We were adjusting my saddle for a friend to ride when she asked about my saddle.
It was kind of different from what she was used to.
I explained that it was designed to reduce the layers of leather under the rider’s legs, to allow for closer contact with the horse. Then the seat of the saddle doesn’t have build up in the front, which allows the rider to roll his pelvic bone forward and sit on his seat-bones ( ischial tuberosity, if you want to look it up in Greys anatomy, not the TV show, the book ).
So, where did this saddle come from?
It is very much like the currently popular “ranch roper”. But this saddle was designed back in the 1950’s by the team of Monty Foreman, the scientific horsemanship author, and “Slim” Fallis, the saddle maker.
It was designed to put the rider in the “forward” position of balance on the horse. Riding this saddle you feel more “plugged in” to the horse.
The seat is very similar in feel to a good dressage saddle , only it is a western roping saddle, and has a strong rawhide tree, which can withstand heavy roping work.
I was introduced to this type of saddle by reiner Buddy Ralston, back when we were all forming the Texas reining horse association. It helped me to get into the position i needed to be in for reining maneuvers.
I also find it helps a lot in starting colts, to keep me in a balanced seat so as to help young horses find their balance with a rider on their backs.
I got my first one from Slim back in the late 1970’s. But since then I’ve purchased five more, one of which was for my oldest grandchild, now a teenager who rides with us. Now I deal with Slim’s son John Fallis whose shop is in Idaho, and who does all his own work. So it is truly a custom made saddle.
We see essentially no back soreness with this saddle, and I am more comfortable as well.
I’ve had colts fall over backward on it without breaking the tree, we rope calves, cows and occasional bull, and I don’t have to use any special padding under it.
Just thought maybe other horseman who are always looking for that perfect saddle might like to hear my (humble) opinion on the saddle business! June 1 2018