Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Saddle Panels.

This is my regular saddle. A fine piece of kit too. It has carried me from various places, to other various places! Many miles, and many hills.

So it was with shock and horror, that I became aware of the damage, the "tree" was doing to my horse. I say damage, but what I really should say is "wear".

The skirt had become worn, and the swells were pressing into the withers of the horse. My old hoss tends to change shape fairly regularly, and the saddle, generally fits. So with this problem in mind, I did some reading! I came across a site that promoted Long Riding, and after visiting various other sites, with regard to the best saddle for the job, went to see a man I know.
I explained to him the problem and after some thought, he came up with the idea of "panels". These are made from 5 layers of leather, laid against each other alternating the grain. These were then glued and stitched. The panels were attached where the old skirt used to be, but each panel was indipendant of the other, and attached in two places only. This then had the effect of a "floating" panel.
At first I didnt hold out much hope. But 6 months down the line , there has been a marked difference in the horses behaviour, and comfort. The panels can be detatched easily, and replaced.
If you look at the photo, the panels can be seen as the lighter coloured leather. Its like having a new saddle. And I am sure my horse appreciates it!


  1. I know exactly what you mean. I had the back lady out to Max a few years ago. She asked to see his saddle, so I produced it. She up-ended it onto the pommel and said, "Look how twisted it is!" and sure enough, if the pommel was straight, the cantle went off to one side. Oh dear! These things can be crucial, can't they? I bought a new saddle! I'm hoping she gives Barnaby's saddle the all-clear.
    Hubby has a Bates caprilli with cair system. It is a stunning saddle. He has just changed the insert from medium to narrow and it's made an amazing difference to Zak, an extremely narrow horse.

  2. Interesting, Cheyenne. I can't help thinking if the underside was replicated topside, you'd know what the horse was feeling a lot sooner.

  3. Your probably right, then again if this was the case, we may as well get rid of saddles altogether.

    It has always been a thought, that why do we need a saddle?
    There is one good medical reason, and that is, if we ride bareback all the time, we would become infertile, and suffer from a displasia of the hips. This was the case for the American Indians! they were dying out long before the Europeans came.

  4. Chey!

    Oh my goodness, I never thought of a saddle hurting a horse...so glad you did and found a wonderful answer to the problem! This is awesome!

    BTW, beautiful saddle!

    Now, I'm not so sure about the Native American Indian statement you made and that "they were dieing out before the whiteman came."

    I'm not sure what the Europeans were told about the Indian's in America but I have to disagree with you on this one, Chey.

    First, those tribes that spent a lot of time in the saddle, like the Apache and the Cheyenne had Indian saddles...these saddles were high in front and high in back...shaped almost like the letter u...these are Indian made saddles...and they were used by the Indian's for long period's of time spent in the saddle.

    So whoever said the Indians were dieing out before the whiteman came here, was very wrong or covering up for the whitemen that had come here and killed thousands of them on a regular bases. Sometimes wiping out complete tribes.

    The Native American Indian's were strong and the land was full of them. Tribes most people have never heard of can be researched and found and place throughout American land....land the whiteman push and killed them out of.

    BTW...just in case you're wondering...I grew up with an adopted (full blooded Sioux)Native American Indian brother who raised me...I still live by the Native American Indian belief system.

    One day...the true history of what the whiteman did here to the Indian's will come out and Hitler will look like a saint!

    Cetan = Hawk

  5. Good reply! Liked it. Now I know more about you!
    Thats the best way to illicit information, state a wrong, where the person you want to know about makes a correct reply!

    So, having read most of your blogs, and studied. I realised that your affinity to the spiritual was more than just the Irish. Hence your reply. Its now nice to know more about you. Dont worry! I`m no stalker!!!!

    But I do agree with you on the Indios and the whites application of the "Manifest Destiny" ideas. By the way, you didnt reply to my one word answer to your assessment?

  6. LOL Chey, why you're a tricky little devil aren't you!

    But yes, I have a spiritual interest in all religions...it helps me understand why people act the way they act...gives me insight to who they are.

    I'm a firm believer in my (pre-christian)Irish ways because they mirror the Native American Inidan beliefs. So, I can merge the two and find my place with the Gods.
    I don't say they're right for everyone but they're right for me.

    Oh but I did answer your word...I did it on Sunday and I said...

    Chey! (((HUGS)))


    That word tells me your a man that knows...he's got to do what he's got to do...no matter what he faces....am I right?


    That's what I said...you just didn't come back to see it...how come? Too busy reading my old post?

    Big hugs

  7. You`re on the money! I must have read passed the "word", but thanks, I know what I am and what I need to do.
    I am afraid I always have? lol! Not everyone likes that in me.

  8. Well, I like that in you so don't change!