Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saddle review - Freeform western saddle

I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Freeform western saddle that was coming on trial. I've had a Freeform Classic in the past and loved it for the trails, but when it came to arena work, it just didn't feel right - I couldn't get my legs in the right place and the saddle moved too much. I was hoping this saddle would be different.

The first day I got it and rode in it, I didn't like it. Same complaint as last time - I felt just *too* bouncy and all over the place. Mac was nice and forward, but I just couldn't find the right spot.

The next day I went on a trail ride in it and liked it much better. We walked, trotted, and cantered on the trails, went up and down hills, and had a normal trail ride. I got a good sweat pattern with a dry line down the spine and thought there may be hope. Here's how we look in the saddle.

Then I tried it in the arena one more day but again couldn't get with it. I just don't find it works well with dressage-type flatwork. As Mac's ribcage moves, the saddle goes to one side or the other with it (which in theory sounds like a good thing, but it makes me feel like I'm wobbling all over the place). If Mac decided to spook or buck, I'm not sure what would happen. That plus it made my knees hurt because of the fenders being stiff, and my hips hurt as well.

So I'm sending it back. Sigh.

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