ESI Q and A Forums Home

 Moderated by: DrDeb  
AuthorPost
Tammy 2
Member


Joined: Sun Feb 3rd, 2008
Location: Redland, Alberta Canada
Posts: 129
Status:  Offline
Hi Adam,

I find these very interesting.  My horse showed a marked change between the ages of 5, 6 and even into 7.  No height growth really, more like the final "filling out".  His back changed just like Tindur's has and appeared longer and more raised.

Also I think his back looks like he has been ridden very well and he has been using his core.

 

Carey
Member
 

Joined: Sat Oct 25th, 2008
Location: Radersburg, Montana USA
Posts: 59
Status:  Offline
I agree, I think most horses continue to develop muscles until they are at least 8-- and even longer if they are in a good program.  That has been my experience.  With the type of horses I have the difference between a 3 yr old and an 8 yr old is huge. 

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Thanks folks...live and learn I guess.

Making progress on the tree design. Dave or Dr. Deb - if either of you have a minute, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on how much clearance to allow between the scapular cartilage and tree.

The dark green horizontal lines are the saddle fitting range extents - the topmost one is the edge of the scapular cartilage, and the lowermost one is about where his last rib is.

I'm taking some educated guesses at this point, but I thought I'd do up a cardboard skeleton tree and take it out to my horse to test. I figure if I do a bit of playing around on the ground and it stays more or less in the same spot, I should be pretty close.

Not sure if this mess will make sense to anyone else, but displaying three dimensions in two is tough. The profile lines on the far right are like longitudinal vertical slices though the horse at the same point where the corresponding line passes through the cross sections on the left.

The first thing I'm working with is the the midline of the bar - how the profile of the back in red compares to the profile of the bar in green. The tree itself is just a graphic for now - something to use as a visual reference only.

Cheers all,
Adam


David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

Welcome to the nightmare!

     When I was first trying to define the shape I used a plaster cast and made a cinch that went over the area where I would sit. I secured it in place  place and had the horse do figure eights well everything dried. Now what I do is use the exact same technique you're doing except I try to capture the shape in all the different postures that the horse would make. You can bend the beast around a barrel and lifts a leg and then take your tracings and then do it on the other side. You also want to capture the shapes with the head up and head down. As you can already see things change a lot!!

How is the tree that we did for your beast working with his new shape? This is one of my biggest gripes narrowing the bars in the center of the saddle if you keep it as wide as possible as angles and things change it seems there is generally enough contact so that the saddle will not bother the animal.

This is a great exercise for everyone to do if they want to get a handle on the reality of saddle fit here is a link to instructions on how to do a back map. http://aboutthehorse.com/web/tracings.pdf

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Thanks, yes!...so much to think about here. I'll play a bit with a few more orientations.

I got a great idea from a fitting course I took with Dr Ridgeway a little while ago, who suggested joining two sticks at one end, and suspending one of those blue flexi-rulers between the other ends. Makes using the flexi-rulers much easier and more accurate! I made mine from round aluminum barstock, added a gentle curve to accomodate barrel curves, and added a wingnut in the center to allow the bars to be locked together. Works a treat.

You actually didn't do a sadddle for this critter, who I only got about a year ago, but for my last guy. His new owner is still using one of two I had (kept the other), which is going on 5-6 yrs total for that saddle I think, but that horse is now about 16 (hopefully stopped growing). If this project doesn't turn out, I'm sure I'll be calling later!

Dimension-wise, if you you were to be doing a ranch roping saddle, what material do you use for the bars, and what would the thickness be at the stirrup notch in the middle? I'd like to make my bars from carbon fibre later on since that's SO much easier to use in complex shapes, and need to do some stress calcs to figure out a layup schedule.

Thanks again!

Adam

Patricia Barlow Irick
Member
 

Joined: Thu Nov 1st, 2007
Location: Counselor, New Mexico USA
Posts: 42
Status:  Offline
The tracings PDF is really great. I like the tape much better than the chalk markings most instructions tell you to use.  I want to try it when my critters dry out.

This fall I bought an impression pad to check saddle fit and started really thinking about the "nightmare". Yikes!!! I wanted to make a tool to quantify shape and then realized it had already been made as the Lauriche Back Measure . They didn't make many of them, but I think it is not too big of a engineering feat that a three pieces of plexiglass or aluminum plate and some dowels couldn't be pressed into service. It would be fun to play with.

There was a recent article in one of the major horse journals by a doctoral student studying swaybacks. He used an interesting measure to classify horses backs. "The high points of the horse's withers and the rump are marked with adhesive tape, and the straight-line distance and the back-surface distance between these two points are measured and compared. The difference between the two lengths serves as the back-contour measure." A difference of over 2.5 was classified as swayback.

This measure surprised me as it would mean minis would be less likely to be swayback than drafthorses simply because of their size. I would think he would use a ratio.  But I guess I need to read the research paper to understand what really happened.

I like your first graphics (on white background) Adam, but I find the black background one more confusing and less interesting even though it has more relationship to the tree. I would like to see a contour map of the bottom of that tree. Keep up the good work!

Yrs,
Patricia


AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
>The tracings PDF is really great. I like the tape much better than the chalk markings most instructions tell you to use.  I want to try it when my critters dry out.

Tape is very good, but long runs of tape tend to crinkle, so be careful. A builders chalk snapline is sort of handy for "station" lines since you can run a straight chalkline pretty easily.

>This fall I bought an impression pad to check saddle fit and started really thinking about the "nightmare". Yikes!!!

That's the sort of doughy-filled one, isn't it? They're okay, but they're thick enough to change the fit of the saddle, and ironing them out flat again is a pain.

Much easier is to get a refill bottle of builder's chalk, and a simple white dressage pad. Sprinkle and spread an even dusting over the horse, then carefully put the pad and saddle on top. Find a fence to get on the horse so you don't need to weight a stirrup unevenly to get on, ride him, and vault off. When you carefully lift the saddle and pad straight off, you get a great pressure map. Another good trick from Dr. Ridgeway.

>I wanted to make a tool to quantify shape and then realized it had already been made as the Lauriche Back Measure . They didn't make many of them, but I think it is not too big of a engineering feat that a three pieces of plexiglass or aluminum plate and some dowels couldn't be pressed into service. It would be fun to play with.

I looked into making one, but the tolerances involved are actually pretty tricky if you don't want wabbly, useless dowels. Plus, using them consistently is tricky, and translating the data is quite time consuming.

>There was a recent article in one of the major horse journals by a doctoral student studying swaybacks. He used an interesting measure to classify horses backs. "The high points of the horse's withers and the rump are marked with adhesive tape, and the straight-line distance and the back-surface distance between these two points are measured and compared. The difference between the two lengths serves as the back-contour measure." A difference of over 2.5 was classified as swayback.
This measure surprised me as it would mean minis would be less likely to be swayback than drafthorses simply because of their size. I would think he would use a ratio.  But I guess I need to read the research paper to understand what really happened.

That seems odd, for sure. I measured one of the photos of Tindur, and he was 31 inches along the back and 29.8 inches straightline. I assume they use inches? Weird system...I agree that a ratio would be much more appropriate, though I guess if they're fixing height or something you could call that a control.

>I like your first graphics (on white background) Adam, but I find the black background one more confusing and less interesting even though it has more relationship to the tree. I would like to see a contour map of the bottom of that tree. Keep up the good work!

It's actually there already - just a tricky drawing to interpret, and one that isn't finished yet.

Picture the left side drawing with the bar top view as being your main view. The grey and dark green lines are station or section lines...vertical slices taken crosswise. Those sections are the pink cross sections. The pink cross section meets the station line that it represents right in the middle.

As such, my first approximation of the bar angles are the green lines hovering over those pink cross sections. I think I'll probably be flaring the shoulders a bit more, and the bars won't obviously be flat lines, but you get the picture.

The back profile lines (same thing top and right, just rotated on the top for easier perspective) describe a vertical cut lenthwise through the saddle/horse. So for example, if you go back to the left drawing with the light blue bar top view, look at the orange lines that are outermost on the drawing. If you were to slice the horse lengthwise along that line, then look at it from the side as if he were standing up, you'd get the orange line on the back profile lines plot.

In the same way, the red line on the profile lines plot is the back profile right under the middle of the bar. The green line is the profile of the bottom of the bar itself, so you can see how much rock is being considered for that bar.

Not sure if that makes sense, but drop a note if it doesn't. I'll update the drawing as I make progress, and actually show complete bar cross sections and such.

Cheers,
Adam



Patricia Barlow Irick
Member
 

Joined: Thu Nov 1st, 2007
Location: Counselor, New Mexico USA
Posts: 42
Status:  Offline
That's what they say about the Lauriche tool, but who knows if it is true? What attracts me to that idea is having a bunch of quantitative data.

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Patricia, beware: no curving shape can be specified by any number or measurement whatsoever.

Nor by any formula.

There are no formulas within mathematics, or known to even the greatest scholar, which precisely specify ANY curving figure as we can specify squares, rectangles, polygons, or triangles.

ALL mathematical formulae that pretend to specify curving figures are doing exactly that: pretending. For example, the wellknown formula for a circle:

Pi X radius X radius ("Pi R squared")

-- this formula was "discovered" by ancient Egyptians, as you have probably read, and it worked well enough to allow them to order the right amount of lumber to build a roundpen. Within a foot or two. But it DOES NOT precisely specify. The reason for this is the so-called "irrational" number incorporated into the formula, the term Pi, given in short form 3.1415 as we were all made to memorize. And even recently, I read a news article that a supercomputer somewhere has calculated Pi out to a billion decimals, and it still does not "close".

Which precisely makes my point: it does not close for a billion digits and my bet, along with that of most mathematicians, is that it will never close. Pi isn't even a limit function which gets closer and closer to precise specificity the farther out it is calculated. Pi is, instead, in a class by itself -- irrational numbers. Another word for an irrational number is "fudge factor". Pi is the "fudge factor" that the ancient Egyptians discovered was needed to make the lumber order come out right.

It is apparently not allowed by the design of the Creator, that we have access in this plane of existence to any formula that precisely specifies a curve. All the formulas you learned in algebra II that pretend to specify parabolas and hyperbolas are, in fact, limit functions. All the limit functions you studied in Calculus are no more than various forms of the Giant's Stairway Conundrum, where you keep dividing the steps up by halves that keep getting closer and closer to "getting there" -- but never do actually get there. A mathematician of the second class may scream at this and say, yes but it gets INFINITELY CLOSE to getting there; to which I reply, yes, and who made up the definition of 'infinitely close'? He-for-whom-it-is-convenient, that's who.

Even Benoit Mandelbrot's chaos equations, elegant though they are, fall into this category. In graduate school I was positively in love with the idea that you could describe the irregularly curving, yet somehow logical shapes of bones by visualizing them as glass jars filled with golf balls, marbles, peas, and grains of sand....but once again, all those are is a sort of visual histogram-under-the-curve, a cousin of the Fourier chain, a cousin of the limit function.

We cannot get there from here. My belief is that when we die, like the folks in "Flatland", we will be permitted, like them, to go up into a higher dimension where (the Flatlanders) finally get hands-on experience with geometric solids, and where we (who can already experience those in this plane of existence) get to have access to equations that precisely specify curving shapes. This will be the same moment when we have a fully integrated theory of physics, where we can really travel at warp speed (or something even better, have physical existence simultaneously at any number of points we choose), where light itself will be to us as a solid and something greater than light will be light to us.

Shy of that, however....until we get there....you have to design saddle trees, as well as fit them, "by eye". There is no other way. You have to develop your ability to "see" it, to feel it, and to know by this means whether or not the saddle sufficiently and appropriately conforms to the shape of the particular horse's back, so that we can say it "fits". You will please not forget that your brain is a supercomputer vastly, almost infinitely, more powerful -- particularly for shape processing -- than any manmade tool.

I am advising you to learn to use the equipment you HAVE. How to do this was already set forth by our elderly teacher:

OBSERVE

REMEMBER

COMPARE

....and in this, our elderly teacher is only repeating the teaching of the first great Western scientist, Galileo Galilei.

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." -- Albert Einstein

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

     Designing a tree requires a series of compromises that depend on a multitude of factors, there is no one right answer to your question because it depends. What we can talk about are the factors that need to be considered.

      First, where on the horses body do you want the saddle to sit. This is one of the most in important decisions that is made in the design.  This is where doing a bunch of tracings comes in handy because it allows you to begin to understand where the majority of the movement is.

     Second creating the shape of the bar to allow for the movement of the back relative to where you decided you wanted to sit. This is where most people go wrong they only consider the static back. The old Zen saying "You can't step in the same river twice." applies here.  You're not fitting a shape your fitting a collection of shapes if someone were to say fit the shape of water everyone would consider that ridiculous.  This is the real value in trying to collect data on horses backs what you soon realize is each horse has many backs and one of your roles as a rider is to create the shape of back you need to execute whatever maneuver you choose. So when you go to design a bar you're trying to design the shape that will allow for the composite shape of the horses back in movement. This seems to be a very difficult concept for people to grasp. When I first started this company and it was 50% owned by Crates Leather Company we did a line of ladies trail saddles under the Crates name and sold them to retailers. Many of the retailers got upset saying they did not fit because there was no pressure on the front of the saddle.

    Once you get the horse fit you now have to consider the interface of the human.  We actually made 3-D models of butts at this stage.  Here is how you can get your answers to  the question you asked.  It shouldn't be a very difficult answer to find for an individual horse. What I would do is get some sort of material in various thicknesses and cut them in the shape of a bicycle seat and I would put them on the horse where I wanted to sit and find out at what thickness I felt the best on this particular shape of horse. Once I had that figured out I would take that overall thickness and subtract the thicknesses of my saddle components and that would leave me with the desired bar thickness relative to rider position for this particular horse. I would then have to compare that to my saddle construction needs.   In the case of this horse you're going to find a conflict between the shape of the animal and the shape of the human so compromises will have to be made.  A narrow feeling seat can only be accomplished by going up so you will need to decide if you want to  go up by bar thickness or by how you construct your ground seat. The skirt construction will come in to play at this point of your decision also.

As for materials, here again it depends. When you say you want to use carbon fiber are you talking about carbon fiber an balsa wood as in how they do floors of expensive cars? Are you talking about making the entire tree out of carbon fiber in which case you probably end up with a really heavy tree. The main thing to consider is attachment strength. Although the fiber in the resin will offer some holding power you will probably want to find a wood with better holding properties.  I use basswood in my trees as it is light and readily available here but I add strength to it by covering all the parts with epoxy resin. I laminate everything for added strength too.  What I have found is tree makers generally will tell you the best wood  is what they can get in their area at a reasonable price. I laminate everything for added strength too. Here again your choices are going to depend on what your specific needs are. If I was building a ranch roping saddle and I knew I was going to be roping great big huge steers on a regular basis I might choose different materials. However, if you're going to use resins and carbon fiber, the only real value the material is going have will be its ability to create the shape and anchor attachments.

David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

 

I'm not sure if you have the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat but if you do you can save the file as a 3-D PDF and anyone with Adobe reader would have the ability to rotate the drawing.

David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Patricia Barlow Irick wrote: The tracings PDF is really great. I like the tape much better than the chalk markings most instructions tell you to use.  I want to try it when my critters dry out.

This fall I bought an impression pad to check saddle fit and started really thinking about the "nightmare". Yikes!!! I wanted to make a tool to quantify shape and then realized it had already been made as the Lauriche Back Measure . They didn't make many of them, but I think it is not too big of a engineering feat that a three pieces of plexiglass or aluminum plate and some dowels couldn't be pressed into service. It would be fun to play with.

There was a recent article in one of the major horse journals by a doctoral student studying swaybacks. He used an interesting measure to classify horses backs. "The high points of the horse's withers and the rump are marked with adhesive tape, and the straight-line distance and the back-surface distance between these two points are measured and compared. The difference between the two lengths serves as the back-contour measure." A difference of over 2.5 was classified as swayback.

This measure surprised me as it would mean minis would be less likely to be swayback than drafthorses simply because of their size. I would think he would use a ratio.  But I guess I need to read the research paper to understand what really happened.

I like your first graphics (on white background) Adam, but I find the black background one more confusing and less interesting even though it has more relationship to the tree. I would like to see a contour map of the bottom of that tree. Keep up the good work!

Yrs,
Patricia



Boy, I sure hope that guy didn't get a PhD for that research.!!!! If you have accurately described what his intent was it's crazy!!!

There always seems to be a constant flow of new measuring devices. I have found that gaining an understanding of horsemanship has been of far greater value to me than all the measuring I have done. So much of the research on saddle fitting is measuring bad riding and has nothing to do with the saddle fitting or not.

David Genadek

 

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Hi David,

Thanks again for the reply. To your questions:

>      First, where on the horses body do you want the saddle to sit. This is one of the most in important decisions that is made in the design.  This is >where doing a bunch of tracings comes in handy because it allows you to begin to understand where the majority of the movement is.

When I was first looking into saddle design and fit before, I took and measured some photos of one of the saddles you did on my old guy. I quite liked where the saddle put me, and he seemed to get along with it quite well as well.




On my new guy, I'm dealing with quite a bit of a shorter fitting range, but I assume the principles stay the same. I Opted for the shortest bar I think I can get away with, and started with an attempt to center my weight in the middle of his back. That places the back tip of the bar just at station 6 (last rib, thereabouts), which I think is about right. The red center of gravity circle is about where I figured my seatbones would end up.



>     Second creating the shape of the bar to allow for the movement of the back relative to where you decided you wanted to sit. This is where most people go wrong they only consider the static back.

I'm doing my best to try to avoid that. I'll do my best based on the data I've gathered so far, then I think it'd be easy enough to knock together some cardboard trees to take out to my horse. Depending on how they fit and move, I should be able to see if I'm on the right track.

>    Once you get the horse fit you now have to consider the interface of the human.  We actually made 3-D models of butts at this stage.

I spent a few weeks playing around with reshaping the seat on the saddle that I have right now, since the original one was WAY too deep for my liking (dressage saddle). I think I have a good feel now for what's balanced and comfortable on my end. I also got an appreciation for how a seat that's too padded/squishy is actually much more uncomfortable for riding in for more then an hour. The lack of circulation as a result of constant pressure gets things a bit achy (which is a good argument against air panels and such for the horse, too).

>Here is how you can get your answers to  the question you asked.  It shouldn't be a very difficult answer to find for an individual horse. What I would do is get some sort of material in various thicknesses and cut them in the shape of a bicycle seat and I would put them on the horse where I wanted to sit and find out at what thickness I felt the best on this particular shape of horse. Once I had that figured out I would take that overall thickness and subtract the thicknesses of my saddle components and that would leave me with the desired bar thickness relative to rider position for this particular horse. I would then have to compare that to my saddle construction needs.   In the case of this horse you're going to find a conflict between the shape of the animal and the shape of the human so compromises will have to be made.  A narrow feeling seat can only be accomplished by going up so you will need to decide if you want to  go up by bar thickness or by how you construct your ground seat. The skirt construction will come in to play at this point of your decision also.

