Monday, April 2, 2012

Paddling Like Mad ...

... and barely keeping my head above water!  Apologies for the lack of saddle-fit-focus posts recently; I've been slammed with a flood tide of customers and saddle work and just haven't had time to do more than post notices on stuff others have been doing.  However, I have another post in the "adjustable tree/changeable gullet" line brewing.  We've recently gotten the Kent and Masters and Fairfax saddles in.  These are from the minds that brought us the Thorowgood T4, T6 (now defunct) and T8; their "conformation specific" models - the Broadback/Cob, the High Wither and the Standard fit - have proved to work pretty well for their intended type, so we're hopeful that the trend will continue with the K&M saddles.  I'm trying to schedule a time when my co-worker Nancy and I can get the saddles on some horses and evaluate them with a rider up ... hoping we'll be able to get in the saddles as well, to get some first-hand feedback.  We've heard from a couple different fitters who've had the opportunity to do just that, and are hoping to correlate what they've told us with our own experience.

Another post in the offing will be about treeless saddles and the proper fitting thereof.  This will be written by a fitter who actually FITS treeless saddles, rather than selling them left, right and center as the cure-all for every horse for every saddle fitting ill.  I've really enjoyed chatting with this fitter, and am looking forward to getting her post so I can share the real info on fitting treeless.

I'm also working on a post about a visit from Brita Rizzi of Dynamic Equine Saddle Fitting (which happened last summer, to further prove how freakin' far behind I am!).  She brought her pressure-sensing pad and demonstrated how the feedback can be used to assess saddle fit (and rider, and horse) issues.  It was absolutely fascinating, and is one of the better diagnostic tools I've encountered.

In other news: still working on the outline for the saddle fitting class.  That's almost done, and I'm tossing around dates for the first class.  Also nursing the mare through the last stages of a heel bulb abscess so I can get her out and get her somewhat fit so I can find another saddle for her.

As always, thanks for reading.  Stay tuned!


East Bound said...

can't wait for your post about the k&m saddles! a fellow boarder just got one and i'm curious if the high withered one will work for my old man.

Nikki Newcombe said...

As always looking forward to more posts and more straight talking common sense!

Fifik said...

Hi there!

Just got a K&M GP saddle for my welsh cob, the "Dutch", which mixes a cob tree and regular panels (my pony has a wide back but he's also got whithers...)
I'm really happy with it, and my Billy seems happy too!
Greetings from France ;-)

AnEnglishRider said...

Do you know anyone who will change a wintec from CAIR to flocking? I picked up a wintec that has compromised CAIR panels (one side is deflated for some reason) for cheap, and now I've got to figure out a way to get it fixed lol.

Anonymous said...

AnEnglishRider, you could try He works on Duetts, but may do other brands too. Contact him and see.

saddlefitter said...

Colin Kimball-Davis ( does very nice work. Cair-to-wool conversions are relatively common with the older saddles, but with the newer ones I can't comment too intelligently, since I know the panel configurations have been changed and I'm no longer positive how much room they offer. Doing a conversion successfully depends on there being enough room in the panels for sufficient wool to cushion the horse's back from the tree; the older saddles had enough room, and while I assume the newer ones do as well, I haven't had my hands on any so can't say for sure.