When I first started taking dressage lessons, I was so thrilled with the prospect of building up my horses top-line. I just knew that his bony withers could fill out more and his loins could be fuller. I was so excited to see that process happen and I just couldn't wait.
Slowly, over time, I have started to see change. His withers are wider and fuller with less definition between wither and shoulder blade. His back is flatter and not as hollow.
I continued to grow more excited with the muscular beast my horse was becoming. Until one day when his saddle stopped fitting. This was a few months ago. My Crosby Prix Des Nations is a medium tree and was pinching the withers. Boomer showed his displeasure at anything faster than a walk by twitching the skin on his shoulders and swishing his tail.
I was able to borrow a Wintec All-Purpose saddle that is either a MW or W tree and it fits him well. It isn't my favorite saddle, but it fits and that is what is important.
My western saddle has been in the garage for about 6 weeks while I was working on getting replacement fenders. I finally got the fenders and brought the saddle out to ride in. I figured I would be more comfortable and secure in the western saddle while pregnant.
Well, what do you know. It doesn't fit either. When I put it on, it sort of sat above him, like it couldn't slide down into place. I thought maybe it had just gotten stiff from being on the stand in the garage for so long. I wiggled it down on him and girthed up. I lunged him before I got on and all seemed fine. I got on and immediately knew something was up. As soon as I sat down, Boomer started twitching his shoulders like he had a fly on him. He just kept doing that as we walked around. As soon as I asked for the trot, he started swishing his tail like crazy. He was also resisting the bit a little, but not anything terrible. I hopped off, slid the saddle back a few inches to free up his shoulders and got back on. It helped a little with the skim twitching, but the tail swishing started back up as soon as we picked up the trot. I wasn't in the mood to see if cantering would bring about bucking, so I hopped off and called it a day. Disappointing is an understatement at this point.
I am in an uncomfortable position where I own two saddles that don't fit my horse and don't particularly love the saddle that I am borrowing, which does fit.
I have been hanging on to my Crosby for these last few months because it holds a lot of sentimental value. However, it doesn't fit me or my horse. At first, I thought to myself that I would hang on to it in case Boomer changes shape again and needs a narrower saddle. However, the more I think about that, the less is makes sense. It is much better to have a saddle be too wide, as you can shim it with an extra pad. With a saddle too narrow, it just sits and collects dust. Now, I am leaning towards selling both of my saddles to be able to afford a dressage saddle that actually fits. Should Boomer get more narrow, I can always use an extra pad to shim. I have a distinct feeling that there is no way Boomer will ever be wider than a wide tree saddle. If he does grow more, well, we will tackle that when it comes time.
I guess my chore for the weekend is to get my saddles listed on eBay. I will do a post here in a few days with a list of the items I will be selling along with my saddles. (mohair cinch, neoprene cinch, cantle pack, etc.)