Good points...will have to do more pondering, thanks much for that.

I anticipate doing the ground seat the same way as the bars - make a postive mold form, then vacuum bag on top.

>As for materials, here again it depends. When you say you want to use carbon fiber are you talking about carbon fiber an balsa wood as in how they do floors of expensive cars? Are you talking about making the entire tree out of carbon fiber in which case you probably end up with a really heavy tree.

It would be the former. When I build aircraft wing spars, the method involves carbon caps, vertical grain balsa webs to carry the shear loads, basswood or sitka spruce hardpoints where fasteners pass through the spar, and a kevlar wrap for burst resistance. I'm imagining the bars as short fat spars.

The advantage of c/f is the much higher strength to weight. As a rough estimate, I can replace a given thickness of wood with about 1/12 the thickness of c/f in strength-critical areas, and make up the thickness requirement with a balsa core (for bending stiffness). The net result should be some weight savings. Kevlar is handy for areas requiring toughness or burst-resistance as well, so a c/f shell over a balsa kelvar core is a good combo.

>The main thing to consider is attachment strength. Although the fiber in the resin will offer some holding power you will probably want to find a wood with better holding properties.  I use basswood in my trees as it is light and readily available here but I add strength to it by covering all the parts with epoxy resin. I laminate everything for added strength too.  What I have found is tree makers generally will tell you the best wood  is what they can get in their area at a reasonable price. I laminate everything for added strength too.

I see what you mean, and would use wooden backing plates where any fasteners are anticipated. I figure it makes sense to make the fork and horn out of wood entirely, since there's little benefit there to composites. Then it's just a matter of carefully thinking about the junction between the bar/fork bar/seat.

>Here again your choices are going to depend on what your specific needs are. If I was building a ranch roping saddle and I knew I was going to be roping great big huge steers on a regular basis I might choose different materials. However, if you're going to use resins and carbon fiber, the only real value the material is going have will be its ability to create the shape and anchor attachments.

My non-existent ranch roping skills mean that possibility is a ways off, but it's a direction I'd like to head in. I'd like something that I can drag logs around with for now, and the barrel-like nature of my horse means that the the lower I can keep the horn, the safer things will be. Even the log drags are a ways off, mind you.

>There always seems to be a constant flow of new measuring devices.

This is the only one I've found helpful lately. Bit easier then the rulers on their own.

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
This weekend I got to the point where testing an initial shape seemed like it would be useful, so I knocked together a mockup tree out of 1/4" cardboard. Using a cinch I had on hand, this was what it looked like:





The placement came out pretty decently, I think. The blue chalk lines were done to see whether the saddle moved when Tindur did.

On the plus side, when I placed pressure over where the saddle seat would be, there was no additional pressure under the bar tip that overlaid the shoulder. There wasn't as much clearance at the shoulder as I had intended (ie any), but the bar was just touching the hair (change #1 is to add a finger's worth of clearance there.



Showing the need for more flare at the shoulder, here is a shot with his head bent around to the inside:



The only part of the shape which seemed wonky was a bit on the inside of the bar, between stations 2 & 3. Needed to have the angle flattened out a bit since there was contact on the outside of the bar, but not on the inside. There was clearance between the red marks on these bars:



There also wasn't quite as much clearance under the rear tip of the bars, so I cranked those up by another 1/4" or so.

Since there were a number of folks working in the arena tonight, I decided to just walk Tindur out in the barn isle. I tried raising and lowering his head, turning in tight circles, and doing as much as we could within the confines of the isle.

Even with very loose "girth straps", the tree didn't move a whole bunch. Since the bar tips contacted his shoulders in tight turns, it got a bit cockeyed after a while. Still, it only slipped back about 1" or so, so I think that's okay for a first approximation.





I've already made the design changes to the model, and I plan to try again tomorrow. Should hopefully be able to do a bit more with a quieter arena as well.

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Tested out the new shape, and it now works quite well.

With Tindur's head up as far as he could reach it or around to the side touching the girth, the front bar tips just skim the hair at his shoulders.

I think I have a bit too much rock at the rear bar tip now, since while I can fit a finger underneath it at rest, even with his back dropped as far as he could, there's still a bit of clearance under there. I think I can usefully reduce that, and gain a bit more support area through the majority of the fitting range.

Even better, the tree seems to stay in place very well while he's moving. I had the arena to myself last night, so we went in and did a full in-hand session to see how things would move about. We did a half hour of shoulder-in, sidepassing, turns on the forehand and hind, and walk/gait/trot transitions, and it didn't budge a mm.

Near the very end when we were playing with walk/halt/trot transitions and Tindur was rocking back and energetically leaping into the trot from a standstill, I got the tree to slip back by about 0.5" after a set of three of these. I can live with that, since the coefficient of friction between paper and slick hair is much lower then the final saddle fleece on blanket should be.

So, I think I'm pretty close to a finished shape, unless anyone can see anything I'm particularly missing. All that's left is to make the adjustment to the rear rock, re-establish a level line on the saddle shape, and then replot the curves to account for the thickness of compressed fleece and a thin navajo blanket.

Next step would be to plot out some crown (?) profiles for the lower bar profiles.

Photos:

Clearance at bar tip



Nice fit in middle



Clearance at back of bar



Shoulder with head dropped



Took some rather unexciting video as well, and things seem to stay is place well. The bars seem to move with his back well side to side, and don't overshoot or undershoot the movement.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

 

I'm wondering what your rationale is for the curves one and two and also why you're curving the bar up in the middle and reducing bearing surface in the main weight-bearing area at three?

David Genadek

Attachment: TopBarsCG.jpg (Downloaded 406 times)

Last edited on Sat Feb 13th, 2010 03:48 pm by David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Next step would be to plot out some crown (?) profiles for the lower bar profiles.


What does putting crown on the bars do other than reduce bearing surface and make it easier to Rawhide?

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Hi David,

1 and 2 are based off the same thing - the measured flexibility of the equine spine. I took the numbers and graph from here:

http://nicholnl.wcp.muohio.edu/dingosBreakfastClub/BioMech/BioMechbend2.html

..and plotted the center yellow line, which represents the curve in the area of concern. I put the center of curvature at the point midway between the riggings, since those are the anchor points which determine the pivot points for the saddle when the horse bends.

If you take the center yellow line and move it to the edge of the bar, you get lines 1/2. Seems to work nicely, since even with Tindur bent over to touch his own flank (flexible boy here), his neck *just* kisses the inner edge of the bar.

Curve 3 is arbitrary at this point. I'm still noodling with the seat shape, and intersection of that shape and Tindur's barrel will determine if it's required.

On the subject of crown, my though there was just to add enough curve so that when Tindur bends, the shape will glide without possibly catching an edge. I'm thinking only something in the order of 0.125" over 5" or so.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

In regard to number one and two, I agree that that curvature must be in their and you may be able to get away with doing it that way on single tree. By moving the one curve further away from the spine you necessitate a really wide gullet which can also have the effect of widening the seat and making it difficult to get a narrow twist for the rider.  If your doing a single tree 2 won't be problem as you can figure your Cantle  position and make the surfaces match up at one particular location. You can't do that when you're designing for multiple seat sizes so you have to fill the space but still keep the shape.

The three curve is a curve that is there to make it easier when laying up the tree. It will not make the seat in the narrower it will only add dead air space and you can see this very clearly in your drawings. Since you're doing this in the computer and you'll be able to use indexing there is no need to put that curve in and as a percentage think about how much bearing surface that adds.

My bars are concave to the degree that the muscles of the back are convex and we just put up radius on the edge of the bar to allow for the movement.

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
>In regard to number one and two, I agree that that curvature must be in their and you may be able to get away with doing it that way on single tree. By moving the one curve further away from the spine you necessitate a really wide gullet which can also have the effect of widening the seat and making it difficult to get a narrow twist for the rider. 

To keep weight down I'm going to go with a half-seat saddle, so that should make it easier to keep the twist within reason since I don't have to flow the seat pattern all the way forward.

This is my initial thought for a cross section at "4":



One idea I'm batting around is having the stirrup leather exit the bar inside the lower skin. I'd build a pocket within the bar, and wrap the edges with kevlar thread to prevent bursting of the pocket. The advantages would be a smooth underside to the bar without a notch, and elimination of the stress concentration that a notch brings.

As you may know, a plank with a notch cut into it is actually weaker than a plank that's uniformly as thin as the thinnest section of the notched version. That's because the notch itself introduces a stress concentration, since the plank can't bend uniformly. Having the leather exit the "middle" of the bar keeps the upper and lower skins continuous, which is handy. Should be easy enough to layup as well.

Rough model:
 

>If your doing a single tree 2 won't be problem as you can figure your Cantle  position and make the surfaces match up at one particular location. You can't do that when you're designing for multiple seat sizes so you have to fill the space but still keep the shape.

I can see how that would make things difficult. That said, I'm going nutty enough thinking of the shapes involved in a single tree, so I'll leave making the more flexible commercial versions for folks like you.

>The three curve is a curve that is there to make it easier when laying up the tree. It will not make the seat in the narrower it will only add dead air space and you can see this very clearly in your drawings. Since you're doing this in the computer and you'll be able to use indexing there is no need to put that curve in and as a percentage think about how much bearing surface that adds.

Good thoughts again, thanks. I took my earlier model back out to the barn this morning, and looked at expanding that area. I came up with the following:



Pink is the old line. If I widen that any more, then the curve as the shoulder meets the barrel starts to make the bar surface get a little funky, but I think I've gained some very useful area regardless - thanks!

>My bars are concave to the degree that the muscles of the back are convex and we just put up radius on the edge of the bar to allow for the movement.

Good rule of thumb, thanks, and it's very similar to the number I quoted before (which was just going by eye).

These are the final mold forms, for now, with the gullet shape in the area under the half-seat. I've come close enough that I need something 3D to sight some things in by eye, so I think I'll start on the male mold in the next few days. Plan is to make a framework, plank it with wood, 'glass the outside surface, then fill the underside with concrete to prevent it from warping and/or crushing under vacuum. Heavy but substantial, and cheaper than the epoxy/sand mix I've used on other molds.



Thanks much!
Adam

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Well, this weekend was a balmy 9 degrees C so I spent a bunch of time out at the barn, but did get a good chunk of time to spend on the saddle tree mold.

I planked one side, and took a couple of photos in case anyone was curious what I was babbling about before.

Front end is facing left:



Front end facing right (planks left long for now):



Should hopefully be able to finish the planking by next weekend, then finalizing the shape with sanding templates prior to fibreglassing.

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Okay, so my last time estimate was a bit off - spring is here after all, so I've been out in the fresh air as much as possible. Going to press hard on this project now, however, since the saddle I'm riding right now slips so much that working at faster paces becomes a bit nerve racking.

In case anyone is curious or has suggestions, I thought I'd keep this thread up to date.

Planking done top:


Bottom:



Sand fill started:



I decided to go with sand in the end, since I couldn't find the right concrete mix (HydroCal). The epoxy/sand mix is expensive at $1/oz of epoxy (~60 oz), and the sand is heavy, but it ensures that the mold will never twist or distort. I used marine-grade laminating resin with an 8-hour cure/1 hour working time hardener.

Start by painting the planks with epoxy to bond them together, and saturate the wood with glue. Try to catch any drips that leak through to the top surface before the epoxy cures, since you're have to sand them back otherwise.

To minimize the amount of sand and keep the weight of the mold reasonable (ended up at ~30 lbs), I added blocks of pink polystrene insulation into the gaps and packed around them with the sand/epoxy mix.



Make sure to skim any protruding bits of sand off, or the mold won't sit level when you go to check the shape later on (I almost had a heart attack when I missed one spot, and thought my mold had twisted).

One layer of fibreglass prevents getting your hands sliced up on the sandpaper-like cured epoxy/sand mix:



Done. This is before sanding the planks smooth, and you can see where the bits of epoxy have leaked through and been wiped off with a paper towel before they cured.



AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Now the rough planks are sanded as smooth as possible. This is done after the sand is packed in, so that the pressure of the sandpaper bowing the unsupported planks doesn't give dips in the balsa.

I used 6 formers to check the shape as I went, and it worked well. A drywall sanding sponge with 80 grid sandpaper wrapped around it worked well for the rough sanding, and the drywall sponge itself (well used - about 300 grit) for finishing work. The sponge adjusts better to the contours then loose paper used by hand does, and is less likely to gouge or leave dips.



Since the epoxy between the planks sands differently then the balsa itself, and even different densities of balsa between adjacent planks sand differently, it's almost impossible to get a perfect surface without a little bit of filler.

Here I've used a nice drywall putty that goes on pink, and dries white. It sands easier then the balsa, so I use it for final contouring. Sands easily, so can go on liberally here.



Lastly, the sanding sponge is used to get the surface perfect. I tend to close my eyes and do the last sanding checks by feel alone, since I can pick up tiny ripples, twists and dents better that way.

Side view:



Top:



Last step for now is to apply a good coat of fibreglass to the finished mold surface. This will ensure that the surface is dent-proof for the most part, and will allow it to be polished later on.

I used about a 3 oz cloth I believe, and added graphite to the epoxy to see where it was soaking up a bit more easily. After this cures, there will be one more round of filling (to fill the weave) and polishing, possibly a last very light glass layer, then the mold should be ready to use.

I'm riding with Josh this week, but I can see the end of this part of the project in sight soon.


AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Hi folks,

Big update - seems to have been a worthwhile project in the end!

First, couple of notes on how the mold is finshed off. After another 'glass layer on the top, the edges are finished one at a time (just used on heavy layer of cloth on the edges):




I also went back and filled the end pieces with sand. I thought it would be tough enough without, but turning the mold on edge was making ominous cracking noises.




Finally, after the last round of fibreglass, I did a fine-levelling check. The mold wasn't warped, but the bit of sanding on the base left things a little off kilter. A couple of shims and a few patches of auto putty levelled things out permanantly. This way when I use the mold to make the rest of the tree later on, I have reference points to measure from a level table.




Lastly prior to using the mold, I used a little putty in the corners here, then sanded it to shape. That just blends the transition between the bars and bridge piece better, ensuring no sharp corners. Corners are generally the first place to get stress cracks, if they're going to form.




After that, I gave the mold a few coats of high quality mold release wax, buffed them out, and set the mold aside. The release wax I use is termed "Dolphin Wax", but that's not its official trade name.

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Next step was to start cutting carbon cloth. I used a combination of 80/20 carbon/s-glass cloth (4.7 oz), and 5.6 oz carbon cloth...mainly because I had it in the shop. If I did it from scratch I'd use a combination of 5.6 oz uniweb carbon and the 5.6 satin weave carbon cloth.

Layup schedule is an outer layer of fibreglass for scuff resistance, then 12 layers of cloth on the bottom. After building out the core of the bars, I'll add another 14 layers on top, for a total of 26 for each bar.






Here's a shot of the vacuum pump system. Its an adapted refridgerator compressor, and has an adjustable vacuum cutoff. I left it set at 19" Hg since that was what I was using before, but it could be set higher if I wanted the pump to run more often. As it is, that much vacuum means that there's the equivilant of about 4500 lbs of force spread evenly over the surface...roughly equivilant to the weight of my truck.






The cloth gets wetted out with epoxy one layer at a time, then as much excess as possible is removed with a credit card squeegee. THe cloth has to be completely wet, but any excess resin/glue actually weakens the final structure, since the cloth "floats" in the resin. The resin itself has almost no strength - that comes from the cloth. Excess is trimmed before going into the bag.



Here's the mold ready to go. The tube you see in the background is a vacuum resevoir made from a piece of sewer pipe - it helps the pump to not have to cycle on and off as often. The resevoir is connected to a small brass valve, and then to the vacuum bag itself...made of thin plastic. The edges are sealed on 3 sides, and then the blue/white clips are used to seal the forth side when the mold is slid inside.

The white fabric is called breather material, and allows the air to be drawn out of the bag. The white film is a porous release material, which helps the bag to avoid sticking to the mold. The roller is used to work excess epoxy out to the sides of the bar surfaces, where it will be ground off after things cure.

The wrinkles are almost unavoidable, and will fill with epoxy. That's just cosmetic however - it gets ground off as well.

Mold stays under vacuum at least 24 hours.



Finshed product:


AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Since the cloth wraps around the edges, it takes a lot of pursasion to come off the mold. The edges get carefully ground down with a combination of a dremel tool and bandsaw, making sure to not grind into the mold itself.

After freeing a couple of the edges, then you can slowly start to pry the mold free. If the wax is good, then it should pop free pretty easily. It also pays to design the mold so that there aren't any inside corners which can lock the part to the mold.

This is the end result:



After trimming some of the flashing off the part:




Bottom:



...and the pattern showing what the bar shape will look like after finish trimming:



The finished thickness of the material is about 3mm. Being pessimistic and assuming that the fabric to resin ratio is only 50%, that's still equivalant to a bar 3" thick out of good wood (assuming the layup mentioned for the top surface, and no strength contribution from the core).

Since I had done the design work and back tracings about 6 months ago now, I was a little leery of whether the fit would be good. Seems to still be fine thankfully!

Good fit in the center:



Clearance at the shoulder:



Clearance at the end of the bar:



I'll update again when the tree is all done.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,
    This is really fun for me to see. I've started a new line of trees I am fiberglassing. I just invested in a vacuum pump I'm trying to figure out how to use all this stuff. I asked the people I purchased my supplies from to give me everything I needed however my vacuum pump runs continually. They did not recommend or think that I needed a resin trap. I'm questioning this because the pump produces a lot of exhaust to the extent that when I came in in the morning the whole shop was filled with a smoke.
    I am also having trouble with the wrinkles and had a very large problem getting the air to evacuate from the bag when I had the entire 3-D shape of the tree and it.
It seems the front of the cantle will suck down and then block the flow of the air to certain parts of the back. I did not use any filler material but was planning to on my next attempt.  My other thought was to make U shaped hose with more outlets so that I have air sucking from multiple locations with in the bag.
    This vacuum bagging really sucks.  I'm looking for any and all advice I can get on it.

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Ask and ye shall recieve:

http://www.badger.rchomepage.com//vacbag.html

This gent is local, and he knows his stuff (we met in the same flying club). That's where I know my composite work from - airplane wings. The only change I made from his setup is to run a vertical hose off my oil inlet/outlet...then the oil runs out, up the tube, and back into the pump. Been 10 yrs or so, and I haven't had to top up the oil.

If you got your continuous running pump from a place with "aerospace" in the name, then I know the one. It's a cheapo little pump...designed for intro systems. It avoids the need for a vacuum switch by running continuously. Not sure what you mean by exhaust - is yours gasoline powered or something? :)

My pump has the adjustable switch, and runs for maybe 15 seconds every 5 mins or so if I have a good seal...more often if the bag seal is a bit more iffy. Having the switch isn't a big deal if your core is solid (other then noise and wear on the pump), but I do work on lighter materials like foam which can crush under too much pressure. The fridge pumps are tough and quiet, since they're designed for use in the home.

