|My saddle on Luke, the simulator|
There are many factors in this saddle story, but as a really brief overview: I have a Jaguar Dressage Saddle. I bought it used 7 years ago for a different horse and when I was a different size and shape than I am now. It was the only option that fit my horse at the time so was an easy choice. When I bought Kachina I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Jaguar fit her too, at least to the best I can tell. This summer, I began to wonder whether the Jaguar fit me as a rider. I've never bought a saddle with me in mind before, only the horse. I tip forward constantly and really struggle to sit back, that is almost certainly at least partially just me, but may also be to do with the saddle. The saddle may have too small a seat for me. The balance of the saddle may be off. Shimming the saddle may improve the balance for me, but may also make it worse for Kachina. The saddle isn't a bad fit for Kachina, but it may not fit her as well as it did when I first got her. I've never really ridden in another dressage saddle (other than brief trials), so have very little frame of reference.
|Me, Ellie, and the Jaguar in 2009|
|Me, Kachina, and the Jaguar in 2016|
So bottom line: My saddle may or may not work for me and my horse as is. Maybe my current saddle can be modified by reflocking, shimming, etc. Maybe I need to buy a new saddle. I need someone to help me determine these things.
Now, here's where the problem is. I don't know who to get to help me. I don't have a regular trainer. I don't know anyone I can borrow a dressage saddle from to try it. The only saddle fitters I know of are not truly independent and are also dealers for a specific saddlery (and I am cautious of completely taking someone's word when they have a conflict of interest, even if they have good intentions). Kachina is not super consistent under saddle, and I don't have a super consistent position, so the amount we can tell from short saddle trials is limited (I can tell bad from good, just maybe not good from great). I don't know where to start.
Do you have any advice for me? If you were in my position, where would you start? Any help would be greatly appreciated.