ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] enduronewbie

[endurance] enduronewbie

(no name) ((no email))
16 Jul 96 11:25:27 EDT

Too bad you don't live near SE PA. I know of a great free 6 year old show
quality grey Arabian, only catch is you must take his 24-year old Shetland
buddy, too! My honest opinion on pads--

(snipped from previous post):
hack around on and then get by with that until I am ready. I read somewhere on
this board a while back that when I purchase a pad I should look for open cell
foam instead of closed cell foam to reduce heat build up. I've noticed in the
millions of catalogs I've ordered there dosen't seem to be to many open cell
foam pads available. What do you all use?

Also I would prefer the convenience of a hackamore for my horse on the ride (of
course it depends on the equine buddy I purchase!) because of the ability to
drink and eat. Talk to me about your bridles and riggings. (end of snip)

Saddles: I'm lightweight so I can use Sport Saddle (no tree bars, fits large
variety of backs), so no problem so far switching between horses, but these are
expensive ($700 new basic endurance model). Any saddle that fits your horse
well and is sturdy is worth keeping, doesn't matter what it looks like! Just
make sure the seat is big enough for your bum; you can usually pad the seat for
yourself, but if it doesn't fit the horse really well without special padding,
forget it.

Pads: I've heard many times to NOT use open-cell foam unless you wash it @
time because of its ability to harbor molds. I made my own open-cell lift-back
pad once for an old close-contact saddle that I didn't want to re-stuff. I
didn't wash it between uses, but my horse didn't have any skin problems,
probably because I used it between my pad/blanket and the saddle.
Obviously with any pad if one horse had lice/ringworm/skin problem you'd
sanitize the pad as well between horses. Closed cell foam does insulate
better, but you should never use any foam pad directly against your horse's
back. Closed cell distributes weight better, and absorbs shock much better.
It also takes up more space under the saddle, though, so can compromise saddle
fit. Gel pads hold the most heat, and are heavy, expensive, thick, and can
slide out if there are no fasteners. Synthetic anything holds more heat than
cotton or wool. Wool stays springy longer, wicks away sweat, supports
agriculture vs. chemical industry, and it's more durable than any pad material
that's used on the horse side of pads.

Hackamores: I recently switched to an English-type mechanical hackamore for
the horses I ride. I use the same trail bridle on all of them. I just adjust
the bridle's cheeks for the different sizes. I had to pad the hackamore cheek
joint because of rubbing. I may also add pads on the nose, but the leather is
softening finally. Make sure it's adjusted so it's comfortable. My big mare
can't eat well with it on, though, because the chin chain is sized for regular
dainty Arabs. Nevertheless she has learned to eat without opening her mouth
wide. I don't like the weight of the whole contraption, but she seems to like
it more than a bit.

Make sure whatever you use is comfortable by watching for your horse's subtle
difference in behavior. What I like to do is use my friend's very sensitive,
picky mare to try out new stuff! If she says it's ok for a long ride, then I
know it's going to be ok on my big mare, who never tells me something's
uncomfortable until I start taking things off, and some spot's unusually
itchy-rubby or even a little sore. Do you know of such a horse you can use to
test your stuff? Bridget Brickson in SE PA brickson@sbphrd.com