I've been window shopping for a better saddle for Lexie lately. When he's officially mine (soon hopefully) I'll have to give his owner back the current saddle I'm using, and my own saddle doesn't fit him at all. I have an almost new HDR event saddle that I won in a raffle, but it bridges big time on his back. So I have an $900 saddle sitting in my garage collecting dust. I've decided to sell my HDR to buy a new saddle for Lexie that fits him better.
Lots of you on here seem to have saddle fitting experience, so I would appreciate any advice!
Currently I am using an Ainsley ProNational dressage on Lex. It's one of the comfiest saddles ever, I love it's straight flaps, not-so-deep seat, and smaller thigh block. However, Lexie is not the easiest horse to fit. He's an Arab/Warmblood cross. He has high withers like an Arab, but is quite wide like a Warmblood at the same time. I feel like the Ainsley is a little too narrow for him. The saddle clears his withers, but I think it's too high in the front because it's not designed for a wider horse like him. I find that my seat is being pushed further back in the saddle also, because it is too high in front. The panels follow his back well, but I feel like the shoulder area is not a perfect fit.
I've been looking at treeless, leather tree, and flexible saddles, but most are out of my price range (I'm expecting to be able to earn anywhere from 450-700 on my HDR, I haven't taken it in to the tack shop yet) and they are not likely to fit a high withered horse. Of course, Lexie's topline will fill in when he develops better back muscles, but I want to make sure his saddle isn't inhibiting that. Of course, I'm not riding much lately anyways, but it can't hurt to plan ahead.
I've done a wither tracing and conformation pictures also. I think I'll go back and do another wither tracing just to be more accurate. I measured him as a medium to medium wide tree, at 12.75 inches.
Here are a few conformation pictures, and a picture of the Ainsley I use. I can get additional pictures and measurements also. I will get a picture of the current saddle on Alexie tonight.https://picasaweb.google.com/114223899146732768874/February52012?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCK6gpJzZrpysywE&feat=directlink
Currently, I've been looking at traditional type saddles, with partially flexible trees. One that I found was a Courbette Husar, Swiss made, and memory foam flocked. I just wish the ad had more measurements so I could compare a little more accurately. Courbette's are nice saddles and if I'm not mistaken, the Switzerland made ones have a flexible plastic spring tree. Here's the link to the one I was looking at. http://www.ebay.com/itm/17-5-med-Courbette-Husar-Touring-XL-Dressage-saddle-/110820262106?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19cd6700da
Also either of these two: http://www.arabianvines.com/used.html
Feel free to point me in the right direction, if you have any other suggestions for saddles. I don't have the money to have the local professional saddle fitter come out, but I do still want to make sure I find tack that fits well.