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Fallis Balanced Ride saddles: Do I still want one?

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  • Fallis Balanced Ride saddles: Do I still want one?

    Long ago, some friends were into these and I coveted one.

    Then I bought my first Western Equitation Bucket/Dressage saddle. Love that type-- I'm lined right up, heel to hip to ear.

    That said, the Fallis saddle is a different design-- with a long, flat seat and forward-hung stirrups. So would someone like me like one of these or hate it?

    Should I let the love die?

    Before you decide, check out the website and the scrumdeleicious options you can get: http://www.fallisbalancedsaddles.com.../saddles-4.htm
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  • #2
    Those Fallis' won't come close to giving you that equitation seat that you said you like. The fenders are really far forward, which means you'd probably be either back on your pockets with your legs in recliner position, or you'd be constantly stuggling to bring your legs under you.

    My mother had a Fallis that she loved--used it to show in during the 60's and 70's. However, as saddle-making evolved and became specialized (much like the horses), we slowly switched over to saddles with an equitation seat.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't see you being happy in the chair I mean the Fallis.

      Comment


      • #4
        I too always coveted a Fallis. Now I have a Solstice endurance saddle, by Arabian Saddle Co, which keeps my legs right under me and I am really balanced. I don't think I could do the Fallis now. I look at my old pics with my Stubben jumping saddle and see how far forward my legs are, great for jumping, not so great for me anymore.
        ********
        There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

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        • #5
          Just say no to green saddles!

          I don't think you'd like that stirrup placement for very long...
          “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
            Just say no to green saddles!

            I don't think you'd like that stirrup placement for very long...
            And I was saying Yes to a green saddle.

            So has anyone ridden in one of these such that you can attest to the chair-seatness of 'em?
            Last edited by mvp; Feb. 27, 2013, 01:57 PM.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat

            Comment


            • #7
              I, too, coveted a Fallis but I only wanted one made by the father who is now deceased. The son's saddles are very different from the original ones. I still have my two inch thick folder where I think I must have photos and info on all the Original ones. Hmmmm, maybe someday.
              "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Marla 100 View Post
                I, too, coveted a Fallis but I only wanted one made by the father who is now deceased. The son's saddles are very different from the original ones. I still have my two inch thick folder where I think I must have photos and info on all the Original ones. Hmmmm, maybe someday.
                Oh really? How do the Slim and John versions differ?
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat

                Comment


                • #9
                  I liked the Fallis saddle I got for my mother to ride in, but the seat was too big for me, 16". The stirrups were underneath me, easy to move forward or back, didn't get hung up on anything while using your legs on the horse. The flat seat is SUPPOSED to let you move for comfort, so you legs keep hanging down under your body in proper position.

                  I absolutely hate an Equitation seat that FORCES me into a position, doesn't let me move or adjust my body while out riding. Might be just the thing for shows, but NOT good for long rides, or all-day in the saddle. There is a reason the Equitation seat came into use in the mid-70s, then went away again! Might be helpful for a little kid riding, but not for an experienced rider doing mileage with their horse.

                  Also don't care for the high-backed cantle being seen so much now. Too much of a "locked-in" feeling, again preventing my moving inside the saddle seat. OK for short time spent barrel racing, but not what I want for my horse riding. Also can require you to need a bigger seat on saddle, since you have no room to move pushed against that tall cantle.

                  Fallis is kind of fallen from favor in being "stylish", but does make good saddles that are comfortable to use and ride in all day long. Does take more than one ride to get used to how it feels and how you can use your legs so differently than most Western saddles allow. Just get a seat that fits you, which is strongly suggested with any saddle. With no build-up in front, a 15" seat has a LOT of room to sit in. You can position yourself as needed for good basic seat alignment. Most guys love riding in Fallis saddles for that flat seat.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had one about 35 years ago or so and it was ok, light and comfortable.
                    The problem was that it fell apart after two years.
                    At that time heard of others that also didn't hold up over time.

                    Those saddles were made for light riding and, even if they said you could do hours of training and ranch work with them, the leather was just too light for it.

                    Maybe today they make different saddles, I don't know.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                      The problem was that it fell apart after two years.
                      Say it isn't so!

                      I hear you guys on the forward-hung stirrups especially, but I'll tell you what: Even an old love affair dying hurts. I just.don't.want.it.to.be.true.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My cousin has a Fallis that her mother bought, probably in the 70s. She still rides in it regularly and it has held up quite well. A unique feature of it is that you can adjust where the fenders hang off the bars of the saddle, so riders with different leg lengths can choose from the three settings to get their legs under them where they want. I don't know if the newer saddles have adjustable fender placement, or not. I'm sure she bought it when Monte Foreman was big and the Fallis saddles were what he recommended. You may want to check out the Bob's Custom Monte Foreman balanced ride saddles. Bob's makes good tack.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This would have been my experience too, like BayRoans. Mom's saddle was older, from the 70's probably, Monte Foreman designed. She sure liked the adjustable stirrups then. She gave up riding a long time ago, when I got married and moved away. I sold the saddle since seat didn't fit me, to a lady who was ecstatic to find this model.

