1) I am 55 years old, I have ridden since I was a small kid. NEVER had any kind of lessons or training (no money for it)
2) Never had a really good saddle always had whatever my parent could afford or I could find, and a couple of hand-me-downs
3) hubby and I trailride practically every Saturday in the mountains of N. Georgia
4) I can ride but know just enough to know....I don't know anything and wish I had taken lesson as a younger person!!!
Now my questions... I was given the opportunity to ride in a Henry Miller buena vista sadddle several years ago, I loved it! My knees didn't hurt anymore and we decided to buy one.. so we saved our money and bought two.. one for me and one for hubby!
When we got the saddles I had another horse which I have since sold. My new mare is a Spotted Saddle Horse, she is a very good natured funny horse. I have been riding her about 1 1/2 years. Recently when we go on the downhill, usually a steep downhill she will turn and look at me, toss her head, then sling her head. When she goes downhill she does not go straight down.. it is uaually at an angle not a side pass but not straight downhill. It is hard to explain. She is a long backed mare. Do you think the saddle is hurting her?
Next thing.. this saddle has the d ring under the fender close to the center of the saddle. It has a leather strap coming from the back of the saddle and the front of the saddle to the d ring. The ring has the cinch attached to it. If I were to cinch up the girth right where it falls straight down it would be too far back. I have tightened it up here and it slides forward to where it should be and then becomes too loose. If I tighten it up where it should be it seems to slide over her shoulder blade.
I called the lady who owns the double creek tack store and spoke with her, she said that she was under the impression that some of his saddles were made to go slightly over the shoulder?????? And then when I talked to her about the two fixed straps going to the d ring from the front and the back of the saddle and about whether or not they could be moved to a more forward position she said yes and started trying to get me to buy one of HER new designed saddles..
I have looked on the internet and read the saddle fit posts on here but I can't really find the answer to my complicated questions. I know that I just enough info floating around in my brain to make me dangerous and drive me nuts.. I really need some help but don't know where to get it.
Soooo.... I am asking all the experts on this forum what they think.
PS. I would post photos but I am an idiot with trying to download and attach a photo
Below is what is written about the "rigging" on the Henry Miller Saddles, maybe it will explain better than I can.
All Double Creek Saddlery is built with "Double Rigging", not to be confused with "center-fire rigging". Double Rigging is under the fender is one leather strap attached to the rear of the tree and one strap attached to the front of the tree. The two straps meet at a stainless ring to which either english billets are attached or your western girthing. Double Rigging has great benefits: the pressure from the girth is in the center instead of very far forward seen in many traditional saddles, so the horse is way more comfortable since the rigging is pulling down from both the front and the rear of the saddle. You may find that you may be able to tighten less due to this feature. If on the other hand you want true "Center Fire Rigging", then order the upgrade "Rear Rigging" and specify that you want the Center Fire (not the rear flank strap). Note that true center fire requires careful checking and rechecking to insure that your saddle is rigged balanced on both sides! Who might need center fire? If you ride in very steep terrain you may require this style, but otherwise for pleasure riding double rigging is all you will need.