Here is Gilly as in August of 2004, he was a year and a half old with the first saddle I had for him. A bit big isn't it? I had just set it on his back to see what he would do with a saddle on, didn't even have a girth on, it wouldn't have fit anyway. I walked him up and down the road a few times just so he could feel it. He doesn't look too happy about it does he? He didn't buck or even hump up his back just took it all in stride, the thing he really didn't like was the bit in his mouth. Look how long the stirrups are on him. Then look at the picture below as a three year old, stirrups have changed considerably!
Gilly in the round pen at Kim's as a three year old. I loved that saddle but eventually sold it because it was so heavy and hard to girth up but it was a comfortable saddle and I really liked it. It also seemed to fit him well. I then went to several other saddles that didn't fit at all before going to the Abetta western and the Thornhill dressage saddles that I now have. Both of those saddles are nice but........
Another picture of Gilly at three. I also had the crupper for the saddle and he was OK with that too, no bucking. I figured he might throw a fit about it but good boy that he is, he was fine.
Why am I writing about this if I like the saddles I have now??? Because of Jill at Buckskin and Bay...go and check out her new Aussie saddle! Here is the web site to look at some more of them www.aussiesaddle.com. I have been reading and reading about these saddles and that they will fit your horse by you taking tracings for the horses back and shoulders. That first saddle I had was a cheap saddle and after looking that the ones at Aussie Saddle, I see a big difference and I can get it to fit Gilly's back much better.
Now here's the best part.....they are going to be at the Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio this weekend and ....... I am going with a couple of friends!!! Jill got to see and talk to them at a horse expo in her town and really check out the saddles. Well, me too!!! I am excited!! I have missed the Aussie saddle, even though I love my dressage saddle and the Abetta western. I will tell them good bye to have another Aussie saddle. I have a lot of thinking and studying to do before then but..... I ain't no dressage rider and don't really wanna be, I just wanna ride on the country roads and me and Gilly both be comfortable with saddle and bridle. I have the bridle, just need to redo the saddle part.
I hope to get pictures tomorrow and have a story to tell after the trip. Oh, we are also going to see the Lipizzaner horses too, what a fun day! Don't worry, I have pain pills to take along, I know my feet are going to hurt even in my good Ariat boots but to see these horses and check out a new saddle....sigh....I will suffer through it!!! :-)