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opinions on BALANCE saddle fitting?

Discussion in 'Tack & Saddlery' started by mayS, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. mayS

    mayS Owned by horses

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    My apologies if this topic was discussed before. I did try to search for it first.

    Anyone have any opinions for or against the way BALANCE International advises how to fit a saddle?

    I just came from a clinic taught by Carol Brett of Balance. She does not demand riders use her saddles, as long as the saddle they select meets certain criteria & fits the horse.

    Their ideas seem very smart. But it goes against the old school way we were told to fit saddles. For example their saddles are wider & they fit to the moving (not standing) horse.

    Just wondering if any of you owned a Balance saddle or pads? Or have been to one of their fittings?

    If you don't agree with their ideas, please share why.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Showjumper

    Showjumper Ex Member

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    I do like the theory behind how the Balance saddles work but I've never seen one in the flesh. It just makes sense to me to fit a saddle that's going to allow the horse to muscle up and move freely.
     
  3. Giveitago

    Giveitago New Member

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    Balance saddles.

    Firstly, I have had some great advice fom Carol Brett, a very down to earth lady with an eye for horses. I have had lessons with her in the past- you cant book Carol for love nor money lately,.

    I am not an expert on the balance range but will share my experience of riding in them.

    Balance has been around for quite a while now, they have moved away from the 'fitted' saddle in order to produce a saddle that leaves the horse freedom to move through the back and shoulder. I have ridden horses in the freespirit, soft options, felix and Zenith. (all 25 horses at a yard I rode at had balance saddles)

    I have never had a problem with the saddle moving too much and found them to be comfy etc. I'm not particularly keen on the soft options but have one for my Dales mare, it fits lovely.

    The saddles are manufactured to standard sizes, length, seat etc. The difference is in the width fitting. So, you would buy a saddle in say a 7x, you would then work out wether your horse would prefer a thin or thick wither pad, whether it needs support in the middle or at the back of the saddle and pad accordingly. Then, after riding your neddy, correctly, you will find that it starts to grow muscle, at that point you may be able to change the padding system to meet the new shape of your horse.

    So, in short, its a bit like buying a body protector, wouldnt it be nice to have a standard medium sized one that you could pad internally to meet the needs of your personal figure, for me a bit more padding in the bust but less round the belly area and perhaps a nice pad on my shoulders which are boney. When I get fit I could then do away with the shoulder pads- having developed my own muscle, have less around the belly which is now strong and flat and so on.

    I am not raving about the range, you must make your own decision, but for the regular horse owner who wants a saddle to last for life and a horse that moves well and is not constricted by steel frames, you may wish to 'giveitago'.

    I hope this helps.

    the GP's are good for a bit of everything.
     
    #3 Giveitago, Jun 15, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
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  5. Jane.A

    Jane.A Embracing each challenge

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    Have had balance saddles right form the get go, but found them expensive as my horses kept changing size and everytime I lost money. Initially I used to grin and bear it, but I felt there had to be another way. I also started to have problems as the saddles got wider with the width of the twist and some times when padded up felt so far removed from the horse. The last straw came when I got my long awaited new Xenith dressage and couldn't sit one side of my horse who is a BIG mover when in it. According to the Balance bumph that was not due to the saddle but my lack of balance as a rider! I had to sell the saddle as I could not get to grips with it. I bought a Sue Carson saddle which is marvellous, but still has the fixed head which isn't a problem on my older horse. I am now looking at the Wow which has an iter-changeable head as my new youngster is growing and changing. She is currently in a Bates Cair with changeable head which has been a godsend, but the Wow can be built round my needs as well as the horse's but I need to save up first:D
     
  6. Giveitago

    Giveitago New Member

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    Must say, I too have moved on and now have a HM fhoenix but the saddles were good for my horse for a couple of years and I have seen them work wonders for some horses.
     
  7. Lucy J

    Lucy J Weaver's Tale aka Ciara!!

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    i had one for a while - looked lovely but i found it uncomfy. i am not sure how my horse liked it as we discovered later that the shoulder and back problems she had weren't from the saddle but from her feet.

    i think the concept is good and better than a saddle which is too narrow which is often the case, but my chiropractor didn't like it.
     
  8. hughel

    hughel Soli !!

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    Every balance saddle we have tried has managed to slip and cause more problems than before!

    i love the theory and the width of the saddles is great but just not practicle for bigger moving horses!
     
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