About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What kind of saddle and pad are you using?

Saddles and pads are a frustrating issue for many horse owners. I am not sure that there is one best practice except to say that each horse is different and you must accommodate them accordingly.

I am quite embarrassed to say that I have a very cheap, leather, all-purpose English saddle (see Whiskey in it), made in India, I bought years ago for around $200 new (I think from Big Dee's--this looks like my saddle). It was one of those starter kits in the catalog (the ones that come with a bridle, girth, stirrups, etc). From a distance, it looks nice, lol.

At the time, it was all I could afford and, having youngsters, I figured if it got trashed, no big deal. Anyhow, I have ridden many different horses in it and can tell you that despite it not being a Cadillac saddle, it is very comfortable and has worked quite well. I attribute some of this to the Theraflex pad (my answer to having a cheap saddle and wanting a comfortable horse). I rode in it prior to the Theraflex with a fleece pad or quilted pad and it was okay. However, the Theraflex pad has been a dream for me and my horses I believe.

I also have a western saddle, a cheap one but it is pretty from a distance (Arab show saddle also from India) that I barely use but have--used just a saddle blanket with this one but would prefer a Theraflex for it (I don't use it because I am not a huge fan of western saddles and the leather cinches are SO STIFF. I also have a Wintec synthetic I've ridden in that worked with the Theraflex as well. One time, I was riding my Thoroughbred and someone wanted me to ride him with their saddle. I had to creatively pad him and used a western pad and the English Theraflex - it worked well!

Personally, I really want a Parelli saddle but don't have the money to invest at this time as I am working on improving our new property and home. So, I'll have to stick with what I am doing. I primarily ride in my Parelli bareback pad (or naked bareback) anyway!

So what are you doing?


inchwormwv said...

Hey Michelle,

This is a real challenge for many of us! Thunder has very prominent spine and withers - and his shoulders are huge. And he is swaybacked.

I have tried an english theraflex, a correcTor pad and a wintec lift front pad and even have made my own version of a fleece and canvas pad with felt shims -- but he pushes the saddle back behind his shoulders, until is seems too far back to me, and even with lots of shims it ends up downhill. It is not just the bars that are behind his shoulders, he will push the entire saddle and pad back. I am using a wintec wide with the widest gullet.

So, this is possibly another excuse not to ride... LOL I have ridden in a bareback pad but do not feel very safe or balanced.

I will keep you posted as I learn more...

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...


It sounds like you have a real challenge! Maybe a saddle fitting clinic would be fun and educational? Wish I could join you!