What a gorgeous horse!
Have to let you know though, that at least in the picture, your saddle is put to far to the front.
It now rests on your horse's shoulders and the girth obstructs the breathing. Also, the horse will now hit the saddle flaps and the girth with his elbow and shoulder blades.
It also looks like the chamber is to narrow, as the middle point of the saddle is not in the center, but towards the back.
I reckon you constantly shift with your buttocks to the back and then, while trying to correct that, you back gets hollow and your legs start flapping?
Just on a side note...
Thanks, I think she is kinda pretty.
Actually may look like it in the photo, but the saddle is not too far forward, the shoulder area is designed to sit lined up behind the scapula, with PLENTY of room for it to come back under the flap. There is no padding (the vertical padding saddle have around the tree in front) that impedes the shoulder. She doesn't hit anywhere on it either. I have it fitted an average of twice annually (by Jochen Schleese himself) and he always watches me ride in it, that's part of how he fits. The chamber, if you are referring to the gullet underneath is plenty wide enough so that the panels rest on muscle not on spinal processes or rib heads. It's also perfectly balanced for her and me, the 'center' of the saddle is actually a bit more forward than most, I don't sit toward the back in it at all. And no I don't constantly shift in it, I can sit "still" quite easily enough... well mostly. haha that's a current inside joke, see my diary in a few days after I finish a few more entries.
I appreciate the usual saddle concerns, but I know this saddle fits Bella perfectly and does not impede her movement at all.
She MOVES in this one. She tells me when the saddle has an issue, in no uncertain terms, because she has always had a perfectly fitting saddle, so when it's not right she lets me know.
You can look up this saddle, it is a Schleese (schleese.com) and the model is the Link II. It is a mono flap design with shoulder cutout and a made for female tree. This saddle has a 4.5 inch wide gullet (or channel) the entire length of the saddle, his saddles do not get narrower at the rear. The only possible issue is the overall length of it due to the shape of the panels at the cantle. It's "just" at that last rib, Jochen has said twice now that he would like to change the panels and not have them stick out behind, but tuck in more in line with the cantle so it will fit her back that much better. (She is very short backed) The tree points also do not come straight down like most, they are angled backward, so the tree itself does not hit the shoulder on his saddles. They do give horses more shoulder room, freedom. Oh and duh I forgot, the entire tree moves with the horse, its very flexible. So there is no real pressure points from the saddle itself. (just the rider in it)
Using a saddle is harmful to the horse, we all know that. At least I attempt to remove as much harm as is possible. To make her as comfy as possible by using a saddle that is designed to give her shoulder the room to move, and not sit on her spine, and have it checked for perfect fit every 6 months, sometimes more often. He can adjust the tree as needed, it's usually widened each fitting. If there is one thing I know these days, it's saddle fit and construction. haha I have been working with Jochen for 8 years now, or is it 9? Anyway I run fit clinics for him, and we average about 14 horses per day at those. (He is at WEG now, and I am sure he is super busy) So over the years I have helped to measure and fit a few hundred horses.
I have learned much about biomechanics between riding and the saddle fittings, and understand where the usual fit issues are. I have even worked the stuffing in my panels to fit Bella better in between having her fitted, Jochen said I did it "perfectly" (and I don't even have the right tools!) The only thing that has prevented me from getting trained and certified as a saddle fitter is having to go to his shop in Canada for a year to train! I have a ranch and critters, and now a normal job, so that's just not gonna happen. But it is something I am keenly interested in. Because if you are going to ride in a saddle, make it fit the horse correctly and give him plenty of freedom to move. It boggles the mind how many people don't even consider that a saddle should fit the horse!
Anyway it's not the best photo of the saddle... Never rode her that day, just slapped it on and we walked around (hand walked), she was higher than a kite that day. (at a show)
These are closer... she wasn't standing square to the camera because I was trying to photo and get her to stand still for me at the same time. She is a camera hog, and kept wanting to walk to me.
her scapula is just under the front of the vertical panel, about half an inch. There is about an inch and a half from the thigh block to the outter edge of the panel. Her elbow sits 4 inches (to 5) from center of this girth. (girth is soft flexible synthetic, not hard leather)
(tired, heading to bed)
Has your horse kissed YOU today?