I stared at them, dumbfounded.
Um, no. I'm on the road here, and I only brought this one.
That's fine, they reply, we'll just bunch this up and give him some room across the spine here, but you will want to use pads with wither relief from now on.
This part of our saddle fitting stuck with me for days; I couldn't quite put my finger on why. In the moment, I had felt a little stupid, a little chastised, for my failing to have a pad with wither relief, but initially I passed that off as the way I always feel when riding my green goober in front of a bunch of experts.
|The Schleese Ladies were NOT like this, but it's funny.|
And that's why I prefer to ride in the woods alone, far from expert eyes.
|No judgment zone|
But when I got home and thought about it, I realized that... um...I don't think I have any saddle pads with wither relief.
Because I've never needed any. Sherman has never had withers before.
|Approximation of Sherman's back, 2009-2012|
Hot damn! The realization hit me-- Sherm has withers!
So I rummaged through my things and found the Saddlebred Rescue saddle pad I had for the late great Bayou Roux, Sherm's Auntie Roux, the horse he sometimes channels with his big, long (for a Morgan) neck, and his powerful intellect. (Fortunately, he very rarely channels her anxiety. Her energy, yes, but so far, not the anxiety.)
|Look at that wither clearance!|
So Sherm and I rode in the woods today in Auntie Roux's saddle pad. His withers, his actual withers, had plenty of clearance, and we had a lovely time.
|Spitting image of Auntie Roux (less the wings...maybe...)|