I'm returning my saddle. It does not fit, it is bridging, just like I told them. The woman was rude and still insists that the saddle fits, but they will give me my money back if the saddle is still in new condition. I'm appreciative that they're willing to work with me on it, but after the rudeness and the high-pressure sales tactics, and treating me like an idiot, I will not be shopping at that saddle shop ever again, which is a shame because they have a great selection of saddles there. I bought my first brand new western saddle there years ago. I had forgotten, but now I remember that they ordered me the wrong tree size and wrong color and I never complained, just settled for it. I rode so little back then it didn't really matter, and it fit my horses well enough, I guess.
I think I've decided to try out one of the used saddles at Indiana Harness so I don't have to worry so much about keeping it in "new" condition. He'll let me keep it for several days and is totally okay with me riding in the rain or whatever. If those don't work I'll go to the Tack Trunk and try out the Cashel. I have plenty of options, but I'm going to be so tired of driving back and forth to Spokane by the time this is over.
Maybe I ought to think again about treeless... I guess I never explained why I decided to look for a treed saddle instead. After joining an online forum about treeless saddles, and seeing how much those people had to dink with fit, pads, rigging, breast collars, cruppers, seat adjustments, adding bucking rolls, different types of leather, trying different brands, etc - I decided that treeless was no better and possibly worse than trying out treed saddles. I love the idea of closer contact with my horse, but the idea of having different saddle makers ship me demos and sending them back, dinking with fit, etc, just sounded worse than trying saddles close to home.