Looking at my new Dover catalog the other night, I go to thinking about all the saddle-fit discussions I have seen here on COTH and heard at various barns, restaurants, friends' houses, dinner parties, etc. ... and I got to wondering:
What do people do who switch from one horse to another to another during a day at the barn, at a show, etc.? Say a jumping saddle. Do you have any problems switching from a fairly deep-seated saddle to a flatter one? Forward flaps to longer flaps?
I never had any problem, even when I had to ride in a class on a western saddle and had never even sat in one before.
By the way, we won the class too.
If you have the riding skills to catch ride, you use whatever is there and whatever horse you get, many times a horse with problems that needs a bit more experienced rider to get around a course than his owner/trainer/stable has available.
My problem was getting the stirrups short enough for my very short legs, no matter what saddle I had to use, if I could not use mine.
I'm an eventer, so I'm used to going from short stirrups/ forward flaps to long and straight Some days I ride in an exercise saddle, a dressage saddle, two different xc type jumping saddles, a very flat close contact jumping saddle, and a Western saddle.
I definitely have preferences-- I ride in my own saddles when it's possible, especially if the client's tack is scary-- but it is what it is. I ride with shorter stirrups than is really correct for dressage, and I have no real idea how to ride Western. Once I get going I rarely notice unless there is an issue (the first time I cantered up a hill in the Western saddle was a big WTF moment for me!).
I did IHSA in college and, like Bluey, my biggest problem was often getting the stirrups short enough. Sometimes they even had to be rolled which is just sad and uncomfortable..
My preference is to use my own equipment and saddle my own horse; I take part in insuring my own comfort and safety.
I have several CC saddles that all fit me and it is likely that one of them will fit the horse well enough for the short time I'd be on him for just one class.
But I also learned to ride in the PdN era, so if the stirrups are the right length, I can ride in anything and get the job done. I think that folks who catch ride are similarly adjustable. Learning to ride in a saddle with the wrong geometry is the least of the adjustments you have to make when catch riding!