ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Saddle Fit

[endurance] Saddle Fit

Joyce Kellenberger (joyce@homer.ca.boeing.com)
Thu, 1 Aug 96 17:30:14 PDT

I am beginning to think that the particular model of Orthoflex I have
is meant for a longer backed horse. It seems to me that the Orthoflex
saddles were designed using fox trotters and/or larger breed horses
rather than arabians. The wavy hair syndrome appears to be occuring
because the panels are pushing up into the shoulder and wither area -
hence it is too long for my horse's short back. Does this sound
logical to anyone else? The Express Lite (which is what I have) is
a beautiful, well made saddle. It is so balanced on the horse that
I can ride with a fairly loose cinch. It's a great saddle for the
right body type horse. Now that I have had a chance to do some
comparisons with various saddles as much as I like my Orthoflex, I
don't believe my horses share the same sentiment. Understand that I
have had no sore back problems, lesions, rubbed loins, etc. It just
seems to cover more area than my little arab has area to cover!
When I look at my Wintec all purpose on my arab, it looks better;
it looks as though it allows more freedom of motion for the horse.
Indeed as I swap back and forth between the two saddles on my three
horses, I'm tuning in more to the subtle differences. It would appear
now that my inexpensive little synthetic saddle is a better match for
my mare than my beautiful expensive Orthoflex. More is not necessarily

I was originally drawn to the Orthoflex because it distributes weight
over a greater area that a typical english type saddle. However, I only
weigh 120 lbs. so weight distribution for me wouldn't be as critical as
for a larger person. Also I stay off my horse's back alot; I ride light.
So there again the distribution thing is not so critical for me. For
me, the close contact I achieve with the Wintec is more beneficial than
the weight distribution of the OF.