Yes, saddle fitting is a recurring theme around here. Yes, I’m really, really tired of it too.
Earlier in April, I had both my boyfriend and a beginner friend ride Fetti on separate occasions – in different saddles. Both had the saddle they were in shift slightly left. I’d felt that the saddles were listing slightly left for me as well, but having both saddles do it, and for different people, confirmed that for once it wasn’t just me being crooked. I scheduled the fitters to come back out.
The week before they were scheduled, I ground-mounted from a not-very-high sand bank. My flexibility has long been an issue and it really presented itself this time: I knew I was pushing my limits with this mount, but the circumstances I was in did not leave me with other options. My knee paid the price and is currently the symptom for how incredibly tight my muscles are. I know this doesn’t sound relevant, but I promise it is.
The dressage saddle had some flocking adjusted/added, the Eurolight had a bunch of things done to it. In fairness, they had never actually seen this Eurolight, and I had merely followed their instructions on how it was likely to fit when it was shipped from the factory to me. Added some things, subtracted some things, pondered, tried again. At the very end, they also tweaked the blocks on the dressage saddle into a different place.
First ride: best canter seat I’ve had on Fetti in years or perhaps ever in the Thorowgood. I am incredibly delighted. Some sideways shifting of the saddle, which I found a little weird, but OK, I need to make sure to ride straighter and more centered.
Second ride: Eurolight makes my knee very unhappy, dropping stirrups fixes it somewhat, trotting with feet in stirrups is actively painful. Saddle shifting slightly – but I’m riding super crooked because OW PAIN so I’m disregarding that finding.Third ride: bareback is the most comfortable my knee has been all week, on or off the horse.
Fourth ride: pony is an obnoxious brat, so we’re out for a bunch of miles. Knee is only slightly sore in the Thorowgood; rideable, and the saddle is only as crooked as I am. Fair enough.
Aftermath of fourth ride: dry patches post-ride behind her shoulder, matching on both sides. Good solid sweat everywhere else. Then I checked her back on a whim before throwing the bareback pad on that evening. Reactive right where the very back of the saddle would be at, both sides. I don’t make a habit of checking her back daily, but I am confident she was not out there two months ago when the chiropractor checked her (I have the paper!) and reasonably confident I’ve checked at least once in the last month or so prior to the fitting. Ugh.
So. I’ll try the Woolback again with the Thorowgood. I’m contemplating buying a Supracor pad, even though it is 100% not in the budget right now. Stretches are really, really high on my priority list day-to-day so I can give the Eurolight a fair shot and see how it does on longer rides and at the canter.
Had I mentioned that I signed up for a two-day NATRC ride in four weeks, and I was really looking forward to riding a competitive ride in my Eurolight this year?!