Third day in a row where the weather has cooperated with my schedule enough to allow for some light riding. The arena is still a mess of deep, drifted snow, alternating with bare gravel, which makes it less easy to relax and concentrate on feel, but a friend told me recently that teaching Sherm to go in the snow is a different sort of feather in my cap (or tool in the box, I can't remember the exact metaphor) so I guess we'll take credit for that.
The fantastic news is that the new saddle seems to be suitable for The Bay Boy Wideness. It needs to be adjusted further for his kitchen-table back, but the cut-outs for shoulder relief, and the already-wider-than-previous-saddles 5-finger gullet provide him enough room to move and relax. And, of course, it's short enough. it looks a little like a toy saddle sitting there on his back. He's telling me it's not perfect, but his conversation is a bit more like "Mom, these jeans are too tight..." than the "YOU'RE KILLING ME!" I was getting in October, so I think we can get through the next couple of weeks until we can get it fitted to him.
It is too tight in the withers, so the pommel is high, which means it sits a little unbalanced on him at the moment, so I am being tipped back a bit, but taking that (temporary condition) into consideration, I think I like it well enough.
What I really and truly like is that I have my Sherm back... He is relaxed and non-stressed enough to be his old, goofy, gotta-give-him-a-job-every-minute self. Not taxed by pain, or beginning to shut down on me in resignation, the BBW is full of charm once more. Not that he uses it for good, of course. Not yet, anyway.
Today he decided it was most fun to wade into the crazy-deep snow mounds in the arena, where is was up and over his knees. No idea why he would think that's more fun, but that's him. And it's nice to be back with him.