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Saddle Fit "Agony"

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From: Ruth Abair 

Dear RideCampers,

I now have an Arabian (yes, I'm a convert) Gelding, 14 yo, 14.3 hh, that is barrel chested/well sprung ribs, with "moderate" withers that are downhill from his croup (approx. 1") and "very" short backed. I converted my barrel racing saddle (removed horn, cut fenders, etc.), but found it's too wide for him - kept slipping forward. I used my Austrailian Saddle for a while (much better fit), but because the tree/bars were too long (rested on his kidneys), he eventually sored. I' ve had this little guy long enough to convince me he will do what I want for several years to come (25/50 milers). If all goes well, I'll bring in a younger model/horse, 5 or so years down the road.  

My dilemma, I started preparing for Endurance Riding over a year ago with a  different horse (quarter/thoroughbred), and tack I had had for ages.By the way, prior to this endeavor, I rode western style (with a horn). With a little coaching and "enlightenment", I eventually saw the error of my ways, cut the horn, bought an Aussie, and switched horses, in that order. This put me back to square one on the tack/saddle fit issue (re:aforementioned). I prefer to stay with a "western" version, but have run into a "big" snag. If I have one made and it doesn't fit, the "best" guarantee I have thus far is, "I'll help you sell it".  On the other hand; there is 1 saddle maker that guarantees his english saddles will fit this horse "and"  can be adjusted later to fit another horse (awling the wool stuffing and/or re-constructing the tree). Help anyone?  (TX)                

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