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RE: Saddles

Title: RE: Saddles

Fit even differs from one Orthoflex to another.  I had a relatively new Express Lite that I had made for me in 1995.  I loved it on Rocket who has a VERY broad back with lots of room for a big saddle.  He should - he's an Arab who honestly measures 16H.  I wasn't found of the in flap girth billets (never look secure to me), but I don't have any bulk under my leg.

Then I got Razz - much more compact 4 yo Arab gelding, "stretching" to reach 15H (he's 14.3 1/2).  The saddle swallowed him up with it's 26" long panels.  He was uncomfortable, bucked on the lounge line, and tried to duck the saddle when I put it on him.  I was stuck using a barrel saddle that was too big plus a thick pad.  It wanted to ride up on his neck - still not even close to a fit.

I wheeled & dealed with a ride camper to trade a lot of tack for a different saddle.  The person had another orthoflex that she thought might work.  I was skeptical, but I had a chance to try the saddle.  I got what I believe is either a VERY early Express Lite or maybe an original Express.  (I don't know what the original express looked like - any help out there?)  It has much shorter panels & fits him well (based on 30 minute rides that we're doing.  He's only been under saddle for about 6 weeks.)  We're keeping it and I'll watch for how it does for him as we put more time in the saddle.  I hope that this one will last him for his career.

The longer, newer saddle seems to be wider.  The older saddle seems to have more flexible panels.  They act differently, they're rigged differently, and the ride differently.

No one saddle for every horse, but I've found 3 good saddles for 3 very different horses.  I'm glad I'm done looking.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Subject: RC: Saddles

  I have to brag about my Orthoflex, Goat inherited it when I started riding
him. And boy does it work for him.  Saddles are like truck brands, you love
them or hate them, no in between.

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