After talking to the saddler I got an appointment for today. So, with the help from a friend, I loaded Bosco on to the transport and drove for about 2 hours to the saddelers workshop. It was a combined indoor arena with a small stable and a working area at the side.
When we arrived the saddler was busy with another costumer so we just placed Bosco in one of the stalls. The transport we were using was of the old sort, with crappy ventilation so he was soaked with sweat when we arrived. He wanted to roll around in the sawdust, but had some problems due to the small space in the stall. Bosco has never rolled over in a stall, only outside, so he had to lay down and get back up about 5 times before he was happy. And he repeated this about 10 times before it was our turn.
After a while it was our turn with the saddler. First she took measurements of Bosco, and looked at his muscles. The first thing she noticed was that he had less muscles on the right side. This might explain why his right side is his "difficult" side. The saddler found a lot of saddles who could fit Bosco, some of them did, many didn't. Like most iberian horses he has a short and straight back, with some height on the withers. This makes it a bit difficult to find a saddle that is broad enough for the back and still gives room for the withers.
We tried out a lot of different saddles on Bosco, then took the best ones and I tested them to see how they were for me. After this we had eliminated all but 3, one of them I wasn't going to buy anyway (waaaaay to expencive) so we tried out the two others in the indoor arena.
The first saddle was a Santa Cruz Artur De Lux, this one was my favorite during the testing. It has a quite deep seat and it was really nice and comfy to ride in. After testing this saddle for a while, we changed and tried the other one, an Ideal Tonishia. The first thing I noticed when I got up in this saddle, was that Bosco felt more free in his shoulders and through the withers. I tried the saddles once each and both of them seemed to be correct for Bosco. At first I was leaning towards the santa cruz, since they both seemed correct and the santa cruz was the cheaper one, quite a lot cheaper than the Tonishia.
Then I changed again, and once i tried to trot with the santa cruz, Bosco tried to buck. There was another horse in the arena at the time, and it was cantering towards us, trying to buck as well so this might be why Bosco tried it as well. The thing is that he never bucks, if he does anything it's rearing, stopping or running sideways away from the aids. So after a while we changed the saddles again, and only by the way Bosco moved I decided to get the Tonishia. If it was up to me and my wallet, I would go for the santa cruz, but Bosco was quite clear about which saddle he preferred.
Happy horse and happy owner, altho one who would have to take a few extra shifts the next month to make up for the hole in my savings account.
What the Ideal says about the Tonishia model:
The tree in this saddle has been technologically designed to allow room for the muscle mass found at the thoracic part of the trapezius (base of whither). This is usually created by correctly schooled horses that are in top level/advanced work, but can also be found in Lusitano, Andalusian and some Warmblood horses naturally.
This prestigious saddle comes in a luxurious and durable ’Texo’ leather with calf seat and knee pads.
A truly inspired saddle that is already proven and esteemed by many top riders and their horses.