Saddle Question--can these horses share? pics . . .
I have learned so much about saddles in the past few weeks reading this board. Here is my saddle quandry.
I have 2 horses. 1 is 10, a T/P event horse, the other is turning 4 and recently OTT. To me, they don't appear vastly different in build. The 10 yo has a shorter, higher wither and is more filled out (wider), the 4 yo is slighter and has a flatter back (longer wither, less drop). And of course the 4 yo will continue to fill out/change shape (grow withers like the other guy?).
My question is whether they should be able to share a saddle, padding a bit for width on the younger one until he fills out/stops growing? I feel like they should be able to as they aren't *that* different, though my current saddle (Berney Bros DJ, M tree that runs narrow) fits them very differently. It's decent on the 10 yo (though it breaks the "last rib" rule I just learned about on both horses). It is too curved for the little guy though, rocks, even padding up the front and/or back seems to create pressure points just behind the wither.
I don't want to get too hung up on that particular saddle--it's ancient/worn, and I was hoping to replace it soonish. My question is more whether I can get something for the older one and adapt to the younger at least until he finishes growing, or if those are really different back curvatures? Pics below, sorry the horses are the same color.
Yes. Take tracings. I can talk you through how to take a tree-point measurement from the tracings. It's not the only measurement you'll ever need in life, but it will get us started. It's absolutely normal procedure to start your youngster in an established saddle that he might 'grow into' and to pad the heck out of it in the meantime. (clearly it's sub-optimal, but a perfectly fitted saddle for a growing youngster is highly unrealistic for most of us)
It's possible. Working with a good fitter either in person or through templates and photos would be your best way to find out for sure. You'd need some "creative" padding, but based on what I'm seeing, it looks doable.
Updated the original album with tracings. I'm sure there are multiple ways to do it, but I used the instructions on fineusedsaddles.com (each tracing is 4" back from the previous). The lines are a little wiggly b/c the original pencil wasn't showing up and I had to go over with a thicker marker. I hope that there is a shared tree between the 2 horses. Thanks again!