My horse has a haybelly and I want him to get back into shape but I can’t reduce his food or give him any medications, do you have any ideas?
YES!!! Start with just walking, if you can "trail" ride even just around your property, that will help. I do LOTS of walk, walk/trot transitions, poles. My gal has been off most of the winter so I've been starting with just 15 min. then I'll go up to 20 in about a week then add 10 min after a month.
What's a good brand of saddle?
I LOVE my County. My mare was very back sore when I got her. I did splurge on a saddle made just for her, but I don't regret a single penny! County's are wool flocked and come in a variety of tree sizes and shapes. If you have a tight budget invest in having a qualified fitter come see your horse, even if you can't buy new any reputable fitter will help you look.
One of my horses i ride always has his two back legs out behind him far, at a stance walk trot canter. Any tips for getting his legs under him?
My mare liked to trot like she was 2 horses as well!! POLES POLES POLES!! My gal is bigger and has a large stride. We set poles about 4.5 feet apart for trot. keep a VERY cadenced, steady pace, even a little slow. It will encourage him to LIFT his back legs. This is something that is most likely a strength issue, so it will take time.
Is it always necessary to wear a halfpad?
I tried for months to get my saddles to fit my mare with half pads, everything from Oglivy to ECC, and thin line. EVERYTHING put too much pressure on her wither and she would do all kinds of strange things.....shake, twitch her withers and buck.. I succumbed to having a wool flocked saddle made for her, now all I need is a light saddle pad. I use Back on Track since she is older.