The balance of the Wintec Pro wasn't ideal, so we installed front shims. That improved both the balance of the saddle and my comfort, but at the cost of some of the shoulder room the extra-wide gullet plate provides. I am also concerned that the flaps will be too short when riding in my tall boots, and I'm not thrilled with the grippy fabric.
On Thursday I had an idea. I called Julie, who now works at Gallops Saddlery, and asked if they had any wide-tree saddles in stock to try. When she said they had two, a new Toulouse and a used Amerigo, I cleared my schedule to pick them up. They felt good to me on the saddle buck, but once on Lance's back, it was clear they would NOT work:
As you can see, both sit on Lance's back somewhat like a banana, the back of the panels curving up and away from him. Both of these saddles would concentrate my weight in the middle of the tree, and would NOT encourage him to lift his back. The Wintec, on the other hand, sits on his back properly:
Tomorrow Lance sees the chiropractor. I'm very interested to learn what she finds, and get her opinion on saddle fit!