The other day, Peggy Struhsacker came out to the barn to work on my saddle. I'm riding in a new County Fusion and love it. She had not done much to fit the saddle to my 2 horses and I've been happily riding for a few months now. I'd noticed the flocking was very compacted, which is normal for new saddles, so I had her basically level the flocking and just "boost" it up. I rode Junior tonight for the first time since the work was done, and the difference was amazing. I was not constantly stepping left to straighten my hips and Junior went like the Superstarr he is. His canter pirouettes were performed with his neck long and happy!!
Interestingly enough, a new client has been having issues with her horse throwing her head at the canter. I've not taught this pair before, but when she started mentioning wither soreness, I immediately thought "saddle." The horse is very wide through the wither and shoulder and although the saddle appeared to fit fine and was stable on the back, there was no room for shoulder movement. I gave her Liz's jumping saddle to try and voila! no head tossing.
Please, everyone remember to check the fit of your saddles often. You might feel just swell, but maybe your horse does not. Look for bumps, they are a sign of trouble. If you see hair messed up under the saddle area after you've ridden, consider saddle fit issues. Check the "dirt" marks on your saddle pads for consistent patterns. If you're unsure...ask a reputable saddle fitter to look at your tack. Your horse will love you for it!