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Saddle trees and changing back shape
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Aug 14th, 2010 09:09 pm
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Ooo, cool, David. So I assume the saddle is shown on one of Liz's horses? How does she like riding in it?

Also, I notice that the leather used is rather thick and appears to be stiff. There is a "fore arch" made of leather, too, which does not appear on the gaucho saddle which I picture in "Conquerors". I assume this soft fore arch is, likewise, stuffed with straw? Or is it wood covered with leather?

The photos give us a good chance to see how the two 'hot dogs' must be connected across the horse's back. This to me would be the hardest thing to get right, as it would also be the part of the saddle that would undergo the most stress. -- Dr. Deb

AdamTill
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 Posted: Sun Aug 15th, 2010 12:14 am
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Here's another few shots I had stored away in my links:

http://www.narrawin.com/images/gear-collect_Recado_saddle_1a.jpg


http://www.narrawin.com/images/gear-collect_Recado_saddle_2a.jpg


Came from here, which is a fascinating site showing a bunch of different styles of saddles. There's a write on the construction of the gaucho saddle there too.

AdamTill
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 Posted: Sun Aug 15th, 2010 12:22 am
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Another:
http://www.stableads.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19073
http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/plarcade/Monturas/recadodeabajo.jpg


http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/plarcade/Monturas/recadoyencimerapuestos.jpg


http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d119/plarcade/Monturas/recadopuesto.jpg


From here:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_weBg6hZOzM4/SGlIeyF4lgI/AAAAAAAABXI/JyoAmouJoFc/s400/sem+t%C3%ADtulo.bmp


ozgaitedhorses
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 Posted: Sun Aug 15th, 2010 02:47 am
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Hi Val!
I'm very much looking forward to your saddle project!

I've collected a bunch of photos of gaucho saddles over the years (I was contemplating making one - at some stage). Drop me a line if you'd like me to send them to you.

Re. fore arch: I've seen two variations on the theme. In the first one, both halves of the saddle were completely separate, and only held together with leather strips (bit like shoe laces) along the spine. In that case both the pommel and cantle 'sausages' were also in two halves.
In the other version, the two halves of the saddle were actually stitched together at the pommel and cantle, with one 'sausage' spanning almost the entire width of the pommel, the other the entire with of the canle.

Cheers,
Manu

ozgaitedhorses
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 Posted: Sun Aug 15th, 2010 07:55 am
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Hi again!
I just went through my old photos and found a third version: the two saddle halves are held together by leather strings only. The pommel and cantle 'sausages' are in one piece, and tied to the saddle halves with 4 leather straps each.
Cheers,
Manu

Val
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 Posted: Tue Aug 17th, 2010 03:34 pm
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Thanks for all the support by way of info, links, and pictures.  Never having seen a real live Gaucho saddle, I am trying to develop a working model, mentally. 

My first hurdle was figuring out size and which side goes up.  I had assumed the drawing in Conquerors was upside-down, for some reason.  You'll have to guide me as I get back to you with ideas, which is a lovely opportunity for me to learn the grace of obedience as well as art of Gaucho saddle building. 

Having gotten on the right path with orientation and size, i'm now wondering: how far apart are those tubes? How hard are they? How do they stay in place and not sllde off to one side? How tight is that cinch cinched?  Are the pads shaped at all to help keep things in place?

It does seem that this design could be very adaptable to many different shaped backs.

More later, I am pondering whilst I should be working. Just wanted you to know that I am reading and thinking.  My husband thinks I am crazy to do this, but you know, since my horse is getting too old for riding, this would be a great project to keep us occupied and happy. Gaucho saddle model would be a nice hobby for him.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Aug 17th, 2010 10:34 pm
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Val, where these saddles are going to come in very useful is with horses who have low backs -- difficult to fit with rigid-tree saddles. Andi Bartnek, where are you on this? Have you tried something like this on your old trooper?

As to other questions:

No, the gaucho saddle in Conquerors is shown right-side up. Why you can see all the tooling.

The tubes are far enough apart to put the rider's weight on the 'backstrap muscles' as my deer-hunting friends call them, i.e. the long perivertebral muscles a.k.a. the longissimus dorsi. BUT not so far apart that when you sit in the saddle, the gullet disappears because you squash it down from your weight.

How stiff are the tubes? Pretty stiff -- see Dave G.'s comment about needing to soften them up; they are stuffed with straw, which is hard; and the leather used is relatively heavy and stiff

Are the pads shaped -- yes because they're wool felt and thus get pounded/stretched/sweated/dried over time so that they then are 'contoured'. Pads and other layers could certainly be made to fit better ahead of time -- note the very helpful illustration posted by Adam, showing the multiple layers of padding traditionally used.

How does the saddle not turn -- (a) by being cinched two or three times over different layers of the padding, and (b) because gauchos do not depend upon their stirrups for balance. Traditionally, they wear a boot that doesn't have a toe-cap, so their naked toes stick out the front. And the stirrup ring is less than 4" in diameter. They ride then with their big toe stuck in the ring and that's all!

