I have a pony saddle for my son to ride in that is about a million years old but has been recently reworked, and it fits his pony nicely (she's hard to fit a saddle to.) The problem is, about 50 years of butts have polished that seat until it's like glass. My son does pretty well in spite of it, really, he's just turned 6 and has a good grasp of riding. However, I hope to be able to actually hit the trails with him this summer (so far he's only done arena work, and some very short trail rides in the woods behind our house) and I am not comfortable with the lack of traction on the seat of his saddle. Misty, his pony, randomly seems to spook at things that are blue (call me a sadist for then putting a blue halter on her :twisted:). She rarely puts a foot wrong, but if she did jump out from under him, he's slide off like he was skating. The saddle fits him well enough otherwise.
I'd like to just buy him another saddle, but the thing is, I already bought him a show saddle for when he is ready to start showing, took me ages to find one that fit his pony well and it is adorable (12 inch seat) but he hasn't quite grown into it yet. I punched holes and raised the stirrups as high as I could without getting into having to cut fenders, but they are still too long for him right now. So I can't justify buying another saddle when I have spent waaaaaaay too much on his other new one. As much as I'd like to. I really, really would like to. Have you seen the cute pony saddles out there? (my fiance is glaring at me :twisted:)
Any ideas out there on how to make a very slick seat decidedly less so? I've thought of a sheepskin seat cover or something along those lines, but I think they'd just slip right off too. I know the gel covers can be a little grippy, but I haven't seen any small enough and I don't believe they could be cut to fit.
Note I'm not looking for a seat belt or anything. My son is a decent little rider given the circumstances (he's only been riding consistently for a few months, he JUST turned six a week ago, and he's autistic). He's fallen off of both his pony, and my big mare Freyja before, and can handle falling without freaking out. He wears a helmet at all times, and can manage his little pony about better than I can. I'm not trying to let equipment replace ability, for his part, I just see no reason to have him sitting on a polished glass :)
Here, Indy. Fits any Western saddle, and is a lot cheaper than buying a whole new saddle package:
Sure Grip Saddle Seat Cover: Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com
This system looks like it provides similar gripping power that full seat breeches and sueded seats give you.
Speedracer - Hey that might fit the bill! Not crazy about the lil velcro thighbands (my son has some tactile aversions and velcro is one of them) but that looks like something I could make work - and it comes small enough to fit. I'll check it out - thank you!
I'm thinking you don't have to use the velcro thigh thingies. They probably just make it a little more 'grippy'.
You're welcome. I love Chick's and I don't even ride Western! :wink:
I've not seen that site before but I'll bookmark it for future use. Thanks again!
I've used REAL sheepskin seat savers with good results, and they stick to your saddle surprisingly well because the leather of the saddle grips to the leather on the underside of the sheepskin. They are comfy too. But they actually do give you good grip. Also, a little saddle soap on the underside of the sheepskin gives you more grip too, but I've never had one slip with me. The kind I use attaches with elastic at the cantle but screws into the existing screw holes at the base of the fork/pommel.
I ride in smoothout saddles all the time and don't even use the sheepskin anymore now that I have a saddle that fits me really well, but with a child I agree it would be a really good idea. Much better than him getting hurt if he doesn't have to.
I too was going to suggest Seat Savers. I have been looking at them for my saddles to help save the seat on them. You can find them on ebay and they seem to go for about $10-$15 plus shipping and they have many different types.
I don't like the sure grip things. Just doesn't seem safe to me, however maybe it you didn't use the things around his legs it would be okay. What about those neoprene seat savers that are kind of rubbery?
Abetta Aire-Grip Neoprene Seat Saver: Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com
They give a good amount of grip and I have never had trouble with them sliding around.
You could probably buy a cheapie like Western Saddle Cushion Seat Saver: Saddles Tack Horse Supplies - ChickSaddlery.com, add tie-down straps to the back (nylon straps from a fabric store or maybe WalMart), fasten it to the rear cinch rings or the slots in the skirt, and just leave the excess length drape over the cantle.
If the saddle isn't worth a whole lot anyway, your could sand the smooth seat to roughen it up.
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