Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
The reason why they make saddles this way, it so make it comfortable for the rider, not the horse. The most common twist in a saddle, is narrow, and in order for saddlers to accomodate this, they bring the rear pannels in closer together to get this result.
But, many have caught onto this issue, and if you really do take a good look around, MANY models that are coming out now, are coming out with rear gullet channels that are 3, to 4 finger widths.
2 fingers are less is not desireable, as you already know - because of the pressure on the spine.
But, here's the thing - as you asked, can the narrow gullet width cause significant damage. Yes and no. Yes, the narrow gullet width can impede the development of the lower back, but if you pad up, you can re-distribute that pressure where it starts further down the back. Pad it up, and see what happens. See where the weight is distributed.
So, I have a wide. My horse is a narrow uptop, but he has broad shoulders - so I have to go wide to accomodate his shoulders. I have to pad up. So when I my Thinline Sheepskin Half Pad, the panel pressure in the rear of the saddle, is re-distributed further down his back. But, the issue is still there.
Can you contact the saddler who worked with you, and ask them if this workable or not?
A wider gullet, will remove the pressure from his spine, regardless. That's why I am looking into a newer saddle, with a wider gullet. I love my M.T Premia, so I'm going to stick with that model, but a newer one, with the wider gullet.