Thursday, June 7, 2012
Two problems with my treeless saddle...my thighs! ACK!
Some of you have been there....some of you are still there...some of you have never been there...I am talking about fat thighs! Ugh!
I have a Wintec girth that I put on my new saddle just to try it out. The girth is older than dirt and the buckles are rusty .... but that isn't why I won't use it again. It does not have rollers and I don't want to mess up the straps.
Anyways, I put the girth on temporarily to see how the saddle worked. My ONLY complaint is not about the saddle...it is about me. The pommel pushes my inner thighs so it is not comfortable. I did a bunch of moving around to try different things and I know that once I conquor the thunder thigh issue, I will be good to go. From what little bit I rode around it feels pretty secure, and I can feel Tripp move! I don't have this big chunk of thick leather between us...don't get me wrong. I do love my big roping saddle, but I am loving the feel of bareback without actually being bareback.
How did I get interested in treeless saddles?
I was introduced to treeless saddles at the Women's Horse Expo we had in Missouri a few years back. There were all the normal questions: I ride a long time, so will it hurt my horses back with all the weight being in one smaller spot versus a tree distributing my body weight more? Will they last? Is it like riding a bareback pad? If so, why not ride a bareback pad? Do they all look like this? (We looked at a Black Forest brand treeless, which is a decent saddle from what I hear) That is when I began my journey of treeless....and the more I learned, the more questions I had, and the next thing I know I am convinced that they are like anything else. Not all saddles (or any piece of equipment) are suited for all horses. There are two main things that stick in my head with treeless: You get what you pay for and the pad is IMPORTANT!!!! The pads have panels that lay on each side of the spine. A treeless saddle should not sit right on the horses spine (as any saddle should not). A treeless saddle is not a bareback pad and should not be treated like one, and it is also not a regular saddle so a regular pad is not going to do any good for you or your horse.
After researching (and saving $$$) the past few years, I narrowed it down to two different saddles. This one, which is a Sensation Hybrid, or the Sharon Patterson treeless which has a more traditional Western look to it. To be honest, I really could not make up my mind......then this one came along. It is used, but only 1 hr worth of used, so it looks brand new! When I opened the box I was so excited! It is more beautiful in person than any pictures I have been looking at!
I also keep up with endurance ride stuff and I love to look at ride photos. There are a lot of treeless saddles in the endurance riding world. A saddle fitter, who is not a fan of treeless, made a comment that they can be used to help rehab a back that has been damaged. In my opinion, that comment right there speaks for itself. Like I said...they are not for everyone, just like riding with a rope halter isn't for everyone. Do what works for you and your horse! Period!
I just hope that this will work for Tripp and I....because I am in love with this thing already!
After our ride I had to hug my big ol' boy! I had just got done saying "I bet he puts his....."
"....head down!" ACK! And he did! Here is is faking the leg itch so he can reach for the sprig of grass at his feet. :-)
I don't have stirrups or a breast collar yet. And now that I know I have to work on a thigh reduction, I have time to do research and figure out what I think will work best for us. Health should be my incentive to fix me.....but this saddle has given me new incentive! Ha!
Tripp and I working our way thru the fake deadfall...
"Tripp here wanting to make sure you are paying attention. My Mom (that be the long haired two legged) is wearing a helmet. Yes, she usually does, but this time she got a burr up her butt and whined about NOT wanting to wear one since we were just going to be doing this a few minutes. She wears them but still doesn't like to. Dad (that be the guy with the camera) let Mom know that riding without the helmet was not an option. Mom did some mumbling and I think I heard 'BEEP' sounds a few times...just like they do on t.v.! I knew it would be okay, and I was right. The minute she got up on me and squished down into that saddle she was a happy camper."
Tripp: "You call this a bridge???? I have been on bigger bridges than this! Just look at the pictures from the trail ride a few weeks ago. Snort snort..."
Tripp: "I got laughed at...I am practicing getting over tall logs without getting high centered."
Tripp: "I love my Mom as much as she loves me. Nicker nicker..."
I have to say that Tripp and I had a nice little ride in that saddle, and Tripp was great with me doing all kinds of weird movements to get a feel for it. I really do think this is going to work great. Just need to work on the me things.
Until later...Karen and Tripp who can't wait until Mom loses those thighs....that saddle was light and moved with me!