On the wrinkle side, I sympathize...tough to eliminate. That's why I made a mold, so my finished surface is set by the mold shape. You can eliminate the effect of the ripples by encasing the part in heavy mylar, but you're limited to surfaces that have curves that are primarily 2 dimensional, otherwise the mylar will bridge the curves.

That's why the wrinkles come in the bag as well...you have to pucker the bag a bit to get it to stretch into certain areas. It's also why I have the brass valve and roller. I'll draw light vacuum, seal off the valve, stretch and roll the bag over the part, then draw a little more vacuum off the valve. It's MUCH easier that way then to draw full vacuum all at once. The brass valve is just from Home Depot too...about $4.

If you need to get vacuum to parts of the mold where it isn't making it right now, that's where the breather cloth comes in. I use a dacron fabric, but paper towel will even do in a pinch. Just use a release film to prevent the cloth from sticking, and make about a 1" wide strip of breather to snake into the spot where the vaccum isn't sealing properly. In my photo you'll see that's how I get proper draw from the quick release bag fitting in the top left corner down to the part.


Another trick I didn't bother with due to laziness is to use a porous material kite quality kite dacron over the finished part. If you use that cloth on the part, then a backing of paper towel, the excess resin will be forced through the breather and soak into the towel. That's a good way to ensure a good resin/cloth ratio.


Finally, unless you're just going for an awful pun :) then just know that bagging is a LOT of trial and error. I've been through yards of fabric and gallons of epoxy learning how to do it. Just be glad you're not trying to transfer paint from mylar to a bagged part...that's a whole new nightmare!

Last edited on Wed May 5th, 2010 03:47 pm by AdamTill

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Thanks Adam!

I was going for an awful pun but am glad to hear I'm just experiancing a normal learning curve.

I did get a cheapy beginner level pump it is a 1/3 horse with an air displacement of 4CFM. They talk about the exhaust in the directions but I had no idea it would produce the amount it did.  I might not be using the gas Ballast correctly I'll just keep pluging away through the learning curve.

David Gendek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,
I have noticed some of the other tree companies are using the chopper to spray on the glass. It seems to give a good finish but I am wondering how the sprayed glass compares to the fabric in regards to strength? 
    I sat down with the president of the company that I buy my resins from and showed them the tree project and he really didn't even think we needed to use glass that the resins would strengthen the wood enough by itself. They suggested if I wanted to overkill it all I would need to do would be to glass the seams.  I am currently using a fabric and wrapping it around the entire bar so have a single thickness on the bottom but two layers of cloth on the top of the bar.  I would love to know your thoughts on this.

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Chopped glass mat or tissue has one useful structural purpose - to build up thickness quickly on something like a boat hull. It uses a massive amount of resin per volume, and resin has no particular structural value to increase the bending strength of a tree.

The reason we use resin in a composite is because fabrics have great tensile (pull-apart) strength, but poor compressive (push together) strength. The goal is align the fibres to take the load as much as possible along the fibre length, and let the resin take up the tendancy of the fibres to buckle.

If we use chopped glass with the fibres in random directions, then only a tiny fraction of the fibres will be oriented in the direction of load bearing (45 degrees to the length of the bar in torsion/twist, along the length in bending). The fibres which are non-load bearing just suck up resin (adding weight), and occupy space (adding weight).

If all you want to do is put a non-structural finish on a tree, then by all means. The chopped glass is very easy to apply, and won't pucker around corners or require darting like cloth will. It's impossible to use in an optimal way, however. Resin, per weight, is also MUCH more expensive then fibreglass, so what chopper systems do is maximize the amount of expensive resin per weight of cheap fibreglass.

If you're looking for strength from the chopped glass, then forget it...it's a concept along the lines of bed-liner material.

As for whether you want to use cloth at all, that depends on how strong the tree is. Resin will have some small value in preventing the fibres of the wood from buckling or separating, but it won't be much (try testing a board of wood under a few bricks vs a resin-soaked board...won't be much difference). You'd need to have all your strength coming from the tree however.

Taping the seams seems like a waste, as well, if that's all you're doing. A good wood-glue bond will be stronger then the wood that it's bonding, so tape isn't adding any value beyond spreading the load over a slightly wider area.

Two layers of glass on top isn't a bad idea, since glass is better under tension then compression. When I build a wing spar, I always make the top cap (picture an i-beam) twice as thick as the bottom, since I know that most of the loads will be to bend the tips upwards. I wasn't sure if I could say the same for a saddle tree, since I think the loads swing both ways (bending the bar in both directions). I still made my top surface designed thicker, but not to the same extreme.


Edit: that's why I mentioned using unidirectional carbon and satin weave as a combo. The uniweb is for bending along the bar, and the satin would be placed at 45 degrees to the long axis for bending loads. That would result is the absolute lightest tree possible...which wasn't my goal first-off.


If the glass is load bearing, you'll need to contain the burst component, which the single-piece wrap is doing to some degree. You could also wrap the finished bar with thread (called fibreglass/kevlar/carbon tow) to accomplish the same thing.

The risk for me, for example is that the carbon top and bottom caps are stronger then my planned wood core. The most likely thing to fail isn't the cap, but the glue between the caps and the core. I plan to avoid this issue by wrapping with kevlar tow as a last step, and possibly lacing the cantle and fork to the bars using that as well. Kevlar is most appropriate here since it's much tougher and more abrasion resistant then fibreglass and carbon fibre.

In summary - resin = expensive, heavy and weak. Minimize use thereof.

PS - One thought if you're covering bars on their own is to use braided sleeve. It's like chinese finger-trap material...you can compress it to expand, and pull it to tighten. If you could find material big enough, it would be very easy to slip over a bar, wet out, then throw into a vacuum bag. Then you could tape the seams between the bars/cantle/fork with wide glass tape.




Last edited on Wed May 5th, 2010 06:06 pm by AdamTill

Don Fenaroli
Member
 

Joined: Wed May 5th, 2010
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status:  Offline
Adam,
I'm new to this forum, but I wanted to thank you and Dave for sharing some of your process. Quick question; What is the length and area of the bar you just molded and have you radiused the outside edges?
How about you Dave, what is the area of the bar on your new fiberglass covered tree and how much do you radius the contact edges?
cheers
don

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,
Very interesting notion.  To use the tube I would have to cover the piece before I assembled. We would have to make some changes in their 3-D models and perhaps the indexing system to accommodate the thickness.  My  question is if I were to individually glass the pieces and then assemble would it be as strong as when I glass after assembly? If I fillet the seams properly does the glass really add much?

David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Don,

My new line of fiberglass covered trees is not a new shape it's just that they are  covered with fiberglass rather than Rawhide so currently the shapes are exactly the same as I'm using on my other lines.  My bars are currently 22 inches long put on my next generation of trees I will have three different sizes of bars to accommodate different seat leanghths.

I define the bearing surface starting in the front from where the thoracic side of the trapezius ties into the back and extend backward to the last rib and whenever possible I would like to use the anticlinal vertebrae as the backward limit. I try to keep the top of the bar about 2 inches away from the center of the horse and the bottom limit of the bar would be just above where the ribs pop out from under the Longissamus Dorsi muscle. In my mind that's all the bearing surface there is that can be utilized without interfering with the motion of the horse. From this perspective the narrowing of the waste of the saddle and the expansion of the pads on the front and the back of the saddle is counterproductive and serves no real purpose. My bars are also concave on the bottom which does seem to freak many people out. However, I have never seen concave shape on a  healthy back so the current practice of making convex bar bottoms seems to be driven by the sad fact that many horses backs are pathological.

I don't get too worked up over the radius as it seems to me if the designer has done his work and properly defined the shape of the back as a composite of the overall range of motion in the horse with the focus of the bearing surface being in the middle of the saddle  the radius then is not needed to allow for the motion as the motion has  been built into the shape of the bar.

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Hi Don,

Welcome to the forum. The plan view (vertical shadow) area of each bar is 96sq", which means the true area of the bar is probably a shade over 100sq" (200sq" total for both, obviously). I used my 2D CAD package to design this bar rather then the 3D version (which I keep meaning to learn how to use), so the actual area is more difficult to calculate directly. The bar is 22" long.

As Dave mentioned, most of the need for radiusing goes away with the bar designed the way it is. I'm not designing this to fit entirely behind the shoulder like most, so there isn't the same need to radius the front edge in particular. Also, the radiusing of most trees gets "undone" by a lot of the skirt blocking that saddlemakers use, so there's actually not quite so much in the final product as most folks thingk anyway.

The crown profile was discussed and shown earlier in the thread as well, if you're curious.

Dave - to your quesion about pre-glassing components, I guess I don't really know what's going to be strong enough. The tricky part about bonding pre-cured components is that the bond between the glassed parts is entirely mechanical, rather then the chemical bond before the resin cures. It's also why it's a bad idea to do layups in stages - if you let the inner layers cure, then the bond between inner and outer becomes mechanical only.

Now, I assume that you screw the joints together anyway, but I guess I can't really say whether the mechanical bond between parts would be good enough. The glass tape will spread the bearing loads over a wider area, but as for how much is enough...might be some tests required is all I can really say. How many good trees generally fail at the joint between the fork and bars? I would have thought the bigger site for failure would be at the stirrup cutouts.

I'm in this boat as well, obviously, and I'm still batting around ideas as to how I plan to deal with it. I'm making life further difficult by planning on leaving the fork in bare glassed wood, finshed bright like a very nice saddle Andy posted about on Leatherworker a few weeks ago. The cantle will be done like the bars, only with the outer layer done with cherry laminate over carbon skins over a softwood core. I like the concept of kelvar lacing the fork and cantle to the bars, but due to the brightwork, I'll have to keep the lacing below the level of the jockeys. More thought required...stay tuned I guess.

Cheers,
Adam

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Another thought would be to use kevlar tape instead of fibreglass for just the seaming. It's about 10 times the cost of fibreglass, but 7x the strength and MUCH tougher (far less likely to shear like fibreglass would).

You wouldn't use much of the tape per saddle, so the cost/benefit might be there.


David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

That is very interesting but it makes sense.  They talk about the crystalline structure of the resin as it cures and how you don't want to disrupt the formation of that structure. It would make sense that if the structures are in place and you put more on top that it would not be able to lik in the same way it would if it had  cured altogether.  I have been told that that really wouldn't matter and I'm actually using a thinner epoxy to presoak the parts and that is thicker epoxy to let the glass. It sounds like I would be better off to lay the tree up give it a soaking with the thinner epoxy then lay on the glass and wet the glass with the epoxy and slap it in the vacuum bag.

I am using some screws to hold parts together. I'm actually using a gel epoxy where the surfaces meet so it will do some filling where necessary and then I screw it in place.  The boat people I work with strongly object to using any attachments and tell me that that will cause failure in the long run. Considering thousands of saddles were made simply screwing a couple hunks of wood together and then slapping some canvas on them I have to guess that any of this is probably a huge amount of overkill.  The place trees will generally break is where the stirrup weathers one over and I also see breaks in the front it seems to me they're generally caused because of the attachment of the horn.

I'm really anxious to see what you end up with so hurry up and get it done!

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
I have a vaquero horsemanship clinic coming up in mid June, and I've been told that showing up there in my dressage tack would be...unadvisable :) The clinic organizer was nice enough to mention that I could borrow the Harwood-made Wade that I used on the last day of Josh Nichol's clinic, but I'd like to have my own done by then.

It'll be a bit of a push, but I picked up a length of clear basswood, my cherry veneer, and a lovely piece of 0.75" solid cherry at lunch today. Next week I should be able to get a bunch done.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Hey Deb used to do clinics with a red English saddle.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

     I have some more vacuum bagging questions . The reservoir you're calling a vacuum reservoir. What is the difference between a vacuum reservoir in what they call a resin trap?  If they make something called a resin trap that means that the vacuum is actually pulling excess resin and that gets me to wondering if I could vacuum bag my Rawhide trees and let the vacuum just pull water out of the Rawhide?

     The material you call kite Dacron won't stick to the resin?

David Genadek

Last edited on Wed May 12th, 2010 04:09 pm by David Genadek

ozgaitedhorses
Member
 

Joined: Mon Apr 30th, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 55
Status:  Offline
Hi David!
My experience is with vacuum pumps in chemistry labs – so not sure how your or Adam's setup differ from that.
The reservoir and the trap have two completely different functions. If your pump doesn't run constantly, but is triggered by a vacuum pressure sensor, having a reservoir gives a bit of a buffer that prevents the pump from being constantly turned on and off, on and off, on and off. It's also quite handy when you need several vacuum lines that can be used independently, to run them off the reservoir.
The purpose of trap on the other hand is to prevent solvents from getting into the pump. For that, the trap would typically be cooled with something like liquid nitrogen, dry ice/acetone or methanol. This would be a conventional lab cold trap: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cold_Trap.PNG.
And yes, you could suck the water out of your rawhide, but I don't think it will work in a bag setup. You need as large an 'evaporating surface' as possible, or you'd be waiting forever and a day – and you don't get that when the bag is sucked against the surface. And obviously you'd have to cool your trap with something better than plain ice, or your pump won't last very long. You are pretty much talking about freeze drying (although not all the way, or your rawhide will be too brittle), and that takes a lot of energy and, depending on the pump, can take quite a while....
Cheers,
Manu

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Well it looks like I still have an awful lot to learn on this project.

When I first got the notion of vacuum bagging the Rawhide to keep it tight to the trees and went out and bought on old dairy vacuum pump. My idea was that I would have a vent on one end of the bag vacuum sucking from the other to create air movement so everything could dry. That pump broke the first time I used it so my experimentation came to an end.

I think with my new pump resins are getting into the pump and that's what I'm getting a smoky exhaust. The manufacturer suggests changing the oil after every use. Oh learning curves can suck.

David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
    Ok I just did another go with the vacuum bagging and I'm starting to get a decent result on this complex shape.  I took my tube and spaced 6 Ts in it. On  each T I took breather fabric and made strips that I taped directly to the tee. I ended up with a tube going along out side parimeter on the inside of the bag with tails of breather  material.  I first tried a one yard long bag and it just didn't have enough material to make it over all the contours. I quick did another  2 yards long and that gave me enough material to get it done with minimul of wrinkles. I used some clamps to hold the breather material where I wanted it. A few hundred more and I'll have it down. 

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
David Genadek wrote: Adam,

     I have some more vacuum bagging questions . The reservoir you're calling a vacuum reservoir. What is the difference between a vacuum reservoir in what they call a resin trap?  If they make something called a resin trap that means that the vacuum is actually pulling excess resin and that gets me to wondering if I could vacuum bag my Rawhide trees and let the vacuum just pull water out of the Rawhide?

     The material you call kite Dacron won't stick to the resin?

David Genadek


Hi David,

Glad your recent attempt turned out better! It's really just practice, as with all things worth learning.

Appologies for not replying earlier - hadn't noticed these questions.

First the easy one - no, the dacron doesn't stick. A few folks I know use it as a release film. Here's a decent thread on release agents:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_2901684/anchors_2901684/mpage_1/key_/anchor/tm.htm#2901684

Second, Manu's licked most of what I would have said, but I'll add that we're actually using slightly different vacuum techniques from the look of it. My resevoir would double as a resin trap for the most part, but I tend to only associate traps with resin infusion techniques... ie, when the vacuum is used to draw resin through a dry part.

I use the vacuum not to draw resin (which leads to a slightly wetter, and thus heavier/weaker part), but simply as a large clamp. The parts are put in wet, and then left to dry.

Here's a description:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1179997

As for drawing the moisture out, while I'm sure it might be possible, I wouldn't know where to look to accomplish that. I suspect that a heat box would be far more useful then a vacuum bag, from that perspective, though you'd risk warping the part.

On my project, I did get a fair amount more done this weekend.

First I rough cut all the core blocks out of bass using my bandsaw, and did a bit of rough shaping on the sander. I left them quite thick since I didn't know quite how I wanted the shape to come out - I suspect I'll be sanding most of them away afterwards to get a much thinner part, especially at the ends.



Next I did the final shaping of the bottom plate, and glued one of the cross beams in place. Then I took it out to the barn to confirm the fit one more time, which ended up passing with flying colours.

Finally, I started the process of final shaping and gluing...which took longer then expected. Most of the time was taken up waiting for the epoxy and microfibre slurry to dry, so that things didn't shift when I was placing them down. Should be able to finish that process in the next couple of days, then I get to bond with my sanding tools for a few hours to coax the final shape out of the lot. In an ideal world, I'd be ready to bag the top surface by this coming weekend.


Val
Member


Joined: Thu Apr 5th, 2007
Location: Near Philly, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 116
Status:  Offline
This is fascinating! Thanks for taking the time to share such detailed descriptions and photos. 

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

    Alright some of the terminology is starting to make sense.  I'm starting to get a sense of what I'm doing. I don't understand how to know how much resin to use relative to the glass though.  I have three different resins here, one is very thin which is what the epoxy company recomended. The company I got my fabric sent me sample of two other resins that are more viscus. Originally I was told to use the least viscus to soak the wood and let it dry then add another coat with the glass but your suggestion of that creating a mechanical bond made sense so I'm going to try it all at once and see how that lay up works. 

     I'm trying a several fabrics in varying wieghts. The finer fabric seems to confom the  contours of the tree better. Does thicker = stronger?

     At the stage your at now you need to think attachments.  The attachments you plan to use will dictate your thickness in the areas where you will have an attachment.  This is some thing tree makers often neglect so when the saddle maker goes to put the saddle together he has to bend nails as he pounds and cut screws shorter.

David Genadek  

 

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Hi David,

Epoxies are like leather - there are different "grades" and "curing methods" to suit different purposes. The broad categories to start with are laminating resins and structural resins, and the names are as you think they might be. There are some speciality resins (tooling resins for mold surfaces etc), but they tend to be much less common.

Laminating resins are intended for use in composites, and tend to be quite thin/non-viscous. They're intended to wet out fabrics, for the most part. Normally the only additive that's used on them is a pigment  - I have a few colours that I can use for aircraft fuselages, or the graphite mold additive that I used here is another popular one. The only other one that I know of that's used on occassion is aluminum powder, which gives a tougher finish at some cost in weight and sandability.
 
There are different cure times and strengths for resins, which can be tailored to purpose. I use a mid-grade resin with a slow hardener, so that when I', working on a hot day there's enough cure time. The other thing it helps is when I'm squeegeeing off resin in a lamination, it slows the hardening, so that working the resin doesn't cause it to kick off (also helps to avoid kicking off the resin in the mixing pot, which can cause fires).

One neat thing about higher quality resins is that you can sometimes UV-cure them dramtically quicker then standard quoted times - this might come in handy in a production situation. Where I might pesimistically keep my West System resin under vacuum for 24 hours, MGS resin in a UV/heat box can develop a fully cured part (AT FULL STRENGTH) in an hour. This seems to violate the rule that the quicker an epoxy cures, the weaker it will be, but the fancier resins are designed to accomplish this.

