>I have been trying to find a saddle to fit my horse.
I believe I currently hold the record for saddle trials, having gone
through over 30 actual different saddles for my QH (who, from all
I can tell, has a fairly ordinary looking back, though a long wither.)
(1) yes, the dry spots indicates that the saddle you have tried does
(2) in the opinion of most of the saddlers I talked to, most saddles
don't fit in some way or other.
(3) that leaves you with the conclusion that you are having to seek
the best poor-fit you can find, rather than the worst.
(One of the saddlers who was a friend of mine talked about a fit clinic
they had wherein virtually every single saddle in their extremely well-
stocked store was tried on a horse, and the device they were using to
measure saddle-to-back fit showed some slight problem with each one).
None the less, she had very good advice for me, and we were able to
discard over 3/4s of the 22 saddles she brought out to the barn without
riding in them, because we could see numerous things when they were
on the horse and girthed up:
1. that the saddle didn't sit 'square' -- that the deep
part of the seat was not in the 'middle'.
2. that the girth straps were set too far back or too
far forward to work well with his long wither and long
3. That the saddle didn't sit flat on his back, but
4. That some trees were too wide, and some too narrow.
I was relieved that the ultra expensive models didn't seem to fit
him any better than the mid-priced ones (-:, and ended up with about
6 candidates to try (both dressage and jumping saddles were fitted
One consideration I still feel strongly about, though she did not:
I favor wool flocked panels, because they do conform somewhat to a
horse's back over time. Foam panels will not. The bulk of jumping
saddles are foam panels, and it takes some looking to find wool
flocked, but it can be done. The bulk of dressage models that I
know about are wool flocked, so there is more choice there.
Of course, wool flocked panels are also higher maintenance, because
they need to be reflocked occasionally....Oh well.