I recently purchased a 5 year old Tennessee Walker. He has a very wide back and low withers. I recently noticed that my gaited saddle was pinching his withers which is clearly causing him discomfort. The hair in those areas has turned gray. I decided to try a full QH bar saddle on him. Even it pinches and rubs on his withers. I have considered the following other options: A Haflinger tree saddle, a treeless saddle (likely a Bob Marshall), or an Arab tree saddle. I am told that the Arab tree has front bars with a flatter angle than even the Full QH saddle would have, so they might not be as likely to pinch his withers. Any suggestions as to which direction I should go with this problem? Thanks!
Do you have any kind of tack store with a saddle fitter in your area? If you do, I would start by asking their help.
If not, I'd suggest taking tracings and then contact a couple of online saddle makers/fitters for long distance help. You can buy and try saddles until you are poor but it's a little more productive to take his specific measurements and have someone help you match them to an appropriately sized saddle.
Unfortunately, there is no tack shop within driving distance of my home. As far as measuring the horse is concerned, I am frankly not sure how to effectively measure a horse for saddle fit. I can perform a wire tracing of his withers profile, but that falls well short of what must be considered for good overall saddle fit in my mind. I would be pleased to learn of any other measuring techniques that would help me determine what type of saddle would best fit my horse. Thanks!