At the Risk of Sounding Stupid: Flocking in English Saddles - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-09-2010, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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At the Risk of Sounding Stupid: Flocking in English Saddles

I've only somewhat recently entered the english world and own a Wintec AP saddle with CAIR. I've been looking into switching to a dressage saddle. I have been all set to buy a nice used dressage saddle with normal flocking, but came across some information that threw me off.

I read that the flocking needs to be adjusted once or twice a year. Is this true? How much does it cost? I read that it could be $100+, and if that's true it's not really an extra expense that I can afford and will have to stick with another CAIR saddle. My horse has done fine with his CAIR saddle so that wouldn't really be an issue, it would just limit my options quite a bit.


Thanks a ton for any and all help
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-09-2010, 10:55 AM
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Some people suggest having your saddle evaluated by a saddle fitter every six months. I think that's a bit extreme IMO.

If you're buying a new saddle with wool flocking, then you want the saddle to fit a bit "snug" on the horse. As you ride and the flocking "breaks in", it will compact some and adjust to the shape of your horse's back. If the saddle using "foam" flocking or synthetic fiber flock, then you want the saddle to fit "just right" from the very beginning.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-09-2010, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979 View Post
Some people suggest having your saddle evaluated by a saddle fitter every six months. I think that's a bit extreme IMO.

If you're buying a new saddle with wool flocking, then you want the saddle to fit a bit "snug" on the horse. As you ride and the flocking "breaks in", it will compact some and adjust to the shape of your horse's back. If the saddle using "foam" flocking or synthetic fiber flock, then you want the saddle to fit "just right" from the very beginning.
So if it were the wool flocking, if I didn't have it checked that often would I still have it checked regularly but less often? If so, is there an idea of how often?
As a sidenote, the saddles I'm looking at are used. The main one I have my eye on right now has wool flocking and the owner says that she recently had it reflocked.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-09-2010, 06:51 PM
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I have a wintec that is flocking that I have had for 10 years and never had re-flocked. It has changed shape over the years and is now very flat through the panels, but it suits my flat backed horse so not an issue!

Really, you will only need to adjust the flocking if it becomes a fit issue. I just bought a custom made stock saddle with real wool flocking under a felt lining. I ahve had it maybe six months now and soon i'll take it back to my saddler to re-evaluate. He has a contraption that looks like a spike that he uses to fluff up/move the flocking around through the felt - He just gets to work stabbing my saddle, lol! Because it is now worn in, once he checks it over I probably won't need to do anything for quite a few years unless my horse changes dramatically.

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post #5 of 8 Old 02-09-2010, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, that's really relieving to hear! I was feeling pretty nervous at the thought of having to get it checked that often, but something like that sounds much more doable! Thanks a ton =)
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-09-2010, 08:35 PM
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Of course, it is a more involved process on a saddle with leather lining - Unstitching then adjusting and re-stitching. One of the plusses of felt!

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-10-2010, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rockyxpony View Post
So if it were the wool flocking, if I didn't have it checked that often would I still have it checked regularly but less often? If so, is there an idea of how often?
As a sidenote, the saddles I'm looking at are used. The main one I have my eye on right now has wool flocking and the owner says that she recently had it reflocked.
If it's a new or used wool flocked saddle, you should check the saddle fit yourself every so often. I check mine two or three times a year, or whenever I notice my horses changing shape more than just a little. You should also inspect the bottom of your saddle regularly for lumps in the flocking, creases in the leather, uneven spots, etc. I check mine everytime I clean my saddles (once a month). If you notice your saddle not fitting really well, lumps in the flocking, or uneven compression, then you should call out a saddle fitter/repair person.

I have only had to do that once in the last 8 years, but I don't show or ride sensitive horses .
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-10-2010, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979 View Post
If it's a new or used wool flocked saddle, you should check the saddle fit yourself every so often. I check mine two or three times a year, or whenever I notice my horses changing shape more than just a little. You should also inspect the bottom of your saddle regularly for lumps in the flocking, creases in the leather, uneven spots, etc. I check mine everytime I clean my saddles (once a month). If you notice your saddle not fitting really well, lumps in the flocking, or uneven compression, then you should call out a saddle fitter/repair person.

I have only had to do that once in the last 8 years, but I don't show or ride sensitive horses .
I definitely will. Even with my CAIR saddle I check underneath before every ride to make sure things are looking normal..a bit of a habit I picked up from western saddles with their fleece bottoms that could get burrs stuck in them..from a young age it was always drilled into me to check them thoroughly before every ride, haha..and I always make sure it looks to be fitting normally.
And I look both of my saddles over thoroughly and wash them pretty regularly, so that definitely won't be a problem.
I'm so excited! I've been eyeing this model for years, but if I had to get one with CAIR again I would have had to get a lower model..
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