I stick by my first statement...Sport Saddles CANNOT give support. Simple
physics in my book...just WHAT part is giving support???? If you sit in the
middle and the "support" parts are in front and in back of you..there is NO
way the rigging between can provide support!!! That does NOT mean they
cannot work for some people and some horses. I just means what I said..they
are NOT designed to provide support!!!
I have questioned both Bob Marshall and Genie Stewart Spears about
this, and this is the gist of what they told me. The stirrups are
connected to both the pommel and cantle. If you stood in the
stirrups, you would be putting pressure on the pommel tree piece and
the cantle tree piece. Therefore, standing in the stirrups for
miles and miles is not a good idea. When you sit in the saddle, you
put pressure on the body of the saddle. So riding in the saddle
for miles and miles with out stirrups is also not a good idea.
You want to equalize the pressure So,
you have pressure in the
body of the saddle, and pressure from the pommel and cantle (you are
also sitting partly onthe cantle, and the weight of your legs in the
stirrups puts pressure on the cantle.
"seems" to be equal, if you ride in a light and balanced way.
Without using a pressure pad, there is no way to tell for sure.
But, when I pull the saddle and see an even hair pattern and sweat
pattern, and no dry spots, I can deduct the pressure was fairly
When I check the back visually, and palpating both lightly and
firmly, and the horses show no signs of soreness, I also deduct
there were no pressure spots.
Unfortunately, all my horses are greys, so I have no way to tell if
white hairs are being formed!!
One other very important part of the success of this saddle, i feel,
is having the right pad. I personally thing the equalizer pad (or
any good shock pad) is essential for this saddle, especially with
the foam inserts split over the spine. Heavyweight riders can use
thicker foam inserts. I also believe the combination of the shock
foam and WOOL fleece helps keep the back cool.
Again, how do you KNOW that the saddle was "not designed to provide
It certainly works for me and my friends better than any standard
saddles we ever tried. I mean how many people have THOUGHT that
standard saddles fit their horses (everything indicated that they
did), and STILL had sore spots or dry spots or white hairs?
Anyway, I am not making sweeping statements about the saddle and
calling them "facts." I can only say from observation and
experience, that it is my OPINION, that this saddle equalizes riders
weight and fits the horse far better than a lot of other saddles out
there, AND it works for me!