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Monday, June 15, 2009

Freaky Fenders

This is a treeless draft horse saddle sent to me by a reader. This thing looks fairly comfortable and well made. However, the fenders make it look like something out of a B-SciFi movie. I don't get it, why not just do straight stirrup leathers. I don't understand why the weird shape. Unless they are trying to make it so the rider's leg is not in contact with the horse (which makes no sense to me) there really is no purpose in this. I did some editing in Paint to show you what I mean.




Here is the edited one. The fenders set the stirrups BACK a bit. I drew in a "rider" to demontrate the screwy setup. I know it is not totally correct, but use your imagination. The fenders are totally in the wrong place for a comfortable riding position.

15 comments:

  1. This looks like the Freeform "endurance" model(so not normally for a draft, except that it is a treeless and could fit a draft)...It looks like that I think to make it look more....racey?? Like racing stripes on a car I guess... the stirrups on any of the FFs can be moved to wherever you want on the saddle (more forward for lots of trotting, or back under you for dressage, etc). This model is fairly goofey, but the "classic" which I have, is REALLY compfy, rides like a dressage saddle, and comes with leathers, not fenders (also has flaps, not a skirt...so maybe that is the reason for fenders on this saddle...to keep the leg off the horse and dry?)
    http://www.actionridertack.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=148_204
    here is the site for the FFs and you can see the variety...they can come in nice colors too...or HIDEOUS ones (like you can do a two tone with green, red, blue, maybe even yellow?? and of course Blk, Brn, tan, etc leather colors) LOL...

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  2. Sorry Tacky, but your riders leg needs to be a little longer. If it were, the foot would reach the stirrup and the knee might fit in the curve of the flap. But if the flap is to keep the leg 'clean' from the sweat of the horse- the stirrup placement on the lower part of the flap is a bit off. It would need to come forward a touch.

    That being said though, it seems the saddle might need to be built specificly to rider specs. I'm guessing we could take bets on the fact that my leg isn't the same length or proportion as everyone elses. Any takers? I'll give everyone 3-1 odds...

    Otherwise it looks like it could be a fairly comfortable saddle. Weird looking, but comfy.

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  3. This is a weird looking saddle. Like others I cannot see any practical rason for the fenders to be designed the way they are. I went to the website and there is no explanation but holy smoke... are these saddles expensive. $1625!!

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  4. Aylisha- thanks for the link, I can't believe the prices on some of those things.

    This one caught my eye as a bit uncomfortable looking. Uncomfortable AND weird. What a combo?

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  5. Is that what they use to ride those Clydesdale Firemares on Krull ?

    (OK I never saw the movie...)

    Also, do endurance people still use Ortho-Flex? I remember when they were the only "mainstream" weird saddle.

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  6. Tacky, your sketched leg has its foot way in front of its hip. With a longer leg, and the heel under the hip, those stirrups are placed correctly.

    I am a long-legged endurance rider, am allergic to wet horse hair, can't wear half chaps, and don't want to wear tall boots... so this design looks like something I would like! A little more stylized than it really needs to be, but it would cover the horse's hide, and that's what's important to me.

    cattypex, OrthoFlex are still used, but I think I remember hearing that most people prefer the "old" ones from before the company was sold. Other brands of flex-panel saddles have also become popular, some of them hugely so.

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  7. I noticed same things as Zephyr´s Mom. I think I would like this saddle also. As long-legged endurance rider. And as I like to ride with long stirrups.

    This sketch is not quite perfect. He/she is not siting correctly. I dont hawe time at the moment otherwise I would sketch or photoshop what i mean.

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  8. Also on the placement...what if the rider were in a two-point/posting position? We don't "sit" much in endurance...I only sit in a walk...trot is posted or 2-pt and canter is 2-pt... And like I say, the whole setup is moveable to where you want to put it and of course the length of the fender can change too...
    And yes, FFs are pricey, but MAN are they (except the Freemax..I did NOT like it and this saddle is similar to the freemax, so not sure if I would like it either) soooo compfy and unless the horse has medium-high withers (which the newest FF says it solves) it fits most horses...I LOVE mine and am going to buy hte newer wither relief one as soon as I can afford it, cause my horse developed withers as she got way fit :(

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  9. Oh yeah, as already mentioned, I see a good number of OFs and similar concepts as well as "shimmed" saddles like Boz and Specialized....And of course more Treeless now too.. But basically everything from jumping/dressage saddles to regular old western saddles are out there being used...

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  10. Yea, Aylisha. Thats right. we do´nt sit much while riding. I see that treeless saddles (anykind of) are getting more and more popular. I think mostly because of the comfort they give to the rider.

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  11. I think that it should do battle with that green lizardy saddle from the other day.

    Then it could be like a Godzilla vs. Alien movie!

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  12. An engineer from Boeing aircraft (or Nasa?) decided to take up riding, and 'streamline' the saddle?

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  13. It's perfect for the Nike English Riding Boots they came out with for the past Olympics!

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  14. are the fenders attached upside down?

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