I tried the Sensation Hybrid saddle today!
Gosh, having a brand new saddle to try really made me nervous. I felt like I had an egg in my arms all day!
To be fair, the rep at Ride Treeless, told me NOT TO . This was a demo and demos get used!
But, I knew it was brand new and didn’t want to be the person who messed it up…
SADDLING MY MARE
I put it on Gwen. She is an average sized Morgan mare, now 17 (how time flies!), with a normal back. She doesn’t have a high wither or a particularly wide barrel. Most saddles usually fit her fairly well.
(Yes, I know she needs a good grooming. She has been out all winter and this was the first time I brought her in…)
Anyway, the saddle fit nicely on her back. No issues. It slid right into the sweet spot. Gwen didn’t flinch or make any faces.
A good start.
I reached into my tack room and found a nice, smaller dressage girth.
It fit and worked easily.
Gwen was fitted and saddled in a nano-second.
She was calm and fine.
Yay. This was going well!
RIDING IN THE SADDLE.
I mounted using my mounting block.
Yes, the saddle was very cushy. Immediately I was comfortable.
Appearance and Feel: This saddle felt lux.
You know how sometime a saddle has leather that is rough, heavy or non-pliable? Well, this saddle had none of that. Everything was soft and comfortable.
The stitching looked firm. All the edges matched. It was put together well. I felt confident with the construction.
Seat Bolsters: I had added seat bolsters to the pommel and cantle which I liked very, very much. I felt as if I was in a very soft bucket seat. Very secure. Nice.
Padding: There is padding in the seat and double padding under the saddle – next to the horse.
If this was my saddle, I think I would add sheepskin to the seat to protect it and to add just a bit more separation between me and the horse’s spine. I felt fine during my 2 hours in this saddle… but if I was to ride all day, I think I’d like more padding.
Or, I’d get more padding inserted into the underside of the saddle (this model had two layers) because I think it might not be as comfortable after several hours in the saddle. Not sure.
To be fair, I am a bit of a ‘princess and the pea’ kind of a rider. I have a bony butt and I always wonder if that bothers them… I know it bothers me. I like lots of padding.
Close contact: looooooooved the close contact. Gwen was very, very responsive. She could feel my every move. The ride was smooth, happy and trigger easy. She was perfect.
Very nice. Excellent.
Stirrups: I was given a new design of stirrup. It attaches right by your calf and hangs there. I liked that the stirrups didn’t have huge play. I could move my feet up and back but not all over. And standing was easy.
However, I did need to drop them a few times when Gwen came too close to the fence or a barrel (and I wasn’t paying attention). So, I think on a trailride, if you are the kind who likes free legs, this type of stirrup might not work.
Also, I had a tough time picking them up – maybe because I had to have them on the shortest rung which put my searching foot at a disadvantage. Again, I’m short. I generally have issues with stirrups… I think this new style of stirrup is very popular with endurance riders.
So for me, I might choose a different type of stirrup attachment or a different actual stirrup than the Easy Riders.
There are several different styles of stirrup attachments on the website…
Echogold Saddlepad: It came with this new type of saddle pad that offers spine clearance and spine venting, velcro to attach the saddle to the pad and tackytack underside.
It was very robust with a nice shape. However, the velcro made me crazy. It was so strong that I couldn’t move the saddle without moving the pad. Or, vice versa. They were stuck together. And it was a chore to separate them and make nuanced changes.
For me, I would not purchase one of these pads with the insane amount of velcro option. I’d go with the regular type of pad with maybe one velcro per side. Something less pervasive would be better – for me.
Riding: My horse liked it. I liked it. I felt very secure and very comfortable. My feet were in the correct position. I didn’t feel like I was pitched forward or back. I could stand in the stirrups easily. My back didn’t hurt. My knees didn’t hurt.
Handling: I could carry it with one hand – the pad and the saddle. It weighed less than my purse!
The saddle comes with a handle and you can carry it right off your horse and into your trailer with no effort at all. Very light. Lovely!
Mounting: This was the only issue I had… I could not mount from the ground. Of course, thousands of people use Sensation saddles. So, it must be me. But I could not figure out a way to mount without having the saddle slip.
Or maybe my horse is more round than I think…
However, to be fair, so many people ride (especially endurance riders who mount and dismount often) these saddles and love them – the mounting issue has to be me.
There are movies on the website that show how to do just about everything – including mounting. But for me, I think I’m a bit short because I really tried.
Or maybe I’m just not coordinated. But whatever it is, I had to use the mounting block.
I think anyone 200lbs or lighter, should demo this saddle. My horse was happy (no soreness) and I know it felt good for the rider – me. I was very comfortable and the ride was wonderful because she was sooooo responsive. Dreamy.
If you do demo this saddle, please tell me how it goes.
Thousands of riders who ride the Sensation say they would never, ever use any other saddle…
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