You most absolutely may my darling! I need as much help as I can get. I cannot get my Saddle Fitter/Maker because he is sooo busy, I have to book him months in advance - and the other saddle maker/fitter tells me to go wide with a wither relief pad -
*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 :)
Carry on from PM so everyone else is missing out on the first half of the story.
Looking at the sweat marks after lunging confirms that the saddle is putting more pressure on the front end. But if you look to the rear of the saddle mark on his back I cannot see any rotation marks in the hairs that would be left if the saddle was the wrong shape for him , which are made if the saddle is coming off his back in trot .
Looking at the front arch - again the front arch looks to be the correct shape for him at the moment - a wider fit will drop the saddle onto his withers - a narrower fit will make the saddle bridge and pinch him at the front.
Your problem is that although the saddle looks to be the right shape for him it is tipping forward due to his lack of muscle , also the saddle looks to be a little thin on the flocking at the front end.
The differences in the marks from left to right on the pad after riding are probably due to the pad being not central under the saddle - also he could be un-evenly muscled.
In my opinion you need to have the saddle looked at with a view to having more flocking at the front ( a front pump up in the uk - don't know what the US calls it ) , if you cannot get this done a front riser pad may have the same effect. The pads you are using at the moment are a good idea but they have an effect over the whole saddle , so the tipping forward is not corrected.
Alternatively you could try a different saddle until Nelson has regained his muscle shape .
As PM's your main problem is the reduction in muscle in his back and shoulders due to him havin time off , he needs time to build up the muscle on his shoulders.
Without being there in person it is difficult to be 100% accurate as I cannot see the saddle whilst he is in exercise , but the assessment is the best I can do via pictures. If you have any further queries carry on the thread , and I will do my best to help.
I will probobly have to go with a change of saddle until Nelson gets back into shape.
The Blue Gullet, which is Medium/Wide for Wintec is what is in the saddle now. I changed it last night at the barn before I lunged Boo - and this blue gullet is what was in the saddle when it was causing the bridging prior.
This saddle pad here is the pad used with the Blue Gullet and a Wintec Front Riser Pad:
So that is why I was hoping that widening the saddle would accomodate that broad back, and allow him to build up muscle until I can switch it back to the Medium/Wide Gullet. But, as told - the saddle was now too wide and rocked forward beacuse it could no longer accomodate his high narrow withers.
This sucks! Nelson is such a frustrating fit! I wish you were here in person to help :(