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Re: English saddles (long)

Some of the newer and better foam that is available is not supposed to break
down for a LONG time. And, while you do not re-flock a foam paneled saddle
adjustments CAN be made by a good saddler or at least the saddler I work
Braken Schips / Entwood Racing Siberians - Morgans Too!
"Authority without domination, Love without subservience, Respect without
-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Date: Tuesday, February 16, 1999 3:54 AM
Subject: Re: English saddles (long)

>In a message dated 2/15/99 6:25:16 PM PST, writes:
>> Some, no doubt, use cheap foam. I suspect though, that if you want to
>>  pay more for something, a saddle maker would be quite willing to put
>>  it in there and take your money.
>>  The advantage to foam with no memory is that it will not need to be
>>  reshaped once in a while. It give a lot more that most other paddings
>>  and so should be (in theory) more forgiving. Hence it's use in
>>  orthopedic equipment and not a few saddle pads.
>No, sir, and no, sir. If a saddle has foam in it's panels it cannot be
>reflocked with wool. The foam is either injected, as you said, or glued,
>the panels are not designed to allow access to the insides without tearing
>entire panel apart. Some French paneled saddles have wool felt, rather than
>wool flocking, and if a reflocker is hungry enough, he or she can refelt
>it..but it involves tearing the whole panel out, and the job just won't be
>Foam is, by it's very nature, unforgiving. WHen a saddle is brand new, the
>foam gives you the impression that it's solid and yet adapting. But after a
>year or two of hard usage, many miles, absorption of sweat, moisture,
>foam begins to break down. Sometimes it hardens into little balls,
>it hardens into a solid brick, sometimes it just falls apart, all depending
>the quality of the foam. However, it BREAKS down. Always. And you cannot
>restuff a saddle thats stuffed with foam!!
>So what do you have? A lumpy paneled saddle, with holes and lumps that can
>hurt a horses back. Now, you have to buy a new isn't this
>clever..instead of restuffing a wool flocked saddle every year, keeping it
>years and years and years, now you have to buy a new saddle every year!
>Hmmm...I think the Big Three auto makers figured that one out years
>a car that lasts only three years, and you sell more cars.
>And try to convince the owner of the foam filled saddle. She's cleaned it
>religiously after every use, so the leather part is like new..clean,
>undamaged, prettier now that it has  that patina of use than when she
>it.....leather can take a hell of alot of abuse if it's cared for.
> How do I convince her that this $1000 saddle, though the  topside looks
>new, is hurting her horse with it's cheapo foam paneling????  This explains
>why I have a real job, and fit saddles and  reflock them as a "hobby"
>(huh...hobby...I'm a masochist)..because the exterior appearance of the
>does NOT reflect the condition of the padding inside. I've been kicked out
>barns after telling people that their  saddles..that cost more than I make
>a what's causing their horse's pain. They try to fix it with
>Want to know how I got into this hobby? I also massage horses, and the
>one problem I see is back problems, and many many many are  due to poor
>fit. It definitely keeps me busy, working on sore backed horses..but I
>fitting and reflocking because I DON"T WANT to see horses hurting!!!!
>Let us also consider the horse. I can take someone's wool flocked saddle,
>measure their horses back, and restuff it to that one horses back. Let's
>he's built up from a lot of conditioning and his saddle no longer fits him
>over the shoulders. I can restuff his saddle to reflect that.....can foam
>stuffed saddles do that? NO!! Let's say he's LOST muscle over his
>can restuff for that, too. Let's say the rider is a very much a right sided
>person..I can restuff the saddle to compensate for that. Can foam stuffed
>saddles do that? No! Let's say the horse has uneven shoulders..I can
>for that. No foam stuffed saddle can do that.
>Please forgive me for jumping up and down on my soapbox, but I care very
>so for horses. I don't like to see them hurt. We all love our horses so
>especially we endurance riders. And so often I see people do what I
>throwing away money, when the answer is so simple. It's YOUR SADDLE!!!!!
>not how you're riding, or how much weight he has on his's the
>SADDLE, and no amount of massage, no amount of reschooling, no amount of
>riding lessons, no magic pads, is going to change the way it fits him or
>I'll stop shouting now.

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