The western saddle I have been using on Jackson doesn't fit. I bought it for Strider and it fit him well. But Strider had shark fin withers with big hollows below. Jackson is broad and flat (nice for bareback!). Strider's saddle dug into Jackson's withers and bridged his back. Brett has a Tucker endurance saddle that he uses for mounted patrol and trail. It is the world's most comfortable saddle. So, I thought I would sit in a few of the trail models and see what I thought. They had one in my seat size, with a flexible, wide tree. I decided to take it home on a 7 day trial and see if it fit. The therapist we use for deep tissue massage and general health/well being issues is due out next week. I wanted to get her feedback on fit as she is awesome with that kind of stuff.
I also bought a new saddle pad. Strider's pad is nice, but it just isn't Jackson's color. This is much nicer - I love the colors with his grey coat. And he likes the curvey-ness of it.
This morning we rode around on the ranch roads to try it out. It seemed to fit him well. Clearance over the withers, not digging into his shoulder, contact across his back without bridging, but clearance for his spine. It's also light so I could swing it up myself. Strider's saddle weighed a TON.
Jackson seemed very happy. In fact, Brett and Flash had a hard time keeping up with us. I'm very pleased.
I think we'll be quite the styling duo at the next competitive trail ride.
About half-way back home Jackson took a bad step. The ground beneath him gave way and he kind of fell into a sink hole. He wasn't so happy after that. I think he might have pulled something. Hopefully it's just a tweak that will work itself out and nothing more serious. He never felt off or lame but he lost his forward and his happy. He stopped numerous times. When we got home I iced his legs and turned him out. I have my fingers crossed that he will be fine tomorrow.