...well maybe less of a question and more of a request for information.
I know how important proper saddle flocking is, but I can't seem to get a friend of mine to understand this. He has an old Pessoa dressage saddle with HORRID flocking. I mean, I don't know how it got to be this way, but the thing is maybe 65% full of flocking at this point. It's extremely soft to the touch; there is nothing firm about this saddle. IMO, this saddle has no business touching a horse's back until it's reflocked.
My friend is using this saddle on a TB at least 4 days a week.... full workout of w/t/c and some jump training. I can only imagine the damage that the saddle is doing to this poor boy's back! I've told both him and the horse's owner of my opinion of the saddle, but they just kind of nod and continue what they are doing...
I did some Google-ing to try and find some credible articles to help me make my case (and save this horse's back!!!), but haven't have much luck. Can anyone please point me in the direction of some good sources that I can present to him??
Good flocking is long fiber strands of sheep wool. Cheaper saddles use memory foam which deteriorates and real cheap saddles use what I call mouse nesting, like a very short strand dried grass or straw which packs hard. I doubt that the Passier is causing the horse any back problems as it is a high quality saddle. If it were a horse will often kink it's back as the rider settles in the saddle or drops it's hindquarters when first walking off.
If the horse is working 4 days a week without showing any signs of pain or discomfort, the saddle is probably fine. Its a decent quality saddle and while it sounds like it could use a reflocking, if it fits well otherwise and is more or less broken in to the shape of the horse's back, it's probably okay.
Personally, I'd leave your friend alone on the topic. It doesn't sound like he's interested in your opinion on his tack and being nagged by someone probably isn't increasing his desire to replace his saddle.
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