Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Wales, UK
• Horses: 0
Well - I would.
One problem with getting an English saddle to fit comfortably is that it's not just the tree width and shape you have to look at, the panel is just as important.
If you have a horse that hollows behind the shoulder you usually find that the correct front arch width, to give clearance when the horse steps forward and the shoulderblades rotate backwards, will allow the saddle to drop too low in front. You then need a deeper (wider) panel in that area to provide the extra support - to fill in the hollows, if you like.
Often you'll need the panel stuffed more as well, and the deeper the panel the softer the flocking can be left. (In a narrower panel the flocking will necessarily have to be firmer to get the same amount of support).
Then when the horse steps forward the back of the shoulder blade hits a soft panel, not a hard tree-point.
Foam and fibre panels are non- adjustable, so can't be shaped to the horse's back but there are some wool flocked CC saddles if you prefer that type. Also the new Wintec Cair saddles have an openable panel which can be shimmed inside (though I'd still flock them as you get a better fit) and some Jaguar felt panel CCs have split panels so you can get wool between the parts to shape them better.
Apologies if you already knew a lot of that :)