I’m contemplating a new-to-me saddle for my challenging-to-fit mare. Miraculously, it actually fits both of us really well. But there’s a problem- it fits TOO perfectly. My saddle fitter wants me to only ride in a very thin pad.
So what do I do for my aspiring hunter “career”? I’ve been out of the hunter ring for nearly a decade, but it seems like fleecy pads are still where it’s at. I’m not looking to do A shows or anything like that- C rated is probably the best I’ll get to this year or next- but I want to make sure my turnout is correct.
I’ve never seen anybody showing in a fitted quilted pad. I know they exist, but is it done?
Should I look for a wider saddle to accommodate the thick pad I feel like I should be using to show in? This seems kind of silly to me- the saddle fits my mare like it was made for her, and I’m not sure I should throw that away for fleeciness.
Are there any pads that are quilted with a fleece border only on the outside? I’ve found a couple that are non-fleeced on the flaps, but still have fleece across the withers and down the back, which is where I feel like a thick pad is most likely to cause fit issues.
I’m moderately crafty- is my best bet to frankenmorph a quilted pad and a fleece pad to make something that suits the horse but still looks traditional?
If she’s not bothered by the fleece, would a ride or two a couple times a month cause a lot of back issue? Or is this one of those ‘try it and find out’ scenarios? She’s a pretty forgiving mare, but I don’t want to cause her anxiety about showing or jumping or anything like that because of saddle misfit.
Any advice would be awesome. I have a week to consider the saddle, and it’s definitely a wonderful option- but I’d be buying this saddle specifically to do hunter shows without looking terribly out of place, so it’s somewhat important that I be able to fit in in the hunter ring.
Thanks so much!