Structural resins are more for bonding components, tend to cure a little quicker, but are often more expensive per volume. There are lots of neat additives to use with these, depending on the joint type. My favorites are glass microspheres for bonding weight-senstive components or to make sanding easier, and milled glass fibre as a vicosity builder (to avoid having the glue run) and strength additive.

In terms of getting the resin component correctly, the worst thing you can do is to end up with a dry spot in a layup, where the glass is visibly white or starved. The second worst thing is to float the cloth in gallons of resin, since it results in a weak, brittle part. Just split the difference and you'll be fine :).

Seriously though, there's only so much you can do without getting really paranoid. If I'm laying up in a mold, then I generally wet the cloth out on an MDF board that I scrape clean before and after a project (easier to clean the loose strings up with a paper towel when wet then with a chisel when dry). Then I drizzle on a thin dolop of resin, and use an old credit card to spread it around. Any excess goes back into the pot. I use enough pressure that I'm really getting out the excess, but no so much so as to dry the glass out or distort the weave excessively. If I'm being dilligent/paranoid, then I might blot the cloth with paper towel, and then lay in into the mold. If I'm working on a wooden part, then the only other step is to rub a quick skim coat of resin over the wood, so the wood doesn't suck resin out of the first layer of cloth and result in a dry layup.

If your resin is too thick, then heat will sometimes work to thin it out, but will dramatically reduce the working time before curing. Xylene works okay as a thinner, as does denatured alcohol, but both will slightly reduce the final cure strength.

On the glass front, generally thicker/heavier = stronger, though only to a point. On the thicker cloth grades, especially on plain weaves, the kinks as the fabric weaves in and out can actually weaker the finished cloth. For our purposes, that's probably more detail then we need to worry about.

Thanks for the reminder on the fasteners. I think the safe play is to leave things as thick as possible without interfereing with rider fit and/or looking too odd. The thinner bars are lighter, but keeping the laminates as far apart as possible increases the stiffness of the part (helpful with carbon). I think I'll switch to balsa for the seat buildup anyway...should be plenty strong enough.

Val - glad you're enjoying this...at first I wasn't sure if I was boring everyone to tears :)

Cheers,
Adam

Val
Member


Joined: Thu Apr 5th, 2007
Location: Near Philly, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 116
Status:  Offline
I'm an engineer manquee.  No doubt there are more of us watching this thread who are embarrassed to out themselves.  ;-) 

Val

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

    I don't know if you can tell from a picture but how does my ratio look? wink

If more real engineers got involved in the saddle industry it would stop all this crazy stuff like Flex trees and flexible panel systems from ripping the horse owner off.

Engineers WELCOME!!! Please speak up!!!!!

David Genadek

Attachment: fiberglass_resin_ratio.jpg (Downloaded 244 times)

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Looks fine from here - no whiteish dry spots, and you can still see the weave of the cloth.

As for the gimmicks, those will only stop when the marketing folks back off...that still happens when engineers are involved!

The horse world is still BY FAR the worst that I know of in terms of useful info to BS/"Tradition" ratio.

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline


Did some work on the weekend...lots of sanding mainly, until the drive belt from my sander gave out <sigh>. Hope to pick up a new belt in the next couple of days, then I can finish off the rough sanding.

Next tasks are to size the stirrup leather gap, glue the cap on, sand it to shape, then do the upper carbon fibre layup. Only have four more weeks to go before the clinic - might be riding in a semi-finished rig :)

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

    What did you use to stick everything together and to fill gaps?

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Hi David,

The wooden blocks were seated in a generous dolop of structural epoxy and chopped fibre, and the excess squeezed out and disposed of.

The few little gaps that resulted or intentional/unintentional changes in shape afterwards are the blueish spots in the photo, and that's the same Icing Putty I mentioned a few pages back (polyester-based autobody filler). Most of that will go away on final sand.

Cheers,
Adam

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
In terms of attachments the balsa wood doesn't have much holding ability. Will the resins increase that or will the resins and fiber give enough holding power?

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
You're quite right, balsa is pretty useless at holding anything but a really coarse pitched screw. You can tap a hole and then reinforce it with cyanoacryalate/super glue, but that's probably more work then it's worth for more then a couple of fasteners.

That's why I decided to do this tree in basswood, in the end. Later on when I know where each of the fasteners will go it might make sense to do a full balsa tree with local basswood screw plates, but for now I'm just going to do the seat buildup in balsa. That way I can use longer attachements that reach into the bass for a firm grip.

The composite might have decent screw holding if a pilot or pilot/tap was used, but nails without a pilot would be a disaster. At best it would take a horrendous amound of force, and at worst you risk splitting the laminate.

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Lots more progress, and so I might break this into two halves (waiting for the barn to open at 9:00 so I can get in a morning ride).

First off, this week I started by prepping the stirrup slot cover blocks and channels. That involved using a sanding block contoured to the desired shape, and a bit of filler here and there to build up some low spots.

Next, the two halves of the cover blocks were joined together at a slight bend, and the underside was sanded to shape.


The cover block was intentionally made about .25" wider on each side, and then sanded to a half round profile on the underside. The bar was given that same half round in relief, which provided lots of gluing area to bond the two together.

The cap block was then glued into place using structural epoxy and microfibre fill. I used a spacer to set the gap consisting of a scrap of 14oz leather, taped to a piece of cardboard for added clearance, all wrapped in waxed paper.



First side rough sanded, second side glued:



As you can see there was a lot of material to remove after, but the belt sander with an 80 grit belt made short work of that.

So, a few hours of sanding, checking, and more sanding, and this was the result:



(this was taken midway...before the tips were contoured to final shape)

Here you can see where the stirrup leather exits the bottom of the bar:



...and on top:



The leather would wrap around the upper surface of the bar and through the middle, rather then the upper and lower surfaces as is traditionally done. That (beating aside the marketing folks for a minute) has the advantage of no lower notch in the bar, which prevents both loss of strength and a possible lump under the saddle.


Last edited on Sun Jun 6th, 2010 02:52 pm by AdamTill

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Since I was on a roll, and can feel the hot breath of the upcoming clinic, I soldiered on (and will do so further today).

Picked up some nice med weight Herman Oak skirting and a bark-tanned shearling last week, so that I have it on hand for later:



Next spent an hour or so setting up a new vac bag, and prepping all the rest of the carbon fibre. I got ripped off by my local fabric supplier on a supposed short cut of cloth, which was a weird irregular, tattered section (my fault for not checking), so I won't be sourcing locally to them for fabric again. As such, I had to use some uni-web material that I keep in reserve, which created some issues later on.

The moral of the story is, don't use carbon uniweb on highly contoured surfaces! It's unidrectional carbon fibre that's lightly stitched together using a binder, which means it won't contour and distort very easily in the same way that woven fabric will. I only found that out after I had started the layup, so there were some early profanities involved until I tamed the web into place.

The other layers were normal 80/20 and then plain weave, followed by a top layer of glass. I had wanted 14 layers, but only had enough mat'l for 12...such is life. I had originally planned on a balsa core, so this layup should still be fine.

Pre-bagging:


...and under vacuum:



Again, slight wrinkles were inevitable, but largely minimized by about a half hour of pressing, rolling and pushing most of the wrinkles and bubbles off the edges.

I learned something new as well - shears are great for cutting wet cloth. Normal heavy scissors just "smoosh" the wet cloth, but these short-blade snips will cut through 8-10 layers of wet cloth perfectly. They also seem to work on kelvar, which is notoriously tricky to cut any other way (special snips are generally sold for that...VERY expensive). It'll be interesting to see how long they hold their edge.

Anyway, barn time. This afternoon I'll start on the fork and cantle, since the bars won't be taken out of the bag until tomorrow.


 

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

     What is the pen scribbling about? 

     Your arch keeps concerning me. It doesn't look like it has enough clearance underneath.

David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

     Here is a shot of three bars we did trying to standardize the top shape across differnt back shapes. I put the thicknesses they ended up on the top edge. One was 2.5 inches which I thought was just too much for a number of reasons, most of which were customer perception issues. Your shapes are looking pretty thick on that top edge how thick are they?

David Genadek

Attachment: bar-thickness.jpg (Downloaded 139 times)

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
>What is the pen scribbling about? 

That's the area where the fork will sit. Since I'm going to recess it into the gap a bit (notch the bottom of the fork to come down into the gullet area), I wanted to leave that part of the bar with a sharp upper edge. The rest got rounded off for appearance's sake.

>Your arch keeps concerning me. It doesn't look like it has enough clearance underneath.

I think it's mainly an optical illusion. There's lots of clearance under there:



>     Here is a shot of three bars we did trying to standardize the top shape across differnt back shapes. I put the thicknesses they ended up on the top edge. One was 2.5 inches which I thought was just too much for a number of reasons, most of which were customer perception issues. Your shapes are looking pretty thick on that top edge how thick are they?


I did jot the numbers down somewhere, but I can't find them right now. I'll measure tonight when I take things out of the bag, but it's somewhere around 1 3/4"-2 in the arch area tapering to about 1" up front.

It seemed to make sense to build a lot of the seat shape into the bar, rather then to have a thinner bar and make it up with leather thickness afterwards. My only customer is me :)

Spent the remainder of yesterday's work time making basswood dust...or taking a 3" lamination of wood and carving away anything that didn't look cantle-like. Even though I'm limited in shapes by the proposed laminate, this isn't looking too bad so far, I think (still very rough, obviously):



1/2" thick at the edge right now, 3" in the middle, 1 1/4" of dish on the front surface





Obviously still rough, but the general angles seem like they'll work:

 

Last edited on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 01:48 pm by AdamTill

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Yep an optical illusion.  I have often thought you could just do a saddle and leave off the front and back arch and just make a tunnel  the whole length of the seat.  To me this would be a design that had not been doable in the past because  the materials didn't exist. Although, the Gaucho saddle is darn close to that.  

I'll be interested to know what kind of issues you run into when you construct the saddle  with the thickness on that upper edge. It should actually make things easier. It makes perfect sense. The flatter the back is from side to side the higher up the seat needs to go to get the seat for the rider.  People will think your crazy but from one loony tune to another your dead on.  It is fun to see someone else go through the process and discover the same reality.

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
>Yep an optical illusion.  I have often thought you could just do a saddle and leave off the front and back arch and just make a tunnel  the whole length of the seat.  To me this would be a design that had not been doable in the past because  the materials didn't exist.

Assuming that you wanted a stiff tree, then carbon fibre (or some composite) would certainly make that a possibility. If this saddle works out as planned, applying these techniques to something that looks more like an english saddle would be interesting. A sheepskin lined, hard bar dressage saddle with tooled veg-tan flaps would be fun :)

>Although, the Gaucho saddle is darn close to that. 

Those are the ones with the stuffed bar tubes, correct? Based on my experiences with soft treed saddles, they're probably far better riders that I am right now :) I need just a little more help in the seat then a flexible saddle allows for.

That's the old $(M) question, I guess. You can have a supportive saddle, or a flexible one. Blends of the two rarely serve either purpose.

>I'll be interested to know what kind of issues you run into when you construct the saddle  with the thickness on that upper edge. It should actually make things easier. It makes perfect sense. The flatter the back is from side to side the higher up the seat needs to go to get the seat for the rider. 

I think it should hopefully make things much easier - the seat should be almost a layer of leather straight onto the finished seat surface, rather then a buildup. I respect the way things have been done in the past, but having a 5 layer built up leather seat seems like a chopper-gun situation - maximizing the amount of expensive leather to compartively cheap basswood.

We'll see soon enough.

>People will think your crazy but from one loony tune to another your dead on.  It is fun to see someone else go through the process and discover the same reality.

Nobody's ever accused me of being normal, so no big loss.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
"I think it should hopefully make things much easier - the seat should be almost a layer of leather straight onto the finished seat surface, rather then a buildup. I respect the way things have been done in the past, but having a 5 layer built up leather seat seems like a chopper-gun situation - maximizing the amount of expensive leather to compartively cheap basswood."

We'll see soon enough.


Have no doubt it will work. I got traped in the get people closer to the back game 25 years ago. I was working with rieners and cutters and they kept telling me to get them as close to the horse as possible so I did and they didn't like it. I got pissed and went the other way and they said now that is a deep seat. Been doing it that way ever since. One filler piece under the strainer a thick stainer cover with a skived edge and one piece over that to smooth out seams and to create the finished shape. Takes about a half hour. 

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Finished knocking the high spots and gloss off the tree last night, and grabbed this shot of the profile:


It's 2" thick at the arch, 1 1/4" up front, and about 0.5" at the back.

BTW - in a free calendar I noticed this triangular-style breast collar on a horse. Does that have a special name/purpose beyond the normal function of a breast collar?


AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Deadline approaching...not sure I'm going to make it!

First step this weekend was to lay out all the fork parts on my cherry board. Getting the grain running in the right directions required splitting the slices into 2 or 3 pieces, which I epoxied back together eventually.

The board was 0.75" thick, and I used 6 laminations.



Back together:



Fork laminations glued together. The outer laminations have the grain running up and down, and the inner ones alternate at 45 degrees to vertical.



Many, MANY hours of shaping and sanding later:



...and the horn cap:



 

Last edited on Mon Jun 14th, 2010 01:36 pm by AdamTill

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
I was too tired of sanding to do the fine sanding prep on the fork yesterday, so I decided to start laminating the cantle.

Cutting the cherry laminate slightly oversized:



Cutting the kevlar cloth:



...in the bag:



There's a heavy layer of fibreglass outside of the laminate as well, for ding resistance. Tonight I'll do the other side, then I'll add about a 1/4" rim of solid wood, and then an outer layer of light glass to finish the whole thing off.

 

Don Fenaroli
Member
 

Joined: Wed May 5th, 2010
Location:  
Posts: 2
Status:  Offline
Adam,
I'm loving this project.
When you get a free moment, tell me about the vacuum bag closures shown in the pictures. Are they split tubes?
I'm still using weatherstripping gum to close the bags. Are the tubes re-usable?
Cheers
d

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Hi Dan,

Caught me on lunch, so good timing.

Seals are these, completely reusable:
http://www.acp-composites.com/home.php?cat=262

Caulk is a pain, so I long ago switched to these. I've been meaning to order some of the longer ones, but until I started working on this project, I had no need for them. Now I'm going broke buying saddlery tools!

Cheers.
Adam

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

     Those bag closures are awesome. I've been having a Dickens of a time with the tape. I've been using duct tape to seal the bag and just using the putty tape where absolutely necessary. 

    What is the white material?  Release film or breather cloth?
You may be changing my mind about doing the whole tree at once although from  a production stand point three lay ups is a harder than one. I am interested to see your method of putting everything together. I use indexing holes to align everything so I am interested to know how you will position your arches.  

    If you have not gotten a round knife yet contact me off list and I will give you the name of the guy to buy it from. I have now cut over thirty saddles with my knife and have not had to sharpen yet. Normally I sharpen after every saddle.  These are by far the best that have ever been. This guy is out of Rochester MN and when I first saw the knives they were as good as anything I've had in the past then he came and spent an afternoon with me cutting out saddles and went back to the drawing board and came back with the knife of knives.

David Genadek

 

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline

It's probably either white cloth (spun dacron or something like immitation fleece) or paper towel that you're seeing, which is breather. I use waxed paper as a release if I'm not trying to squeeze out resin, and the perforations of releas material would make the surfaces of these "bright finished" parts look odd.

>You may be changing my mind about doing the whole tree at once although from  a production stand point three lay ups is a harder than one. I am interested to see your method of putting everything together. I use indexing holes to align everything so I am interested to know how you will position your arches. 

I'm not using indexes to avoid bucking the line of the carbon fabric, which preserves strength. That said, with the built-in arch, the worst misalignment should only result is a slight skew to the fork or cantle (cosmetic), not an actual misalignment of the bars (structural). Might be at that point this weekend...depends on how much work time I get.

>If you have not gotten a round knife yet contact me off list and I will give you the name of the guy to buy it from. I have now cut over thirty saddles with my knife and have not had to sharpen yet. Normally I sharpen after every saddle.  These are by far the best that have ever been. This guy is out of Rochester MN and when I first saw the knives they were as good as anything I've had in the past then he came and spent an afternoon with me cutting out saddles and went back to the drawing board and came back with the knife of knives.

If you wouldn't mind sending that name to me in a PM that'd be great! I do have a Stohlman round knife, and it's okay, but I've always had a fondness for good tools. The first time I used a Watt bisonette edger vs a Tandy one, for example, was an eye opening experience.

Anyway, made some 2 steps forward, 1 back progress on the cantle this week.

The first was confirming a little voice which had been nagging me during the last layup; namely that the fibreglass cloth that I'd been using was going to be too thick to see the wood surface properly. Turns out, I was correct...the finish was very cloudy.

For the cantle backside, I used a much lighter weight of fibreglass (looked about 2oz vs 8 oz), and the wood colour came through much richer. Getting the cloth layers aligned for the cantle back was an absolute nightmare, however, since the various layers didn't want to stay put without wrinkles or distortions. Got it done, but there was a bit of colourful language involved.






Since the colour was much better with the lighter cloth, I ended up adding another wood layer to the front as well. I scuffed the existing glass, and bonded on another layer of laminate and glass.



I also started to rough shape the flashing, and as you can see, encountered one of the many joys of working with Kevlar...it doesn't sand very easily at all. Even with a belt sander, it tends to fuzz rather then abrade...which is why they use it in high wear applications. If anyone chooses to work with kevlar, be careful sanding to do as little as required, and make sure that you never have to sand a kelvar surface that will be an exposed outer layer (it'll fuzz up and be impossible to finish cleanly).



To show the difference in surface finish between the heavy and light glass, this is heavy:




...and this is light:


David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

    One of the people that I learned from was Kathleen Bond. I was pretty young and got pretty up set when I made a mistake. So she carved this up for me one day.

David Genadek

Attachment: mistakes.jpg (Downloaded 224 times)

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
I like that one David...have to keep it locked away in the old memory banks for "those days".

Was fairly useless this weekend for the most part, since I was generally pretty knackered. Did get some work done nonetheless, which continued on to this evening.

First off, in case anyone was curious about the fork stations from before, this is the general layout of the six layers and cap:



Next was the border work on the cantle. I started by shaping the edges of the laminated core with a 60 grit belt on the sander, then switched to a high-speed dremel with an 80 grit band to de-fuzz the kelvar edges. The higher speed of the dremel seems to seal the kevlar better, and leaves a clean edge.

The border was added in four sections for sake of my sanity, and while the seams are a little more obvious then I'd like, I'm sure it'll work out fine in the end.



