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Everything posted by Traveller

  1. Downhill horses can sprint, which is exactly what cow horses have to do. They need to go from zero to a milion miles an hour, even if only for the second it takes to stop a cow from going the wrong way. Thoroughbreds are also built downhill, though not as much as quarter horses, and quarter horses are faster over a quarter-mile than thoroughbreds. Presumably if being downhill impeded speed, it would have been bred out of thoroughbreds and racing quarter horses, as speed counts for more than anything when it comes to racing (well, yeah). Well-trained, downhill horses with good conformation (and yes, that includes being downhill) know how to get their hocks beneath them to lift their shoulders up to move a cow, as a good uphill dressage horse does, though for different ends. I don't know the mechanics of why being downhill makes them able to sprint the way they do, but it seems to count. Like anything, of course, too much downhill is not a good thing. Much in the way a short back is better than a long back, provided it's not too short. But downhill seems to count. A lot.
  2. Congratulations, Darc, on taking first and second place at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival last weekend! I'm particularly proud that the saddle you built for me took first place. Now I want it back so I can ride it in again... ;-) The second place rough-out is very nice, too. Good work! Joanne
  3. oops... double post... I must be extra excited about my penning runs!
  4. A quick update: I took this saddle cattle penning on Sunday and was amazed at how much better I sat the horse, and how much better the horse moved on the cows. I wasn't riding my own horse (the appaloosa in the photo) - he's decent on cows but doesn't really have the training. Instead I ride a horse that belongs to a cowboy friend of mine. I've been riding this horse for over a year now and this was by far the best he has ever been under me. I give the saddle full credit! Plus it looks darned good, too. Thanks, Darc!
  5. I'd be proud to have the saddle shown at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival! Aren't all the saddles new, though? I plan to take excellent care of my Kabatoff saddle but it won't look fresh off the bench for long.
  6. Thanks for the great saddle, Darc - it's even better in reality than it is in photos! It's incredibly well balanced and easy to ride in. Here are some photos of it on Traveller (I'm sure he's excited, too, though he hides his excitement much better than I do...). It's beautiful. Joanne You can see I've rolled the strings up until they're needed.
  7. I always enjoy seeing your saddles, Steve. Thanks for posting! Joanne
  8. Me too! I ride with my cellphone in one of those jogging iPod gizmos - you know, the ones with the elastic strap that wraps around your upper arm. Only I put it on my upper calf, since I figure it's less likely to get slammed into the dirt should I get slammed into the dirt myself. I don't always wear a belt, so a belt phone holder wouldn't work for me. But it's the same principle. But your leather case is much prettier than my stretchy fabric one! Nice work. Joanne
  9. I'm no Aussie saddle expert but there was a time a few years back when I tried very hard to find a good quality Aussie saddle to fit my broad-shouldered Appaloosa but the right saddle didn't seem to exist. My Appy has particularly broad shoulders (he's halter-bred quarter horse on top, which is a strange way to build a riding horse) and of course I didn't put every brand on him but my conclusion nonetheless is that Australian horses are more thoroughbred-types and so they don't build saddles for broader horses. Has anybody else discovered that? Or have I jumped to a conclusion without a whole pile of facts worked in? The closest fit was a Porter saddle but even it pinched, and it was relatively wide. Good luck! Joanne
  10. What a terrible shame. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Connerd. I'm sure you must be reeling. My thoughts are with you. Joanne
  11. What does it mean to "rod" a tree?
  12. Thanks, everybody. Very informative. Now get on that horse and ride, Bob, or I'll take him off your hands, saddle an' all. (Thanks for the pic, too - nothing like a photo to illustrate a point.) Joanne
  13. Are you using a 28" cinch on smaller horses, or small-barreled horses? Or do you find that works for most average horses? Thanks, Steve.
