if you read what I said that's not true. . . My hrose rode in an ill fitting saddle for THREE MONTHS without incident. Untill she had enough of being pinched and exploded into a bronco. Three times she did this untill I realized hey idiot somethings wrong. And sure enough her saddle was sqeezing and pinching her shoulder movment as most ill fitting saddles do. Look up on you tube how to make sure. And unless you had a fitter look you can't be 'know for a fact' because I said that too untill I had a professional come.
We've done the "chalking" process and whatnot...the only problems were his withers, as they're enormous (like most TBs) so I also use one of those English half-pads under the regular western one. I can almost fit both of my hands stacked on top of each other in between the pommel and his withers, and there's light coming from the back when he drops his head.
as I've worked with over 20 OTT tbs I don't suggest them to people who have not the slightest clue in re training them and starting over. Most ott tbs need a down time to be a horse. We turned ours out for 2 - 6 months THEN started from ground work up. That's how you do it the right way. If you don't know how to fix it I suggest you get off the board and call a REAL trainer or some one who actually knows what they are doing.
He was out to pasture for a whole year before I bought him and started working with him. I say that's she's never re-trained a horse to this degree because, although she's retrained horses, its been to the effect of "a show jumper to a barrel horse" or something like that....something with basic knowledge of how to actually be ridden.
In the round pen, he's excellent. It takes him two minutes and he's a different horse, he'll follow me around, stop and go based on my boy language, all of that jazz. So what would be the next step up after that, other than riding?
BP, since you've done this so many other times, your advice would be what I'm looking for....I want to be as big of a part in re-training him as possible, but everyone just seems to want to tell me "leave it to the professionals". Well those people had to start somewhere, its not like you're born with this knowledge. So suggestions of how to do this, how to "fill the hole" are what I'm looking for.