FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You Asked, We Answered
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND ADVANTAGES OF A FLEXIBLE SADDLE COMPARED TO A RIGID TREE SADDLE?
Have you ever watched a horse cantering and playing with his buddies in a paddock or field? Then if you are a reasonably observant person, you would see the rippling muscles in his back; flexing and relaxing, with each and every stride. Now imagine a curved but rigid piece of wood strapped to the back of this constantly changing landscape that is the horses back.... Can you picture it? Not good is it? It makes no sense to strap an unyielding, rigid frame (i.e. a wooden inflexible tree) to the supple back of a horse. The flexible internal structure of the saddle, should move WITH the movement of the horses body and get out of the way of the working muscles and ALLOW the horse to move as he needs to in order to stay balanced, well muscled, and healthy.
DO I NEED TO PURCHASE OR USE A SPECIAL SADDLE PAD WITH THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES?
No. The Kuda Flex Saddles are very supportive and distribute the riders weight exceptionally well so there is no need for special saddle pads with inserts. All the Kuda Flex Saddles provide good spinal clearance and have sufficient padding along the entire length of the bars either side of the horses spine. We are however recommending the MATTES CORRECTION System Pads and shims for horses which are going through rehabilitative riding or training due to muscle wastage and soreness caused by previous saddles or past injuries.
ARE THERE WEIGHT LIMITATIONS WITH THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES AS THERE ARE WITH TREELESS SADDLES?
The short answer is no, the Kuda Flex Saddles can take a much heavier rider than treeless saddles. Generally 85kgs is max weight for treeless WITH a quality treeless saddle pad with rubber/foam inserts - or at least it should be! However, we are firm believers in the rider/horse weight ratio of 20%. This means that you AND your tack should not weigh more than 20% of your horses weight. So if your horse is 550 kg, (fairly average weight for a stocky 15.2 hh horse or a finer framed 16 hh) you and your saddle should be no more than 110 kg combined. The average weight of a Kuda Flexible Bar Saddle is 10 kg so that still allows you, the rider, to be around 100 kg for a 550 kg horse. Obviously this ratio increases as the horses weight increases.
WHAT IS THE RIDING POSITION LIKE IN THE KUDA WESTERN FLEX SADDLES? DRESSAGE POSITION OR "CHAIR SEAT" ?
I find I get asked this question mainly by riders that have been riding in Stock saddles, and I understand why. Most traditional Western or Stock saddles have the stirrup bar placed too far forward which causes the rider to sit with her feet out in front of her which forces the rider to sit to the rear of the saddle. This creates the dreaded "chair seat"! This is very bad for horses because the riders weight, being displaced to the rear of the saddle, places too much pressure on the horses sensitive loins. Not to mention what it does for the riders balance! The Kuda Western Flex Saddles offer a perfectly balanced seat which is more closely aligned to a good dressage postion: perfectly centred over the horses centre of gravity.
DO YOU HAVE A PAYMENT PLAN?
Yes, there are payment plans available. Saddles do have to be paid for in full before delivery as it is an 'in-house' payment plan. The saddle is ordered once 50% deposit has been paid, you can get to this point quickly by paying 50% up front, or you can get to this point by making regular payments that you are comfortable with. For example, I have one customer who set up a direct debit from her account to ours and paid $100 per week until the saddle is paid for in full. We ordered the saddle for her once she reached the half way mark. There are no fees or interest involved.
MY HORSE HAS MINIMAL TOP LINE AND/OR UNEVEN MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT. WILL THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES WORK FOR MY HORSE?
Yes. Most horses do have some asymmetry just as we do as riders. Clever use of saddle pads with inserts (Mattes Saddle Pads with the Correction System address this very well), can also offer tremendous help here. Missing top line and some cases of muscle atrophy can easily be accommodated by both types for Kuda Flex Saddles, and incorporating a Mattes Correction System saddle pad can be very beneficial until the horse has re-built some muscle. Best to give us a call to discuss your personal situation.
DO THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES FIT HIGH WITHERED HORSES?
Absolutely! All of the models can accommodate high withers with no trouble at all. Only in extreme cases where there is extensive muscle atrophy or the horse is very underweight, will there be some fit issues. Best to discuss with us over the phone.
WHAT IS THE EXPECTED LIFESPAN OF THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES?
If you take care of your Kuda Flex Saddle properly: store it well, clean it regularly and oil and condition it using only quality leather conditioners then there is no reason why your saddle won't out last you! Kuda Saddles are a saddle for a lifetime, make no mistake :)