As you can see, the saddle's sitting pommel-high; some of that is due to the fact that the saddle's too far forward (I'd like to see it about 3 fingers' width further back, but given Arabee's conformation, I'd bet most saddles tend to slide forward). Another reason it's pommel-high is that the tree is too narrow. In the next photo, I've outlined the angle of the tree in green, and the angle of Arabee's back in red. You can see they don't match up.
The saddle's not a bad fit otherwise, but the tree points can't be comfy for Arabee, and Nicole likely feels thrown into the back seat due to the pommel sitting so high.
So let's take a look at Arabee "nekkid":She's a nicely compact little mare with a moderate wither and some curve to her back. She's a tad rump-high and has a well-sprung rib cage - both will contribute to a saddle wanting to move forward. She also has a broad back:
Ideally, I'd like to see Arabee in a saddle with an shallow gusseted, upswept - the upsweep will keep the panels from extending past T18, and the gusset will give a broader bearing surface to the bottom of the panel, and a shallow gusset will keep it from sitting too high in back. A full front gusset might help keep the saddle back, as well.
I would definitely not recommend an extended panel, such as you find on the Wintec endurance saddle - unless Nicole rides in a really tiny seat (like 15"), I'd be afraid an extended panel would A) extend past T18, and B) I'd be afraid it would poke and / or rub, since Arabee's a bit butt-high.
I'd like to see a hoop tree on this mare, too. In the photo below, both "gullets" are the correct width, but notice how differently they compare to her back. The standard tree gullet is in turquoise, and the hoop tree gullet in pink.Here's the catch: Nicole (like mostly everyone else out there today) is on a budget and needs to keep the price as far under $1000.00 as possible, and most saddles in this price range don't offer a ton of fitting options. So we're going to do the best we can to maximize comfort for everyone and still stay within budget. Nicole could try to find a used leather saddle - I'd recommend looking into a Duett Fidelio or perhaps a Duett Companion Trial, though I'd worry that the tree on the Companion Trail might be too flat for Arabee's back. A used Frank Baines Enduro or Enduro LDR would be worth considering as well. or perhaps an older County Competitor (I'm mentioning dressage saddles here because many of my endurance and competitive trail customers ride in dressage saddles - they either order them with dee rings, or have me retrofit them). Arabian Saddle Company also makes a trail saddle, and that would be another avenue to try.
However, given Nicole's budget, her chosen discipline, and Arabee's conformation, I'd recommend trying a Thorowgood Cob or Broadback, either the a/p or dressage models. Even brand new, they're in her price range, they offer a changeable gullet, and in my experience, they're a good, reliable saddle. They also have a more hoop-shaped gullet plate, which will work better for Arabee. (The reason I'm not recommending a Wintec Wide is because their gullet plates are just flattened-out versions of their standard gullet plates - the turquoise-colored gullet in the photo above is a PhotoShopped version of a plate from the Wintec Wide). And being synthetic, Nicole can kiss leather maintenance goodbye - the Thorowgoods I mentioned are synthetic, and wash up with soap and water. No more worries about being caught in the rain!
Next up: Finding a saddle for the first-time horse owner.