Saddle Critique - Help!
Ok guys - so recently I have been putting ads around various places on the internet looking for a shareboarder for my draft cross pony. And, since on my ad's I have been saying that any shareboarder would have full use of my tack and equipment, I thought it appropriate to include a picture of him tacked up. The picture is the one I've included here. On livejournal in the equestrian community, the first comment I got on the ad was "1. Nice saddle. 2. Nice tying the horse to the post by the reins. 3. At least he's idiot proof."
Before I ask for your critiques, here's where I see "idiot" in this picture. The reins are deceptive, I'll admit. However, they are short split reins and are not actually tied around the post, so if he was to pull backward they would offer no resistance whatsoever. I was also standing only a few feet away, and he wasn't left unattended at any time. Still, I know that doesn't look exactly professional (it's funny the things you don't notice until AFTER it gets pointed out to you), and so I am going to remove that picture from my ads. Moving on to the saddle - I realize that the blue pad is not a dressage pad, and is a little short for the saddle flaps. I was not riding him that day, I just grabbed the pad that was on top of the saddle. The saddle fits him well (it's a wide tree), I've ridden in it dozens of times, and we've had no problems.
So, since I don't exactly trust the person who commented on livejournal, what are your thoughts on the saddle? I just can't tell if they are being sarcastic or not, and it's bugging the crap out of me! Obviously if there is something wrong with the saddle I want to fix it. The saddle's not a name brand anything, just an old schooling dressage saddle. There are side reins that slipped under the first flap, but as no one is riding in the picture I don't think that's too awful, it's not bothering him in any way (I just didn't take them off after the last longeing session). The stirrups are tied up because they are synthetic leathers (I haven't had the chance to replace them) and they don't stay up in the tack room unless you tie them in knots.
If there is something that is obviously messed up that I'm blind to, please tell me! Or is that commenter just making me feel all nervous for nothing?
"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." -Winston Churchill