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Re: Rigid versus flexible saddles

Hi Karen,

At 18:38 22/09/00 -0700, Karen Sullivan wrote:


>Here is my question-even if there is a swivel attatchment for the panel,
>when you stand in the stirrups or put pressure on the tree, isn't it still
>going to bear down harder in these areas?


That's where the weight distribution qualities of the panels come in - in
other words the panels have to be firm as well as flexible. On the
Free'n'Easy saddles the panels are made up from several layers of plastic
and open cell foam - the former for weight distribution, the latter for
shock absorption. The layers of plastic are harder as well as shorter and
slimmer the nearer the tree and the fixing you get, so the panel as a whole
is firm along a center line from fixing to fixing and flexible further out
and forward and back. The pressure of the rider's weight transferred through
the attachments to the panel gets progressively distributed by the graded
layers of the panel. A rough simile is if you imagine standing in high
heeled shoes on soft ground - the heel sinks in; if you put a board on the
ground and stand on it - your weight is distributed by the board and your
heel does not sink into the ground.

I can see that it could be confusing that with all the flat panel saddle
types the panels tend to be described as "flexible" - this they are, and
have to be, but they also need to have a more rigid core in order to achieve
weight distribution.   



(Agneta Pallinder, partner in Free'n'Easy Saddle Company

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