This is my regular saddle. A fine piece of kit too. It has carried me from various places, to other various places! Many miles, and many hills.
So it was with shock and horror, that I became aware of the damage, the "tree" was doing to my horse. I say damage, but what I really should say is "wear".
The skirt had become worn, and the swells were pressing into the withers of the horse. My old hoss tends to change shape fairly regularly, and the saddle, generally fits. So with this problem in mind, I did some reading! I came across a site that promoted Long Riding, and after visiting various other sites, with regard to the best saddle for the job, went to see a man I know.
I explained to him the problem and after some thought, he came up with the idea of "panels". These are made from 5 layers of leather, laid against each other alternating the grain. These were then glued and stitched. The panels were attached where the old skirt used to be, but each panel was indipendant of the other, and attached in two places only. This then had the effect of a "floating" panel.
At first I didnt hold out much hope. But 6 months down the line , there has been a marked difference in the horses behaviour, and comfort. The panels can be detatched easily, and replaced.
If you look at the photo, the panels can be seen as the lighter coloured leather. Its like having a new saddle. And I am sure my horse appreciates it!