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Re: RC: Endurance saddles

Maggie Mieske wrote:
> I know we have seen this before and I have read some but not all replies
> concerning people's experiences and opinions of the Abetta endurance
> saddle.  I am interested in hearing from people who have actually used
> the saddle whether they liked or disliked it and why.  I have a similar
> saddle (Western type) that I like a lot except for the rigging and the
> horn and think the Abetta might suit me.  But a new saddle is not an
> enterprise to be entered into lightly and I would appreciate replies in
> private so as not to clutter the list too much to help me with my
> research!

I, too, have been on the great saddle search this past few months and
have yet to find one that fits my horse perfectly and me as well. I had
trail ridden for 6 years in my Ortho-flex American Outback and had some
minor problems with it - rubbing, remedied by purchasing their Numna
saddle pad and using that instead of booties, and getting my butt out of
the saddle more (!); some dry spots, not bad enough to result in white
patches of hair or sore backs on my horses. The reason I want to replace
this saddle and get a different one for trail riding is because I also
ride dressage on an Ortho-flex Dressuer, and the two "sit" differently.
I can't sit the same in the trail saddle and it's hard to try to
maintain a proper centered riding position, which has become the focus
of my lessons and riding for right now. I was having some physical
problems with riding long distances, which prompted me to go back to
lessons and working on my riding position. I found that the centered
riding techniques are the best for maintaining balance and ease - going
"with" the horse - and that when I ride properly centered, I can ride
longer with tremendously less stress to my body and my horse is happier
and able to move better as well. I find that sometimes I start a lesson
somewhat stiff, but with the proper centered riding exercises and all, I
am moving more freely (and feel better) at the end of the lesson. 

I'd buy another Ortho-flex if I can find a model that works as well for
balanced, centered riding as the Dressuer model. But I've been looking
at others as well. I'd prefer a saddle that is more like an endurance
model, not English type. Donna Synder-Smith said some endurance riders
have good luck with the OF Express Lite model. Any comments or
suggestions on brands/types that offer a more balanced ride plus fit
well on a fairly wide-backed horse? You can email me privately, too.


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