A subject with limited answers, I'm aware!
My mare has spent the last two years out of work. She was brought back into work to address her obesity in January (I have struggled over a very good spring to keep my mare in her pens and not staying behind her fences. I invested in an electric unit but sadly the incredibly good doer that she is, was very obese by that time. Under saddle we got two weeks into work, only for her to let me know she was sore (not related to the weight problem)... and during the period of waiting for a chiropractor to come out to my mare, I came across the opportunity to get a saddle that works with me very well. As I have used one before on my horses, I snapped up the chance and bought it.
Of course horse comfort is paramount, especially when I'm a heavy rider myself. I contacted a saddle fitter in our area who is very reputable. I included photos of the size/weight of the mare and the brand of saddle (Wintec Isabell Werth 18" CAIR) and asked for an appointment. I received an email back basically telling me what was my point for even trying to get a saddle on the mare. I had explained in detail that for her health it was important for her to lose weight by exercise. She is already in a position where she lives in a little paddock with sufficient hay to get her through the day, and no grain. It has been now recommended by the chiropractor for this mare to begin light work back under saddle, to ensure her recovery to injury (was through the shoulder) and to lose weight.
I feel despite using my avenues as a horse owner, and trying to ensure my horse is comfortable, I'm struggling a little in whether or not I ride this mare or I let her have the winter to lose the pounds and try again in spring. I have included photos of her today from where I put the saddle on this mare. I came home and did some research (checked out MIE’s thread http://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack...lly-fit-58116/ ) and found it very informative, I am going out to retry everything I took down notes on. I was a little worried of the fit myself (a lot of height in the gullet despite being in an extra wide gullet) and had no idea of my mare being a mutton withered horse so when I found I could fit 5 fingers in there, I was very hesitant. I checked for pinching and found none, and can see day light down the channel and it clears her spine well. I know the saddle WILL fit her when she’s lost the weight, as a lot of it is making her wide and sitting high, under where the saddle sits. I also noted that the girth straps do shift forward but it seems to have done that ever since she’s gained the weight as before when I was riding her constantly before our accident putting her in the paddock for the 2 yrs, it sat right on my Wintec 500 Dressage. On that saddle too the straps are coming forward at the moment.
The photos aren’t the best, they were taken by a non horsey person, and will have to get some without the saddle blanket, and at better angles. I was a little too excited to just be able to sit back up on my mare after some time and in my new saddle. I found for myself her belly was so wide I couldn't bring my leg to mold around her, and rather, it stuck out. I couldn’t figure if that was to do with the knee rolls – I do have the smaller ones and will be trying them.
Honey at liberty, and lacking a wither haha!
And the pictures from today.
If there are any handy hints or advice people can give me, with these less than ideal pictures, that would be grand. I understand they’re not the best. I just want to give my horse the exercise she needs, but I don’t want to do it if the saddle is going to cause too many problems with her.
Thanks in advance!