Since the wood is 0.75" thick, it needed to be VERY carefully feathered into the edge of the laminate. I'll add another layer of glass to bond everything together and so wasn't worried about the glass layer, but I was quite concerned about going through the 1/64" thick laminate. I used tape as shown to show me when I started to nick the inner edge, and basically very carefully removed material with the belt sander. Worked slowly, came out great.





Wasn't sure how thick to make the upper edge, but 4mm looked about right.

The last task for today was to lay out the kevlar reinforcements for the bars. The thin cord is kevlar tow, and the thicker bar slot edging is stitched cloth. I've just tacked things in place with ca (cyanoacrylate/super glue) for now, and will wet it out and rebag the bars when I get a minute.



This should hopefully eliminate any issues with the carbon delaminating from the core.

Last edited on Wed Jun 23rd, 2010 04:22 am by AdamTill

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Ok I tried everything on my pump issue but it still billowed white smoke. I called the palce where I purchaes it and thye told me to call the factory. The factory guy asked me a few question and then said it was defective. They had me a new one in two days. So far no billowing exhaust.

David Genadek

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
David Genadek wrote: Ok I tried everything on my pump issue but it still billowed white smoke. I called the palce where I purchaes it and thye told me to call the factory. The factory guy asked me a few question and then said it was defective. They had me a new one in two days. So far no billowing exhaust.

David Genadek

Good to hear...sounds like a motor eating its windings or something of the sort. Glad to hear that you're sorted, at any rate.

Back from my clinic, so started work again. Not in quite so much of a rush, but getting into my old saddle after a weekend in a good Wade was very unwelcome, so I do have some serious motivation to finish.

First up was to do a bunch of fork work to get that to align properly. After much grinding, and humming and hawing, I decide to overbevel cutouts and then pot the fork in filler. That way I'd get a perfect fit, with maybe just a little exposed fill line to cover up with some leather.



The bars were wrapped in crinkled saran wrap, to give the textured look seen here. Those little grooves will fill with epoxy, to help lock things in place.

Fit before gluing:



Drilling 8 screw holes per side with a drill press:



Scuffing the bars to maximize adhesion of the epoxy:



Mixing the glue with milled fiber to the consistency where it won't run off the popsicle stick:



Potting it generously in glue to the point where glue runs out around all sides (so you know there's an even coat under there):



...and wiping the excess into a small fillet:



I'll redrill the screw holes and screw the fork home when the cantle is in place.

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
My very high tech cantle jig, with the ends tacked in place with superglue:



Equally high tech marking method for finding the bevel on the cantle mating surface:



The curves for the back side:



The core plug for the cherry inset:



Plug loosely in place:



...and the faired and filled gullet:





AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Home stretch on the tree...now just down to the fibreglassing and varnishing.

Screws to hold fork in place (2" at tip, 2.5" #8's elsewhere):


Dollops of filler, sanded flush afterwards:



Drilling cantle holes:



Finishing with a long drill:



Gluing cantle in place:



Cantle screws (3.5" countersunk 0.75")...basically given up on the kevlar bindings:



Seat filler and cantle fairing:



Finished tree in the rough:



2 layers of 'glass:




Last edited on Thu Jul 15th, 2010 04:01 am by AdamTill

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Finishing off the 'glassing process...again, two layers on each surface.

Cantle Front:


Boo forgetting to sand out the blemishes at the top of the cantle...oh well:


Fork front:


Fork back:


Right fork prep:


Glassed:


Left fork prep:


Glassed:


Next up was 3 coats of epoxy to fill the weave of the cloth, sanding heavily between each coat with 60 grit sandpaper taken from a belt sander band.

After that, I gave the fork and cantle 3 coats of spar varnish, wet sanding with 220 grit paper between each coat.

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
That means...shockingly...I'm finally finished the tree! Whew...now just need to build the rest of the saddle :)

From the side:


Head to the side:


Head down (apologies for the lighting):










Definitely learned a lot, and have a number of things that I'd do differently next time.

For example, I'm not quite sure how the tree will fit when I slim Tindur down properly, but I suspect that I'd cant the fork forward a few more degrees next time.  I'd probably slim the front lip down a fair amount, and add a bit more taper to the front in general.

On the cantle side, I suspect that a bit more of an even bend through the cantle next time would be wise, along with a thicker top lip. I'd also be a bit more careful with the filler, since filler that's invisible during the dry sanding phase can become painfully obvious under the gloss coats!

The bars are generally okay, but could be thinner in the rear (and especially) the front. Would save a bit of weight, and make for an easier time fitting the jockeys closer. The stirrup slot should work okay, but I suspect that making allowance for a bit more stirrup swing will be wise.

The last "out there" idea that I might incorporate is a channel down the center of the seat that I've seen done in one mfgrs english saddles, which is supposed to leave a bit of clearance for the rider's tailbone. Seems like a sensible idea that I can directly relate to, and I just listened to an interesting podcast on the subject. I'll mock something up to see if theory matches practice, given that it doesn't always!

All in all, been fun so far, but REALLY looking forward to getting a rideable saddle together!

kuuinoa
Member
 

Joined: Wed Mar 21st, 2007
Location: Keaau, Hawaii USA
Posts: 26
Status:  Offline
That is a beautiful tree!  I've been following this (somewhat) with interest.  I haven't always understood it all, being one to swim in deeper waters with the big fish when I'm just a tadpole, but I've enjoyed it.  Beautiful tree.

~K~

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Adam -- there are indeed a number of things you need to change about this tree, and also about the way your 'eye' works.

First, you're placing the tree on the horse wrong. In these photos, it is too far forward until the animal puts his head down and this motion of his body causes the saddle to slide back into the proper position.

Second, I want you to look at the rear view photo. You see the bottom edge of the cantle? Where do you think that's going to go, Adam, the moment you sit down on him? You're going to have to carve it out. There is a reason why a saddle has a gullet down the center, which is to prevent any portion of the tree or the seat or any other part of the saddle, or the rider's body, from touching the dorsal processes of the animal's spine. Indeed this is the reason why saddles must have bars: so that the bars may act as 'footings' to uphold whatever construction there may be above them, for the same fundamental purpose.

Third, you can see for yourself in the 2nd-to-last photo, the one shot 3/4ths from the rear, that again, as soon as you sit down in the saddle the rear portion of the bars are going to gouge the horse in the loins. No padding or rigging can make up for this. Neither can shortening the bars, which would unbalance the whole system.

In short....yes, it's a learning experiment. But Adam, in all truthfulness, I would not, if I were you, waste any effort on putting a housing on this tree. You now need to build another tree, one that actually fits the horse. You did good in some areas, particularly through the front end of the saddle, where you learned from Dave G. to put enough flare. Unfortunately there's not enough rock, at least through the rear portion of the tree.

What should be on tap for you at this point is, to put this one on the shelf, and start again. Not unheard-of by any means when attempting to learn any art at the master's level. I wonder how many violins Guarneri or Amati made, before he had one that really merited his signature? -- Dr. Deb

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,
What I see is your horse has this funny thing on his back and he is not real sure of it so he is upside down. You would never want him in this non weight bearing posture when you are on his back. No saddle will fit if the rider fails to ask the horse to be in a weight bearing posture. I am of the opinion that if you put him in a weight bearing posture you would have enough rock in the current shape. I do always put a bit of flair on the end of the back of the bar to prevent it from digging in. Which is increasing the rock but I do it in the last few inches of the bar rather than adding it through out the bar. Unless you do a lot of this it is really hard to translate tree fit to finished saddle fit. Adding the skirts will change the dynamics a lot. You should get some skirting and some wool and cover the bars like they would be with skirts on. You will be surprised how much things will change.
Your cantle gullet is problematic. You have enough clearance in the front of the cantle but you have it going down at an angle toward the back so it will hit the horse. That should have been level. You have to leave enough room in there so when you put your rear housing and skirts on it does not create a lump.
The angle of your front arch is also problematic and could cause some real issues when riding. It is also making other things look really scewed. When I take the arches off in my mind the placement and fit look as I would expect on a bare tree. I see shadows being cast from the bars in the front so once the wool is on I think the shoulder will pass under without moving the saddle if you do your rigging right. That issue with the front is a common problem I have had with experienced tree makers on this shape of back so your not alone on that one.
I would add the wool and stick a rigging on and give what you have here a go so you can really get a feel for it. I think your really close.
All in all this is an incredible job for a first go!!!!I wish I would have been that close on my first attempt. For your next one, find someone with a 3 axis router that can cut the parts for you. People that own shop bots have a whole community that you can tap into.
David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
I photoshoped the front to make things look a bit more normal

Attachment: BareTreeSideHeadDow_modified.jpg (Downloaded 330 times)

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Here is one with head up

Attachment: BareTreeSide3-modified.jpg (Downloaded 326 times)

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
David -- I find 'photoshopping' enormously useful because, if one records the amount which one had to rotate the image or fraction of an image in order to correct the problem or make things appear normal or right, then one also knows pretty much what needs to be done with the actual object. Do try photoshopping the rear part of the tree, which might give Adam an indication of how much he could carve out (if that would not make the rear part of the bars too thin). -- cheers -- Dr. Deb

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Hi folks,

Thanks for the feedback, and it largely confirms what I had been fearing. I got to borrow Jeremiah's video set from the owner of a leather supply place here in town, so I've learned lots more about why things are done the way they are.

To address some of the points:

1) cantle clearance. I can fit a full middle finger knuckle  between the bottom of the cantle and Tindur's spine, so despite what it might look like there's more clearance there then there looks to be. I hadn't anticipated covering the bottom of it with leather, so that clearance would actually grow when the skirting leather and shearling got added to the bottom of the bars. Don't actually think it would have rubbed.

That said, I did forget that the back jockeys generally get tucked under the cantle, so the arrangement wouldn't be ideal. The intention here was to provide more bonding surface for the cantle, but next time I'll stick to tried and true shapes there.

2) rock - the tree looks worse above then it is without the rigging, so here's a test rigged version.



This sits a bit more level. I'd probably opt for a Sam Stagg double loop over the horn, which would have placed the front ring more in line with where it seems to want to sit.

Also, when Tindur moves, he's been taught how to raise his back pretty well on the lunge, so there's plenty there, but the rock profile is off:





Those are weird photos to take, and the video is worse!

There seems to be too much "belly" in the main rock profile, and not enough length to the upswept bar length that extends past the end of the cantle. I'd think with a bit more rock there, and an inch or so more bar length, it would work better. I found a photo online of a bar markup in the raw, so I can see what David means about a better distribution of rock.

I also tried just sitting in the saddle, and it confirms that I think the seat length is a bit long for the bar length. An extra inch or so would prevent the back end from digging into the loin. (the stirrups are english leathers, and have ended up sliding too far forward here)



3) fork alignment. I goofed there, and knew it as soon as I took it out to fit Tindur again. I aligned them at home on the mold, which (it turns out) depicts a far more "downhill" build then Tindur actually has. So, what looked right at home looks wierd on Tindur. I'd imagine dallying on that would be tricky, and it definitely looks funny. Oops.

I think I'll try a more "normal" bar construction this time in the interests of saving a bit of time. I think a 3d machine would be fun to own, but programming the profiles for someone else's machine might take me as long as whittling a set out by hand! I know it's a great community (I have a friend who built a hot wire cutter this way), but this is too messy to do downstairs, and I don't have room for a cutter tray in my garage.

I'm not too discouraged by this, but thanks anyway for the encouragement. I didn't expect to hit a home run first time out, though it would have been nice! Given the cost of leather and comparatively low cost of wood, I'll probably wait for a more ideal tree to build a proper saddle on.

Last edited on Wed Aug 4th, 2010 03:04 am by AdamTill

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Adam -- the cleverest thing you've done here is figure out how to take a picture of yourself taking a picture of yourself!

Yes, anything I've said has been meant as encouragement, even if it's giving you an 'A' for effort and an 'F' for fit. It's the part of a friend....not only to you, but also, more importantly, I'd be a friend to Tindur, and I know you would be also.

Yes, David has hit the nail on the head: the distribution of the rock needs changing. Perhaps you can experiment with this -- not to really use the saddle this way, but to get a better idea for your no. 2 tree -- by not only applying the skirting and wool as Dave suggested, but also using some extra wool, piling it up to make the shape right. That, or some kind of clay that would harden, and you make the new shape by applying that to the bottom of the tree, and then put the wool on that.

To me, the hardest thing there would be preserving the shape, transferring it if you will to the new tree. How does one do that for a 3D object?

And yes -- the rigging will often improve the fit of a tree. I've learned this from David and also observed it myself, that if you have a saddle that doesn't fit right, and you make appropriate changes to the rigging, it will often then fit correctly or if not perfectly, then close enough to be workable. Changing the rigging makes the pressure "flow" from one area of the tree to a new area, redistributing the pressure instead of redistributing the shape itself.

One other item -- Adam, I understand in the mirror shot you must have been at least 50% with your mind on taking the photo, leaving only 50% to be thinking about how you are sitting. But I want you to think about how you are sitting. First, though you're hardly overweight, the distance from the buttons of the fore arch straight back to the buttons of the cantle arch on this tree leaves barely enough room for your leg. In other words -- this saddle isn't going to be comfortable for you if you gain ten pounds, and really ought to be at least a little bit bigger even so.

Second, you're sitting too much on the flat of your ass. You need to open your thighs more (left-right), concentrate harder on sitting right down on your seatbones, with the tip of your pubis just grazing the saddle in front, and no part of your tailbone touching the seat in back. You also need to keep your buttocks off the cantle. In short, you need to figure on riding farther forward on the seat, with a 20% difference in the angle and weighting of your pelvis.

The magic picture to have on this comes from contemplating the old calvalryman's wisdom-phrase, "you must have your horse ahead of your leg at all times." The horse must be ahead of your leg. If this is so, then it must be true that your leg must be below and behind your horse. When you're sitting in the saddle, you picture that the calves of your legs form a wide "V" that opens to the front, like you were sitting with your legs wrapped around the cup of a funnel. Your calves touch the horse just below the widest part of his barrel (even if this is not literally true, you picture it being so). When you picture it thus, you will function as if not seated UPON him but instead as if you were seated on a platform, like a sulky driver's seat, that extends directly out from behind his buttocks. It will be as if your crotch were pushed right up against his tail, with your legs reaching forward around his barrel. You do this, and lo and behold, you will find your whole body doing all the right things. You think, "my body is behind and below my horse," then  your horse will respond by going FORWARD AND UP, and that's where we want it to always go.

Sitting right will make any saddle fit better; it has as much effect as improving the rigging, and a good rider has saved many a horse's back through a long day's ride, even when the tack didn't really fit right. -- Dr. Deb

ozgaitedhorses
Member
 

Joined: Mon Apr 30th, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 55
Status:  Offline
Hi Adam!

I've been following this thread with interest and I am utterly impressed with your workmanship. Looking forward to  the next installment ;-)

If you were to finish this one, What would the rigging be like?
You mentioned a 'Sam Stagg double loop'. I tried to google for a pic but wasn't all that successful. Would you elaborate, please? (So that someone used to English saddles can understand, please!)

From the fotos it looks like Tindur's natural girth groove is straight under or even slightly forward of the fork - which in my mind makes it tricky to prevent the girth from pulling the saddle onto the shoulders. I am struggling with this on one of our horses and had to resort to a luna girth, but I'm wondering whether there's another way...

Hoping that David might chime in here, too.

Cheers,
Manu

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Manu,
Why is the "Girth Groove" there?
David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

Here is what my cantle gullets look like:

You need enough space in there to stick all the layers that come together there,

and still have enough room to create a good tunnel for the spine.


Here is the shot of the tad of rock I add to the end of the bar.


I went and looked at where you originally designed the tree to sit and it seems to me that you are now placing it about 6 inches further back than where you designed it to sit. So of course your rock profile would be off.
Deb is correct that the tree makers often design the trees to sit further back and now it has become a disease in the industry. You, however, went through all the real work to define the most logical place for the saddle to sit and designed accordingly. I still think if you stick to your guns it will work. Here is a link to Liz's blog where she just posted some pictures of her riding in some of my saddles.
http://elizabethgraves.blogspot.com/ Look at how forward the saddle is placed. Look at how the horses are coming through. Note how you can almost see the entire lumbar span. If you get Equus go read Deb's article on necks then notice the necks on these horses and notice there is not a bit on any of the horses. Lastly look at the abs and see how engaged they are. What all this tells us is she is creating the gaits a hundred percent through spinal oscillation. This would not be possible if the forward position of the saddle was blocking anything.

"I also tried just sitting in the saddle, and it confirms that I think the seat length is a bit long for the bar length."
Is this statement True of False?
The saddle fitting zone on a horses body gets larger as the size of the rider increases.
If you add more length to the bars will you be weighting the Lumbar span?
You might remember these diagrams from class.

If you weight the lumbar span you will be interfering with these systems. I recently did a clinic at a marketing center for one of the major equipment retailers. The folks that brought me in were beginning to have questions. They were allowed to bring me on the condition they did not advertise the fact that I was going to be there. As I explained the relationship between the lumbar span-stifle-hock I noticed one participant getting upset. I asked what was wrong and she shared with me that she was just at the main marketing center for this retailer in Colorado and every horse in the barn was having hock problems and they couldn't figure out why. The main salesman has been teaching that you need to be able to easily touch the croup with your hand while riding, in short he is teaching everyone to weight the lumbar span and everyone one of his horses is suffering from it and everyone of his students horses will suffer for it. However, it just creates a new business opportunity videos on how to put your horse down.

It is easy for us to understand that we don't want weight on the shoulder. It is just as important if not more important that we keep the weight off the lumbar span. This becomes even clearer when you understand the dorsal ligament and the muscle groups that attach to it.

Many saddle makers attack the problem from the perspective of being an upholsterer and from this perspective it is true that proportionately it looks better on a saddle when you have a certain distance from the back of the cantle to the end of the bar but this has nothing to do with the anatomy of the horse. If only there were big moving bumps on the lumbar span like there is for the shoulders.
David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Adam,

Here is what my cantle gullets look like:

You need enough space in there to stick all the layers that come together there,

and still have enough room to create a good tunnel for the spine.


Here is the shot of the tad of rock I add to the end of the bar.


I went and looked at where you originally designed the tree to sit and it seems to me that you are now placing it about 6 inches further back than where you designed it to sit. So of course your rock profile would be off.
Deb is correct that the tree makers often design the trees to sit further back and now it has become a disease in the industry. You, however, went through all the real work to define the most logical place for the saddle to sit and designed accordingly. I still think if you stick to your guns it will work. Here is a link to Liz's blog where she just posted some pictures of her riding in some of my saddles.
http://elizabethgraves.blogspot.com/ Look at how forward the saddle is placed. Look at how the horses are coming through. Note how you can almost see the entire lumbar span. If you get Equus go read Deb's article on necks then notice the necks on these horses and notice there is not a bit on any of the horses. Lastly look at the abs and see how engaged they are. What all this tells us is she is creating the gaits a hundred percent through spinal oscillation. This would not be possible if the forward position of the saddle was blocking anything.

