Smrobs - I know exactly what you mean. I have learned to look at the saddle to make sure the seat is a good shape for me. I like a seat with a lot of rise in the middle, not flat - which is what my hubby preferred...
I am honestly surprised just how much of a difference a properly fitting saddle can make.
I've been having bad confidence issues with my horse lately, and a few nights ago I sort of had a revelation that the saddle I've been riding her in for two years (the big one) is just too big for me. Though I'd been too nervous to ride her for two weeks, yesterday I just went out, saddled her up with the old beater saddle and went for a little ride.
I felt SO much better-it really surprised me. I feel so much better in the little saddle, I feel so much more present and in control-not just locked in place on her back.
Obviously a saddle's not going to get me over all my confidence problems, I'm still going to take lessons, but it really made a huge difference.
Now I'm thinking I want to sell or trade the bigger saddle. It's just that much better riding with one that fits you.
I'm just not 100% positive that it fits the horse...when I took the tack off, there were no dry spots under the blanket so I don't think it's pinching, but I could be very wrong. I'm going to get someone experienced to take a look at it on Monday when I'm at a show.
This all boils down to various styles of trees. A roper, made for men, is wider in the twist than a saddle made for women. It has to do with the differences in how we are built. There are various roper tree styles and equitation style trees.