Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mayhew Ride #2 Fit Frustrations

I spent a lot of time today examining the fit of the saddle, before, during and after my ride, and took dozens of photos.  I have sent those to Linda Flemmer along with my questions, and will wait until after she and I have been able to discuss my thoughts before I post it all here.  In the comments of my last post she asked me to further explain the "void" I was feeling under the near side.

In my previous post The Wisdom of Wither Tracings, I showed the wither tracing comparisons that Sue Tobin of Side Saddle Heaven did for me to illustrate the process of comparing a wither tracing to a potential match.

In this example, the near side point of the tree is too curved for the rib cage of the horse.  This elevates the near side, shifting the saddle towards the off side.  You can see the negative space between the line representing the horse, and the lines representing the trees.

Here is a close up of the pressure point.

Now you would think that raising the near side and shifting the saddle towards the off side would help keep you from rolling left.  Not so.  What it does, is raise the center of gravity, destabilise the load, and when there is movement, shift it in the direction of the most weight, which is... roll the saddle to the near side.  In fact, as soon as you put weight on it, the saddle is going to fill that void, collapsing and rolling left.

This Lissadell, is well flocked on the off side.  And honestly, I can find no voids or pressure points on the off panel.  It appears to be a good fit.  The less flocked near side, shown above, creates a void between the flocking and the horse.  But there is more to it than that.

When viewed from the rear, you can see how the saddle is perching on the point and that the curve of the saddle is sitting above the curve of the horse.  The near side point is in contact with his ribs.  When I am seated, my weight settles the saddle and this void is not visually apparent.  My concern is that this is not a fit issue that can be solved by flocking the near side or deflocking the off side.

Which will be a real shame because I can say, that sitting in this saddle, and feeling the differences between it and my Martin and Martin is nothing short of a revelation.  It is so comfortable to me.  If this saddle does not work out, that experience alone has been worth the price of admission.


  1. Here's hoping Linda finds a good solution for you, Grey, and THIS saddle.


  2. yeah!!!! You are back. I missed you!