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PaintLover17 06-08-2012 01:56 PM

Saddle problems- please help!
I don't think my saddle fits my mare anymore. It's a close contact and fit well a year ago when I bought it, but since then my mare has lost weight and gained muscle. After I ride there is always a small dry spot on the left side of her withers, above the shoulder about the size of a quarter. I've always heard that this is a sign of an I'll fitting saddle, but Amber doesn't seem to care at all. She moves well with it on and we've even started jumping recently with no problems. Her back is also not at all sore. I first noticed the problem a few months ago and it has not gotten worse since then. If it was hurting her wouldn't she have a sore back by now? If she needs a new saddle I will find a way to buy one, but it might take awhile. I have just enough money now saved up that I'm not worried about not being able to afford an emergency, but if I buy a saddle I'll have trouble affording any surprise vet bills again. So basically my question is: since Amber is not in pain at all and doesn't seemed bothered, is it okay to keep using this saddle?
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PaintLover17 06-08-2012 02:48 PM

Forgot to add: I've also always heard that dry spots are from excessive pressure, but my saddle is not pressing on the dry area. I am able to put my hand under the saddle in that spot while riding in all gaits and it never presses hard. When riding other horses when I know for sure their saddle fits I can feel more pressure in the same areas than I can with my saddle on Amber. This is part of the reason I'm so confused, as I am sure that it is not putting excessive pressure on her withers.
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PaintLover17 06-08-2012 03:01 PM

Sorry, one more question! Would this be something that could be fixed by reflocking? I honestly don't know much about reflocking, I've just heard it mentioned a few times. Is it a reasonable solution?
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unclearthur 06-08-2012 03:26 PM

Another CC problem!

Dry spots are a poor guide to saddle fit issues. Is it from normal pressure, too much pressure or lack of pressure? That depends on the horse. Or the absorbency of saddle panel or pad. The dry spot may be normal and the sweaty spot on the opposite side abnormal, but often it's impossible to tell without looking at other factors.

If you girth the bare saddle up tight enough to mount then put the flat of your hand between horse and saddle and run it downwards from the gullet, does the saddle get tight as your hand gets to the end of the tree-point position? Is one side tighter than the other? If one or both of these I suspect the saddle is pulling down onto the horse's shoulder, a common problem with CC's (which is why they are not a good choice for the average horse).

Foam or fibre panel CCs can only be adjusted with shims (though Jaguar do a split fibre panel which can be flocked) and this doesn't work because you can't get extra padding under the tree points where you need it most. Wool flocked CC's can be adjusted in the same way as conventional wool panels, though because they're often narrower the range of adjustment possible is not as great.

Hope you manage to find a solution :)

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