I'm looking for suggestions on a new dressage saddle. Now, I don't have a LOT of money, not much more than what I can sell my old Kieffer for, but it is clear the Kieffer no longer works for me or Cinny according to a professional saddle fitter AND, no amount of adjusting will make it fit.
I will show you the pictures I sent to the fitter as well as what the fitter said about it. Maybe once you see where we are coming from, with any experience of any style/brand that you may have, maybe you might be able to suggest something that fixes the problems the fitter discusses.
Mind you, I am not BLAMING my saddle for my own inadequacies, I am just showing how it doesn't help, as well as showing the Saddle Fitters view of what is happening so that I can get the best new saddle suggestions I can get for what is going on.
One last note.... I KNOW I need to loose weight. I am working on that. I have started going to the gym, eating better and working on strengthening my core. I have lost 15 pounds this past month and I think I'm well on my way to being a fitter partner and team member for Cinny. So please don't just give up on me and tell me I'm just too fat for what I want to do ... I already know I am and It's already KILLING me to the point that I am doing my best about it.
Cinny's current general conformation
This is my Kieffer Wien as it sits on Cinny with nothing under it
Here it is again with a marker on it the way the Schleese videos describe to find where it is balanced.
Looking up the twist from behind
General view of fit from the front
The following is to show what happens with my position when I ride. When I ride my trainer's OTTB in my Trainers saddle this doesn't happen. I am uncomfortable as heck in her saddle but it doesn't throw me forward either. I also have been told that I have far better equitation and positioning bareback on Cinny than with any saddle.
We usually are kind of okay when we stay in the sitting trot. He will offer to put his head into the bridle, I can feel his legs power up and then BAM he throws his head straight into the air like a bee just stung him and then is angry until we go back to a walk.
We have gone about 5 strides and he is hesitantly thinking of rounding but as you can tell by his expression he isn't very confident in doing so. I am struggling to not get thrown forward in the seat. I feel like it is actually pushing upward and forward on my tailbone.
Shortly after an attempt to "round" he is now angry and obviously something has hurt him. My position is very greatly compromised....
This is at the Rising Trot
Again, He is thinking about it and I am now very much struggling to keep from tilting forward. In my struggle my knees also start to raise the more I fight being thrown forward.
And BAM something "gets him" again
After our little 20-30 minute ride to warm up and take pictures, this is what his back looks like. I have circled in red actual indentations...there are no white hairs or broken hairs but the muscles have been affected.
And last, here is what I was told by the Kieffer licensed professional saddle fitter in IL
First of all, he is very cute and obviously tries very hard for you. He just can't do it with this saddle. Kieffer saddles have one spot for you to sit in. If you are a larger person there is generally not enough room to sit in the "sweet spot". What I see in your photos is that you sit on the belly of the seat and that puts pressure on the cantle. This kicks you out the front and causes the saddle to move forward by thew as it is being driven there. When I look at the photos of the panels on the horse from the rear, I feel that the panels are overflocked, or stuffed. This narrows the bearing surface and causes more pressure on his back. This, in addition to the weight on the cantle, is causing the muscle development problems you are seeing on his back.
In my opinion, this saddle is not working for you or for him. Your feeling that you are fighting the saddle is correct. Then your horse has to try to accommodate you and the saddle that is not quite right for him either. The saddle does basically fit him. The overflocked panels are a problem, but mainly it is the way the saddle fits you and what it does to your position that is affecting him negatively. Adjusting it, and/or changing the flocking, will not help. He is a very good boy with a lot of heart! A new saddle that fits you both properly, and some therapy on his back, whether from a massage therapist or chiropractor, will make all the difference in your partnership. He looks to have a very short thoracic area, so any saddle needs to not extend over his last rib.
I'm sorry this was so long, but I really wanted to give a good explanation so that hopefully you have what you need to suggest something that would work better. I have been thinking of an older Wintec Isabelle that is already broken in, yet in good condition that has also been used on a paint of similar conformation as Cinny. But I am open to ANY saddle suggestions. I will have to buy used because I can't really go much over 500.
Thank you for all of your help. I PROMISE I will gratefully accept any help or suggestions you give and won't behave like child this time. I am an adult..I want to prove it.