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Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog post relating to how saddles work on horses on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com. 

Rethinking saddle fit and shoulder blade movement

Posted by RodandDenise on July 25, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 July 25 1 leg exended shoulder blade movement.jpg

If you read anything about saddle fit and the shoulders, you will learn that the top of the shoulder blade rotates backwards when the horse extends their leg forward. This is often demonstrated by lifting and pulling the leg forward to show you how far the shoulder blade can rotate back. You are then told you have to put your saddle behind that farthest most point or you will interfere with the movement of the shoulder blade. Sounds good in theory. Not necessary in practice. Why? The first issue is that the shoulder blade doesn't go that far when the horse moves it (and we talked about that here). The second and more important point is that it doesn’t matter anyway. Really and truly, honest! Let me explain…  (You'll have seen this fact in a previous post if you were watching carefully.)

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Yup, we're still working away...

Posted by RodandDenise on July 16, 2015

2015 July 15 1 Rod cutting out saddle trees.jpg

I noticed that it has been a while since I posted anything about what had been going on around the shop work wise. Rod is still going at normal rate building trees. We had about 5 ½ or so month’s orders ahead of us when we got the diagnosis of his arthritis, so we have all those orders to fill for the time we had promised them before he can slow down at all. Other than the changes in how he uses his hands that we talked about before, it is pretty much same old, same old around here…

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Position - Why it is so important

Posted by RodandDenise on July 1, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

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The last few posts have been discussing the position of the saddle relative to the shoulder blade. So why are we saying this? What’s the big deal if the saddle is behind the shoulder blade or on top of it? Does it matter? Yup it does – and here’s picture proof of why…

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Position - Seeing the shoulder blade under saddle Part one

Posted by RodandDenise on June 8, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 June 8 1 scapula drawn on.jpg

Why did we bother writing a blog post to help people learn how to find the shoulder blade, either in real life or in pictures? Because it is really important to the horse that the saddle doesn’t sit over the shoulder blade. If it does, it will compress muscle between bar and bone and cause damage, as we wrote about a while ago. So once you are able to see where the shoulder blade is on a bare horse, the next step is to see it when the horse is saddled. That’s tougher, because your “X-ray eyes” not only have to look through skin, but also through padding and the very front of the saddle.

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Position - Seeing the shoulder blade

Posted by RodandDenise on May 30, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 May 26 1 shoulder blade.jpg

A long, long time ago now – about 3 ½ years – when I was doing an series on equine anatomy as it applies to saddles and how they work on horses, I did a post on the foreleg of the horse. I talked about the scapula (shoulder blade) and its basic anatomy. In a later post I discussed more about how the shoulder blade moved, and in a third post I described how saddles and shoulder blades work together – or not. I need to recap some key points at this time because they are needed as the basis for future posts I have planned. A very important part of those future posts is being able to find the shoulder blade not only practically on a live horse but also visually in pictures, since a lot of tree makers and saddle makers work long distance from their customers.

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Around our place lately...

Posted by RodandDenise on May 23, 2015

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So what’s been happening around here the last little while? Well, it’s May, and that means things have been turning GREEN!!! around here. We love green. It’s such a nice change from white…

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The effects of “flare” - and it's not pretty...

Posted by RodandDenise on May 16, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 May 15 1 flare in saddle tree illustrated.jpg

Just over a year ago, we put up a post on “flare” – the idea that you curve out the front of the tree bars a lot so that it doesn’t contact the horse, essentially giving the front of the bars excess rock compared to the shape of the horse. The theory is that the shoulder blade is then free to rotate backward without pressure as the horse extends its leg. We disagree with this theory and explained our reasoning in that post, saying that the saddle would move forward and actually cause the problems that “flare” was supposed to present. Well, we now have a real life example to share with you of how “flare” works out in the real world.

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Modifications

Posted by RodandDenise on May 8, 2015

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It’s been interesting around here the last few weeks. Rod has been having problems with his hands for a while now, and on March 13th, he was diagnosed with “relatively advanced degeneration of the first carpometacarpal joints bilaterally” which, in English, means pretty severe arthritis at the base of both thumbs. So we have been doing a lot of thinking and figuring and changing things in order that Rod can continue to build trees with some level of comfort. We’re writing this post to hopefully give others ideas or even just think about what they can do to help preserve their hands from suffering (pun intended) the same fate.

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Wither conformation - seeing the damage

Posted by RodandDenise on April 24, 2015

Our video, Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo!! We have all our blog posts relating to how saddles work on horses organized on our website at www.westernsaddlefit.com.

2015 April 24 1 damaged back.jpg

By contemplating equine back conformation (not a normal activity for normal people, but definitely normal for tree makers) you come to realize there is quite the range of variation of normal, and I wrote about that recently. However, on even further contemplation we have come to recognize the abnormal. It has taken a while to “see” it, since we actually see it so often. But common does not mean normal and we now recognize that a lot of what we have been seeing for years actually isn't “normal”.

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Ya think it's time?

Posted by RodandDenise on April 18, 2015

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Neither Rod nor I could be considered to be part of the “use it once and throw it out” contingent in our world. In fact, we tend to go to the opposite end of the “use it up” group. But eventually we finally have to recognize that it really is time to get something new.

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