Flocking/CAIR Issue?
 
 

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Flocking/CAIR Issue?

This is a discussion on Flocking/CAIR Issue? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Cair re flock
  • Flock or cair saddle

 
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    09-22-2012, 10:06 PM
  #1
Started
Flocking/CAIR Issue?

I have had my guy and been riding him in a Wintec 2000 (cair, med-wide gullet, per their measuring device) for about 11 months. He is probably ridden about 10-20 hours a week (w/t/c) with about 70% of that in the saddle. I have watched videos on saddle fit, had other horse people look, checked the sweat marks, etc, and everything "seems fine". Only once have I ever noticed any soreness on back palpation- that was in one specific spot on his back after a 10 mile fast paced ride and seemed to resolve just a few hours later.

I am concerned that I need to do something, maybe have the Cair panels taken out and my saddle flocked properly, or a new saddle, because he is appearing to roan a little under where the bars sit. It's symmetrical on both sides. He also has a roaning/white hairs spot on his butt and neck, not sure what that's about.

This is what I am seeing (taken before a ride). Black is where the bars sit. Blue are the areas sprinkled with white hairs. Pink is the spot that doesn't get as much pressure as the rest judging from it being more wet than the rest of the bar area after riding. Poor saddle fit? Cair being crap? Irritation from riding and sweating hard down here in south TX?

     
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    09-22-2012, 10:23 PM
  #2
Foal
I had a similar problem with the CAIR system in my Bates saddle. There are 2 air "bladders" in each panel of the saddle. A crease had developed in my saddle where these bladders overlapped. A reputable saddle fitter removed the CAIR system and replaced it with natural flocking. My horse was much happier. I highly recommend replacing the CAIR with natural flocking. The shape of flocked saddles can be better maintained to properly fit the horse over his or her lifetime - as his/her shape changes with age or level of training.
     
    09-22-2012, 10:41 PM
  #3
Started
Did you have the thread showing all the 'guts' of the cair system?

I suppose the next questions would be, if that really is the problem, how does one go about finding someone to retrofit/flock a saddle? Especially down here where riding English makes us objects of curiosity? And is there anything to be done that might mitigate the issue in the meanwhile until I can find someone? Half pad? I can certainly switch to bareback more, but that's not safe on the trails...

I might be able to try to borrow friends' saddles, etc, but I'm worried that that may cause more issue or soreness than keeping on with what I have given he's never given me any cause to think we're having saddle fit issues (until now, obviously).
     
    09-22-2012, 11:11 PM
  #4
Trained
My horses liked the CAIR panels more than I did, but I haven't ridden them a long time with it. I doubt you are seeing something caused by the CAIR panels. IIRC, CAIR panels are front & back, not top and bottom.

It looks like the pressure is even and symmetrical, which is really all that a saddle can do.

I've read that roaning can be caused by rubbing rather than pressure. I do NOT know if this is true. You might consider your saddle pad rather than your saddle.

All the above is guessing. I'm not a saddle fitter or trainer or anything else.
     
    09-23-2012, 06:04 PM
  #5
Yearling
That white hair spot looks like stirrup bar pressure to me. Try putting the saddle on loose and reaching up under the panel so your fingers are inline with the bar. Take the saddle off and see if your fingers are on the white hair.

With Cair you'll get a certain amount of saddle movement because of the way the airbags work, but if the front drops noticeably when you push down on it (loose girth) or when you girth, up it's likely the panel could do with re-shaping. It's possible to flock over Cair if the saddle is otherwise okay but you need a decent saddler because it's not that easy :)

PS If what I've suggested is the case a graduated half pad (thicker in front than rear) is the best option. The front needs more support than the rear to keep the saddle level so a single thickness pad's not as effective.
     
    09-25-2012, 06:03 PM
  #6
Foal
Did you have the thread showing all the 'guts' of the cair system?

I suppose the next questions would be, if that really is the problem, how does one go about finding someone to retrofit/flock a saddle? Especially down here where riding English makes us objects of curiosity? And is there anything to be done that might mitigate the issue in the meanwhile until I can find someone? Half pad? I can certainly switch to bareback more, but that's not safe on the trails...

I might be able to try to borrow friends' saddles, etc, but I'm worried that that may cause more issue or soreness than keeping on with what I have given he's never given me any cause to think we're having saddle fit issues (until now, obviously)."


I didn't have the thread about the 'guts', but I did write a blog post about my saddle restuffing experience. Sorry that I can't help you with finding a good saddler maker in your area to do the re-stuffing. In the meantime, a good fleece half pad might offer some more protection to your horse's back. Pads won't fix a problem with the saddle, but can offer some relief in the short term. Real fleece gives cushioning without becoming packed down. Over time, gel and foam pads will flatten and create pressure points.

As I looked at the photo again, I wondered if your saddle is bridging at all? Without a saddle pad, do up your saddle and run your hand under the panel from the front to the back. If the saddle fits properly, there should be even contact all along the panel.

I hope you get the problem sorted out soon so you and your horse can enjoy riding together in comfort.
     
    09-26-2012, 05:57 PM
  #7
Started
I think I'll order the half pad while I figure out what to do in the meanwhile. Bridging was my first concern, but I thought that was where the front and rear of the bar would apply greater pressure than the middle. The bottom half of the bar has some of the white hairs on it going the entire length, so I don't think it's bridging, at least how I thought of it anyway. There is less pressure in the pink circle I believe based on the sweat pattern, but the rest of it is pretty even. It ALL feels even when I stick my hands under there.

Obviously there is uneven pressure somewhere though, right? Because if everything is working properly, you'll never see this sort of pressure roaning or white marks. Right?
     
    09-30-2012, 11:10 PM
  #8
Started
Alright, so I went ahead and ordered the half pad, it should be here next week. In the meantime it'll be bareback/bareback pad and I plan to re check the saddle fit (again). At least all the rain and mud here helps me feel like I'm not 'missing out' on my riding while we get this sorted out.
     

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