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saddle trees/rider & horse anatomy (from Barb Peck)

Barb Peck

I'm not at my own computer again.. hense the guest post.

First.. Truman, excellent sort course on sensors!

Regarding saddles. whether they be treed (flexible
or rigid, or none):

In fitting a saddle, you have to combine the horses
anatomy, with the riders anatomy, and try to  find
a saddle that will work without pain to
either at a variety of gaits. 
Not easy as you all know. And it costs money
every time you change somthing.

 The biggest difference in riders (aside from their
balance) is the width between the seat bones, 
and pelvis tilt and width.

For example, I absolutely cannot ride in a Sports Saddle
(I'm 5' 5" 125 lbs) because of it's seat contour
I get hip pain. It doesn't matter whether the Sports saddle
is on a narrow or wide horse.  It's that I and the seat
are not a good match.
This doesn't mean it won't work fab for someone else.

With the way I'm built, I absolutely have to have stirrup
leathers (or fenders) fall directly under my hip.  But,
on the other hand, I've fit some saddles for riders
of gaited horses, and some of those riders 
had pain in their hips if the fenders were directly
under their hips.. they needed them a tad foward.
Were these riders not riding correctly? Or was their
pelvic tilt a component?  I think the latter.
Correct or not correct?  If you're riding long distance
it's what works...

Plus, very few horses are symetrical, making fitting harder..
and you'll have problems  with a treed saddle on a horse
that's one sided. (Everything wants to tilt one way or the

As far as impression pads/sensors go.. Truman is
entirely correct. a horse in motion (dynamic state) is
not remotely like a horse standing still (Static), which is how
they are when the saddle it fit.

Geez... Look at the variety of bits out there and
hacamore designs for just the head of the horse...
and we don't ride the head (well.. er, some do).

Point is... if you're riding competitively long
distances.. be prepared to spend the money it'll take
to find the correct combination of equipment 
and be willing to make changes when they're required.


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