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    Re: [RC] Endurance Saddles... E. Texas Endurance - Laney Humphrey

    Stewart, Carrie wrote:

    I have a stocky, short-backed Arabian gelding that I am just starting
    under saddle. He is my future endurance mount. I am worried that I
    will have a problem finding an endurance saddle that fits him and trying
    to not spend over $1500 (he was only $1200). I am not looking for an
    English type saddle as I don't feel secure enough in one while jamming
    down the trail. I also tend to ride a bit forward (you would think I
    would have learned to get past this seeing as I always get dumps on my
    face when I go off). I am 5'3" and 130lbs. with long legs (this is not
    a date add). Does anyone have any suggestions on a saddle that I should
    try? I have ridden in an Abercrombie (similar to a Big Horn I think)
    before and liked it but it was a bit heavy and would probably be large
    for my current guy. Oh, and while we are at it, is there anyone in East
    Texas looking for a riding buddy? I sure would like to take my guy out
    on some trails with a horse and rider combo who is experienced. I am
    willing to haul about an hour away for the opportunity. Thanks in

    Carrie Stewart
    Carthage, Texas

    Hi Carrie,
    Reading your post, the priority order you seem to have decided on for a new saddle is: 1. price, 2. weight, 3. size. Price is always important but please, please, please, don't make it your first priority!!! How about this for a priority list: 1. fits my horse, 2. fits me, 3. price. I'm not trying to encourage you to look at $3000 saddles. I am trying to encourage you to think realize that you want to be doing endurance and trail riding safely and comfortably with your horse for a long time.
    Think now of shoes that you would buy for hiking. One pair costs $100, another costs $29.95. The $100 shoes feel like clouds on your feet, the cheaper ones pinch, rub and make your feet feel like they are in a strangle hold. It should be obvious which ones will keep you hiking, happily and comfortably and which ones will end up on the closet floor while you find excuses not to hike. The same is true for a saddle and your horse's back except that you are potentially inflicting pain on someone else.
    It may take you longer to identify saddles that will fit your horse and that are in your price range, but it can be done. There are several reasonably priced saddles being made for distance riding and there also lots of used saddles available. So, decide on a price range that works for your budget but don't relate it to how much you paid for the horse. Aside: we'd all be walking and leading our horses to rides instead of driving trucks and hauling our horses in trailers if we never spent more than the cost of the horse for any other equipment! Then learn how to measure the shape of your horse's back and then start The Great Saddle Hunt!
    Happy Hunting!

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    [RC] Endurance Saddles... E. Texas Endurance, Stewart, Carrie