I'm looking for more info on bob marshall saddles. Are they different in seat sizing from western saddles? How about the pommel angles?
What are advantages and disadvantages of the saddle?
Also do you have to have a skito pad or the skito equalizer pad or can any quality pad work?
I have one and LOVE it! They do tend to run a tad small, 1/2" to 1" smaller than a traditional western saddle IME. Some people say they run true to size though. I think it depends on what kind of western saddle you're used to riding in, lol.
The pommels do need to fit the horse. The Barrel and Trail model pommels have QH bar type angles. The Endurance pommel is more like Full QH bars. You do have some room for error though as there isn't as much weight coming down through the pommel as a traditional treed saddle. I have used my endurance model on everything from wide tanks to high withered gaited horses with good success. I just used a couple of shims in my Skito pad for the high withered horses.
I am a heavy weight rider (250 lbs), so I use a Skito pad and a ThinLine pad together; on of the simple ThinLine Western pads. The extra pad under the Skito provides more weight distribution and is VERY non-slip. I feel quite secure in my saddle, even on green horses or "fun" trail rides. I use a 100% mohair roper cinch for added stability. For trail riding, I use an over-the-neck aussie/english style breastcollar (we have lots of hills!).
Here's my set up.
I swapped out the regular stirrups for padded, caged endurance stirrups. I have no problems keeping my leg under me for a "classical" position.
Sorry a little off topic, but how would you tell if your BMBS fits your horse correctly? When I bought I was told that it'll fit everything so I don't need to check fit. Now I've heard differently...
Saddle up, get on, and ride around a bit. After the horse is warmed up, carefully lean over and slide your hand under the pommel. Be careful to NOT put extra weight in your stirrups (take your feet out if you can't help it). Try not to lean on the pommel with your other hand or your body. Place your hand so it's under the bottom portion of the pommel, over the horse's shoulder. Have a friend lead you in a straight line, at the walk.
If you can't put your hand under the pommel without leaning on it, then have a friend ride and you walk on the ground with your hand under it.
If your hand is comfortable there, you're good. If your hand gets pinched uncomfortably or painfully, then the pommel is not right for your horse.
Those look very similar to the kuda saddles. Really funny, I know the woman that you sent me the ebay listing. I tried out one of her haflingers about a year and a half ago, really really nice people. She often has some really nice haflingers for sale.
I spoke to the woman that sells the kuda saddles and I think I may go with one of those (when I'm not so poor!) They have a new wstern style that I really liked, she e-mailed me a few pics of a custom saddle they made.
I have a peaked pommel for my high withers horse and it is the only saddle I caould get to fit. He is short backed so the square skirt is not working for me. The circle Y BM all came withy the peaked pommel the BM need to be special ordered that way.