When you get a new saddle you assume that it will come out of the box with the wool flocking soft and pliant, ready to mold to the shape of your horse’s back.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. It seems like some manufacturers stuff so much wool into those panels that they are hard as rocks! I’ve also gotten new saddles that were overflocked on one side (a saddle fitter once told me that in the “old days” it was fairly common for saddle manufacturers to overflock the left panel because they thought that the pressure applied from mounting would cause the left panel to compress.)
When Gary Severson fit this horse, it became obvious that the saddle had two much stuffing right in the middle so that the saddle pivoted on his back. Van had been bucking quite a bit under saddle and it’s very likely that his ill-fitting saddle was bothering him.
The answer? Gary removed the extra flocking — two handfuls of it!
After the adjustment, the saddle fit very well. Moral of the story? You should have a saddle fitter check the fit of every saddle — new or used — so they can help make sure the saddle fits. Don’t assume that just because a saddle is new, it will fit your horse.