Fairfax saddle needs reflocking - no saddler available until Dec. WWYD?

VioletStripe

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Hi everyone,

I bought a Fairfax back at the end of June, and was advised to have it checked and reflocked in 3 months as the wool would have compacted down. As it was, my boy had around a month off from work due to some lung investigations and an asthma diagnosis (now thankfully under control *touch wood*). During this time we just did walking in-hand with the occasional mooch around on a long rein to maintain some fitness - this was usually bareback out of sheer laziness on my part (my vet was very happy for me to do this). He also had half of last month off from ridden work as I came down with Covid (also fully recovered!)

Since his diagnosis we moved to a different yard in a different part of the country, and I tried to book in a saddle check for November. Unfortunately I can't get an appointment until the first week of December! What should I do? This is one of the earliest available around the area (many have wait-lists until Jan/Feb) and is a Fairfax accredited organisation too.

Should I fit a thin memory foam pad under the saddle in the mean time to support the flocking? The basic checks for the fit which I do myself all appear to be fine, I'm just worried about the flocking! Should I reduce ridden work and up in-hand and bareback? Will it be okay to leave it another month? At the moment I'm doing 3 ridden sessions a week (mix of schooling and longer hacks), with usually 1 or 2 lunge/in-hand days.

In a bit of a panic - I reckoned I could get an appointment for around a month's time but apparently not! I might ring the saddler and ask but also wondered what you wise people thought?

TIA!
 

CanteringCarrot

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1 April 2018
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If it's ok, just keep going with it. If the flocking has really compressed and/or the saddle is too wide, use a Mattes pad.

My Fairfax didn't need a reflock as fast as I thought it would when I first bought it. So you're probably ok for another month and supplementing with padding as needed.
 

Jango

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14 July 2010
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My advice would be if your horse is showing no signs of discomfort and you are happy with the general fit I would crack on. If you get any signs of ridden discomfort or not wanting to be tacked up then stop riding until the saddler has seen it.
 

Adoni123

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2 July 2020
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I'm the same at the moment as saddle fitter is so busy - she's recommended using a prolite pad until I can get it reflocked and she wasn't terribly worried about it.

My boys physio is happy with his back and he has had her out recently so this made me feel confident that he'd be OK for a while :)
 

sbloom

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14 September 2011
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Suffolk
It's impossible to recommend what you should do, in most new saddles the flocking settles a little and the front of the saddle drops, but unless you've been checking the clearance (always recommended, once a week or fortnight, when you dismount after riding, leave the girth tight) you won't be sure. Sometimes muscle development or other changes can means it's tipping back. Adding a thicker pad in the first case would be the right thing to do, in the second would make it worse. See if you fitter does any basic checks from photos (I do but only for saddles I have fitted).
 

VioletStripe

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28 July 2008
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4,238
Location
Kent/Sussex Borders
Thank you everyone!

Sbloom - I've been checking and yesterday afternoon it all appeared fine, clearance-wise, and no tipping. I even compared it to a photo of when I had initially had it fitted and it more or less looks the same, and running a hand around its clearance is fine and it isn't slipping around etc at all. Thank you very much for your advice, I will be contacting my saddler and will keep doing my regular 2-week checks!
 
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