Well, the trial run with the roper this weekend went really well. Smrobs--different styles for different body types, I guess; I really love the fit of the roper tree (and that's a great-looking saddle you've got there as well!). It seems to fit my horse very well, and I love the position it puts me in, particularly the way my legs hang better below me. In my old saddle, one stirrup length was too long, while the next shortest was more comfortable, but pushed my legs too far forward--something I just realized while riding in the roper this weekend. The roper is actually 5 pounds lighter than my old saddle, which is a huge bonus. 5 pounds didn't sound like a lot to me, but it's exponentially easier to swing the saddle up without the added weight!
I tried out the BC trail saddle (1784) as well. I was expecting the fit would be similar to the roper (just based on the brand, and what I'd heard about BC saddles being easy to fit a variety of horses) but it wasn't even close. As soon as I saddled my horse, I could tell the 1784 wasn't going to work. It was built with a ladies seat, which seems to have made the whole saddle narrower. The fit across the withers wasn't bad (though it wasn't as good as the roper), but the cantle was pointing to the sky, even with the flank cinch tight. I circled her a few times, saddled, from the ground, and her movement wasn't nearly as free as with the roper. As soon as I got on, I could tell the saddle wasn't for us. It clearly wasn't fitting her properly, and my seat didn't feel anywhere close to as comfortable as the roper did. When I got on her in the roper, I felt immediately comfortable and correct, and the trail saddle felt narrow, small, and just ill-fitting in general.
I spent less than 3 minutes in the trail saddle, and I probably didn't even need that long. It wasn't the one for us. I switched back to the roper for the rest of the afternoon (I was at a working cow clinic) and was very happy with it. She's so relaxed in it, for ground work, walk, and trot. Her roll backs were great--they've been improving anyway, but they were the best they'd ever been this weekend in the roper. We didn't have a chance to lope, but we need some work there in an arena--she's developed some bad habits loping CW on account of the ill-fitting saddle, and doing ranch work in an open pasture wasn't the place to try it! My friend is coming to fit the saddle with her impression pad tomorrow--if she gives it the stamp of approval, I'll cut the price tag off, and start oiling!