I dug my close contact saddle out on Monday night and tried it on my TB mare to see how it would fit? If it would fit? Which girth I need to use? And how gorgeous she would look? One small problem, I didn't have her bridle to complete the 'hunter pony' look. So I improvised and grabbed Aruba's bridle. A few small adjustments and it was going to work, at least for one ride. Other than the bit being rather large and slightly different- 6" French link and she wears a 5" offset D with her western tack, it looked pretty good.
Next came the saddle. It rested just behind her withers which suddenly took on the look and makeup of a shark fin. Whaaaaaat? I took the saddle off, set it back up on her well forward and slid it back into place with slightly the same results. Her withers are way too narrow and the pommel is resting almost on her vertebra. Not good and what a disappointment. I will be rechecking this tonight without the pad to see if padding things up is an option.
I had two different girths in a 48" and then there's Aruba's 54" & 56" girths I went with the 48" in leather, because I told you already- I am a leather snob. It fits her fine with plenty of room for adjustment. Yay!
I put the reins over her head and sent her off to work on the rail in the round pen. The girl is G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. in hunter tack. And Yay Me!! My phone with the good camera was on the seat of my truck so no pics. Damn!
I will be trying the close contact on both mares to see if A) padding it will help for the TB mare and B) if it even remotely fits Aruba. I love my saddle, but if it doesn't fit either of them, it's not going to work over the long haul. I may have a saddle for sale and begin shopping for a new one. Meanwhile the western saddle fits her and I will just go back to using it. The TB mare has a sore spot on her back from the c/c saddle so she will get an extra few days off before I try the dressage saddle on her. She isn't built for it, but she may make a classy lower level dressage horse... time will tell.