Western Seat Savers

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Western Seat Savers

This is a discussion on Western Seat Savers within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    08-09-2010, 08:15 PM
Western Seat Savers

After having surgery to my lower back this year, my doctor told me to stay out of the saddle until next year. I, however, am bound and determinded to get back into the saddle, even if its for only five minutes. Someone recommended trying out a 'seat saver' or 'tush cushion'. I've found one called Cashel Tush Cushion that is made out of cell foam (I am assuming its gel?) and I've found some made from fleece. Have any of you tried either of these?
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    08-09-2010, 08:18 PM
Welcome to the forum!

I don't believe a seat saver will help your back. I would try a gaited horse instead.
    08-10-2010, 07:47 AM
Thanks for the welcome. Its nice to be able to get advice from other horse riders. :)

The problem with getting a gaited horse is I'm not going to be able to trust it to begin with. I want to be on something I know isnt going to buck, rear or spook easily. I've been riding my gelding for 11 years and I trust him. And my husband wouldnt dream of letting me buy another horse. We are down to seven now and our goal was to get down to five. On top of that, I'm not sure where to start with a gaited horse. I've never rode one and I've never been around any.
    08-10-2010, 08:09 AM
That is a predicament! I have two herniated discs that have given me trouble for over 20 years and I don't take my own advise. I've had gaited horses over the years and they do make a difference in how my back feels at the end of a 5 hour ride, but I just love stock horses.

As for a seat saver, I've used a sheepskin seat cover at times but it's only purpose is that it takes away the sweat in the summer and the cold in the winter. It does nothing for my back. Two other guys that I ride with have gel pads and they claim it helps but the thing that helps the most is a horse that is smooth gaited and takes the bump out of trotting.

My current QH, Cash, has a pretty comfortable trot but his canter is like riding a rocking chair - you can sit that gait forever, so when we speed up our pace on the trail, I work at slowing his canter to match their trotting and feel a whole lot better.

Good luck with your surgery and keep us updated.
    08-10-2010, 08:28 AM
Thanks again for the advice. Maybe I'll look in to gaited horses. It never hurts to just look. Before I'd buy one I think I'd have to ride it for a while. I've ridden a couple of different mules before and even though they were smoother, I felt so weird on them. I know I shouldnt compare the two but rumor has it mules are smoother than horses - does that mean mules are smoother than gaited horses? Hmmm, maybe I'll have to check that out when I get to feeling better. :) Thanks again for the advice!
    08-10-2010, 09:01 AM
There are gaited mules! Even though I owned a mule ~6 or 7 years ago, I never could get past the ears and the braying. That rascal would constantly find her way out of my pasture and take the horses with her. Once I sold her, the escaping stopped.

Just like any breed, there are good and bad in gaited horses. Once you get used to the smooth ride, many riders never go back to QHs again.
    08-10-2010, 02:59 PM
Sorry-but the nurse (retired ortho as a matter of a fact) has to say you really shouldn't. I know you will do what you will do, but keep in mind it could just set you back farther in your ultimate healing schedule. Gaited horses are the choice for any of my friends that have bad back issues........really does make a difference. I will also preach a little more-NO horse is perfect. They are animals, after all. Hell-my 21 yo semi-retired guy-who will walk a trail with ANYONE-bucked this spring and broke the hip and pelvis of a friend! Who knows why-he just did. Good luck-lecture over! :))
    08-11-2010, 07:59 AM
Franknbeans - Nurse,

Thanks for the lecture. I know no horse is perfect and something can happen just as easily on a older than a two year old. I've been riding ever since I was old enough to sit behind my mom on her horse. This is really fusterating for me because I miss riding so much. I wont be trying it for another month or so and I plan to sit in the saddle on a stand before trying it on a horse. If it don't feel good to just sit in the saddle on the ground I know it isnt going to be good sitting on the horse. I guess I'm so determinded to do this because I am currently going through chemo treatments for cancer (the reason for the surgery in the first place). No one knows how much time they have left and the chemo I am getting now is a clinical trial. With cancer there are no garentees, especially with my kind of cancer. I want to live my life to the fullest and riding horses is my way of letting go of being scared that there isnt going to be too many tomorrows for me. This isnt about cancer or anything like that - I just want you to understand WHY this is so important to me. However, for you peace of mind, I am to go in for scans sometime in the next month so I will talk this over with my doctors before I try throwing my leg over. Thanks for all the advice. Enjoy riding the rest of the summer and fall. :)
    08-11-2010, 08:40 AM
Originally Posted by djcornwell    
I've found one called Cashel Tush Cushion that is made out of cell foam (I am assuming its gel?) and I've found some made from fleece. Have any of you tried either of these?
My wife has a Cashel cushion (they are foam, not gel) because she doesn't ride as often as I do and it helps from being butt sore. It *may* help if it causes you to keep from hunching over, but I wouldn't count on it. In my opinion, your best bet is to talk with an experienced sports physical therapist. They are familiar with sports injuries, surgeries, and strengthening excercises needed to get you back in the saddle as quickly as possible.
    08-11-2010, 09:15 AM
Understand a bit better. Sorry for all you are going through and will hope for the best. Good luck! And in the meantime have fun just playing with your horses!

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