"I also tried just sitting in the saddle, and it confirms that I think the seat length is a bit long for the bar length."
Is this statement True of False?
The saddle fitting zone on a horses body gets larger as the size of the rider increases.
If you add more length to the bars will you be weighting the Lumbar span?
You might remember these diagrams from class.

If you weight the lumbar span you will be interfering with these systems. I recently did a clinic at a marketing center for one of the major equipment retailers. The folks that brought me in were beginning to have questions. They were allowed to bring me on the condition they did not advertise the fact that I was going to be there. As I explained the relationship between the lumbar span-stifle-hock I noticed one participant getting upset. I asked what was wrong and she shared with me that she was just at the main marketing center for this retailer in Colorado and every horse in the barn was having hock problems and they couldn't figure out why. The main salesman has been teaching that you need to be able to easily touch the croup with your hand while riding, in short he is teaching everyone to weight the lumbar span and everyone one of his horses is suffering from it and everyone of his students horses will suffer for it. However, it just creates a new business opportunity videos on how to put your horse down.

It is easy for us to understand that we don't want weight on the shoulder. It is just as important if not more important that we keep the weight off the lumbar span. This becomes even clearer when you understand the dorsal ligament and the muscle groups that attach to it.

Many saddle makers attack the problem from the perspective of being an upholsterer and from this perspective it is true that proportionately it looks better on a saddle when you have a certain distance from the back of the cantle to the end of the bar but this has nothing to do with the anatomy of the horse. If only there were big moving bumps on the lumbar span like there is for the shoulders.
David Genadek

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Let me contribute to this also, guys, in the way of specifically indicating the position of some of the anatomical parts on the saddled and ridden horse. Dave, the photos of Liz show very good work, and everybody should click on that link and look at those too; not least to see someone besides myself who will work with 'gaited' horses in the understanding that the horse not only can, but should, perform with round posture when in gait; in other words, that the horse should be collected properly, which is to say, in a manner no different from that of any other type of horse.

On this photo I have marked the location of key parts of the anatomy. Note that Ollie is a much bigger horse than Tindur, and also that Dr. Deb is a much fatter individual than Adam Till. So my buttocks and thighs fill the saddle quite. Nonetheless I am not sitting upon the cantle, nor upon the flat of my ass; note how wide, Adam, my thighs are spread, which is something I was asking you to think about in a previous post. I used the analogy of sitting on the cup of a funnel, with the small end of the funnel to the back; see how my legs conform to this picture; see how my knees and my toes turn out the same amount.

You may also perceive that, in the 'English' or Brida-treed saddle in which I am riding, how the rear part of the cantle interacts with the pad and the horse's back. The tail end of the cantle stops just where Ollie's last rib hooks on to the vertebrae. The center of my weight, however, is as many vertebrae ahead of this as I can get it. In other words, the saddle covers the entirety of his thorax from the withers/shoulders back, but thanks to the fact that this saddle is rigged correctly, shaped to fit him, and that I am sitting in it correctly, effectively my weight impacts him upon, or ahead of, the anticlinal vertebra, which is T17 (the last thoracic is T18). The vertical black line shows where my weight presses upon him the most.

As Adam you are an engineer, you well understand the implications of this. We need the horse to be free not only through the lumbar span, but up to the anticlinal vertebra, because functionally this is the 'rear half' of the weightbearing arch, which the horse needs free in order to be able to coil the loins as the first step in cantilevering the fore part of the body from rear to front.

Attachment: Forum Ollie collected in gait lumbars marked cprsd.jpg (Downloaded 482 times)

AdamTill
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
Thanks again for the feedback folks, and I appologize for the delay in responding.

>Yes, David has hit the nail on the head: the distribution of the rock needs changing. Perhaps you can experiment with this -- not to really >use the saddle this way, but to get a better idea for your no. 2 tree -- by not only applying the skirting and wool as Dave suggested, but >also using some extra wool, piling it up to make the shape right. That, or some kind of clay that would harden, and you make the new shape by >applying that to the bottom of the tree, and then put the wool on that.

Hi Dr. Deb,

I think it's probably easiest to just start from scratch, given that while the bar rock would be relatively straightforward to change (skived leather would probably be easiest), the fork angle wouldn't be (I don't fancy trying to saw through 8 screws, for example). A side of good quality leather is a $300-400 touch nowadays (needing two per saddle) and a bark-tanned shearling isn't much less, and I don't really have that to spare.

>To me, the hardest thing there would be preserving the shape, transferring it if you will to the new tree. How does one do that for a 3D >object?

I'd probaby just do it with a combination of a few contour templates from my original drawings, reference to the mold I used to build the original, then by just by eye. Lacking room for a CNC router table, I'm thinking that it's time to learn to use a drawknife and spokeshave.

>One other item -- Adam, I understand in the mirror shot you must have been at least 50% with your mind on taking the photo, leaving only 50% >to be thinking about how you are sitting. But I want you to think about how you are sitting. First, though you're hardly overweight, the >distance from the buttons of the fore arch straight back to the buttons of the cantle arch on this tree leaves barely enough room for your >leg. In other words -- this saddle isn't going to be comfortable for you if you gain ten pounds, and really ought to be at least a little bit >bigger even so.

Very true. I was trying to fit as much as possible into a narrower space since I don't have much fore-aft length to play with in Tindur's saddle fitting zone, but this might have been a bit too ambitious.

>Second, you're sitting too much on the flat of your ass. You need to open your thighs more (left-right), concentrate harder on sitting right >down on your seatbones, with the tip of your pubis just grazing the saddle in front, and no part of your tailbone touching the seat in back. >You also need to keep your buttocks off the cantle. In short, you need to figure on riding farther forward on the seat, with a 20% difference >in the angle and weighting of your pelvis.

Thanks very much for the reminders, but the main reason I was sitting like this hereis that's the only spot I could sit right now where my seatbones aren't on the edge of the bars :) The only contoured bit is at the back, and the centerline of these english stirrup leathers is a couple of inches further forward than 4" wide western leathers would fit. All that combined for a lousy seat here...I was just looking to make sure the stirrup slot was in roughly the right place for v2.

This was a borrowed saddle with leathers that are still a bit too far forward, but it's a bit more flattering I hope:


Hi Manu,
 
>I've been following this thread with interest and I am utterly impressed with your workmanship. Looking forward to  the next installment ;-)

Thanks, stay tuned I guess.

>If you were to finish this one, What would the rigging be like?
>You mentioned a 'Sam Stagg double loop'. I tried to google for a pic but wasn't all that successful. Would you elaborate, please? (So that >someone used to English saddles can understand, please!)

In a Sam Stagg rig, the front rigging gets looped over the fork at the front of the saddle. I might have read that it dates back to when screws weren't commonly available, which is what modern flat plate rigs depend upon...not sure on that point.

In a "normal" Sam stagg rig, the leather is a 3-4" wide strip that gets cut along the centerline from the outside towards the middle, leaving about 1-2" of uncut material in the center which holds the two together. The front strip goes straight over the fork, and the back strap wraps around the horn before joining with the front strap down on the rigging rings/d's.

In a double loop variant, the ends are not split, but instead the entire centerline is split save for a couple of inches on either end. After a bit of fancy folding, both loops go around the horn, and the wider ends are attached to d-rings. Looks a bit cleaner, to my eye.

>From the fotos it looks like Tindur's natural girth groove is straight under or even slightly forward of the fork - which in my mind makes it >tricky to prevent the girth from pulling the saddle onto the shoulders. I am struggling with this on one of our horses and had to resort to a >luna girth, but I'm wondering whether there's another way...

On an english saddle it's tricker to deal with, since you're stuck with essentially a full rigged or 7/8's rigged saddle without the rear billet. Those are more likely to creep forward. That said, if the saddle fits, then the rigging is less likely to move around at all. With Tindur it hasn't been a problem thus far even with an english saddle (this one doesn't budge forward or aft ever, just side to side):


Hi David,
 
>Here is what my cantle gullets look like:
>You need enough space in there to stick all the layers that come together there,
>and still have enough room to create a good tunnel for the spine.

Thanks much, very helpful! I think I'll stick with this setup next time around, for sure.

>Here is the shot of the tad of rock I add to the end of the bar.

Yep, I think I have a better idea of what to look for there now as well.

>I went and looked at where you originally designed the tree to sit and it seems to me that you are now placing it about 6 inches further back >than where you designed it to sit. So of course your rock profile would be off.
>Deb is correct that the tree makers often design the trees to sit further back and now it has become a disease in the industry. You, however, >went through all the real work to define the most logical place for the saddle to sit and designed accordingly. I still think if you stick to >your guns it will work.

I did play around with the location a fair amount, and I think Tindur's a different shape now then the year or so ago when the tracing was done. I don't seem to have the clearance that was available back then, and he isn't noticably fatter per say (meaning I think the changes are structural/muscular rather then adipose in nature). I don't think the bar shape is light years off, but there's room for improvement for sure.

Even with all that, I think the fork issue is still there enough to call this one a "learning opportunity".

> Here is a link to Liz's blog where she just posted some pictures of her riding in some of my saddles.
>http://elizabethgraves.blogspot.com/ Look at how forward the saddle is placed. Look at how the horses are coming through. Note how you can >almost see the entire lumbar span. If you get Equus go read Deb's article on necks then notice the necks on these horses and notice there is >not a bit on any of the horses. Lastly look at the abs and see how engaged they are. What all this tells us is she is creating the gaits a >hundred percent through spinal oscillation. This would not be possible if the forward position of the saddle was blocking anything.

Thanks for that, I did take a look. I can see what you're saying.

>"I also tried just sitting in the saddle, and it confirms that I think the seat length is a bit long for the bar length."
>Is this statement True of False?
>The saddle fitting zone on a horses body gets larger as the size of the rider increases.
>If you add more length to the bars will you be weighting the Lumbar span?
>You might remember these diagrams from class.

Definitely false, and I know what you're getting at. That said, I think there is a certain minimum bar length requirement for certain seat lengths. Right now I'm thinking that an extra inch of bar length that's rocked off the back would have more benefit in keeping the skirting free of the loin then it would have potential for interference, if shaped properly.

>Many saddle makers attack the problem from the perspective of being an upholsterer and from this perspective it is true that proportionately >it looks better on a saddle when you have a certain distance from the back of the cantle to the end of the bar but this has nothing to do with >the anatomy of the horse. If only there were big moving bumps on the lumbar span like there is for the shoulders.

I can see what you're saying there too. It could be that adjusting the rock profile would be good enough, but I still think that a 22" bar might be a bit tight in this situation.


>Let me contribute to this also, guys, in the way of specifically indicating the position of some of the anatomical parts on the saddled and ridden horse. Dave, the photos of Liz show very good work, and everybody should click on that link and look at those too; not least to see someone besides myself who will work with 'gaited' horses in the understanding that the horse not only can, but should, perform with round posture when in gait; in other words, that the horse should be collected properly, which is to say, in a manner no different from that of any other type of horse.

Hi again Dr Deb,

Thanks much for that photo - it's a very good reference. Everything you folks are saying here will be taken to heart when I start version two.

Cheers,
Adam

Last edited on Mon Aug 9th, 2010 06:40 pm by AdamTill

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Adam, both these photos show you sitting just fine for the task you're in. I especially appreciate the bottom photo, that shows the wide spread of the thighs. This is something a lot of people have trouble with -- women especially -- they "pinch" at the top, where the thighs turn over into the flat part of the crotch. This has the effect of pushing their body up away from the horse's back, or else you can think of it the other way around, that it is pushing the horse down and away. It is as if the rider is saying to the horse "eewww, I don't want to touch you there". But horses do not have any of the hangups that people in our culture are likely to have.

That's for women to hear. For the man, well, there is of course another little pair of problems. My men students who sit well inform me that their greatest problem (and fear) is of getting the family jewels in a vice between their body and the rear surface of the pommel/fork. This would be another real good reason, I would think, to make sure you've got enough length in the seat. You want it to be the right amount, not too short of course, but not excessively long either. I think Dave G's advice on this is very good: if you want to know what size seat is right for you, go ride in a number of different saddles until you find one you're very comfortable in, and then measure the thigh opening on that one, and it will be the right size.

Another point you bring up, Adam, is also important: and that is, that you found it very uncomfortable to sit directly down upon the bars, i.e. because there's no seat built on your tree yet. Yes. This is why the Mexicans who ride in the 'esqueleto' style saddle, or the Argentinians and Uruguayans who ride in rigid-tree outfits, pile on 'sheepskins to taste'.

What we tend to do is want to build a seat, i.e. out of leather or other materials. I myself can hardly, anymore, stand to ride in any saddle that does not have a seat pretty well padded with HD foam, or else lots of sheepskin, at least four layers. There's every reason, biomechanically, for us to be sitting on our seat bones. There is NO reason why said seatbones need to get bruised.

Plus, there's another thing about sheepskin: it helps tremendously in developing a superior seat. One of the things that beginner riders usually lack is "steadiness" in the seat. Because their balance is not developed, and they are also not yet used to the zigs and zags that horses do with their backs when they shy but also when they just make the normal motions appertaining to the various gaits, the beginner tries to stay on by gripping with the knees and/or the lower part of the leg. When they do it with the knees, it engages the adductor muscles, which in turn freeze the flexibility of the rider's lower back and in turn cause bouncing. When they do it with the lower part of the leg, they almost 100% of the time will try to accomplish it by turning the knees and toes far out (much farther out than my knees/toes are in the photo above furnished) -- so as to engage the hamstring muscles. The hamstrings bend the knees; what the rider is then trying to do is "hook" the horse under the belly and, using the hamstrings, bend the knees and thereby pull himself downward into the saddle.

This is why I NEVER give longe lessons to beginning riding students without insisting that they use both stirrups the entire time. There is no benefit to doing like you see pictures of the Spanish Riding School doing. Why? Because the SRS photos are false -- they are absolutely by no means pictures of beginning riders, but rather of men who have been riding for years. They are not, by being longed without stirrups, learning how to sit, but rather, they are expert riders who are being taught a further skill -- how to maintain a correct position when they shall be required to ride the horse through "airs above the ground", which are traditionally performed without stirrups.

The SRS photos are false for another reason, also: there's much more "glue" in those guys' britches than might at first meet the eye. What I mean by this is, that their britches are made of doeskin. Ever had a pair of beautiful doeskin gloves? Remember how TACKY the feel of the leather was? Right. And then you also need to take a second look at the saddles used by the SRS. They are white leather, yes. And the leather is ROUGHOUT -- suede. You put doeskin britches against a roughout seat and panel, and baby, you ain't goin' nowhere when that horse leaps, no matter how vigorously.

Thus I say to North American riders: pile on the sheepskin. Get the saddle with the HD foam under the leather, so that the HD foam is thick enough that you put a couple of dents in it whenever you sit down on your seatbones. And then, on top of this, put one layer of sheepskin with the leather side down and the wool side up. If the leather of the sheepskin is tacky, you may be able to just lay it over the saddle and not have it move at all. If the piece you're using wants to slide around, then wop it down with an elastic blanket-surcingle and that will hold it in place.

For anyone having trouble with their legs SWINGING for example during the canter; for those who still don't react by laughing when their horse shies; for anyone just learning how to post, and trying to get that rhythm -- it's sheepskin for you. You will find out that the sheepskin will allow you to let go your clutching leg and your "pinching" seat, and that will in turn also help you let go with your clutching hands, for the two are intimately related. Once you get your balance by the aid of the sheepskin, you will then discover what your leg is really for -- which you absolutely cannot use it for while you are using your legs to grip with -- the leg is to cause the horse to increase his energy. You touch the horse with the inner aspect of your CALF -- take your knee off, do not squeeze with the knees, and unless you are actually "saying" something to your horse with your legs, you let your legs hang down out of the hip sockets like an old pair of chaps hung over a peg.

Have fun, and happy riding -- Dr. Deb

ozgaitedhorses
Member
 

Joined: Mon Apr 30th, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 55
Status:  Offline
Hi David!
Sorry for the late reply – I've been offline for a few days....
I've attached a photo of the mare in question. Not a very flattering pic of the ol' girl, but just to give you an idea.
You asked why the girth groove was there... A combination of things, I guess. Conformation, her being a hoover and good doer, easily packing extra pounds onto her already rather round ribcage – and her habit of not engaging her belly muscles if she can avoid it. The flat part of her belly, where the girth naturally slips into, is pretty much underneath the top end of her shoulderblade.

Hi Adam!
Thanks for the explanation. I did find a pic of the Sam Stagg rigging in the end. In here:
http://tinyurl.com/262pyca
I don't quite like the idea of 'pinning down the fork' and not having an anchor point at the back of the saddle. And as you noted, a rear cinch is not all that common on an English saddle ;-)
I was toying with the idea of a rigging like in a 1904 McClellan saddle (Fig. 48 in here: http://tinyurl.com/2cvdu2w). Not sure how you'd work that into an English style saddle, though....

Anyhow, I will certainly stay tuned for the next installment!
Thanks for this thread!

Hi Dr. Deb!
I hear you re. sheepskin. I had the pleasure to ride in one of those 'sheepskin piles' in Nicaragua. Very comfy and secure! I would love to get my hands on a gaucho saddle / recado criollo...

Cheers,
Manu

Attachment: Tica_Oct09a.jpg (Downloaded 331 times)

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Well, you know, Manu, if Adam Till can take his engineering and carpentry skills and build a wooden tree, why can't some of us women get down to it with building a Gaucho-style saddle. This requires more in the way of sewing or awning-making technique and no carpentry at all. Also one could substitute duck (or the denim legs from an old pair of jeans) for the leather to make the tubes that parellel the horse's back.

Girls? Any takers on this project? There would be a lot to be learned, and just as with watching Adam build his project, we could follow it step by step. -- Dr. Deb

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Manu,
God put the girth groove there so the leg would move over the ribs and not bang into them. So if God went to all the trouble to create the space how much sense does it make for us to fill it up with a cinch?
David Genadek

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Dave, God may have created, but He never creates without specific purpose or arbitrarily.

So, taking the view from this end of the cosmos, we find that the reason the girth groove is there is because the horse's ribcage diminishes in diameter from back to front. The convex contour of the rear part of the ribcage changes as it goes to the front, becoming concave at about the 9th rib.

When the forelimbs are removed from a horse's carcass, it is evident that the concavity of the anterior portion of the ribcage is there in order to allow for the thickness of the forelimbs which have been removed. The concavity makes a space in which the forelimbs can work by swinging fore and aft.

Of necessity, the space so provided must be somewhat larger than the bulk of the forelimbs themselves; in short, it must be enough larger to not only accommodate the limb but the entire expected fore-aft swing of the limb.

The 'girth groove' is precisely that extra space as it exists for the rearward swing.

We put the girth in the girth groove, therefore, for two reasons: one, because that space is not at every moment occupied by the forelimb; and two because, depending upon how abrupt and how deep the concavity is in a given individual, it is almost impossible to cinch the horse anywhere else and expect the girth to stay put.

