Originally Posted by Eliz
Ok about saddle fit. I ride a horse that has really high withers and he has a pad that you put under the saddle for that. I don't know much about it, I'll have to look into that. Would that kind of thing help? Like I said I don't know much about saddle fitting. I'm off to do some research! :)
I too have a horse with high withers. There were a few things that I considered for her when looking for saddles:
-Good wither clearance (obviously!) basically I wanted to see good clearance of at least an inch so that the gullet wasn't resting on her withers at all.
-The slope of the wither will also determine which makes and models will fit best as some withers are high but slope gradually into the back. Others are much more clearly defined and you need to be careful that this lack of slope is equalized so that the weight is distributed evenly along all of the muscles and the wither is not used as a platform, thus bearing too much weight alone.
-Consideration for the shape and width of the shoulders and back is also important so it will depend greatly on the individual horse. A horse with narrow shoulders and a high wither will require a different fit to a horse with broad shoulders and high withers. The same goes for the back conformation.
I just tried a variety of saddles until I found one that was suitable. As for pads, you can buy 'cutback' pads that are like a normal pad with the wither section cut away and they can help to boost the saddle off the withers. These only work when the saddle itself fits well but the gullet is resting too low on the wither itself.
Having said all of this, I am by no means a saddle fitter so if you have access to one they will be able to help you far more than me!