Does anyone have any experience with these SEF panels? I see them marketed on a few of the different newer HDR saddle models but I can't seem to find any information on what specifically they are. What is the shape? What is the purpose? What is the flocking? Etc. etc.
I have this exact saddle. The panels are also call french panels. They are a comprised of a thick envelope of felt (the felt is thick) and there is flock inserted in the center of the felt. Hence the "envelope". I have been told two main things about these panels, one they can be adjusted "some" by flocking adjustment but not much because there isn't a lot of room inside the envelope, and two, they tend to go longer inbetween needing reflocking because there isn't that much flock to compress, apparently alot of the impact absorbtion is being done by the thick felt which does not compress.
All I know is that in the real world, my horse is happy, and although by looking at it you would think the saddle is made for a scoopy backed horse, my horse is relatively flat and it fits him perfectly, no rocking at all! So I think the panels flex some to adjust to the horses topline.
Did I mention that my boy is a TB? decent wither, not skyscraper but definite wither, BIG laid back shoulder, hollow behind wither, widens out to wide tree in the barrel. Attached is a photo of my boy wearing his HDR Austal.
I have an 18.5 seat and I think my flaps are 16.5 long. I would prefer shorter but that is about as short as they come off the rack. Smaller sizes should be shorter. Now if you are tall and leggy might not be the best choice.
ooohhh that's helpful! i've been looking at the Prestige LC but that's like $4k which is a bit out of the budget. the PDS Showtime with alto panels looks like it would work well however i can't find those anywhere. ugh.
saddle shopping is fun when you don't NEED a saddle. :P