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Saddle Repair & Reflocking

Do you know whats in your saddle? real wool, synthetic, CAIR or Air Panels? Is your horse bucking or just plain naughty? It's likely your saddle causing pain and discomfort.

We recommend that saddles be re-flocked every two to three years to keep the saddle panels from becoming lumpy and uncomfortable for the horse causing it to lose peak performance.

After two to three years the flock begins to settle and become hard, lumpy and uneven therefore losing its shock absorbing ability on the horse’s back. You may not notice these on the underside of the saddle, but your horse will, which can lead to bucking and rearing or just plain disobedience of your commands.

Vets, chiropractors and massage therapists will tell you that uneven saddle panels are one of the main causes of back trouble in horses.

Re-flocking a saddle involves literally taking the old stuffing out of the panels and replacing it with new flock.

After your saddle has been re-flocked you may immediately notice much improvement with your horse’s gait and temperament.

All reflocking is done in house and takes approximately 3- 4 days. 100% pure wool is used as this offers exceptional support with breath-ability.  

While the saddle is open we do a full safety inspection of the tree, leather and stitching. Thorough cleaning, oiling and conditioning of your saddle is also done at no extra charge to ensure the leather is safe and supple.

We offer conversions from Air/Cair to wool.

Reflock costs: range from $75.00 - $400 plus GST.

Panels on the base of the saddle are filled to give it cushioning and resistance with many different materials or methods.

  •     Flocked panels.
  •     Foam panels.
  •     Felt & Foam panels.
  •     Felt & Flock panels (Saumur).
  •     Air Panels (CAIR).

There are advantages and disadvantages for all these methods, so choosing the correct panel is important.

Flocked Panels: These are filled with a selection of different wool types or artificial flocking which can vary from carpet clipping to soft toy stuffing to artificial wool staple. With artificial flocked saddles the best is the wool staple because it is resilient it gives an even flock and is easily adjusted.

Real Wool Flocked: These saddles dissipate heat and remain soft longer, they come in three main types: white wool, which is very soft and gives a soft panel, but compresses easily, long staple mixed fibre-which is grey and holds a better shape, and Jacobs-which is the most expensive but holds its resilience and shape the best, giving a spring but firm base for the saddle.

Foam Panels: These are usually referred to as close contact panels. Contrary to common ideas a close contact saddle is not a jumping or saddle type, but a panel type and any type of saddle can be "close contact." Foam close contacts are that because there is less material between rider and horse. The panel is much thinner and smaller and was designed, only to be used as a light weight saddle for the competition ring.

Felt & Foam Panels: These are often close contact panels and have a felt top and foam stuffing inside the panels against the horse's back. This is a much more expensive panel, as good felt is extremely expensive. It keeps its shape, but the foam still deteriorates and needs replacing over time, this can be costly as the saddle has to be taken apart to do this. These types of panels cannot be adjusted.

Air Panels: There are two basic systems on the market today, the Wintec and Bates sealed air panels (CAIR) and Air panels (FLAIR). Both systems use 4 airbags or bladders, one at the front of each panel and one at the back of each panel. These bladders overlap in FLAIR but not in the CAIR. FLAIR has a valve with each panel so they can be adjusted independently.

We hope this has been helpful and clears up any confusion there is about panels and which is best for your horse's comfort and well being.

A comfortable well fitted saddle could make all the difference in that jump off or dressage test!

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