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Re: RC: Treeless saddles vs. regular saddles wrote:
> I have ridden several saddles, treed, treeless, and an Orthoflex.  Iliked
> them all, and properly fitted, my horse was not lame or sore with any.
> However, once I spent some time in the treeless, I was never AS comfortable
> with any other saddle after that.  I'm not willing to try again, it's too
> comfortable.


I'd have to agree with you there... :)

A friend from England visited on Sunday, bringing with her an
english saddle for me to use for a year or so, for arena work.

I've been riding in Bob Marshall Sportsaddles for 4 years now,
and haven't ridden in a treed saddle in all that time. I've done
230 miles of 30/50s in the SS with my gelding with no back problems
at all.

However, my dumpling-shaped, greenie mare is abit uncomfortable
going down steeeeep hills. Because she's so round and has a 
forward heart-girth, the SS tends to be pulled onto her withers 
and she gets cranky. The best thing I can do for her is to crupper-
train her, but that's been slow going and we're not there yet
(read "I'm too chicken to ride her down a hill in a crupper" <g>).

So we went for a 8-9 mile ride on Sunday and I decided to try
the english saddle, to see if that worked any better than the 
SS for the mare. 

In terms of where it sat on her it seemed very good. The saddle 
was suited to her round, sorry "well sprung" shape 
and the position of the rigging didn't seem to pull the saddle 
forward the way the SS sometimes does.

For those of you who may be familiar with the trails around 
here, we rode from "Third Gate" (top of the canyon) down to
the WST/Tevis river crossing at Poverty Bar and back up again.
Maybe 1000' of descent in 4 miles? 

I now have a very sore bottom. :))))))))  

Gah. I'd forgotten what treed saddles feel like! Ack.   

(note I was brought up on english saddles, so once I got used 
to the "nekkid" feeling, I was quite comfy in this saddle and
it fit me quite well - until I got off it <g>. My, er, 
"delicates" are still sore to the touch two days later).

A the end of the ride, when I took the saddle off, I wasn't 
that happy with the sweat pattern. On the SS, when I take 
the saddle off, I have this enormous smooth surface area that 
the saddle's been on (with a nice dry channel area along the
spine, courtesy of my Skito/Toklat with inserts pad). 

With the english saddle, there was a very small weight bearing 
surface sweat pattern. It gave me the impression of having been
perched on this lil' area.

Looking at how it worked for the mare, my answer would be
"no better" - in terms of pressing into her withers on steep
downhills. She was about as cranky as normal - sometimes
she went down a hill fine, sometimes she objected. I suspect 
a lot of what I'm dealing with is just a greenie horse who 
needs to get used to the idea of going down hills, and 
develop the muscles to do so. The crupper will help (when
I get brave enough).

As an aside, towards the end of the ride, she did develop a
funny hitch/kick out with her right rear leg at the trot.
My friend said it looked like she might have pulled something
high up and was uncomfortable. I don't think it was saddle
related - more likely that we were climbing up and down 
steep things that she's not used to, and she pulled something.

Needless to say, the english saddle will be used purely for
arena work from now on - it didn't work for me, or for my

Lucy Chaplin Trumbull -
Repotted english person in Garden Valley (Sierra Foothills), CA 

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