Making an english saddle comfortable!
Hi everyone! I've had my Appendix a month now and we are gearing up for our first ride when the season starts in September. I plan on doing a 25 mile ride! We are both new to endurance, he spent his young life as a barrel horse but he really enjoys stretching out on the trail. I ATTEMPTED a "short, 30 mile ride" back in March on a 50 mile horse after I have not been regularly riding for 7 years! I made it half way LOL. Despite this I really feel this sport is something I want to do, and anything you plan on doing should be done well! So anyways...
I am currently riding in a very heavy western saddle. I'm not sure how much it weighs but I'd say an easy 40 pounds. All I can say is its a good thing I like short horses wielding that thing around! I feel secure and comfortable in it, plus it has the capability of toting a lot of stuff around. That being said, it doesn't fit -ideally- on my horse but my plain flap, flat seated old school Crosby does. It's also probably 30 lbs lighter. I'm not a huge person, I weigh 130 (I'd like to lose 15 lbs, I'm a slender shape and for me I'm a little overweight) maybe I'm wrong but I'd think 30 lbs would make a difference on a long distance ride? Plus if (no, WHEN!) I lose my additional weight that'd make an even bigger difference?
I don't see many people riding around in close contact jumping saddles. I know comfort is one reason, but are they not very good for distance due to the smaller weight bearing distance? I'd be interested in converting my english to an endurance saddle just because it is so much lighter, but I do want to be able to move after my rides. I know gel seats or sheepskins help a lot but how about certain kinds of leathers? Can I change the stirrups? Anything else to be done for comfort or security?
Thanks in advance and sorry if I come off as a total "noob" because I am! :)