So, here's the thing... either my mare seems to be built super weird/slippery or the tack just isn't working out well. The tack is all ENGLISH, but Western riders may be able to help too.
My mare is an arabian mix (as of our best knowledge and help from a few of you on one of my other forums) with bony withers and a narrow body. Her barrel is deep, but not wide at all. She is a green horse that has only recently begun trotting under saddle. She tends to trot extremely fast and extended, which is how her walk first began before she became more relaxed and comfortable with it. When she bucks and/or rears, the saddle and pad stay in place. It is only when we are trotting that this issue arises.
Whenever I ride my mare at the trot, the saddle (close contact circuit elite) AND saddle pad slip to the side. Yes, everything sitting on her back moves, not just the saddle. It's not a dangerous amount, but just enough that it bothers me and I'm sure it's bothering her. I immediately bring her to a halt, hop off, and undo the girth to fix the saddle back to its place. I don't know whether or not the saddle is capable of slipping so much that it flips under her, and I don't want to find out.
Now, I know everyone is going to say "CHECK YOUR SADDLE'S FIT!"
I'm probably 95% sure that the saddle fits her perfectly. Any narrower, and it would be pinching her. Any wider, and it would be too close to her withers and spine. The sweat marks after rides look perfect. You can see the outline of the saddle and the flaps, and no sweat is seen on her withers or spine.
I will be getting somebody out to check over the saddle's fit anyway, though. It's not my guess to the problem, so I'm looking for other possibilities.
Oh, and yes, the girth has been checked several times. I tighten the girth, lunge her, and then tighten it back up. I don't recall the saddle and pad slipping while she is lunged, but I could be wrong. I will try this out tomorrow and verify if it does or not.
I have three ideas as to why this could be happening:
1.) Uneven shoulder muscles
2.) Slippery/unfit saddle pad
3.) Slippery girth
Details about idea 1- Her right shoulder is larger than her left, and I know the last time I rode the saddle slipped to the right. Wouldn't the saddle be slipping to the less-muscled side, though? I'm confused about this one.
Details about idea 2- The saddle pad I use is very thin (maybe a cm. or two thick). When I tested my mare's withers with a wire and compared the shape to the saddle, there was a few centimeters of room toward her shoulder area. Would a thicker pad help fix this? She is also a very out of shape greenie that has recently reached a good weight. Her shoulder muscles could still be pretty small and maybe having muscle built up could resolve this.
Another idea about this is that my saddle is a close contact saddle, and this pad is an all-purpose fit. Could this cause any slippage?
This is the brand: Rider's International Quilted Cotton Saddle Pad | Dover Saddlery
Details about idea 3- The girth is quite a slippery fleece material. I know when I rub it against my leg, the fleece is really slick.
This is the brand: Equalizer Comfort Girth | Dover Saddlery