I have 6 mustangs without withers...they are shortbacked (except for Silhouette) and go in several different disciplines. I like dressage, jumping, also trail and endurance. Sometimes I go with minimum equipment sometimes I like to take saddle bags and supplies for the trail. I abhor heaving a "Klotz" onto my horse just to add my own weight and then completely loose all feeling for the movement. I do not use a HORN, I do not need breast color, tail-keeper, martingales or backstraps. I like to see my horse...more than just the ears. The mouth of the horse is sensitive, since I don't jog with a spoon in my mouth, I do not ask my horse to perform with a metal linkage/port in his mouth either...
I ride in a 15inch Bob Marshall treeless sports saddle with a grandeur pad (also a skito pad). The saddle is superlight and I feel the horse, It is warm and has attachments for saddlebags if so desired. It fits ALL my horses, sometimes I change the pad. The conclusion I came to is that the saddle is secondary to the pad, especially in treeless. So for spine clearance I want a 3/4 inch temperfoam buffer between the saddle and the horse, heat will compress that some, but when I take the saddle off it is still a beautiful distribution of weight.
I ride my horses in an LG-Zaum, developed by my friend and Mustang-rider Monika Lehmenkuehler in Germany. She has been advocating this bitless alternative for more than a decade now and it is the closest approximation to the Snaffle (two-point contact and three point pressure) and elegant to boot. It took me a while to work out the kinks like the clip-ons that fit best and the adjustments for the length of the headstall etc. but I thing today I got it. (Picture)
In addition I ride in a classic "ansur" saddle and a modern "Freeform" (both treeless)
and I also like a basic sidepull and sometimes go out in a jumping hackamore.
|ARAGON V WITH THE BITLESS LG-ZAUM AND THE BOB MARSHALL TREELESS SADDLE|