I have had my 12 year old 14.3hh mare called sparrow for a year now. When we got her she didnt come with a saddle, and the one that our saddler fitted was a brand new jumping saddle. During those first few months, whenever we jumped her she would hardly ever have a pole down. She would round nicely over a jump and never show any reluctance to jump.
However, I noticed after 3-4 months that she had started knocking and wasnt rounding or picking up at all over the jumps. Various instructors had commented how tight the saddle was on her back, so I went back to the same saddle fitter who had fitted the saddle, who said that it wasnt too much a problem, but changed the tree anyhow. It made a slight difference at first, but after a couple of months she was once again not rounding at all over jumps.
After moving to a much quieter yard inwhich sparrow prefers and is miles happier at, her attitude with jumping became better, despite still hating the saddle whenever I put it on. We have done a lot less jumping with her, no more than once a week, but she rarely ever got a clear round. You may be thinking, ohh it must be the rider then, and yes that is always a factor but I have improved significantly since I first got her a year ago, and even top event riders cannot just get her to relax in her back now in both flat and jump. We got a difffernt saddler, who reflocked the saddle and insists it is fine, but sparrow is backing up when I put it on and bucking when I ride her on bad days. When it was gone to be refflocked, I borrowed a friends saddle that was shorter in the back, and she seemed to prefer it and relax into it completely.
When she is relaxed and going well she goes lovely, I am starting BE100 with her this year and I know she will get a good dressage if she relaxes, and always a clear xc, but with sj we will have difficulty.
I don't know how much is the rider, any back problems or the saddle!!? Or just laziness on her part whilst jumping, she is renound for being laid back but always seems keen when coming in to the fence.
Please, any help would be much appreciated! If anyone knows any back massage techniques that would help or anything?
Many thanks x