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I would like to make a few comments on saddle fitting. Of course, this is just my opinion. Someone asked me if my OF saddle slipped forward going downhill. No. I have also read other comments about saddles slipping and sliding. Now I surely do not want to offend anyone but sometimes the saddle fits perfect but the rider leaves a lot to be desired. This past weekend we were at Liberty Run and camped across the lake. We were able to watch the riders go on the first loop. One example we saw was a lady pulling with all her might on the reins, feet strait out in front of her and her saddle heading right up to the ears. I call those kinds of riders, "skiers" because they are posed to water ski, not ride horses! It matters not what saddle you have, if you ride like that, it won't stay in place. I have ridden behind people who lean to one side and never know it. They can tighten the girth until the poor horse can't breath but unless they sit "balanced" the saddle will always feel like it is slipping. Some people ride like a jockey, with the stirrups placing their knees just under their chins. When you sit like that and pull on the reins, you push the saddle back. I have seen it over and over. Most of the problems I see with all different saddles is the riders. If you can't keep your horse balanced and moving right (not jigging, bucking, trying to run off) then you are fighting with the reins, bracing yourself against the stirrups and no matter what saddle you have on, it will have a hard time staying in place or not rubbing where it shouldn't. Because different saddles also position the rider in certain ways, with different riggings, and stirrups placing, it is just as important for the saddle to fit you as well as your horse. Another one of my favorite observations was when I watched this lady at a show and every time she got on the horse, he would buck and crow-hop. She would say he had a "cold back". What I saw was that when she sat in the saddle, her butt hung over the cantle by about 3 inches, and the stirrups were too short, therefore putting tons of pressure on the loins. Ouch for the horse. I would be bucking also. Even though she was a large woman, had she had a better fitting saddle for herself, the horse would been much happier. It wasn't the weight, it was where it was placed on the horses back. I am no Carol Lovell but I try to be conscious of how I am sitting and riding my horse. No saddle problems, no sore backs. Lisa Salas, The odd Farm

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