 

Choctawpony
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 Posted: Fri Mar 27th, 2015 05:35 am
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I am wondering how Val's attempt at sewing up a gaucho saddle turned out. Has anybody else given a gaucho saddle a try? I am considering one for my boy since I am having a tough time finding a saddle to fit him. Thanks for any input.

Rebecca

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Mar 27th, 2015 09:29 am
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Yes, I'd also like to hear from anyone besides Dave who has tried making a Goucho saddle -- an ancient design that has many more positive points than any so-called "treeless" saddle currently on the market.

But I'd also like to know from you, Rebecca, what the reason is for your difficulty in finding a saddle to fit your horse. Is there some special problem with the horse, i.e. a low back or extra-high withers or extra-meaty shoulders? Let us know, because the more specifics you give the better your chance of getting a good suggestion or two. -- Dr. Deb

Choctawpony
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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 05:44 am
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Can I choose "all of the above"? I am attaching a side view photo taken a about a year a half ago. I don't think that his shape has changed much. If anything his withers are now a little higher. Pretty much everything I have tried either seems to pinch at the shoulders or bridges so badly that it gauges behind the shoulder or into his loins. The only thing that has worked was a wide tree dressage saddle, but that didn't really suite my purpose.
It does seem that he needs a short skirted saddle. Reading Dr Deb's comments regarding the padding provided by the sheepskins tweaked my interest even more as I have permanently injured my pelvis due to hitting the pommel on a bucking horse. I can take more pictures of him this weekend including a top view of his back. I have bought my canvas and the wool for stuffing the tubes and am ready to start building my prototype gaucho saddle. Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Rebecca

Attachment: gilbert rt side view.jpg (Downloaded 144 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 09:01 am
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Well, hey, Choctaw -- at least you have eyes to see; so indeed, it IS "all three".

Now Dave will probably see this within a couple of days and I hope he's got time to weigh in with words of wisdom on the construction and design.

Meanwhile, I also want to know from you:

(a) Why the dressage saddle didn't suit your purposes; and

(b) What are your purposes?

Let me know, because there is some stuff we also need to get you to doing, so as to improve this otherwise very nice horse's way of carrying himself.

BTW, what's the breeding? And how tall is this animal? Cheers -- Dr. Deb

Also, Juliet -- if you see this photo -- what does the configuration of this horse's low back, the almost-but-not-quite calf knees, and the low and rolled-under fore heels tell you? You see how they all go together? I don't want you to reply on this, but just look at it and think about it; and I want Choctaw likewise to go over and read your recent thread where we're commenting on how much your horse has improved, and exactly where that occurred in its body. -- Dr. Deb

David Genadek
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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 08:01 pm
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I will do a few posts to give my perspective. I have taken the picture and drawn some lines on it. The bottom green line I have drawn from point of hip to between C5 and C6. This gives me a basic trend line for the spinal curves. The normal curve pattern for a horse starting at the top of the neck is Kyphosis (upward curve) base of neck is Lordosis (downward curve)thoracic back to the sacrum is Kyphosis(upward curve). The apex of the kyphosis in thoracic area should be the anticlinal vertabra most often T16. I have put a red dot around where T16 would be. I have taken line A and move it up to touch the croup and call it line B. The proper spinal curves should be perfectly reflected in the top line. This means the red dot should be touching the top line B if the spinal curves are being properly maintained in the horse. You can see we have Lordosis where we should have Kyphosis so job one in saddle fitting is to restore the proper curvatures to the horses spine. I am of the opinion that this is best achieved on the ground.

Attachment: gilbert-rt-side-view-alt.jpg (Downloaded 125 times)

David Genadek
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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 08:08 pm
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I have taken the picture and put in purple the zone I consider the fitting area. In red is the area that most western folks consider the fitting area. I have also drawn some lines A-D in regard to where you want the rider to sit. I shoot for A bu don't think you can get there with out a rigid tree. Most of the English world says B but actually puts you at C. Many western folks believe you should be at D. So the first question you have to ask is where do you want to sit? How you need to do everything will change depending on your answer.

Attachment: fittng-zone.jpg (Downloaded 124 times)

Annie F
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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 10:50 pm
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Hi Dave,

I was trying to imagine a rider sitting at "A" and what type of saddle that would require, to get so close to the whither. Then I thought of a favorite picture of Nuno Oliviera (I'm trying to attach it; hope it works) and wondered whether rider posture doesn't play a role as well? Do you mean that the rider's seat bones should be at A, or that their "center of balance" (not sure how else to put it) should be at A? Nuno seems to be advancing his waist toward A.

Annie

Attachment: nuno.jpg (Downloaded 123 times)

David Genadek
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 Posted: Sat Mar 28th, 2015 11:25 pm
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I shoot for the center of the seat being there. You will note that this is where most masters sit and many will be sitting on the front arch if the saddle was not designed to sit where they it need to sit. Here is a chart that shows that there is a continuum on seats. Note the riding seat is in the middle but this what many consider as correct but it is only correct for a finished horse. A training seat is a more active seat. If you can watch Nuno ride with a skilled trainer they will be able to point out a solid reason for every seat position for every second of his ride. It is equally wrong to think in terms of frames for the rider as it is for the horse.

Attachment: seat-profiles.jpg (Downloaded 203 times)


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