Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Unfortunately with a too-narrow saddle, there is no fix. Think of putting on a too-tight shoe... there's nothing that will make it better. You could put any type of sock on you wanted to, but it won't help, you'll still walk around like a duck because the shoe hurts. The bigger picture is that if you're asked to work in those tight shoes on a regular basis for an extended period of time, you will notice that your body starts reacting adversely to the improper fit; your gait will change, and you might even start developing muscles incorrectly because of your changed gait. Your back will start hurting because you're walking funny. Your entire posture will start to be affected because of the shoes.
This is essentially what your horse is going through. If you ask him to work in equipment that doesn't fit properly, you're going to run into problems down the road. You said that he's not bending or striding out properly - these are huge signs that your saddle is hurting him. It's fantastic that you noticed this - a lot of people don't, or ignore it. Please take the hint now, before permanent or long-term damage is done. The cost of a new saddle now will save you in healthcare in the long term. Even riding bareback or not at all is better than riding in an ill-fitting saddle.
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