Gotcha! I still don't have a new saddle!
I tried a couple McCall saddles - well, I actually only tried one on Mac because on the other one I could feel the stirrup leather on the underside of the saddle and didn't want to bother riding Mac in it because I'd be worried that it would be a pressure point for him. The other one I did try but didn't buy it for a few reasons - for one it was too wide and/or had too much rock in the bars. Another reason was that I was less than impressed with the workmanship - there were a couple of things that were not right in that saddle and it made me leery of ever buying one.
I've been to the tack store and gotten a few saddles on trial but none of them worked, either.
My saddle fitter came out again on Thursday and brought a couple Steele saddle tree forms with her so that we could put them on Mac's back and see what's what. Well, wouldn't you know - the trees that were the worst fit on him were QH and FQH. Of course that is what most factory made saddles are built on. They have too much rock and angle for Mac's back. And wouldn't you know what IS a good fit for him? A MULE tree! Mule trees are shorter in the bars and also have less rock than other trees. So now at least I have an idea of how to continue my search. While she was here I tried a Crest Ridge Sentry on him and liked it. I had tried one at our last appointment but found the twist too wide. This one that I tried was narrower and felt very comfortable - while the twist felt narrower, it didn't feel too narrow so that it felt like my seatbones were hanging off the side. Now I need to contact the Crest Ridge people to talk to them about trees and what they have in stock. Other saddles that were suggested were Allegany so I'll get in touch with them as well. Close . . . I'm so close!
In the meantime, Mac continues to do well in our dressage saddle. Today we worked on 15-meter canter circles and counter-canter. He seems to have grasped the concept of shoulder-in and so that has been a fun progression. We do a little shoulder-in, switch to haunches-in, then strike off into the canter. We do simple changes. We do fun cavaletti exercises with trot-canter transitions thrown in the mix. It is like weight lifting for horses! A trail ride is on the agenda for tomorrow, it is always nice to get out of the arena and goof around on a loose rein.