Sunday, September 23, 2012
The Difference a 1/2" Makes
As luck would have it, the fitter who carries the Kent and Masters line of saddles was up at the barn today, and happened to have on her truck an 18" Kent and Masters S-series. It had the external blocks, but I could overlook that for fitting purposes.
Rather than pull out my dusty, dirty, sometimes naughty gelding (that I had no interest in riding due to extreme soreness on my part after subjecting myself to a 10k race yesterday), I decided I would make a less-naughty horse out of the water barrel and cavelletti blocks. I also lovingly named him Barry the Barrel Horse. He doesn't have much of a wither, and is quite stoic when letting me try saddles on him intended for a horse of a rather different shape.
I am still so amazed at what a difference a half an inch will make. You can see for yourself - angles and such aside, the 18" let me stretch my leg down without my knee jamming into the thigh block, I didn't have to scooch anywhere to find the seat, and best of all, my seat bones weren't screaming. Rather, I was able to just sit, and have the top of my thigh rest parallel to the thigh block, and have my lower leg just hang, with no jamming in any joints - hip, knee, or ankle.
I made it a point to sit in these 2 saddles - back and forth, for over an hour, and each time, I could feel little differences even more. The winner is the 18" Kent and Masters S-series, but with a moveable block. Not too keen on the surface block at all, I like having the ability to velcro the blocks on at different angles as necessary.
I also had the good fortune of picking up a rider pilates DVD and book. Can't wait to get started with that- may be my winter project!