Apparently Excel has gained wayyy more muscle than I thought, because when I took him XC schooling in my Collegiate friday night, I took the saddle off to find a rub mark and a sore spot on his withers where the saddle was pinching. It has fit him for a long time, but apparently we need to switch saddles. I only just noticed it because I had been conditioning him in my dressage saddle, which still fits him despite the muscle gain. Saturday the skin on either side of the rub spot was slightly raised, and it was sore to touch, so I gave him a gram of bute. Today, the skin was still raised but not tender to the touch. My friend brought over an old Toulouse she's not using to see if it fits him better, so I set it on him and took pictures to see.
What should I be doing, and does anyone have a general timeframe of when I can ride him again? I feel awful; I've never had any saddle fit problems like this before. Does the new Toulouse look like it fits him? She brought it back to the barn while I was feeding, so I didn't have a girth handy. I can take girthed up pictures tomorrow.