One woman. One horse. One goal: 48 states for Domestic Violence Awareness

Check back often for the latest updates and stories from Meredith and Apollo as they journey 10,000 miles on a four year ride around the USA.






Saddle Up!


The most important piece of equipment on any ride is undoubtedly the saddle. 

A well-built saddle is comfortable for both horse and rider, over great distances and length of use per day and per year.  A decent saddle or even a poor fitting saddle will hold out well enough for the weekend rider, but when used to the extent and in the circumstances of a long ride, such saddles will result in saddle sores, achy muscles, bad tempers, and even more serious health problems – most problematically in the horse, but also in the rider.

While a long ride can be done in any kind of good saddle, there are a few modern options available that make a saddle superior for this kind of equestrian pursuit.  These two qualities are weight and adjustability. 

Weight

Weight is a serious consideration for a long ride.  A horse can carry a lot of weight for a short time, but when traveling over miles, days, months and years, carrying too much weight can ruin a horse.  The less weight carried, the better.  There are now many lightweight saddles on the market, weighing as little as 12 pounds.

Adjustability

Adjustability is an excellent quality for a long ride horse.  There are several new technologies that achieve this, such as “3-D”, flex-panel, etc.  Traditional saddles have a rigid frame that is not adjustable.  This is fine for most horses.  However, when a horse is on a long ride, he will change shape as he becomes more fit, as the feed quality changes over the route, etc. 

Further, if a saddle must be shared between several horses (or worse, if a horse cannot complete the journey and a new one needs to use the saddle), adjustable saddles will prevent the long rider from having to buy a whole new saddle for the other horse.

I am fortunate to have been sponsored by an excellent saddlemaker, TW Saddlery, who craft high quality saddles that meet both of the saddle needs for a long ride. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are invited to join the conversation!
Please keep the following in mind when posting your comments:
- You do not need to register to comment
- You may comment anonymously
- You may post questions, and I will do my best to respond in a timely fashion.
- You may disagree. But please do so respectfully.
- I reserve the right to delete inappropriate or rude comments.
- You are the sole owner of your comments.
- You grant me license to publish your comments in another venue, royalty free and without limitations, including in a blog, book, video, or presentation.