Are there any "Bumper Pads" for the saddle seat to make it smaller?
I have a genuine Billy Cook barrel saddle that I love. I use it on trails and just pleasure rides, but now I want to start racing and I know that the seat needs to be more snug for this. The seat is a 15 inch and for racing I should have a 14 inch. Is there any kind of padding I can buy or make to go over the swell (pommel) of the saddle to make the fit more snug?
I've never heard that the seat needs to be smaller to race in..
I ride a 16" with about an inch of room to move around in. But, I've tried a 15" and it's just too small, there isn't enough room for my body to move with my horse.
It isn't the seat that needs to be snug, you just need the higher cantle and bigger swells (how the saddles are made). If you have a good seat, I've seen barrels run bareback with a placing time.
But..if you really want the saddle more snug, get the cushion that some people buy for trails. It'll add between half an inch to an inch, making the seat smaller.
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I used a 14 inch and I felt more secure. All the racers I know and instructor say to only have a finger width between your thigh and the swell. I get what you are saying though. I am practicing in mine and so far so good, but when we really start to fly, I don't know if I will feel quite as confident if I can slide in the seat.
There is no such pad that I know of. Yes, there is that "guideline" you speak of where your seat size should match you. However, there is no rule against it.
If you feel comfortable running barrels in a larger seat than you need, then do it. I know lots of people that do (and people than run in saddles TOO small for them)
But if you don't feel comfortable, then get a smaller seated saddle. Simple.
I dont like how those pads move around just on trail riding, couldnt imagine using one for a sport like barrels,
Maybe more beer and chicken wings ? Saddle be fitting in no time.
I use a seat pad on my barrel saddle. I think it makes the seat a little smaller but also less deep. My pad is hand made and always stays in place. Honestly, even though the seat is less deep, I feel a little more secure in it. Plus its comfortable! Once I broke in the pad the foam formed a nice hole for my bum to rest with padding still in front near the pommel and back behind near the cantle. It might work if you're looking for just a little smaller seat. I know a few other girls that barrel race in the same pad. The lady that makes them lives in Oregon. I can get you her info if you want it.
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