The first point is the reason why we want to try to avoid designing saddles that require to be cinched as close to the elbow as possible; because when cinched that far to the front, the horse's ability to retract the forelimb is interfered with.

The second point highlights why your discovery -- that the body-balance of the horse is crucially important -- may make it possible for us to design tree shapes that permit girthing farther back, and I mean girthing that does stay put even though the 'surcingle' may not go over the smallest part of the funnel.

For that is what the horse's thorax is: a funnel-shaped object, with the small end going toward the front. No one who has not attended a carcass dissection class can really appreciate this, because since the forelimbs are present on the living horse and they completely fill the concavity, the presence of the concavity and its size and extent are simply not obvious unless you have a dead horse that you can take the forelimbs off of.

....Which gives me the opportunity and impetus to mention -- we are currently taking enrollments for the carcass dissection class I'll be leading in the Bend, Oregon area during the week of Oct. 22-27. If anyone is interested in attending, please call Joe Lally at (503) 545-1541, or else Email thehorsechiro@aol.com.

Cheers -- Dr. Deb

ozgaitedhorses
Member
 

Joined: Mon Apr 30th, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 55
Status:  Offline
Hi David!
No doubt God put it there for a reason - but he gave some horses a larger flat area than others (and I doubt he had riders in mind when he came up with the design). Just have a look at your own photos (http://aboutthehorse.com/mustang_backs/ ). In the pretty fellow in foto 14, it almost looks like the 'cone' is inverted, with the largest diameter just behind the front legs. Even the mare in foto 9 has got plenty of flat real estate. On the other end of the scale would be the mare in foto 3 - although that's probably not a fair comparison since she's so heavily pregnant.

If I want to put a saddle on my mare, I have to work with what I've got. No matter where I'd put the girth in the first place, it will slide naturally into this flat spot (and believe me, I've tried!). So I've only got two options - find a saddle with a girth setup that works for her or get a horse with a more appropriate conformation. Actually, the third option would be to make my own saddle, but knowing my track record for 'home projects', I'm not sure if I want to take Dr. Deb up on her challenge....

David, you seem convinced that the girth/cinch shouldn't go there - but how do you prevent that? You referred to Liz's blog for examples of proper saddling. Have a look at the photo entitled 'Foxtrotter in collected fox trot in side pull He is in self carriage of gait' (last foto in the Aug. 4 post). That's what's happening there - the cinch is on the flat part of the rib cage, right behind the elbow.

Cheers,
Manu

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
What is meant here, Manu, is not that the cinch should not go in the girth groove AT ALL; what David is trying to say, I believe, is that you should not do as the Pony Club teaches, i.e. mindlessly cinch the horse as close as possible behind the elbow:

*Not as close as possible behind the elbow -- as far as possible behind the elbow

*Not without noticing first whether the tree fits the horse -- if the tree does not fit, the saddle is going to move

*Not without noticing, when the tree does fit, where THE SADDLE 'wants' the girth to go, i.e., not to cram the girth up to the elbow even when there's no need for it to go there.

Manu, I believe that what you're lacking is a tree that fits your horse. I've seen you ride, and you ride plenty well enough, so it isn't that your riding is queering the system.

Nor have you really got that hard a horse to find a saddle for. Your mare is far flatter-bodied, for all her apparent funnel shape, than my old Sadie was. Sadie was a half-Arab and people were forever asking me if she was pregnant -- I mean from the front she looked like a cow that had just had a big drink, so wide was the rear part of her ribcage. Yet I never had one iota of trouble with saddling Sadie, with saddle sores, girth rubs, or the saddle wanting to scoot forward or back. What I always had for her, though, was a tree that fit her.

I also took advantage, when the possibility arose, of having a saddle that had an adjustable "Y"-style of rigging. The possibility for this arose in the middle 1980's when we had a robbery at the barn where I was at, and my saddle was stolen. I replaced it with a saddle of a quite different brand, that had the "Y" type rigging, and learned by playing around with that, that the rigging matters as much as the tree shape or very nearly.

So you might want to play with this too. If your saddle does not have a rigging that you can adjust the tension of more than one strap, either in a "Y" or a "V" configuration, then build yourself a "saddle bra". Cut a heavy piece of duck or leather into a shape wider than your cantle, with a slot down the middle so that the "bra" will slip over the cantle. Stitch "D" rings to either end of this piece, so that you can rig a latigo under the horse's belly.

This is the equivalent of telling you that you have to ride in two girths, as Dave is continually telling people, and that the rear cinch has to be nearly as snug as the normal front cinch. If your mare is not amenable to this, it will be a nice horsemanship challenge to get her so, and that's something well within your capabilities, Manu.

One last point -- if you do double-rig a saddle, be absolutely sure to get a curb strap and use it to tie the rear cinch to the front cinch -- if it slides back into the horse's groin that's just not fair. And check the rear cinch once you've ridden a few minutes to see that it doesn't loosen up; you don't want the horse putting a rear hoof in there.

Let's hear what Dave says about this too. Cheers -- Dr. Deb 

 

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrM1lPnJmqI
Manu,
I agree that on that fox trotter that it would have been better if the cinch was a bit further back but saddle fitting is seldom perfect because there are so many variables. If you look at the front leg that is in the back position you will see that the cinch is not all the way forward and it is still allowing for movement.

Yes those horses' with well sprung rib cages are problematic. Mules are really bad in this regard so they used packer cinches.

I took their solution and made it work on todays saddles and I even have English riders using these. Although, I think on English saddles a second pair of billets should be added the back of the saddle and an English version should be made. Cinch problems are generally the result of a saddle fit problem. That would include incompatibility of shapes,improper design of rigging or rigging being used improperly,Improperly designed seat or rider sitting improperly.
David Genadek

Last edited on Thu Aug 12th, 2010 03:59 pm by David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Deb,
The western saddle makers are promoting the idea that you need to have the cinch as far forward as you can get it so it is resting on the Sternum. It doesn't seem to me that that is even possible? Maybe the tail end of it.
David Genadek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Just for kicks I put Deb in a western saddle so we could see what it looks like. She is in the exact same spot she was in in the English saddle which is sitting on the rear or thoracic section of the front spinal limb.

Some will say that you fit English and western saddles differently but that would mean the functional anatomy changes depending on the cloths the rider wears. which of coarse it does not.
David Genadek

Val
Member


Joined: Thu Apr 5th, 2007
Location: Near Philly, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 116
Status:  Offline
Dr.Deb, I'm interested. I have time, interest, some sewing skills and a machine, access to young and old Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walkers,and TB's at the barn where we board. Also I am pretty confident I can get materials. What I lack is knowledge. I'll take a look at Conquerors and my Inner Horseman issues, but can you tell me a bit more about the scope of this project?

Val

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Val, the first thing you'll need to do is go to pp. 270-272, in the chapter on Argentina in "Conquerors", and just have a look at the traditional treeless Gaucho saddle that is pictured there. The one illustration shows how it looks when on the horse, complete with the multiple surcingles and the sheepskins and blankets, and the other shows the "soft tree".

This "soft tree" would normally be made of leather, with the ends of the "hot dogs" capped with heavy carved silver. For our purposes, it will be sufficient I think to make a prototype out of canvas, and just close the ends by ordinary methods of stitching. I think it would be wise to sacrifice "looks" on a prototype to just working the dimensions out. And of course, once the prototype is perfected, it will have to be taken completely apart, so that a pattern can be made from it.

The materials I think you'll need to start with would then be a roll of duck or heavy muslin, or else denim; a set of sailmakers' needles, both straight and curved; extra-duty lisle thread; plus pins, scissors, and a table with space to work on.

We will also have to find something to stuff the "hot dogs" with. Possible materials: horse mane or tail hair, if enough can be found or gathered; perhaps people who read in this Forum would be willing to bag up hair and donate it to this project. Another option would be wool shavings; maybe Dave G. could supply bags of the wool bits that are shaved off when they finish the underskirting on a Western saddle at his shop.

Yet another option would be to experiment with the many different types of foam, and this in many different forms, in other words, would it be better to take a sheet of HD foam and roll it up and then cover the roll with duct tape? Would it be better to take shavings or small bits of foam and stuff them into the "hot dogs"? Some English saddles are stuffed with horse hair or foam in little baggies, I believe as a strategy to prevent the stuffing from shifting too much; perhaps this would be a way to go.

This is all what I meant when I said we would have a lot to learn by actually making a Gaucho saddle. The end product would be a design for the only TRULY treeless saddle that has ever been designed (all the so-called "treeless" saddles that are on the market are actually not treeless, but simply barless). And, at the very least, anyone who makes one would wind up with a fairly authentic outfit that could conceivably be used in a costume class or for exhibition work.

So please continue to write back in, Val, as you start thinking about this. I don't think cost is going to be a factor, but I do expect you'll be spending as many hours with this as Adam spent making his wooden tree! Because the results in both cases need to be, and would be since you guys are good people and good students, really of a professional level. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Here are a few pictures of a real gaucho saddle. It was stuffed with Reed which were too hard in our opinion so we took off the end caps and pulled out some of the reed to create more flair.



David Genadek

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
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
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
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
Member
 

Joined: Tue Mar 27th, 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 289
Status:  Offline
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
Member
 

Joined: Mon Apr 30th, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 55
Status:  Offline
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
Member
 

Joined: Mon Apr 30th, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 55
Status:  Offline
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
Member


Joined: Thu Apr 5th, 2007
Location: Near Philly, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 116
Status:  Offline
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
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
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
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
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
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
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
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
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
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
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
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
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
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
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
Member


Joined: Wed May 2nd, 2007
Location: Princeton, New Jersey USA
Posts: 62
Status:  Offline
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
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
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)

Annie F
Member


Joined: Wed May 2nd, 2007
Location: Princeton, New Jersey USA
Posts: 62
Status:  Offline
Thank you, Dave. I understand the concept but am not sure how to interpret the chart. Is the "continuum" referring to the rider's location on the horses' back, with the training seat being more forward (closer to the head as indicated on the line below the continuum) and the passive seat farther back toward the tail?

And what are the curved lines shown intersecting the line for the 0-point, 2-point, and 3-point seats indicating? the curve of the horse's back?

Annie

Last edited on Sat Mar 28th, 2015 11:44 pm by Annie F

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
No that is not related it is just about the seat being static or active. I used a drawing I used in another conversation. The three seat profiles show the three seat profiles that are commonly used. Two point would be what we call a balance seat.Three point is what people that do rohlkur use and no point is when people sit back on their butts. The 3 and 0 point seat will lock a rider in a frame and prevent you from having an active seat. The two point profile allows the rider to have an active seat so he can use his seat to influence the horse.

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
Gilbert is 7 years old this year. He was 5 1/2 years old when the photo was taken. He stands somewhere between 14.2 and 14.3 hands. He is from the Choctaw line of Colonial Spanish horses, specifically from the Bryant Rickman herd in SE Oklahoma. I kept his mother at my place for a while and he was born while she was with me. He was handled from a young age, but life took its twists and turns and so he stayed out being just a pasture pet until around the time the photo was taken. I started doing more ground work with him then and started him under saddle. I had six good rides with him, then I really messed things up on the 7th ride. My birdie was way off and then his went even further and he began to buck. I made the split second decision to try to ride out the buck instead of bailing and than was how I badly damaged my pelvis. So he has now set out in pasture for over another year while I have been recovering. I am now 47. Not a youngster, but I still have a few good years left in me. The dressage saddle doesn't suit my purposes at this time because when i get back on again I would like to feel a little more secure and I do want to use a saddle that I can put a nice, soft pad on. As far as my riding plans for Gilbert go, right now I would just like to develop him into a solid trail horse. I used to enjoy doing exhibition rides at charitable events when I had my other Colonial Spanish horse, Chisto. Dr. Deb, you may remember Chisto, a gray, from your first Texas clinic hosted by Cheryl. We rode with you there. I have just recently started back with more focused ground work with Gilbert. Included in this is twirling the head, twirling the loins, backing, and trotting ground poles, as well as exercises to work more on desensitizing him and to build a longer, and more focused attention span. I recognize where I had "skimmed over" some things earlier and I have gone back to the beginning to fill in the gaps.

FROM DR. DEB: Sorry, Choctaw, when I composed the post below I hadn't seen this post from you. Very good, now we know what sort of "scale" of horse we're dealing with.

And yes, you've anticipated much of what I had to tell you, in terms of the groundwork that you know you need to do. But I'd still like to see a photo of you ground-schooling the horse.

One point: we NEVER EVER want to "desensitize" a horse. The correct term (and the correct approach) is not to "make numb", which is what "desensitize" means; rather it is to EDUCATE, which means to create a  horse that understands that he does not have to react or flee when the shit hits the fan, and who, moreover, has no desire to do anything but help you. That's when the "accidents" (which are usually not accidental at all) and injuries stop.

I recently realized that this year marks the 41st year since I took my first serious ride on a horse. For the last 35 of those years, I've managed to arrange things so that "accidents" and injuries simply have not happened (because I prevent them through foresight and fore-planning). This has been especially true since I met Ray Hunt 27 years ago. Cheers, please see my post below -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Sun Mar 29th, 2015 10:17 am by DrDeb

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
Dave,
As far as where I would like to sit according to your diagram I would say between A and B. This seems to be where I gravitate to when I am on him bareback. What suggestions do you have for addressing the lordosis from the ground? Thank you so much to you and Dr. Deb for giving your time and expertise!

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
OK, Choctaw, now we're on track to review much the same material that we've presented here in the Forum many other times. Your first task is to raise this horse's back -- and again I ask, how big is this animal? From his form he might well be a pony, but Lipizzans and certain other breeds which are not ponies can also have his type of body morphology.

I also need to know how heavy you are, and you don't have to tell me "exactly" to the pound -- what is relevant is, are you over 250 lbs? Between 200 and 250? Between 150 and 200? Or less than 150?

Finally, to the "exercises", or really they are "steps", as in "train the horse one step at a time." By which I mean not the process, but the actual physical steps that he takes:

(a) Untracking

(b) Backing

(c) Knowing how to longe properly

(d) One-step over ground pole(s)

(e) Drum work

(f) Under-saddle bends, including head-twirling as well as mid-neck, loin, and ribcage flexions

(g) Transitions done properly

(h) Figures, insofar as they incorporate any of the above.

Now Choctaw, if I remember right you've been reading here for several years. Can you use the Google Advanced Search function to look up older threads on these subjects, so that I don't have to write it out again? Once you've reviewed all the older threads you can find, then please come back with questions.

This is going to be a matter of LIVING IT -- every day, every time you interact with the horse. The student who "gets it" will eagerly dedicate herself to finding opportunities, even outside of the training pen, in everyday stuff like the wash stall, leading the horse from the paddock, or going through gates, where one or more of the above skills/competencies could be built in.

Of course, as you already know -- it begins with untracking, so the first thing I'll need back from you is some photos of yourself, on the ground, untracking your horse on the short rein/lead rope with about 2 1/2 ft. of slack in it. If you're not too clear on untracking, go find it in any back issue of "The Eclectic Horseman", particularly Buck Brannaman, Ty Weber, or photos of myself. Cheers, and let's get started -- Dr. Deb

Dorothy
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jan 15th, 2010
Location: Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 223
Status:  Offline
Hi Dr Deb,

I have recently become aware of what look like some interesting treeless saddles that seem to be similar in some respects to how the Gaucho is described.

I attach a link to some website information.

http://www.ghostsaddle.com/Ghost_Saddles/Ghost_BC.html

and this is a link to a page with some pictures:

http://www.ghostsaddle.com/Ghost_Saddles/MORE.html

I wonder if you or David or any other saddle experts have any thoughts on these, or indeed, any experience of them?

They are now available here in the UK, and the distributor is relatively local to me. I am very tempted to have one on trial

thank you,
Dorothy

Last edited on Sun Mar 29th, 2015 10:23 pm by Dorothy

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Dorothy, First I can not really see anything on the site that really gives me the information I need to make an intelligent assessment which is red flag number one. From my perspective of wanting to ride in forward position I see other red flags too.
1. Front of saddle is far enough forward to interfere with the shoulder what I can't tell is if there is structure there that could hold it off the shoulder
2.Saddle is weighting the lumbar span
3.billets are angled forward which indicates a number of confusions about rigging design and girth placement.
4.Thigh block if the rider needs that something is wrong somewhere else in the seat.
5.The rear angle is way off, now they may say that it will flex once there is weight on it but things don't bend with out pressure.
6. They are using a front arch of some kind but I can't tell how rigid it is. If it is rigid it will determine the fit.
The seat
I drew a white level line (assumed can't really tell for sure from this picture) so you can see the contour from front to back will place the rider too far back in the seat for my linking, which I marked with a black line.The seat also appears to lack any shape from side to side.

Attachment: ghostsaddle2.jpg (Downloaded 174 times)

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Dorothy, the relevant fact about the Goucho saddle is that it is a "treeless" saddle that will actually work.

A saddle tree consists of two kinds of parts:

(a) Structural components that parallel the horse's spine. These are called "bars"

(b) Structural components that join the bars together, i.e. keep them from slipping down to the sides or slipping apart. Of necessity these parts, which are called "arches", are oriented at 90 degrees to the bars and also at 90 degrees to the horse's spine.

ALL saddles need some kind of tree -- all, without exception; because the main purpose of the tree is to prevent the rider's pointy little seatbones from impacting the bursae that sit atop each of the dorsal processes of the individual vertebrae. The bursae are highly sensitive to impact, easily become inflamed as the result of impact, and are intractably difficult to get to heal once inflamed. This has been known since antiquity, as evidenced by its mention by Xenophon in the "Peri Hippikes" (i.e. he cautions against stropping the horse's back with a wooden sweat-scraper, or any grooming other than with the naked hands, along the horse's topline).

One may also see why Xenophon knew this, or advised this: he must often have seen the negative effects of bareback riding, since the Greeks of his day used no saddles (outside of Macedonia, but Xenophon was an Athenian).

So, to return to the actual question you're asking -- by implication that question is "isn't this so-called "treeless" saddle that I've seen advertised OK", or "why wouldn't it be OK", the answer is that it is not actually treeless. All the so-called treeless saddles that are on the market, or ever have been on the market, or that will ever be on the market, are of one of two types:

(a) They have bars but no (rigid) arches -- this is what the Goucho saddle has. The bars of the Goucho saddle are held together by webbing.

(b) They have arches but no (rigid) bars -- this is what all the so-called "treeless" saddles that are currently on the market have.

The Goucho saddle is workable because, having bars, it does prevent the rider's pointy little behind from impacting the horse's back. Design "b" is not workable because after a few rides, the saddle will 'crack' or fold in the center, or else it is simply flat against the horse's back like a saddle-pad to begin with, and thus affords nothing in the way of the crucial protection.

