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Volume 19 • Number 12 December 2012
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
5 Laser Therapy 8 Turns: Forehand and Haunches 10 Wound Case Study 12 Book Review 13 Equine Privacy 14 Ask HJ, Safety Thought 15 2012 Index, Dr. Getty 16 Commentary
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Our experts blog about competition, controversies and barn life.
Synthetic Saddles Rock Quality design, fit options and a good look at an affordable price.
From left, the Thorowgood T8, Thorowgood T4, Wintec Pro Dressage, Tekna S-Line Dressage.
If you’ve gone saddle shopping with a small budget, you know the quality available in leather saddles for less than $1,000 is just not there. That leaves a choice of buying a used leather saddle (and being sure there’s no broken or repaired tree), settling for a new in- expensive leather saddle (and living with the imperfections) or giving up on leather and going synthetic.
The simplest, safest route is a new synthetic saddle. Few people will even know your saddle’s not leather as you ride by. Or even if it’s sit- ting on the saddle rack, really. Plus, you can skip that time-consuming saddle soaping.
When our test saddles arrived, the first comment was always, “That’s not leather?” The four saddles we had—the Tekna S-Line dressage, the Wintec Pro dressage, the Thorow- good T4 dressage and the hybrid Thorowgood T8 dressage—showed great attention to design.
They not only looked like leather,
they were virtually just as pliable. Plus, the material is much more scratch and mold resistant. The colors are deep and rich. Stitching is even and tight. The designs are intuitive and rider friendly. These saddles lack nothing when it comes to quality construction.
CleaNiNg aND aCCeSSoRieS. Of course, nearly everyone knows that synthetic saddles are cleaned with water. (Really. Don’t use any- thing else.) You must keep them out of the sun while they’re drying and not expose them to high heat, such as blow drying them or locking them in a hot car (which isn’t good for leather either). Other than that, they’re a piece of cake. The suede- like areas did collect dusty debris,
but we wiped that off with a dry cloth between washings.
We used leather stirrup leathers and girths on these saddles without problem. You can also purchase matching bridles, girths and leath- ers, if you prefer. While we’ve heard that leather can cause a squeak when used on synthetic materials, we didn’t have that problem.
TekNa S-liNe. The Tekna S-Line saddle from English Riding Supply is available in a smooth or suede- like finish. We chose the smooth fin- ish, and it was wonderful, appearing very much like leather. The saddle was comfortable with padded, shaped knee rolls and a moveable knee block. The material is breath- able. It had the longest stirrup bar in
Editor-in-Chief Cynthia Foley
Associate Editor Margaret Freeman
Performance Editor John Strassburger
Contributing Veterinary Editors Deb M. Eldredge, DVM,
Grant Miller, DVM
Contributing Farrier Editors Lee Foley, Steve Kraus, CJF
Contributing Nutrition Editor Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Contributing Writers Beth Benard, Nancy Butler,
Beth Hyman, Susan Quinn, Esq.
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Reprints and Web-Posting Jennifer Knapp
Horse Journal™ (ISSN No. 1097-6949; usps 011-874) is published monthly by Cruz Bay Publishing, LLC, an Active Interest Media company. The known office of publica- tion is at 475 Sansome St., Suite 850, San Francisco, CA 94111. Periodicals postage paid at San Francisco, CA and at addition- al mailing offices. Copyright © 2012, Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. Printed in U.S.A. Revenue Canada GST Account #128044658.
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Horse Journal™ makes every effort to pro- vide information on horse health, care and treatment that is authoritative, re- liable and practical. It is not intended, however, to replace diagnosis or treat- ment by a veterinarian or other qualified health professional. Horse Journal does not assume any legal responsibility. Read- ers should always consult qualified health care providers for specific diagnosis and treatment.
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� Horse Journal December �01�
The goal of Horse Journal is to provide practical solutions and hands-on information our readers can take into the barn and use. We work to make bottom-line recommendations on products we believe will best serve our readers while standing firm with a back-to-the-basics philosophy on training, nutrition and horse care. We base our evaluations on field trials, research and experience. Horse Journal does not accept commercial advertising.
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Editorial: Careful Spending
Quality items can cost less in the long run.
As the last pieces of the barn building fall into place, like footing, we prepare for the move.
Moving every 10 years or so makes you eliminate clutter. That’s because, when you’re packing, you find making the “I don’t need that” decision far easier.
Well, if you count my time as a young girl, we’ve been in the same barn for 40 years. And since we’re moving into the new barn shortly, I’ve started sort- ing, deciding what to keep, toss or garage sale.
Things I know we’ll never use again, including a huge number of bits and some young-horse train- ing devices, will go. The barn carts we’ve had since 2005 will be pared down, but we’ll certainly keep the Sce- nic Road Gorilla Wheelbarrow. It’s been “doing stalls” ever since it wheeled into the barn seven years ago. We’ve aired the tires a couple times, but otherwise it’s perfect. Its award as Best Buy and Top Choice was well deserved. At a price of under $200 in 2005, its cost is about $3 a month so far.
The other standout cart is the Agri- Fab #45 Cart. You wouldn’t expect a one-year warranty cart to compare to Scenic Road’s 10-year warranty, but it did. Our testers said the Agri-Fab cart was durable, and they were right. There’s a loose edging piece and a few chips in the bed, but otherwise, it’s worked hard carting hay, bedding and more around the farm for years.
That County Dresprix saddle is still dear to my heart. It’s the one I simply had to have way back in the first year of Horse Journal. Our testers were skepti- cal of its adjustable flap, but after the field trial they thought it was outstand- ing, and so have I for nearly 19 years now. It’s been through four horses,
and might need a little reflocking now, but other- wise it’s in amaz- ingly good shape. Longevity. That’s what we all want.
I still wear the Tredsteps half chaps I bought in 1998 after our field trial. The decade-old BMB halters remain my favorites,
and our Union Hill Lettia saddle pads haven’t started to show wear yet. These were all relatively pricey items, recom- mended by Horse Journal, and they’ve proven to be worth every penny.
This holiday season, consider giving quality gifts that people can use for years to come. Maybe initially it won’t seem like that $25 Haas brush is much of a gift, but eight years from now, when your friend is moving to another barn, you’ll be sure it’s a favorite that goes with her, just as mine will.
Cynthia Foley Editor-in-Chief
Horse Journal w w w.horse -journal.com December �01� �
Saddle Billets Flaps and panels Gullet Tree Seat
Tekna S-Line $625 www.english supply.com 866-569-1600
Y-strap long billets, slightly thick.
Movable knee block. The latex-wool flocking is thick, comfortable and smooth. A saddle fitter can manipulate this combination.
Uses Quick Change Gullet system $25 each.
Lightweight synthetic Five-year warranty
We found the nicely padded seat comfortable with a medium twist and depth.
Wintec Pro $850 www.wintec.net.au Contact your local dealer
Y-strap billets, pretty thick, but they’re adjustable in length and placement. The front billet can be moved on the Velcro the knee block sits on and secured in place.
Equigrip panels. Movable knee block. Choice of wool or CAIR Cushion panels. Easy Change Riser Solution also available to adjust panels. $