Yesterday Rick gave Lance's back the second of three shockwave treatments. I didn't ride and won't today, but at least the horses are getting out on pasture every day (and are behaving very nicely together).
In trying to make sense of Lance's lump, we are pooling our experiences and Rick's medical knowledge and diagnostics with input from two different saddle makers. Rick's part hasn't revealed concrete data, and the two saddle makers are giving us opposite recommendations! One says Lance's lump indicates the need for a wider channel (both saddles I've tried on him have generous channels); the other said, "I suspect 'too wide' is what makes the bumps. I won't know till I see pics of your horse saddled with the Black Country. No pad, all four feet in pic and girthed down. Side shot only. Do not get a saddle with wider channel. That creates more problems. You just need correct tree width, flocking for that horses build. Send picture and I can tell you more. May just need flocking." ARG!
Both of these men live too far away for in-person assessment, and both men have their own saddles/products to sell. But for the sake of further input, I WILL take and email the requested photos. I bought the Black Country saddle referenced from that man after he, my coach and my husband conferred together on the best fit for Russell, and he seemed very knowledgeable (and trusted by my coach). Russell remained very happy in that saddle, which the man also expertly restuffed for me once or twice for a reasonable fee when he was back in this area (from Texas). It was a used saddle he had taken in trade for one of his own models; he never tried to sell me on one of his because he knew it was out of my price range. My past experience with him makes me lean towards his recommendation.
I am also eager to try a saddle of Theresa's that should be here soon. Eventually, we WILL get this sorted out for Lance's sake. I just hope it doesn't take too long or too much money!