                          Our friend who died last year, swore by his Monte Foreman designed saddle. Best saddle he ever owned or rode in. It was from way back then, 1970s as well, and am pretty sure it was made by Fallis. He only wanted "the best" and Fallis would have been considered that back then. I know he used it steadily over the years with no problems, trained a BUNCH of nice reining horses in it, did a lot of riding mileage outside the ring on those horses. His wife asked if we wanted to buy it, but again, way too big of seat for me, he was a BIG man.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just tripped over this one this morning and remembered you, mvp:

                            http://stansgarsaddle.com/detail.php...id=415&catid=2

                            There's no way I could ever ride that saddle remotely balanced since I'm so short, I'd always be reaching out there for those stirrups!

                            I thought it was a good example of the older ones.
                            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I searched for and found a Doug Millholland model saddle made by Bob's Saddlery. It is a reining saddle with specifications by Doug Millholland, a reiner who was one of Monte Foreman's main proteges when Doug was young. It has the 3 hole latigo system so there is no bump under your legs, and the stirrups hang just lke a hunt seat saddle. I ride in it exclusively.

                              I do still have my ancient Fallis Charmichael Roper saddle (one of few Fallis saddles with a narrow seat). I loved that saddle, all except the high dally post horn that gutted me on occasion riding young horses.
                              Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                              www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Plumcreek View Post
                                I searched for and found a Doug Millholland model saddle made by Bob's Saddlery. It is a reining saddle with specifications by Doug Millholland, a reiner who was one of Monte Foreman's main proteges when Doug was young. It has the 3 hole latigo system so there is no bump under your legs, and the stirrups hang just lke a hunt seat saddle. I ride in it exclusively.

                                I do still have my ancient Fallis Charmichael Roper saddle (one of few Fallis saddles with a narrow seat). I loved that saddle, all except the high dally post horn that gutted me on occasion riding young horses.
                                Here is one of those:

                                http://cowdogsaddles.com/saddle-detail.php?target=1177

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  How about this saddle? It has a lot of pretty flowers tooled on it, and the stirrups look to be hung farther back:
                                  http://www.ranchworldads.com/classif...?listing=21727

                                  As for a Fallis, the stirrups are definitely hung forward. But how a person will balance/align in one will have to do with the size of that person's butt- if you're really fluffy, your own legs will be hung farther forward of the cantle.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                    Just tripped over this one this morning and remembered you, mvp:

                                    http://stansgarsaddle.com/detail.php...id=415&catid=2

                                    There's no way I could ever ride that saddle remotely balanced since I'm so short, I'd always be reaching out there for those stirrups!

                                    I thought it was a good example of the older ones.
                                    This saddle looks like it's tipped back on the saddle rack. I have an older Fallis (70s vintage) that looks a lot like this one and it doesn't sit this way on a real horse. A few other comments, based on my experience with my saddle:

                                    1) Fallis saddles are designed so you sit in the middle of the seat, NOT back on the cantle (no chair seat).
                                    2) If you're sitting where you're supposed to, you don't have to "reach" for the stirrups. Your legs will be under you, with shoulder, hip, heel aligned, much as you would sit in a dressage saddle.
                                    3) Seat size is usually less than what you take in a traditional western saddle (mine was an inch less).
                                    4) Less bulky rigging makes it way easier to feel your horse under your leg (takes some getting used to). Seems to make it easier to move your legs too, though that may be a function of how the fenders/stirrups are hung.
                                    5) Not sure what to say about the reports of Fallis saddles not holding up--mine is about 35 years old and still seems to be OK, but I haven't used it hard, especially recently (life happens...).

                                    Obviously I'm a fan...

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Naw, I've looked at a lot of pictures of these Fallis saddles and in quite a few of the pictures the stirrups are way out the front, like many western saddles. I'm afraid I'm not in the market for one of those. the one fillabeana posted looks like the stirrups are where they should be, the one I posted do not.

                                      I'm well aware of how to sit balanced in the saddle and I don't need a little lesson from you nor do I need a saddle with the stirrups set too far forward.
                                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Now, now you guys.

                                        My long and intensive studies of this kind of thing for dressage saddles for shorties suggests that you both can be right.

                                        Whether or not someone will adopt a chair seat probably has to do with the natural angle of her pelvis and how much core-strength she has, as well as how educated a seat she has.

                                        My western Equitation Buckets would have me back against the cantle, a cooter-comfy slope up to the pommel/horn and the stirrups placed underneath me.

                                        But I can also put my pubic bone *down* on a flatter seated saddle and therefore have legs that come out of my hip joints more forward-- with respect to the front of the saddle.

                                        I appreciate hearing from Zipperfoot, and I'm convinced that I'd just have to ride in one of these open-seated bad boys in order to make the call.

                                        I'm trying to keep the love alive.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

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