Last summer I started having fun with my walker gelding and attended some local fun shows for contesting. He's a pretty good all around horse...kids use for four H & I trail ride him and we've done many parades. So I have a few saddles. Mostly at home I use more lightweight codura saddles. Well he started doing the contesting and the more we attended the more he got "into" it and got better and better. I finally decided that maybe it was time to get a barrel saddle. So I went out and purchased one. When I got it home and put it on him the saddle seemed to sink in his shoulder area and stick up off of his back toward the rear. I tried adjusting it but it wasn't great. Different saddle...maybe its supposed to fit different. So I hopped on for a trial ride. Well I kept sliding to the front of the saddle. I had to keep pushing myself to the rear of the saddle. I got off. Convinced either the saddle is broken in the middle (which its not, its new) or that it fit improperly.
I talked to someone else with a gaited (icelandic/welsh) pony who confessed the exact same issue with their saddle. They assumed it was because the pony was hard to fit.
So I talked to a saddle maker who informed me that I can custom make a saddle to fit my horse to the tune of several thousand dollars...which he didn't recommend anyway since this was just a hobby. He advised that I just get a REALLY GOOD saddle pad. So off I search....
Does anyone have any advice on how to correct the fit of a barrel saddle on a gaited horse so that the saddle sits level? What saddle pads should I investigate? I've found a few but I'm apprehensive to spend $200 on a pad and have it not fit or even work properly. Thanks!