Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Grand Lake, Oklahoma
Wow, a lot of replies in just the time at work...
It's not just my saddle, and I'm by far not the only person to have tried working him. Several riders have attempted it, and everyone likes him, but everyone keeps saying the same thing as me - he acts up and veers off in funny directions. I think I'll look into hornless saddle, because I have heard of gutting yourself and I really rather not do that (even if mine is small and has to ever gut me... including when a horse rolled over on me).
Three of us witness him - me being the rider, and two horse-raised women (one being a trainer of students, the other a horse trainer) - I sat in as perfect of a position as I could get. The second time I had ever used the saddle, I asked others to check if it looks like it fit him good enough, because I didn't want it riding his withers since they are a tad high, but not to the point that he needs a gel pad. He's fine standing still, but the moment you ask him to move forward, it's all over. He's done everything with me at just a walk. I don't blame him one bit (some of it really was my fault). But, with the three of us as witnesses, I went from sitting the prettiest position I could conjure to relaxing into a western position, and he went from "I hate this" to "omfgyesthankyou" and did everything I wanted him to do without veering or walking into the wall.
The trainer who I ride with (Hillari) grew up western, and used to jump western all the time. I could use her eyes and knowledge to keep watch of me, and if it doesn't sound like a horrible idea, I'll look into a hornless saddle. And don't worry folks, my current saddle isn't much heavier than a large English saddle, and I don't plan on moving up the weight scale much. I'm also thinking of getting a custom saddle for us, which might even help.