Interesting saddle fit video. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 27 Old 04-16-2013, 08:09 PM
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I remember watching a TV show once where they painted the skeleton of a horse onto a horse and free-lunged it. They pointed out that the part of the back on which the saddle sits never flexed not even when the horse was jumping. It is not capable of flexing, which is exactly what makes horses rideable. Imagine what would happen to the rider if horses were capable of curling up like dogs can!

Not that I'm saying flex trees are bad - they might be useful for other reasons. But the part of the horse's back that is under the saddle doesn't bend when you think about it, it's actually not a large portion of the spine.
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post #22 of 27 Old 04-16-2013, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
I remember watching a TV show once where they painted the skeleton of a horse onto a horse and free-lunged it. They pointed out that the part of the back on which the saddle sits never flexed not even when the horse was jumping. It is not capable of flexing, which is exactly what makes horses rideable. Imagine what would happen to the rider if horses were capable of curling up like dogs can!

Not that I'm saying flex trees are bad - they might be useful for other reasons. But the part of the horse's back that is under the saddle doesn't bend when you think about it, it's actually not a large portion of the spine.
You would be right that the spine doesn't move much; but the muscles and sinews that make up the structure of the back DO move. That's why an effective padding system is essential if you're going to use a rigid tree saddle.

Flexible panel saddles date back to about the mid-1850s. They never were a commercial success during the Age of Horsepower. Maybe those old timers knew stuff we've forgotten?

G.
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post #23 of 27 Old 04-16-2013, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
You would be right that the spine doesn't move much; but the muscles and sinews that make up the structure of the back DO move. That's why an effective padding system is essential if you're going to use a rigid tree saddle.

Flexible panel saddles date back to about the mid-1850s. They never were a commercial success during the Age of Horsepower. Maybe those old timers knew stuff we've forgotten?

G.

what is your preference for an effective padding system?
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post #24 of 27 Old 04-17-2013, 12:38 AM
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what is your preference for an effective padding system?
For my use, with my saddle (a Stubben Scout Stubben Saddles) on my horses (with their general conformation) I use a reproduction Army blanket folded cavalry style. This gives a six layer "laminate" configuration that provides both cushion for vertical motion and a layers to deal with lateral motion. This system dates back at least to the era of the dragoon squadrons of the late 1840s. It may go back much farther; I've not done any research before the Army's use of the Grimsley Dragoon saddle.

Go to Which saddle pad is best? (Is there a right answer?) | Horse Wellness Blog and scroll down about half way. There's a pretty good diagram of how it can be done.

Here is a segment from an Army training film that was used at the Cavalry School at Ft. Riley that is an outstanding "how to" practice. https://www.facebook.com/video/video...d=421644265223

It's my understanding that multiple armies used this type of system, but not all did. Some used saddles with significant, integral padding (fleece, sheepskin, stuffed panels, etc.). The McClellan saddle has no padding on the tree. It was used from 1859 through 1948 as the Army's primary saddle.

The padding is part of the "saddle system." So what works for one type of saddle might not work at all for another.

G.

Last edited by Guilherme; 04-17-2013 at 12:41 AM.
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post #25 of 27 Old 04-17-2013, 08:39 AM
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the reproduction you use....is it 100% wool or is it a mixture like most "wool" blankets now adays.
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post #26 of 27 Old 04-17-2013, 09:58 AM
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the reproduction you use....is it 100% wool or is it a mixture like most "wool" blankets now adays.
Sold as 100% wool, and appears to be so. I also have a 1940s era Navy blanket that IS 100% wool that I use for "show."

Wool is best, but a small amounts of synthetics (maybe up to 10%) would not necessarily be bad as it would enhance durability.

I'm not an expert in weaving, but I'm told that often commercial and artistic weavers use jute or other natural materials as part of their warp and weave. It has to do with the stresses of weaving. If you want to know more then I'll have to send you to Google or Wikipedia.

I got two, from different periods. My ACW/IW era blanket comes from The Blockade Runner in Wartrace, TN Blockade Runner Civil War Sutler Sutlery 8-17-12 My modern era blanket comes from What Price Glory in CA What Price Glory If you want a more colorful presentation go to a Pendelton Wool Outlet Store. They sell second quality wool blankets (the flaw is usually a minor weaving defect, color defect, minor handling damage, etc.). Seconds from Pendelton, a quality brand, are still of very high "operational" quality.

I would not use a 100% synthetic product unless it were specifically formulated for equine use.

The saddle blanket lives in a harsh environment (hot, wet, and constantly abraded and stressed by movement). Something from Walmart or Target likely won't do the job. Whether you go for wool, a blend, or a synthetic buy quality. It won't cost; it will pay.

G.
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post #27 of 27 Old 07-04-2013, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Malda View Post
Sycamore Creek Saddles

Click on "click HERE". Half way through he talks about the twist of the saddle tree, and demonstrates how a gaited horse's back doesn't need the twist of a trotting horse's back. Anyone ever heard about this?

I tried this on my Icelandic, a racking pony, racking horse, and TWH. My hand angle was the same on all of them. I tried a few trotting horses and the hand angle was different. Not sure what to think of this, it's new to me.
I have never heard of this, but then I am not a saddle fitter!

Thanks for posting this video link & info. The method definately gives a starting point for selecting basic tree styles. The distance hands are placed should help with the length also.

I personally would not get hung-up on his use of "gaited" and "trotting" to describe the 2 different basic tree shapes. Maybe twist angle would be a better way to describe it; but still a good, easy starting point in selecting a tree style, especially for those with hard-to-fit horses.
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