Never heard of her....
I like some of the stuff she has done, and have quoted her several times on this forum. However, I think she also sometimes speaks in areas where she doesn't have any actual expertise, or draws conclusions that go beyond what the studies show. For example, she writes that one of the fundamental rules is:
"Total weight of rider plus tack must not exceed 250 lbs"
Using a typical western saddle, that means no man over 215 should ever get on a horse. Any horse. Anywhere. But that ignores the real world, where horses carrying cowboys manage to work and live and perform just fine even if the cowboy is over 200 lbs. At 180, it probably means I'm abusing Mia's 900 lbs every time I get on her, although Mia seems to enjoy getting together with me and doing something.
She is vastly more knowledgeable than I am, but she seems to draw conclusions that I think go beyond the evidence. Just IMHO.
Exactly bsms, this is a rather unrealistic figure.
Just like some have pointed out in another thread there are some "big" boys riding the smaller framed reining horses and doing a fine job of it. It is about how the weight is carried on the horse!
My husband weighs about 250 now then add a saddle and gear totaling about 300 lbs+ and riding a 14.1 mare in tough country. My husband is a great rider/cowboy and his horses never complain/hurt. If so, I don' think they would have the work ethic they have and would be difficult to catch in the mornings...
Here is a comment from her about western saddles:
"And yes, very many Western saddles are built so that the stirrups are hung 'way out to the front. Originally these saddles were intended for one purpose, and that was gymkhana events such as keyhole race, pole bending, or barrel racing, which are the "Western" equivalents of "English" jumping. These saddles, exactly like those meant for jumping, have the stirrup hangers far to the front because during the time the saddle is being used for what it it meant for, the rider stands or half-stands in the stirrups. When you stand or half-stand, you bring your hips over your feet."
No. Originally, stirrups on western saddles were out front because most western riders rode like this:
That was the almost universal western riding position around 1900. I have no desire to argue about the rightness or wrongness of that style, but it is pretty obvious why western saddles used to have stirrups hung forward - and it was NOT so they could stand up in the stirrups! Vertebrae Paleontology doesn't give one knowledge of all aspects of riding.
Again, I disagree with Dr. Deb. Even barrel racing you don't want your feet in front in a chair seat. You will get "left behind" the motion of the horse therefor hindering his movement.
Lumping all western saddles into one category is like lumping all pickups into the same category. It doesn't work like that.
Different styles, trees, riggings, stirrups, skirts, horns, seats, cantles, forks...etc. make for a saddle that works for both the horse, rider and situation.
Recently I rode with a Dressage trainer in one my ranch saddles on my horse. She was trying to get me to but my legs back underneath me and I used the excuse of my saddle fenders hang forward. Didn't work, she made get off let my stirrups down two holes and made me look where they hang naturally on my horse....hmmmm...then I had to ride the remainder of my lesson stirrupless...LOL!
But yet I have saddles that the stirrups do sling out in front and those are the ones that I have found are the best for riding colts/green horses and long days.
It really depends on the configuration, not all saddles are created equal and/or for the same job.