We started off by looking at the Eurolight. She acknowledged that she's not a Specialized fitter, I admitted I've never had an actual Specialized fitter come out to fit the saddle, and we carried on fiddling in various directions. Previous shim/pad setup: no shims, 3/4" fitting pads, slight outward flare to pads in front. Sweat patterns have been good. Saddle moves 1-2" forward AND 1-2" backward during any ride with substantial hill - so at the bottom of a downhill, I can fit my whole hand in the sweatmark behind the saddle. Not ideal.
I was actually quite impressed by the difference shifting the pads up a half-inch, back, or forwards made. No shims, just the same pads. Moving them alllll the way up top (essentially narrowing the gullet) led to excellent shoulder clearance
Unfortunately, she also had me try to point me knees and toes forward in a proper neutral seat rather than the outward-pointing I default to in the Eurolight. My knee hits the front D-rings. It really is too small for me. This is not good news.
So. Anyone have a 16" Eurolight - heck, I might even go for an International if I had to - that they want to trade for a 15" Eurolight? I love this saddle except for the part where it doesn't fit me.
I will admit I disagree slightly with the fitter on this next one. (EDIT: after posting, shifted a few things, no longer disagree with fitter! Another post coming.) She felt the saddle was, if anything, a hair too wide, and fit quite nicely with the Woolback. Good: I'd always hoped to add the Woolback if doing serious trails with it. I think it does fit the horse pretty well, but I think with the addition of the pad, it feels pommel-high. I'm going to switch out the gullet plate for one size wider to see if that makes it a more comfortable ride, and if so, will evaluate sweat patterns with a proper trail ride. Fitter also said I should drop my stirrups, and was spot-on with that assessment.
Which brings me to.. point billets. Maybe I switch back to using the point (or sort-of point-like) billet on this saddle and see if that helps keep it in place - and help remind me to put it far enough back?? It's a Y-girthing option in back, can use the point billet or regular billet for the front.
Jen wrote an excellent post about girths that I found quite enlightening about girth placement for dressage saddles, and pretty well convinced me I don't need to buy a TSF girth for Fetti. (Yet.) But that, too, tells me that my photos show a saddle that's too far forwards over the shoulder.
In my frantic crowd-sourcing of information, Mel stated that she aims for her saddle to move very little with a snug breastcollar and crupper. Dressage saddle crupper is out of commission for the moment (see: prior incident where crupper T attachment tore some staples and stitches from the panels), but the breastcollar's been pretty awfully light. I tightened that up a zillion holes. I may need to loosen it one or two holes if I shift the saddle back a few inches, but that's okay. The breastcollar needs to be tighter than it has been.
Next post: craniosacral work & movement evaluation