I've been riding in the same Stubben Avalon forabout 5 years. I get it tended yearly, making sure it fits my darling girl. And her back is just great, she gets a lameness exam yearly too, saddle good, horse good, all good... well, is it?
Maggie Mae has been in training awhile now, coming along great, fixing her various foibles. Another woman at the barn tries some saddles, as her horse is actually sore because of his 'custom made' saddle (how many times have we heard that?). Orders a saddle, gets a demo for awhile since she can't ride in the one she has. Sooooo, saddle is there, it gets tried by other people... two more ordered... and it finds its way to Maggie's back. She was fantastic... must be a fluke... so, my trainer rode her all week in it... unbelievable, nearly a different horse.
Okay, what the hell?! Horse isn't bothered by her saddle at all, why does this one make a difference? It's not the fit of the saddle on her, it's how the saddle lets the rider RIDE her... Now this is not a concept I had a thought about. So... I had a wonderful saddle fitter send me two to try. You know, on the off chance that, well, *I* might ride her better with a different saddle.
I think I'm in love... first saddle on today. Wouldn't you know it, my legs are longer, more stable, my seat is better, my hands are better... But now I'm pondering... is this cheating? Shouldn't I be able to ride in the bare bones old style saddle just as well? Is it really 'riding' if you have that much help?! I throw it out into the universe....