Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
*note: I am not a professional saddle fitter by any means, this is my opinion on the pictures*
Re: saddle alone
I see it being unbalanced while sitting on Nelson. The pommel is sitting too low compared to the cantle, and I would be willing to bet that this would push your pelvis into an awkward position while riding, that being that you'd be tipped forward through your pelvis. In my opinion it looks a tad too wide, so instead of sitting just below the wither, it's a few inches down. Doesn't look to be much clearance from the top of the wither to the bottom of the pommel. The view from the rear looks to be good clearance, but I am tempted to say that the right panel has compressed more than the left, and possibly should be re-flocked to match - and/or you need to re-evaluate how you are sitting to make sure you're sitting in the center of the saddle.
Re: Sweat marks
It looks to me that the pressure is uneven; he is much more sweated up on the near side than the far. The near side shows quite a bit of pressure being placed just below with withers and behind the elbow, and none on the back - which to me doesn't mean much because he was being lunged, not ridden, and so there will be uneven pressure front to back. I guess what concerns me is that there is a dry area then a wet spot on both sides, where the knee rolls would sit. Do you use a martingale that would add pressure in that area? To me there are no obvious hot spots shown from the lunging sweat pictures - again this doesn't tell me much because there is no rider weight on there at all, so you're really not seeing the entire picture.
Again, what concerns me the most is that he's sweated up more on the near side than off, and the off side looks to be drier in areas as well - very patchy wetness. I would be tempted to say that he's a lot less muscled on the right (off) side than the left (near) side.
Re: Pad and saddle
Again, the cantle looks much higher than the pommel, which indicates imbalance of this saddle on this particular horse. Since the pads are pulled tight, the saddle looks to be sitting higher on the wither and doesn't look as wide. I would venture to say that if you created a crease and allowed the pads to come up under the gullet more (so they're not stretched flat) you would see a different picture.
Re: Saddle pad
I am going to once again venture to say that a) Nelson is more muscled on the left side than right and/or b) you like to shift your weight to compensate.
I see a lot more sweat on the right side of the pad, that being on the near side of the horse. I see a lot more grime and wear on the left (near) side of the pad where the panels sit right behind the shoulder. I see a lot more grime/wear on the right (off) side of the pad where the seat is, which makes me wonder if you're leaning to the right to compensate, which would explain the flocking being more compressed on the right as well.
Alright, this is all from me looking at a teeny 13" screen with bad resolution, I might add/change stuff in the morning when I'm home :)
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com