At the newly turned age of four, Koda has grown into a muscled wide guy. Our saddle fitter Kathye has been checking him periodically since we've been riding, and helped both Trainer Patty & I make pad accommodations to fit his ever changing body. It helps that Kathye knows my older semi quarter bar saddle well, and has taken it completely apart on more then one occasion to resolve past issues. I bought it used, and have owned it for many years. It has served us well as both my daughter & I have ridden in it on several horses. Harmony also out grew this saddle, I'm guessing Cierra will be next in line.
I knew it wouldn't fit Koda forever, and that day has sadly come. Pad adjustments no longer help. It is just not sitting right on him, tipping forward, channel barely fits etc. Kathye really doesn't want me riding him in it anymore, which mean's I'm back to borrowing at least until I find a different one. The last thing I want to do is make my horse sore. What a bummer!
If you don't work with someone who specializes in saddle fitting, I highly recommend finding a trusted experienced one. It's a unique valued specialty, and can resolve more problems then one would think. In my opinion, it ranks not far behind a good farrier. It's not about buying new saddles, it's about comfort and fit for both horse & rider. Sometimes that does mean a new/different saddle, even when you really don't want one.
Kathye is bringing a Billy Cook to our lesson this week to try out, she thinks it's the forever saddle for me and Koda. I only hope I can feel the difference, and it suits me well (it's already been fit on Koda). My guess is she'll be spot on, knowing me and my current saddle (that I really like, in case you couldn't tell), saving me endless hours of hit and miss saddle shopping. Not a good time to buy a saddle, what an expensive year it's been - and it's only half over! If only I could find that elusive tree, you know - the one where money grows!
Should be another exciting week, I'll try to take some pictures!