  14. Hi everybody, Goldpony's post got me thinking about how long/short a cinch should be. I've heard people say that the cinch should be short and the off-billet/latigo long, but goldpony's thread had me thinking that it might be the other way 'round. So how long do you folks think the cinch should be? And if you could post photos of what you believe to be the ideal balance of cinch length to latigo length (assuming the latigo and off-billet are equally balanced), that'd be just great. Thanks! Joanne
  15. To get back to the original point of the thread, it seems to me that you can never fit a saddle perfectly to a horse, winter or summer weight, paleontologist opinions notwithstanding. Where are the areas you folks check to see whether a saddle fits? And do you do it with or without the saddle pad?
  16. Thanks for your thoughts, bdt46. It would usually take a while before he'd complain (although some got to him right away), and he was often good walking, sometimes good trotting, but cantering would make him nuts if it didn't fit. The last one he launched me out of (it was a couple of saddles ago) actually caused a sore spot behind his whithers (there was a fairly long thread about this a while back, with a lot of good help from members of this forum). The most recent saddle didn't actually sore him but somehow interfered with his movement, and he objected to it, though not to the point of causing me pain, if you know what I mean. So I suppose my earlier post wasn't quite correct - he had been sored by saddles, just not irreparably. He doesn't let it go on long enough for that to happen. I've had some very good saddles on him, about 7 over the past 5 years, including one handmade saddle. Plus he launched me out of a borrowed and beautifully crafted handmade saddle. He's no snob. Some he objected to rather loudly, others just made him uncomfortable. The current saddle seems to be doing the job, at least for the time being. I don't love it but I do love that he's keeping his back end on an even keel with his whithers, and that's a very good thing indeed. He's an appaloosa with a halter-bred quarter horse for a sire. Halter breeding does strange things to a horse's conformation.
  17. I'm only concerned about soring my horse because my horse refuses to be sored. He bucks when the saddle doesn't fit and who wants that. The one I have him in now isn't perfect - I can tell there are places where it doesn't quite meet "perfect" saddle fit criteria - but he's not bucking or going around tight and stressed. And that, to me, is perfect.
  18. Thank you, Denise and Rod, for taking the time to respond to David's points in such academic depth. Clarity and substantiated claims are grand things indeed.
  19. So why would a person choose one of those trees above another? Are they all equally good for riding in all day, as a serious trail rider would? Or is one better - in someone's opinion - at either the all-day aspect or roping requirements, etc.? Does one type have, for instance, a wider seat and another one a more narrow seat? Or do the choices have to do with the shape of horse you tend to ride? How much does aesthetic figure into the decision? Ah, so many questions! Thanks, all. Joanne
  20. Lederbalsam is a leather conditioner and shouldn't add stickiness. If it does, there's probably something wrong with it. When you condition an English saddle with a product such as Lederbalsam and then ride in it, you'll notice a wee bit of grab on your pants for the first ride while it's fresh (particularly if you ride in full-seat leather breeches) but once it's soaked in, the stickiness is gone. And you wouldn't want to condition the saddle every time you ride or you'd break down the leather prematurely. I know a young dressage rider who uses the Sit-Tide Creme and she says it doesn't wreck the leather but it does help glue her butt to the saddle. I've occasionally been tempted to install a seat belt on my own saddle. I'm sure it would be way cheaper than the riding lessons I pay for over and over again. Slipping and sliding isn't my personal problem - it's staying on my Appy when he decides he's had enough and gets to rodeoing. (Those days are behind him now. For sure.)
  21. I think you're looking for Stick Cream http://greenhawk.ca/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/scstore/p-STO0041.html?L+scstore+ptjn0476ff1da61d+1283078111. Yup, that's what it's called, and that's what it does. The little blurb that comes with says something about your boots not wrecking the saddle but the German label also says "sit-tide creme," so I'm thinking they know that most people use it keep their butts sitting tight in the saddle. Always seemed a little like cheating to me but heck, who needs to know. And if you land in the dust, everyone knows. Definitely the lesser of two evils.
  22. Thanks for posting these pics, Steve! I never tire of seeing your saddles. Great lines, as always.
  23. I always look forward to seeing your saddles, Steve. Beautiful lines, nicely balanced. Very clean. And you've given us a 3-in-1 photo! Thanks for the pics. Joanne
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