So the saddle that I had been riding Chic with does not fit her. The more research I do, the more enlightened I become. Basically, the cantle to too high and the channel is too wide. I found an old Collegiate in the big barn, cleaned it up, and it fits Chic almost perfectly. I am worried that it might put a little pressure on her spine, but while I am sitting in it, I can still fit two fingers underneath the pommel easily.
How did I come to suspect that the saddle I rode in was a bad fit? (I don’t know the brand, but it has a wide channel, knee blocks, a cushy seat, and pretty big gussets.) For starters, she hates it when I tighten the girth. She hates it when the saddle is on her, period. She threatens to bite me, lays her ears back, and tonight she actually tried to reach forward and kick me while I was checking the fit of the new saddle. I had put on both saddles multiple times to compare how they fit, and each time I placed a saddle on her back, she got angrier. I think she is sore somewhere. I will check tomorrow. She had a little swelling a few days ago behind her right shoulder, but it went down. I think one of her pasture “buddies” bit her there. She is the “bottom rung”, after all.
I decided to go with the Collegiate because it had the most even pressure distribution along her back, and plenty of clearance. The other saddle would put a lot of pressure on her withers, and I didn’t realise it for a while because of how it looked alright when I wasn’t mounted. Also, it would slide up her back quite a lot. The Collegiate slides up a little, but not nearly as drastically, and it is a lot more comfy for the both of us. 🙂 I felt tipped forward on her back with the other one, like I was too far forward and leaning towards her. This one puts me in a great position (now if only I could hold it during her crazy trot), and I feel balanced and secure. The ONLY problem is: The Collegiate is for free. It’s Sherwin’s. I can use it whenever I want. Strange problem, I know. I guess I should re-word this: The other saddle belongs to my friend, and I told her that I would buy it from her, and she needs the money. So I am basically buying a saddle that I can’t use because it doesn’t fit either of my horses. Arrrrg. It’s cheap though, only $180. I’ll list it on ebay, along with the other two saddles that don’t fit either horse, once I get the chance. I have a John Leckie that I bought for $400, and a Stubben Cavalleria II that is worth about $600. I am buying a new saddle for Winchester. FINGERS CROSSED THAT IT FITS!