I knew there was something wrong. I was crooked. I had to keep stepping hard in my left stirrup to stay even. It was particularly noticeable jumping. I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t ride. Or at least that there was something wrong with her saddle (because I didn’t feel unbalanced on Freedom).
So I did what any “normal” person would do. I called my saddle fitter and bought another saddle. Actually, I bought two. I figured that one of the three should work out for her.
When my saddle fitter came and I described what I was feeling, we stood up on a mounting block and took a look at her back. It wasn’t the saddle. It wasn’t me. It was Zelda. She’s asymmetrical.
Zelda’s been a bit one sided since I got her. She is a “right handed” horse who is more balanced and comfortable tracking right. And I guess I haven’t been diligent enough
about working her more on her “off” side, especially during hunt season where it’s hard to keep track of how long she spends on each lead.
One of the “new to me” saddles that I bought looked like it was going to fit pretty well — it’s an older model
Schleese monoflap jumping saddle. It had been overstuffed so Gary removed a lot of the old wool. As you can see, some of what in there looked pretty compressed and nasty.
The saddle now fits Zelda well. We chose to pad the saddle, using a shimmed Mattes pad, to keep the saddle centered. The other choice
would be to flock the saddle up on the left, but that wouldn’t leave her the room to even out her shoulders.
Luckily I still have the Mattes pad on hand. It only needed one shim. It seems like a small thing, but it keeps the saddle from slipping. It’s great to finally feel even again!