Looking for a Narrow Endurance Saddle...need ideas...
I've found myself in saddle fitting hell here lately with a nice young horse I'm riding now. He's pretty narrow. I've used the cards on him and he's an S-4 to S-5 at points A and A6. He's four now and in a normal weight. What makes it even harder is he's got a bit of dip or "rock" in his back behind the wither...a bit more dipped than most horses.
I've spoken to a reputable saddle maker (Stonewall) who has reviewed his measurements, and she does not think I'll find a stock saddle that narrow. I hate to get a custom saddle at this point as he's still young and I really would rather not spend that much if I can help it on a saddle that narrow that might fit only this horse. I may not have a choice but to go custom but I wanted to post my problem on here and see what solutions other riders might have.
I'm certainly open to suggestions right now. Treeless I'm not necessarily against but my thinking is that they will not work well on his back type and more prominent spine. I have to say that for trails I'm finding I prefer a treed saddle for the stability of it but as I said, I'm open to all suggestions.
I've been able to get my Wintec AP to fit him decently by changing the gullet but I loathe this saddle for long rides. It rubs me raw and I'm so sore after riding several hours in it that I simply cannot imagine going that route. I also really like the feel of an endurance saddle over the AP style.
I've padded up an Abetta (QH bars) to fit him adequately but he's not in heavy work and I'm pretty sure it does not fit him well enough for more than trail rides. The way I understand it now, you just can't overpad a wide saddle as it will still put uneven pressure on the horse's back as the tree just fundamentally does not fit the angle of his shoulder. So frustrating!
Anyway thanks for all suggestions!