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good saddle fit - long
Hi All! Just had to add my 2 cents worth about Boz saddles and saddle fit
1st cent: just like all good, concerned saddlemakers, Boz has changed and
refined the way he does things over the years, so if you're using an older
version, send it in for refitting, you'll be surprised at the differences.
2nd cent: Boz' saddles depend for their fit on their foam pads. These need
to be replaced - often!!! If you ride a lot, maybe even twice a year but
usually not that often. The reason is that foam breaks down and collapses.
But before you write Boz' saddles off because of that, remember that the
stuffed panels on "english" saddles need attention JUST AS OFTEN - maybe
twice a year if you ride a lot, and the pads you put under your more
"western" type saddle need attention JUST AS OFTEN because guess why?
(Hint: they are made of foam. Also, english-type panels are now most often
filled with foam and even the old hair/wool stuffing felts and compacts.)
Leigh makes a very good point that it is easy to shim a Boz saddle by
putting the shim between the pad and the bottom of the tree; Boz will also
make specially shaped pads to fit, and there is no reason why you can't use
another pad incorporating shims under his pads if necessary.
I'm not so interested in praising Boz saddles as I am in reminding you
that all saddles need constant attention - think of a saddle as being most
like you own shoes: they change shape and fit the longer you wear them and
finally need replacing or refittng. The value of knowledgeable and well
trained farriers and even dentists is now pretty well accepted but we
aren't yet focued to the same degree on the importance of saddle refitters
and we should be. Another way to look at the issue is to stop complaining
about all the time and attention we put into our saddles and start patting
ourselves on the back for being so concerned about such an importance piece
of equipment! Think of it this way: if you finally find a saddle that's
perfect today, it won't be tomorrow because use changes it (just like our
shoes) but that doesn't mean you should throw it out, just establish a
repair schedule of replacing pads, adding or subtracting shims, reflocking
the panels and whatever else is necessary, which might include putting that
saddle away for a while until your horse's back returns to the shape the
saddle fits which it probably will at some point during the riding year.
And painful though this is, add "saddle care" as an on-going budget item
right along with vet payments, shoeing, and dentistry because it's just as
important. Actually, from the number of posts about saddles, most of you
are already spending a bunch of time and money here, now is the time to
start thinking positively about it instead of thinking you've "failed"
because you can't find a saddle that stays perfect forever.
Sorry this got so long!
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