I wasn't implying custom but do you not have tack stores with in driving distance so you could try sdadles with out buying them and then having to resell them.
No tack stores per se. Our local feed stores have some tack and saddles. I wouldn't mind hauling Dancer up there to try out a saddle, but the one time I mentioned it, I got the most incredulous look you've ever seen! They'd never heard of trying on a saddle before you buy it. I asked on girl if she tried on shoes before she bought them, and she said "yes, but I'm not a horse!"
Another feed store said if they let everybody try a saddle on their horse before buying it, they'd be reduced to selling used saddles because no one would believe they were new. (Makes me wonder what they are selling.)
I have asked if I bought one and it didn't fit the horse, could I bring it back, and they all said no! Go figure.
I live in central Oklahoma, and there is not one honest to goodness tack shop withing 100 miles from here that I have heard of. There are some tack "dealers," that sell tack at local auctions, but no actual shops. The one dealer that was willing to let me try a saddle on my horse told me he didn't have any saddles he would be willing to put on a horse. He was selling a bunch of cheapo saddles that he got from some Asian importer. He said if he had realized just how badly the saddles were made, he'd have passed on the deal. He was just trying to get rid of them.
He did tell me if he ran across any saddles he thought would fit Dancer, (that were in my budget) he'd let me know. But he did caution that she was likely going to be a hard fit - most of the saddles around here are geared toward QH, and she definitely isn't one.
If that saddle that daughter is bringing home fits Dancer, at least we'll know what we need to look for. That saddle is for a Paso Fino. The lady daughter is buying the saddle from could probably help me find one - she has a lot of contacts. Finding one to fit my fat backside would be the hard part.
In the meantime, I just wanted to measure her to see what I could find that might come close to fitting her.
And I realize you weren't implying a custom made saddle - that was me. I would love to have one! I checked out the Corriente saddles that Smrobs likes so well. They were nice saddles, but there weren't any big enough to fit me.
I seriously considered a treeless saddle. There was one I looked at that had a seat my size, and the gullet size could be modified to fit multiple types of horses using some sort of strap and buckle system. That might have been just the ticket, but it was a Hilason, I think, and I'm not hearing good things about them.
Guess it's a good thing I like saddle shopping, because I have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of it!