Now, we have said this in the forum a dozen other times -- but it bears repeating I guess. It is the BARS that are of primary importance. They can be made of anything that creative engineering or materials science can come up with -- packed straw inside a leather tube is the Goucho way; rawhide over wood is the old traditional way for the Stock saddle; packed horsehair and metal is the traditional way for the 'English' saddle. Wintec saddles, at least some of them, use a fiberglass tree; and that company went through a whole evolution in the formulation of the fiberglass, their original models being just a little too soft, especially if stored in a hot tackroom in the summertime. I've heard of saddle trees being made out of poly-carbon too. Whatever the material, it must be:

(a) Stiff enough under all temperature conditions to maintain the 'air pocket' in the gullet which prevents contact of the rider's seatbones with the horse's back;

(b) Stiff enough to support the amount of 'squashing' that the rider's bodyweight is going to cause;

(c) Not prone to material fatigue with repeated flexions, hence not prone to the tree fracturing.

Now you can go shopping and look for the right design! -- Dr. Deb

Dorothy
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jan 15th, 2010
Location: Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom
Posts: 223
Status:  Offline
Thank you, Dr Deb and David, for your comments.
Dorothy

Kuhaylan Heify
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jan 30th, 2015
Location:  
Posts: 87
Status:  Offline
dear Dave: In the continuum graff referring to a 2 point do you mean a 2 point like many of us think of a 2 point- as a cross country seat with lightish seat bone contact. and the training seat as us sitting more on the front of our um pubic arch?
best wishes
Bruce Peek

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Deb,
I can agree that a saddle consists of two kinds of parts rails and arches but I think it is near impossible to fully understand and classify what is going on unless you also see that there at two types of rails.

(a) Seat rails that are designed to support the rider
(b) horse rails (bars) that are designed to fit the horse.

In all we have 6 component parts that are the foundation of the saddle.
(a)Two seat rails right and left
(b)Two bars right and left
(c) Two arches front and back.

Some real life examples
Mongolian saddle
In these saddle the bars are clearly separated from the seat rails but the seat rails and arches are combined to look like one structure. All the components are rigid.
Gaucho saddle
The gaucho saddle has a piece of leather that forms the bottom rail and another that forms the seat rail a flexible material separates the two rails so they can adjust to the different shapes. The arches are flexible leather straps. All components are flexible.
English saddle
Seat rail is combined with front and rear arc to form a rigid framework for the seat. The bar is created by a soft leather panel. This saddle combines rigid seat rails and aches with flexible bars.
Western Saddle
The seat rail and bar are right one top of each other so they appear as one unit and the rigid arches are distinctly separate. All components are rigid.
Trooper saddle
Two metal arches are attached to two bars. The seat rail is created by stringing webbing from the two arches. Seat rails are flexible arches and bars are rigid.

In regard to the arches I am unclear as to where you are getting 90 degrees to the bars and spine?
Dave

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Bruce the two point seat would be you balanced on your seat bones the three point would be with your pelvis tipped down and forward like they do when they ride rohlkur. The training seat just means you will be using your seat to influence and teach the horse. You may tip your pelvis forward and back to help or hinder what ever the horse may be doing.

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
Dr. Deb,

  Here is a link to photos taken today during my ground work with Gilbert.  They show the untracking as requested.

http://littlehomestead.info/gilbert/

Rebecca


Rebecca, the photos look good. Your technique is correct and the horse's expression is good.

From here on out, then, your job is going to be to do the other things, which I listed above. You can submit photos anytime and I'll check them as we're doing here.

This does not solve your immediate problem, which is to find something that will fit the horse well enough that you can ride him right now. I suggest that you go back to the dressage saddle that did fit him, with the realization that your chances of greater security do not depend on having a horn (or anything else) to grab: rather, they depend upon THIS, the untracking you see here, so that you have the horse's feet under control and also so that you have his attention. You then take care to arrange your riding situation(s) so that you and the horse come out winners every time; you fore-plan and thus you prevent problems.

You will also need to be willing to grab that head and turn it right backwards, if the horse shows any sign at any time of bogging. This is part of prevention; you convey to him that bucking is not going to solve his problems, that if he tries to buck, you'll have no hesitation to kill him. He must be on your side as much as you are on his side.

You also need to survey your own reactions. Going fetal is fatal. When the shit hits the fan, your "schooled" reaction must be to sit up and lean back; relax your legs and lengthen them. This is how you stay on just about no matter what. If you flex forward at the waist, you're dead. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

Last edited on Tue Mar 31st, 2015 08:48 am by DrDeb

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
David, in your eagerness to give people the whole concept of the factors that go into saddle design, I think you've missed what the lady was actually asking. The question was "why are so-called 'treeless' saddles not OK", and the simple answer to this is that they do not have bars of sufficient thickness or stiffness to keep the rider's seatbones from touching the horse's back; or you could say, they do not have bars of sufficient thickness or stiffness to maintain the 'air channel' in the gullet.

Obviously, the arches are oriented at 90 degrees to the bars -- again, just think simply.

The reason Bruce asked you about 'two point' and 'three point' seats is that you use these terms to mean something different than their normal and traditional meaning. Traditionally, a 'two point' position or a 'two point seat' is a 'half seat,' the seat adopted when approaching a jump, in which the rider supports a greater than normal percentage of her weight in the stirrups, while still 'brushing' the saddle with the fore-part of the pelvis. This seat has also sometimes colloquially been called the 'cavalry crouch', because cavalrymen with saddle-sores sometimes adopted it in self-protection! It is the seat that one uses in cavalry combat when rising to draw one's saber, or when using the saber against a footsoldier.

A 'three point' seat, by traditional definition, is a 'full seat,' i.e. when the rider sits fully down onto the saddle; it is called this whether the rider slouches, overstretches, or sits properly. -- Cheers -- Dr. Deb

 

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Deb, There are two schools of thought on the seat point concepts. The one you have mentioned and one where they are talking about two point being where the rider rests on the ishium and three point being where the rider rests on the ishium and the pubis. People talking about saddle seats generally use the pelvic model. It is very confusing and things do not add up until you understand that there are two different perspectives using common language.
Many "treeless" saddles do not work because they lack basic elements of saddle design. The gaucho has many interesting features and does have all the necessary component parts to make it functional. By understanding the bar rail and seat rail concept the rails could be stuffed to accommodate both horse and rider
Important features:
*Flexible arches that allow you to change the saddles oreintation
*Combined seat and bar rail for thigh support and to transfer weight
*Rigid leather seat that is supported by the rails.
*Seat placement can be moved on the rails to alter riders position on the horse.
Here is a slide show showing the parts of a gaucho saddlehttp://aboutthehorse.com/gauchosaddle/index.html

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
Thank you Dr. Deb for your recommendations. I would still like to know more about eventually making a gaucho saddle for Gilbert if you don't see any reason that it would be harmful for either of us. The dressage saddle that does seem to fit him is a 12 year old synthetic and the rubber that is under the seat seems to be dry rotting and the staples holding together are pulling loose, so I am going to need to replace it perhaps sooner than later. I rode in a Portuguese mixta saddle for several years a while back that I really liked the balance of, but I haven't been able to find another to try for Gilbert.
Dave, if Dr. Deb gives her approval would you be kind enough to give me a little direction on getting started? Are the measurements shown in the slide show pretty standard? I have your saddle fitting DVD and I will be reviewing it again.

Thank you,
Rebecca

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Yes, I'd love to see you build a good Gaucho design. Go for it, and tell us all about the process too. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Rebecca, I don't think there are any standard measurements for a Gaucho saddle. I have seen a huge variety in them. So the question is do you want to just make a Gaucho saddle and copy the good and bad or do you want to start with it as a basic concept of a flexible treed saddle and build on it?

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
Dave, I would like to build the best flexible tree saddle that I can. What do you consider the lesser points of a gaucho saddle to be? I have never ridden in one, so I am only guessing here, but it appears to me that the stirrups are hung further forward on most than I would find optimal. I am looking forward to this project. Thanks,
Rebecca

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Rebecca, I could make a list but I think it might be more productive if we take a look at the horses body and get some measurements and some photos of the shape we are dealing with then compare it to the saddle pictures. This should make design issue obvious. So first thing we need to do is get a hand on the shape of the saddle fitting zone that I have marked in blue. I define that as:
The forward limit being where the trapezius ties in to the back (that will actually be at an angle I didn't have enough pixels to get the to look right on this photo.)
Top limit being 2" from spine
Back limit being the last rib (when possible make the anticlinal vertebra be the back limit which would be the 3rd rib from the rear.)
bottom limit is just above where the ribs pop out from underneath the back muscles.
I would get some blue masking tape and mark that area off. Then take some pictures of that area from different angles. Doing this should start to help you understand the shape the saddles bar needs to be.
Next I marked 4 key points
High part wither
Base of wither
Back of scapula
Last rib
I will assume you want to sit at the base of the wither so lets get oriented by measuring:
From base of wither to the high point of the wither. (Do this measurement horizontal.)
From base of wither to the last rib
From the base of wither to back of scapula
From back of scapula to last rib.

It would be really great if we could get a bunch of folks to go get these measurement and take pictures of the fitting zone on their horse.

Attachment: measurments2.jpg (Downloaded 254 times)

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
Okay,Dave. I have attempted this. It wasn't as simple as it sounded like it would be. Gilbert is shedding heavily and as he would bend his body to look about the tape kept shifting. Also it was more difficult to feel the ribs than I anticipated. I have three photos. One is the saddle area to the third rib from the last, the second goes back to the last rib and the third has the points of the withers at the highest and at the base and the back of the scapula and the last rib marked. The measurements are as follows:
base of wither to high point of wither horizontally 8.5 inches
base of wither to back of scapula horizontally 6 inches
base of wither to last rib 11 inches
back of scapula to last rib 17.5 inches

Attachment: IMG_1953.JPG (Downloaded 217 times)

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
gilbert photo of saddle area to last rib

Attachment: IMG_1954.JPG (Downloaded 217 times)

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
gilbert high point and base of wither, back of scapula and last rib marked

Attachment: IMG_1955.JPG (Downloaded 219 times)

DrDeb
Super Moderator
 

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Location:  
Posts: 3307
Status:  Offline
Very good work! I'm pleased and impressed that you have been able to so accurately get the position of the last rib, because you're right, feeling the ribs is not that easy. Let's see what Dave says is the next step now. :-) Dr. Deb

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Awesome! I see one thing on the fitting zone that you marked off and that is that you have the front limit on the Trapezius. You do not want to put weight on the trapezius as it will make it want to contract and interfere the movement of the scapula. As you look at it you might say but there is hardly any room!! This is the elephant in the room in the saddle industry. If you go back and look at the gaucho saddle photos you will see the bar is about 22" Looking at your measurements how does that 22" fit in? It looks like I forgot to tell you to measure your saddle fitting zone. If you had you would find your the difference between the top and bottom line will be around 4.5 to 5". The bar on the Guacho saddle is 3" wide. How does the shape of the bottom on the Gaucho bar compare to the horses back?

Attachment: images_Page_94_Image_0001.jpg (Downloaded 199 times)

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
I actually had measured the lines of the saddle fitting zone. The top to bottom was 4.25 inches, the top line was 14.75 inches and the bottom line was 16 inches. If I am onto the trapezius then the length will be shorter still. I would think that the shape of the bar on the gaucho saddle would not give optimal contact if it is only 3 inches diameter. Would not a wider, more oval bar give a more even area of support?

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Here is a cool video that I just saw on facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=571063552996379&pnref=story

Last edited on Thu Apr 9th, 2015 09:14 pm by David Genadek

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
I just watched the video. Those saddles sure look comfortable!

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Lets talk a bit about the elephant in the room. I have taken an old skeleton diagram from an out of print text book and put your horses measurements on it, along with marking T13,T14 and T16.
One knowledgeable group are of the opinion that the center of the saddle should be placed at what they call the anti clinal moment or T14 which is is right after when the angle of the top line changes at T13. The same group also says that the saddle should be placed an inch or so behind the shoulder. I have done a 22" bar in light blue which not only is what the gaucho saddle measures but also what the panels of most English saddles and the bar of most western saddles measures. So this is the basic stand of the English saddle fitting community. You can clearly see the math simple does not add up. You can not have the saddle behind the shoulder and centered on T14. A group of western saddle makers has confused this concept and says that the anticlinal vertibra T16 is the lowest point of the back and the saddle should be centered there. This group does not feel that weighting the lumbar span has any negative consequences. So getting back to the project what would have to happen to the bar on the gaucho saddle to get it to stay off the both yellow zones?

David & everyone -- just a couple of comments:

(1) It is amusing that all the 'knowledgeable' people involved in this controversy do not seem to actually be knowledgeable about anatomical terminology. Neither T13, T14, nor T16 are the "anticlinal" vertebra. "Anticlinal" means "positioned at the top of the arch," in other words, it would usually indicate T17 or T18, which if the horse humps its back up to the maximum will lie at the top of the arch.

(2) The illustration you're using is not out of print, it is out of copyright -- in other words, OK to use because it is legally in the public domain. The original was an illustration in Ellenberger & Baum's 19th-century German work, "Animal Anatomy for Artists." This and many other illustrations that originally made up this work were later -- in the 1890's -- picked up by Sisson & Grossmann and used by them in their "Anatomy of the Domestic Animals." The illustrations were, in fact, simply taken; but this was in an era before modern copyright law, and was common practice at the time.

(3) Note that the horse in the illustration is "absolutely in neutral" as far as the posture of the back goes. This is determined by looking, not at the shallowly U-shaped contour formed by the tops of the dorsal processes from the peak of the withers on back, bugt rather by looking at the line formed by the bodies of the vertebral centra. These are visible between the ribs in the thoracic section of the back. Note that the vertebral centra line up straight -- taking neither a dipped path nor an arched one. This is quite realistic so far as fitting the "common" horse's back, since most riders either don't know how to teach their horse an improved (more upwardly arched) posture, which after having been taught will affect the alignment of the vertebral centra even at rest; or else they don't believe that this would be important. As the "common" horse ages, and as he is ridden for a lengthening period of years without being asked/taught to round up and carry himself properly, the alignment of the vertebral centra will begin to sag -- subtly at first, but more and more as the years go on. How much sag eventually develops will, in the absence of someone stepping in to teach the horse to carry himself properly, be strictly a function of the stoutness of the horse's bones and the toughness of the deep ligament layer that holds the vertebrae together. -- Cheers -- Dr. Deb

Attachment: skelatonmeasurements.jpg (Downloaded 113 times)

Last edited on Sun Apr 12th, 2015 02:24 am by DrDeb

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
The bar of the saddle could be shortened to about 16 inches.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
How big a seat do you need?

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
I have a 14 inch western saddle that is comfortable for me and I also have ridden in a 15 inch western than was fine. The dressage saddle that I was riding in was a 17 inch.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Ok so that will leave you with 1/2" in front and behind you. Think about movement and if that that would be enough? I have taken the drawing and put in your 16" bar and marked a center line on it. Do you want to sit that far back?

Attachment: skelatonmeasurements16-bar.jpg (Downloaded 261 times)

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
So the bar would need to be made longer and then come onto the front yellow zone in order to place the center of the saddle more forward. Now we are back to the elephant. Is this where the flare at the front of the saddle comes in?

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Yes Yes!! This is where we begin to understand that we need to create a shape that will allow the saddle to be where we want it to be. If you look at the Guacho photos I posted you can see that we removed the end caps and cut out a bunch of reed on both ends. The reed has enough body that it could support the tube to be over the shoulder but not on the shoulder. This is why rigid trees offer an advantage over flexible trees.

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
So if the bars were stuffed with wool it would have to be done with some sort of method that would allow for a gradient change without shifting in order to create the flair. In a traditional gaucho saddle, since it is a flexible system, does not the flexibility reduce some of the pressure in the yellow zone even as the bars extend over it? In asking that question I realize that flexible is a relative term.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Yes but it takes pressure to bend something. I am currently working on a line dressage saddles and even with the rigid tree that can establish the angle in the front there is nothing to create the back shape in the panels, which are very similar to the Gaucho saddle. I solved the problem by adding some gussets to create the shape. Same concept could be used on the gaucho design.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Deb, Most of the sources I find say the anti-clinal vertabra is most often T16 You have told me in the past that it varies and you won't find it further forward than T16. Here is what it says in Sisson and Grossman. "The spinous Processes increase in length to the third and fourth and then gradually diminish to the fifteenth, beyond which they have about the same length. The caudal inclination is most pronounced in the second; the sixteenth is vertical (anticlinal vertebra); and the last two are directed a little craniad."
Here is a page from by By Klaus-Dieter Budras, W. O. Sack, Sabine Rock, Anita Wünsche, Ekkehard Henschelanother book that states the same. https://books.google.com/books?id=CUFN_K0AHgsC&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=horse+anticlinal+vertebra&source=bl&ots=E27mr7N681&sig=C7bE27-Bg1qTdFxEZZ19V04uxAY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=oSgsVYG1MIvkoASR9YGgCA&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=horse%20anticlinal%20vertebra&f=false Is this yet another example of a false hood getting repeated until we think it is reality?
Interesting that Sisson Grossman identifies the length of the spinal processes leveling off at T15 not T13. Personally I don't think that really has any bearing on saddle fit as we are not fitting the spinal processes we are just creating a tunnel for them.

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
I haven't abandoned this project. I am doing the ground work with Gilbert as my schedule allows, about three times a week. He has progressed from tripping over one ground pole to now having a springy trot over a series of four. While his belly has tighten up I haven't noticed any change in his topline yet.

Choctawpony
Member
 

Joined: Thu Oct 25th, 2012
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Posts: 19
Status:  Offline
I haven't abandoned this project. I am doing the ground work with Gilbert as my schedule allows, about three times a week. He has progressed from tripping over one ground pole to now having a springy trot over a series of four. While his belly has tighten up I haven't noticed any change in his topline yet.

David Genadek
Member


Joined: Sun May 13th, 2007
Location: Spring Valley, Minnesota USA
Posts: 426
Status:  Offline
Here are some instructions on how to make a 3d diagram of your horses back. Liz calls it back mapping. If you do these on a thinner paper and do a series of them at intervals you can hold them up to each other and see the progress you are making. If you are not making fairly fast progress on this you either need some instruction on what and how you are doing things or there is some thing in the horses body that is blocking progress. From what I see around here you can get horse moving right in few minutes to several weeks. That is not finished and strong enough to hold it for long periods of time just restoring the normal spinal curves and getting the horse to understand how he is supposed to use his body when you are on his back. We had one here last summer that took six weeks but he had four bad accidents and it took a series of chiropractic adjustments in addition to the message and ground work. If a horse has any fusing of bones then you have to live with those limitations.
http://www.aboutthehorse.com/web/tracings.pdf

john sk
Member
 

Joined: Thu Jul 26th, 2018
Location:  
Posts: 1
Status:  Offline
Hello is some model for Guacho saddle production? I would also like to make for my horse. Bastos are equal to sausages? The horse is formed? Thank you for the answers.




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez