I'm sorry to start yet another saddle fitting thread, but I want to get a new saddle for Stella and I'm so confused about how to find the best fit. I've read the other threads on saddle fitting and looked at the pictures, but the different tree, bar and gullet sizes, not to mention the tree material all makes my head spin.
I've had horses my entire life, but before Stella I've only had a couple of ponies and then my previous horse who I got when I was 12 and had for the next 22 years. I used a barrel saddle on her to start with, then, when I got out of racing, I experimented with other saddles including English before settling on an Aussie. I mention this just to emphasis I know squat about saddle fit as I have no idea if any of them fit her (or me) properly.
Now, when I got Stella she was very thin and after I got some weight on her and was ready to start riding her, I thought a lightweight English saddle would be best. I got rid of my Aussie saddle (regret it now) because it was so heavy and got what was advertised as a "gaited" saddle because it said it would fit arabs well. It did seem to fit both of us well, but she has currently plumped up even more and now I'm questioning it. When it's on the saddle rack and I sit in it, I'm perfectly centered and it feels great. Once it's on her though, I'm being pushed back to where I'm sitting all the way to the end of the cantle. She has a short, wide back. When I say wide, I'm talking table top!
I've also considered an old western saddle I have that is super heavy, must be at least 40 lbs. Is there a limit to saddle weight that should be put on a horse?
I just read through this... what the heck is my question...Um, in a nutshell, I need a comfortable trail riding saddle for a short arab cross with a short, wide back. I'd like an Aussie, but want to know if there are guidelines to fit a saddle prior to purchasing one. I've even seen saddles said to have an "arab tree". Is there such a thing? Would pictures help? If so, what of?