I'm going to keep this as brief as possible. So early this year I changed my saddle from a wide working hunter saddle to a adjustable Thorowgood saddle (Set to a medium/wide gullet). The problem with the other saddle was that it lifted and moved forward because it was too wide, I got it in the middle of the summer while he was out a lot and by winter it didn't fit him.
Ok, so I got this new saddle..end of last yearish. Then after that Harry lost quite a bit of weight in Jan-Feb time so the saddle didn't fit him then and afterwards he put it all the weight back on and it seemed fine but he didn't jump for ages but as soon as he started to again it started lifting.
So it started lifting at the back when the horse was jumping and also when riding in general especially rising trot. I got the Master Saddler back out which originally fitted the saddle and he said there was nothing wrong with it and when he put it on it didn't move at all, we rode on it and tested it, perfect, I dunno what happened!? And he suggested that I was perhaps putting the saddle ontop of the scapula? Bone, he says loads of people do it and also putting the girth on the first and last strap can help to balance the saddle more.
So now I'm super conscious of putting saddles on, as tends to happen, I get paranoid about these sorts of things! ANYWAY, so the next day I put the saddle on and double checked that it was definitely behind his shoulder but it didn't look different to how it usually did, I spent the next 3 hours moving it and testing it and moving it and testing it, tried different numnahs, no numnahs, different girths, having the girth really tight. I also got 3 other people to put it on a few times and it still lifted, another person looked at it and just said I should put a halfpad under it but I don't want to be covering it up if its hurting my horse.
The saddler came out a week ago and I've tried every day, and I was looking at the saddle..yesterday and when I put it in the seemingly right place the back seemed to be hovering off my horses back :(
I wouldn't be on here if I hadn't tried, like at least 100 times. I am SO stressed out about this cause I don't understand what I am doing wrong! I can't even process this anymore to be honest, I have spent the last month thinking about it all day and night and nobody has any ideas for me. I've tried everyday for a week and can't seem to make any real progress on it, hoping it was just be putting it on wrong, looking again at diagrams and videos of tacking up trying to figure out what the flip I'm doing wrong! But I can't seem to figure it out, its in the right place but it seems really tight and like it moves onto the bone.
Not me jumping.
This was taken before the saddler came out but its still the same, this is with a halfpad on. If I put the girth on the third and first hole and make the girth really tight it does make a bit of a difference but I feel like its moving up over the scapula bone and its really really tight.
Another few points:
- It makes no difference what size or weight of rider rides him it's all the same.
- He has been on a "diet" for the last month or two so to me he looks a MUCH better shape now and I think the saddle is too wide.
- He is only about 4-5 years old so I am aware he is changing shape and I have a hunch that one shoulder is slightly less developed than the other, like I can see where the saddle should go on one side and not on the other although I ride him evenly on both reins.
- He seems to change shape pretty regularly, the girl I work with said today that he usually looks different every week xD.
- When I put the saddle on and push the pommel the cantle lifts.
- When I rise it bumps up and down, like nearly flapping.
- I tried putting the saddle too far back and I was like swinging about and then it slid forward and it felt like it usually does. If I put it any further forward it'll be up on his shoulders.
Any idea's what I should do?
I need to get this sorted. I am planning to move to a new yard and there I can ride bareback which I plan to do if I can't figure out this saddle dilemma, I suspect its the gullet or something but I don't honestly know. Looking back at pictures it has been rising a little for MUCH longer than I realised, which is really, depressing to be honest. But it was not near as bad as it is now.
There are other Master Saddlers in the area and at the moment my plan is to get another one out to look at it, get a second opinion. There is one nearer to me which is meant to be more qualified. I can't very well call that guy out again cause he said there was nothing wrong with the saddle! I dunno what to do to be honest.
Helpful comments only please!
I'm ridiculously stressed out about this so bare with me if I missed important things out of this. Sensible questions are, as always welcome. If you have any ideas, any helpful input please share cause my brain is knackered from worrying about this and scarring the internet trying to figure out what is causing it.
So here goes, while I wait for morning to call another saddler. I know you guys can't fix my saddle but any ideas on the cause would be helpful. Also temporary solution ideas welcome, I have a...riser a friend gave me which has changable pads, a half pad etc if anyone has any clue how those could help, the saddle I think, like it appears to be lower at the front or something.
Honestly, I'm too stressed out about it to even deduce the possible cause at this stage. So hit me with your ideas if you have any.
I've got a really bad headache, been thinking too much about it lol! So it'll probably be the morning before I reply to any comments so bare with me. Thanks for reading.