticing fit for the horse in motion (another client horse at the barn absolutely cannot be fit standing), she's equally good at rider fit
Even though your saddle was adjusted/flocked only 3 months ago, I'd call the fitter out to discuss what's happening.
There is a contradiction in these statements - a Passier medium does not fit that narrow ...
Have you read this entry on Kitt's blog (there is a lot of great information on her blog )
I'm still dubious that a single ride created so much soreness - I do readily believe that he already had some sensitivity & this last saddle just pushed everything to the breaking point
BUT you should be able to have the expectation that your trainer & leaser will NOT use a badly fitting saddle - from your description, it seems very obvious that the saddle was not a good fit. I suspect you will just need to state in writing that no saddles you (& your saddle fitter) have not previously approved, may be used - NO exceptions.
Like others, I encourage you to give the horse a couple of saddle-free weeks to get the inflammation down & then have the fitter out to assess the Pessoa & the Kieffer.
I'd likely have both a vet & Equine Therapist out to assess the horse - unfortunately neither all vets nor ET's are created equally
(if he has turn out, it's also possible that he did something there & this is just coincidental to the saddle trial)
All I can say is that all saddles are different, and medium is a relative term. The medium Passier fit him well. The Lemke was a #3 tree. The saddle in between was a medium, and the Pessoa started out in a narrow gullet plate, but now he takes a medium. I also tried a medium Frank Baines that sat right on his withers. He is just a narrow horse, on the delicate side, and very refined.
I honestly don't know if that one ride made him so sore, and the saddle fitter was doubtful, too. All I know is one day he was fine and the next he was not, and in between he was ridden in that funky saddle.
The Kieffer was adjusted quite a bit, and it is still on the wide side and needs shims in the pad, but it fits fine now and he didn't think the channel width would be an issue at all. The Pessoa is a great fit as well.
Maybe I will never know what caused it, but I now have a dressage saddle that fits him and suits me, so no more experiments!
Still haven't seen the vet, though.
ETA vet checked and my horse is sore across his withers from that #*$%-ing saddle. Another week off and he should be fine. Lesson learned.
Last edited by Bristol Bay; Jan. 21, 2013 at 08:35 PM.
A helmet saved my life.
2016 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!
The acid test of saddle fit is active fit, since the back changes when the horse starts working. The saddle that looks great during static fit (when the horse is standing in the stall or ties) can be totally unsuitable when the rider's up and the horse is moving. OTOH, the saddle that's "meh" in the ties can turn out to be wonderful during active fit. Your fitter should watch you really work your horse before saying "yea" or "nay" to a saddle, and you should have an opportunity to ride in a saddle several times before you commit to buying it.