Comfortable, lightweight, great heat transfer through the serge panels, monoflap, Freedom (hoop) tree to fit the type of back you're describing, dressage balance and stirrup bar position, and attractive: Black Country Equinox.
Sent you a PM, too.
Originally Posted by CosMonster
But hey, if you can't indulge in rampant speculation on COTH, where can you do it?
Thanks, y'all! I'm really appreciative of your suggestions. And thanks to Kitt for the excellent advice re: ground driving for a couple of months. Of course it makes total sense, and should have been the obvious first step from the git-go, but as I mentioned previously, I am a moron.
Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life
Not a moron - just looking forward! The Equinox is a great choice if your horse needs a hoop tree (though it can be made on pretty much any tree that BC offers), and the serge panels are a great option for breathability and a cool back - and most UK saddle makers offer that option.
And you're very welcome. But trust me about the ground work ...
I have both a Fhoenix and a Stonewall. Love them both. The Fhoenix would be a better choice as a partial tree saddle it will allow your horse to condition and still have a good fit. I've ridden a lot of miles in that Fhoenix on several different horses without making them sore. My Fhoenix is a dressage model and the flap is a bit too straight for my comfort in a long distance ride so I got an Abetta a year or so ago. I have a love hate relationship with that saddle and the worksmanship is just not that good. I certainly don't find it that comfortable and have tried a lot of different seat covers. I have never gotten sore from the Fhoenix and neither have any of my horses.
The Stonewall is a semi custom saddle for my very narrow appy Spanish Mustang gelding and I love it also. I know that the owner of that company can custom fit any horse and she has a lot of used saddles she can often match up for someone's needs. I truly enjoy working with Jackie and would recommend her highly.
you don't have to get a special endurance saddle, especially if all you are planning to do is ONE 25miler. Lots of people do trail in dressage saddles; my own preference for trail is a jumping-type saddle because it allows you to change position easily- stand up in 2-point, sit, post; changing position a lot keeps the fatigue from setting in. The synthetic saddles are great for trail- if a wintec pro jump with a wide gullet will fit your arab (fits mine like a glove) that's what I would suggest trying.