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Breaking in new wool flocked saddle dilema...

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  • Breaking in new wool flocked saddle dilema...

    Okay saddle guru's...here is one for you.

    I have a brand new Amerigo DJ to break in. I know what to do with the leather - but I am not sure the best route to take as far as breaking in the wool flocked panels. They say to do your first 15 rides without a saddle pad so the panels can mold to conform to your horse's back.

    The problem is - my horse is asymmetrical due to having EPM 7 years ago...right shoulder is shaped differently than the left which has some permanent atrophy. I ride in a Thinline Trifecta pad with a ultra thinline shim under the front left side to compensate and balance the saddle.

    So do I ride without a pad for 15 rides and let the wool do its thing - which is probably compress more on one side than the other - and then see what I'm left with as far as needing to get out my saddle fitter to adjust the flocking? Or do I ignore the ride without a pad thing and just ride in the Trifecta half pad with the shim and hope the panels can still break in (more evenly) through the half pad?

    I will have my fitter out eventually (maybe after I have the saddle for 3 months) to perfect the fit - but I need to break in this saddle now (show in 2 weeks) and won't be able to get her out in time to tweak the flocking before the break in.

    I only ride this one horse by the way.

    Thoughts? Thank you!

  • #2
    I actually have a brand new Amerigo Close Contact sitting on a saddle rack with its first coat of oil right in front of me. If I were you, I'd ride in your normal pad set up and let it break in evenly. But, I also ride multiple horses so would prefer that my saddle be pretty even.

    If you want this saddle specifically for THIS horse only, then I'd ride with a baby pad (not riding with any pad at all would make me worry about sweat marks) and let the wool settle as it wants. One of the reasons to have a wool flocked saddle is to have it fill in the areas where the horse is weak. But, if it does that, your pad set up may have to permanently change.
    My adventures as a working rider



    • #3
      I would ride in my normal saddle pad. For one, I wouldn't risk making my horses back sore with nothing on. Also, I don't think wool needs "breaking in" per se... I have heard the conforming to the back thing but if your horse is asymmetrical then I wouldn't want to make my new saddle asymmetrical. I don't buy into the fitting the saddle to a crooked or asymmetrical horse philosophy, though.


      • #4
        If your saddle fits your horse, then the best way to break it in for you and horse is to ride sans saddle pad. I did that with a couple of my saddles and have had no problems with making horse's back sore (mine fit my horse). The horse's sweat helps break in the saddle - if you are worried about sweat marks - that's what saddle soap and rags are for... just wipe it off... It's leather... If you look at old pictures/movies you will see very few saddle pads..

        this said - OP has a particular situation which I would suggest you discuss w/ saddle fitter and saddle company -


        • #5
          What does your fitter say? That's where I'd go first.

          A newly flocked saddle is going to be crooked on your asymmetrical horse. That's not a good thing.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            I purchased a brand new Stubben and it was recommended that I ride 20 hrs in it with NO saddle pad...However, when I tried the first time, my horse didnt react very well...He appeared to be sore, so I scratched that idea and have used a regular pad ever since.