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My two cents worth on saddles

SS - Took some getting used to, as I felt like I was sitting on a mattress at 
first.   I did develop a liking for it over a few days, though.  However, it 
was a pain in the butt with the saddle pad (woolback) slipping constantly out 
the back, and the saddle riding forward and back at every hill.    Gave up on 
it fairly early though I may try again with the Skito pad someday.

Big Horn - Started in one of these and still keep it for a back up saddle, 
although I don't find it as comfortable as my other saddle over many miles.   
 Still, given the price it was a good starter.  

Wintec - I couldn't even finish a 'try out' ride in the endurance model 
Wintec - seat felt flat and not at all comfortable.    Love the idea of the 
hose-off convenience but it was a definite no-go for me.

ZES - this is the saddle I use all the time, and it is great.   You can take 
it apart all the way down to the tree, and adjust the shims yourself.  Sits 
up well off the horses spine with good air clearance.   Cinch straps come 
from both front and back of saddle so the pressure is not concentrated.   
Very comfortable for me and has fit 3 horses quite well.   Only thing I don't 
like is the stirrup buckles - the adjust to tiny increments (i.e. no buckle 
holes) which is nice but the buckle itself is bulky - wore a hole in my leg 
and a hole in the saddle leather.   Now I have them covered w/sheepskin.

I have a recurring fantasy of having all the local endurance riders bring 
their saddles to a weekend training ride with a free-for-all everyone tries 
everything.  It would entail a lot of fiddling around with adjustments, but 
would be a pretty cool way to have at least a brief trial of many different 

pat farmer

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