ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Adding weight

[endurance] Adding weight

LONG JUDY (long.judy@smtpgateway.centigram.com)
Fri, 29 Sep 95 10:53:55 PST

>We are looking for a way to increase my wife's saddle weight to about
>20 kg (45 lbs).


I had the same problem this last summer. I had to get my total weight from
125 to 165. In asking around for suggestions, the consensus of opinions
was that you should keep the weight as balanced as possible and as stable
as possible. Try to keep it from flopping around! Also watch for back
problems on your horse as you condition with more weight.

Here are my thoughts and experiences:

A Wintec might not be good to try to add weight to. The common
lore about the Wintec is that lightweight riders are more
successful with it. I think the tree is flexible fiberglass. You
would have to add a lot of weight to it (mine weighed less than 9
pounds) and it could potentially cause back problems on your
horse. The McClellan is probably better to try to add weight to.
There are some saddles that have hollow trees that you can add
weight to. I think the new Zes saddle has this.

I also liked Judith Ogus's Fishing vest with sheet lead in the pockets but
I never tried it. She told me it worked pretty well but could be hot. I
am also not sure how it would work if you were riding under FEI rules
because I think the weight needs to be on the saddle. I did not try the
buckshot in the bicycle tube. It sounds pretty good, just make sure the
bicycle tube doesn't break!

Another suggestion I received was to add a gel pad. I didn't try this one.
A gel pad is fairly expensive (about $80-100 U.S.) and could be too hot
under the saddle.

Karen Schwartz used dive weights sewn to the girth. This worked real well
on Tevis one year up to a point. She was leading the ride when the billets
on her saddle broke because of the extra weight. She ended up riding
bareback for quite a ways but did finish the ride on another saddle. She
now has reinforced billets and uses the girth when she needs to make

I used about 16 pounds of scuba dive weights. I have a County
eventing saddle that I added them to. The weights themselves were 2
pounds of buckshot in small cordura bags. For the back of the saddle
I used 2 small cordura bags (a Griffins easyboot bag). The bags had
a snap on the top and strings on the bottom. I put 2 dive weights in
each bag and then duct taped the bags to a tubular shape. I then
attached the snap to my D rings (I have dees on both sides of the
saddle). I tied the strings to my billets. I also had extra latigo
ties to secure them. For the most part, this part of the additional
weight worked very well. They stayed very still on the horse but had
to be re-tied when I took the saddle on or off. I had to tighten the
part attached to the billets sometimes. They sat just behind my leg
and rear end on the saddle but did not interfere with me at all.

The front part of the saddle was tougher. I had a pommel bag that
fit over but did not sit on the withers. The bag was designed to
carry water bottles in the two pockets. I put 2 of the dive weights
on each side with empty water bottles in the pockets to try to hold
the shape. I also put extra latigo ties on the pockets and secured
them to the saddle pad. This part of the weight worked so-so. I
really wasn't able to de-bug this aspect very well before I used it
in a ride. Next time I would try either putting the weight in the
empty water bottles or taping the dive weights to the outside of the
bottles so that the weights would not sink to the bottom of the
pockets. I also need to figure out a way to keep it from coming
loose. When it was tight on the saddle it worked well but it did
loosen up.

I hope you find something that works and if you do, let me know!

Good Luck!

Judy Long (Nick's other half)