A week or so ago, we had the saddle fitter up to adjust our saddles. There aren't enough dressage riders in Bakersfield for a saddle fitter to be here regularly, so when I found out Tina Fitch was coming, I signed up immediately. Tina is an accomplished eventer, photographer, and saddle fitter.
My first two dressage saddles were Wintecs, a basic model and then the Isabell Werth model. Once I bought a dressage saddle that had wool flocking (a Custom Revolution), I had Tina do the fitting, and I've never felt the need to call anyone else.
My favorite thing about Tina, besides the fact that she's really good at her job, is that she is patient about answering questions and genuinely seems to care that her clients understand her process. Laurel's saddle had a knot under her seat along with some flattened wool that needed some perking up.
While she worked, Tina explained how she was working out the knot. When asked about the different types of wool in her bag, she explained that different saddle manufacturers use different densities of wool, so she tries to keep a variety of wools to most closely match what the saddle already has.
My saddle was up next. I didn't have any particular complaints, but since buying the saddle last fall, Tina hadn't yet seen it. Right away she could see that it needed more flocking. It was settling too deeply on both horses. Tina also surprised me yet again by declaring Speedy the wider of the two horses.
With Izzy, I get stuck in the saddle and find it hard to post. Since he isn't as wide as Speedy she encouraged me to lift the saddle with the half pad I am already using. By adding flocking, she explained that she had filled in the hole in which I was getting stuck.
If you have a wool flocked saddle and live on the west coast, Tina travels. She's an excellent saddle fitter, and she's really great about finding ways to make what you have work. A poorly fitting tree can't usually be made to work, but if the tree is close, Tina can get a good fit for both horse and rider. Let me know if you want her contact information.
I can't wait for my next lesson!
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