Saddle fit, feeling awful.
A couple days ago I noticed patches just beneath my horses withers where the hair has been coming in with a sprinkling of white- which means something is not fitting right. I rode and while the rest of him was sweaty, those same spots were completely dry. I feel awful, because clearly the fit has been off for awhile (he's muscled up a lot since I got him) to the point that it has created those marks... I don't have a picture of him, but I have a picture and have made a mark of the part of the saddle that would be resting on that spot, so you have a clearer indication of what I'm talking about.
I realized it was too narrow, and could get an entire hand underneath, so I changed from a narrow gullet to a medium narrow and it was a little better but again, those spots were totally dry after our ride and I could fit 4 fingers under the pommel.
The saddle otherwise fits his back quite well and my trainer has checked and doesn't see a problem. Would an even wider gullet (I have the medium as well) make a difference? Or is it just the general saddle fit. And what happens to the damaged area, the hair will continue to come in white? Would it have damaged the ability to sweat normally?
The two areas you've indicated look like the tree-point positions which suggests a pressure problem there. Have you templated (wither-profiled) the horse to check against the saddle? If you can do that, it's the best indicator of whether the tree's too narrow. As a rough guide first, put your saddle on the horse un-girthed and your hand between horse and saddle behind the flap. If the saddle is off the horse's back (ie if the flat of your hand slides under it easily) then do a wither template.
If you don't have a flexicurve use any piece of wire that'll hold its shape (about 2 feet long) and form it over the wither and down the shoulder following the contours, about 2" (3 fingers-width) behind the back of the scapula, then offer it up to the front of the saddle. If you find your horse hollows behind the shoulder, to get accurate angles you'll need to draw the shape on a piece of card then draw straight lines from where the wither starts to curve downwards to where the shoulder curves out. If you cut that shape out and hold it against the front of the saddle you'll see if the angles match those of the tree-points. I suspect you'll find your saddle comes inside these angles, in which case it's too narrow, but bear in mind if your horse does hollow behind the shoulder the saddle will need extra flocking as well as the arch adjustment, otherwise it'll just drop behind the shoulder and people will say 'your saddle's too wide.'
Your saddle has the right panel shape to have extra flock added, though whoever does the job will have to nick the stitches - they're designed to keep the existing flock from moving around too much so they're not structurally important.
Good luck :)
Unfortunately that isn't my saddle, and I'm not sure mine is fit to have extra flock. I will try to get more pictures today, and I know the local tack store lends out the 'template' for the interchangeable gullets, maybe I'll stop by there and see if I can take that.
you can always use an old metal hanger !
keep in mind that sometimes when the saddle pinches right behind the shoulder it is too wide.
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