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Sometimes the muscles around the spine, the neck and hindquarters become chronically tense so that the tissues are hard and the movement is stiff. If the situation changes and the tension disappears, the tissues will gradually soften again and the mane will sometimes turn to another side than during the constant tension.
Solution: One cannot usually sit in a lopsided position in a Flexible Saddle without noticing. Thatís why the seat often becomes better than before and the rider becomes aware of weight aids. When a lopsided horse gets a Flexible Saddle and is allowed to use his body properly again, he starts regaining his balance and symmetry.
          A slight asymmetry may not be a problem in a Flexible Saddle as the saddle adapts itself and fills the space on which it lies on the horseís back. If a Flexible Saddle has wool panels, they often work much better than in a hard-treed saddle: a Flexible Saddle typically fits so well under ever-changing circumstances that the panels only get a bit flatter in time, not necessarily uneven.

7) Fitting a hard-treed saddle is difficult
Many horse owners turn to a professional saddle fitter to see if the saddle fits. If one needs the help of a professional in the beginning, he will probably not be able to judge himself later on, either, if the horse or the saddle have changed so much that problems start arising.
          This dilemma doesnít usually exist with Flexible Saddles. After you have got to know the particular saddle model, it is easy to check how the saddle fits.

Summary

All riders want the best for their horse. Usually the problems of a treed saddle arise unexpectedly. Itís often difficult to check how a treed saddle fits. Problems often take one by surprise.
          One of the things that make fitting a hard-treed saddle difficult is the fact that horses donít express their pain very clearly. Contrary to humans, they donít for example use their voice to express pain at all. They rather tend to hide their pain. (Many prey animals do the same, because an individual who sticks out of the crowd because of his different behaviour will attract the attention of a predator.) This is why itís sometimes difficult to notice that a horse suffers from an ill-fitting saddle.
          If a horse is ridden for only 1–2 hours a day and will have the rest of the day to recover from the tissue damage that his hard treed saddle may have caused, problems may not easily become so severe that the horse owner would notice them on time.
          If there are problems, it may be best to take a break in the riding. A Flexible Saddle alone may not be able to fix a health problem. It can, however, make the recovery more rapid for a horse who is already rideable, and help to prevent future problems.


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