So the saddle saga continues...
I have not been happy with my saddle for a while now. We had problems months ago, so my saddler came out and changed the gullet from a wide fit to a medium, so as to make it sit higher in front and then not move around behind. This worked for about a month, but she suddenly became very sore and would not go forward - this is not like Echo at all, so I rang the saddler and he suggested changing the gullet back to a wide and using a thicker numnah for a while - just to see what happened. This felt better, but I wasn;t happy about how much it moved at the back.
I rode Echo yesterday and she was great and moved beautifully; however, when I got off, I noticed that the saddle was sitting quite a long way to the right. When I tacked her up today, I made sure that it was totally central. However, she felt very uncomfortable when on the left rein. She wouldn't leg-yield to the right (with left bend) and nearly reared when I asked her to shoulder-in left. I rode back to the yard and asked one of the ladies there to have a look from behind (she's a very knowledgable dressagey-type - very useful to have around!) and she said it was sitting so far to the right that the left panel was nearly on her spine. No wonder she didn't like me asking for left bend or sitting heavier on my left seat-bone!
The lady then asked whether I would like to try her dressage saddle on her - just to see whether it is Echo's back that makes the saddle sit badly, or whether it is my saddle. The answer: it's my saddle. The moment we placed the dressage saddle on her back, it slipped beautifully into place and looked as if it had been made to measure. I groaned inwardly, realising this was going to get expensive... I had a sit in the saddle and it stayed central; I rode some circles in it...and it stayed bang in the centre. Damn it - why do horses have to be so expensive?!
I rang my saddler there and then and explained the situation. He's away this weekend but is going to give me a ring on Monday to arrange an appointment next week. He said he'll bring a range of second hand leather GP and dressage saddles for me to try. The one that I put on her today is a KN - I thought I'd do some research online about them - and found their retail price is £1500!! I did, however, find a rather nice one on ebay for £400 though... I will wait to see what the saddler comes with.
What I now can't decide is whether to get a dressage saddle or a GP. I think, if I'm spending a lot of money (and £500 is a lot of money to me!) then I would like to go with the dressage. I have always thought that one day I would buy her a lovely leather dressage saddle; I just hadn't planned on it right now! However, I would still like to jump every now and then. It's a tricky one. I did wonder whether the saddler might be able to make my Wintec fit enough for me to jump in it occasionally...but then I don't want to ride her in a saddle that doesn't fit. We'll have to see what happens.
In the meantime, lovely, lovely lady at the yard has said that I can borrow her super duper saddle whenever she isn't using it. Such a kind person. The only request was that I use my own numnah, as Echo is moulting long white hairs right now! Talking of which, I'm going to clip her again tomorrow. Bring on the work!!