It’s hard to have your own saddle when you’re riding different horses every time but I did it – and it helps tremendously to have a saddle that fits you and works for you rather than against you.
I bought a saddle that was on the wider side and added extra padding as needed to fit the horse. Granted it won’t be perfect but chances are if your trainer is suggesting having one saddle to use on all her horses she isn’t too concerned about it – a ride every once in a while in a saddle that requires extra/different padding to fit isn’t going to cause any long term damage. It is more comfortable for the horses too if you are able to stay with them and balanced over them jumps (and on the flat). Obviously if it doesn’t even come close to fitting then don’t use it on that horse. You can take saddles on trial before you buy them, check the fit for you, and try them on the horses you’ll be riding and see if you can find one that will work for most. And again…opt for too wide – you cannot pad up a too narrow saddle to fit.
If it gets to the point where you lease a horse or buy a horse, you will likely need to buy a new saddle and have a professional saddle fitter come out to fit it to the horse. Riding in a poorly fitting saddle over a long period of time is much different than riding in it for one ride and can cause long term issues. You’ll want it to fit without extra padding, because even a decent but not perfectly fitting saddle can cause soreness after time, because the same spots that don’t fit will be the same spots every time and can eventually get sore.
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