The DK saddle was a huge mistake that I made and I have had very poor customer service on it since my purchase 7 years ago. For the vast majority of time I've owned it I've been trying to sell it. Read more about my thoughts and feelings on my "custom" saddle here.
The owner of the consignment shop started going over my DK. She commented on the nice condition and how it might be easier to sell now that it was wool-flocked. Then halfway through a sentence she paused...
"Have you ridden in this since it was flocked with wool?"
I said yes, why?
"Feel right here."
There was a HUGE gap in the wool flocking. The owner at the consignment shop said they wouldn't be able to put it out until it was fixed. Because it would likely cause pain to a horse. I was so frustrated about this stupid saddle and had inklings that it didn't fit quite right, even post-flocking when the fit looked better. I pretty much was seeing red as I loaded it back into my car. I was dangerously close to throwing it on the ground and driving over it. Obvious the wool flocking issue is an error at the hands of the saddle fitter and I don't hold DK responsible for that. The frustration I've experience from owning this saddle is beyond words.
Scumbag saddle will likely be buried with me because no one will ever want it.
I sent a few venting e-mails to my husband and then I got to thinking.....
The first time I had a proper ride in the newly flocked saddle Apollo tried to buck me off.
And after that he was tense and short-striding when I rode but looked 90%-100% sound on the lunge. OH MY GOD. THE SADDLE. He might be a lot more sound then he feels like but the saddle is hurting him. As the owner of the consignment shop suggested that it might cause pain to a horse, and I think it definitely hurt my horse. I noticed in my recent rides in the DK saddle that his ears went back a bit and his head went up at the trot (not typical for him). Usually his ears are pricked forward and his headset stays fairly similar to his walk headset.
I went out and rode him last night in my bareback pad. He felt about 80% sound. Which is a vast improvement from my last rides. I noticed his ears starting to prick forward more at the trot then they have been lately.
I feel absolutely terrible for riding him in that saddle and causing him pain. I don't know that it's the full answer to our soundness issues but the change I felt last night was huge.
I found a new saddle fitter to fix the issues with the DK's new wool flocking. Although the original fitter I used came recommended by a good friend this new fitter is a Qualified Society of Master Saddler and a UK registered Saddle Fitter.
And I am going to ask her if I can be her apprentice. :) For serious.