You don't need shims because the saddle fits, but it won't fit if you don't put it in the right place.
Okay thanks. The only reason why I felt she might need shims is because there is a bit of pressure at the concho, not a lot but still some. I can still slip my fingers through the front of the saddle and to the concho though from both sides. And I can do it even more with a pad under it and cinched up.[/QUOTE]
Placing the saddle too far back as in this photo makes it no longer balanced. I put a red dot where your horse's scapula most likely is. If you lift your horse's leg up in this position...
So basically pick up your horses leg and hold it in the position as if you were picking their feet (judging by that pic).
This is the position where your horse's scapula comes back the farthest. If you put your hand up on the shoulder as you lift the leg, you can feel how far back it goes. That is usually only an inch or so behind the usual position. I put an X on the photo where the scapula probably comes back to in the highest position.
However, the blue dot on the photo is the place on the saddle that should at least mostly clear the shoulder. The shoulder does not need to clear the front of the saddle leather (saddles are not designed this way) but only the front of the saddle tree itself. If you set the saddle so the blue dot is just behind the farthest back point of the scapula, you will see that the saddle will be in the right place about two inches or so farther forward.
Thanks, so basically how I had it the other day was the perfect spot. I had a feeling it was, it's just that after I spent 2 hours today watching saddle fit videos on youtube, I just wanted to make sure that I was clearing the shoulder. You are right though, you don't need to clear the very front of the saddle with the shoulder, just where the tree meets inside the saddle.
I spent some time today massaging the inner lining of the saddle with my fingers to feel exactly where all egdes of the tree were. Surprisingly, it doesn't go right up to the front of the saddle (close but not to the very edge), and it doesn't do all the way to the back of the saddle (here is where the biggest gap was).
You can also see how setting the saddle forward in the correct spot will line up the cinch so it fits in the girth groove appropriately. I put a black line where the front edge of the cinch should approximately go.
True, good point thanks. I was just being overly paranoid that's all. But now I feel better than I cleared it up.
Are those full size donkeys? I didn't know you had one, I've never seen one in person (we only have mini's at our barn lol).