Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Saturday, January 23, 2010

First Ride in Borrowed Barefoot

I have such generous friends!  Tracy lent me her Barefoot saddle (I just realized I'm not sure which model it is - I'll have to check next time I ride it) to try on Rhio.  Yesterday I saddled him up with my Skito Dryback pad which fits the Synergist and is a little bigger than I would need for a saddle like this.  But, really, the saddle-pad combination didn't seem too bad.  Rhio didn't mind saddling at all and stood for mounting like a champ.  I sure like how light this saddle is (less than 10 pounds, I think)!  It is a treeless saddle, so has no rigid structure to it at all.  There is nothing to pinch a horse's shoulders or withers, as long as the saddle-pad combination maintain wither & spine clearance (i.e. the weight of the rider doesn't squish the whole mess down onto the horse's back).  We had withers clearance for sure; next time I ride this saddle I'll have someone help me assess spine clearance by looking & feeling while I'm in the saddle.

The Skito pad sticks out several inches behind the cantle of the saddle.

Off we went down the driveway to the road, and about 1/4 mile down the road & back at a trot.  We still have to be very cognizant of our footing, as only the shoulders of the road are soft.  The driving lanes are snow packed so tightly that it has nearly become ice.  Our recent sunny & warm days have made even this area fairly soft, but yesterday wasn't sunny and the damp east wind made it feel quite chilly. Hmmm,  something feels funny - back home to adjust stirrups.  Dismount, fuss with stirrups (rotated the buckles down to near the stirrup instead of up under my thigh, as would be traditional on an English saddle), and off we go again, this time along the trail between pastures on our way to the back hayfield.

There is a crew doing some selective logging & trail clearing out back, so the trail has been plowed down to dirt and we trot merrily along.  Rhio is totally unconcerned about the loud machinery off in the woods (which we can't see) and I have to laugh quietly at one of the crew guys walking along the trail - he never noticed a grey horse & a rambunctious Golden Retriever behind him.  Rhio is moving out really nicely in his super-smooth trot that I just sit - he does this trot in his Synergist, too, but often not until we hit a higher speed.  Every trot step he took in the Barefoot was free & easy, like it is in the bareback pad. I like that!

Wearing Red's Synergist - the Skito pad is a bit big for this saddle too.

Home again for a saddle switch, this time to try Red's Synergist.  It looks & feels like a good fit, so I mount up and head out west on the road this time.  Kilian joyfully accompanied us for the 3rd outing of the day - and Rhio didn't complain at all about leaving for the 3rd time, either.  We went about 1/2 mile before turning around (because I knew that east wind in our face coming home was going to be particularly unpleasant).  Wow, does riding this saddle feel different than the Barefoot!  I can feel the rigidity of the saddle - but also the support it gives me as the rider.  Also, I have English stirrup irons hung on the Barefoot and my usual wide trail stirrups (4" platform for my feet) on Red's saddle - and this makes a big different as well.

I only rode in the Barefoot for about 20 minutes, but I am looking forward to riding in it again.  I was pleased so far with it, but need to have more time & miles in it to know for sure.  It is the first of several borrowed saddles I will get to try over the coming weeks.  I did decide to put Rhio's Synergist up for sale, since Red's saddle is a reasonably good fit and can be used on both horses (and I can only ride 1 at a time, anyway!).  This means I'm officially saddle searching!

Rhio's Synergist, which is now officially for sale!  I find this saddle VERY comfortable for me, but my horse's comfort is my number one priority.


  1. Is this saddle still for sale? What size is it?

    1. Just to clarify - the all-black Synergist in these pics IS still for sale - although it's out on a trial right now, so if that person decides to purchase it, then it won't be available. It's approximately a 15 1/2" seat and a medium tree.

      The Barefoot saddle is NOT for sale - it belongs to a friend and I was just borrowing it.

    2. still interested in your sale for sale if you have not sold it already. let me know how much you are asking?

  2. Is the saddle sold yet? And how much are you asking for it?

  3. Hi Beth,
    It just came back from the lady who was trying it - and it is still available. I'm asking $1400, which includes shipping in the lower 48.

    Email me directly at t(dot)dentinger(at)gmail.com and I can give you more specifics/pics/etc.