Action Rider Tack – The Beginning

Candy Kahn, Founder and President of Action Rider Tack, recounts how Action Rider Tack began…

Here are some of the highlights from the video:

  • In 2002, Candy had been competing in Endurance rides and her horse, Rogue, began to interfere. Her trimmer placed her horse off-balance so she wouldn’t interfere. Candy decided it was not right and she wasn’t going to do that to her horses. She had the shoes removed from all of her horses.
  • Later that year (2002), Candy took a class on barefoot trimming. At the time, very few people around the United States were barefoot proponents or experts.
  • In 2003, she took a course with Martha Olivo and became a Certified Barefoot Trimmer.
  • Candy wanted give her horses more protection, but the Easyboot did not fit her Arabian’s small hooves.
  • In 2004, at the AERC Convention, Garrett Ford was demonstrating the Boa Boot which ended up fitting Rogue.
  • EasyCare opened distribution to Certified Barefoot Trimmers which allowed Candy to become a reseller.
  • BoaBoots.com was Candy’s first website and she talked with people across the world about Boa Boots and barefoot trimming.
  • Candy purchased a Torsion saddle (Treeless saddle) and she really enjoyed the saddle. She searched for a Treeless saddle to resell and share with other endurance riders. She found Barefoot Saddles, tested it and decided to sell those as well. The BoaBoots.com website was no longer a fit for what she was doing.
  • In 2005, another endurance rider helped Candy to come up with the name Action Rider Tack. Candy started the new website and merged BoaBoots.com into ActionRiderTack.com.
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Julie Uses Easyboot Gloves from EasyCare

The following post was sent to EasyCare from Julie Campbell of Action Rider Tackjulie-campbells-horse-2010. EasyCare posted the submission and we wanted to post it here as well. We hope you enjoy it!

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I am an average endurance rider, not top ten, but I love the sport. Last year I decided to let my horse go barefoot. She has been transitioning and being ridden bare since January. I have been studying and reading about barefoot hooves and how to trim them.

I decided to buy a Hoofjack and do all of my own trimming. It has been a learning experience and since I am cautious, my horse has never been lame, but perhaps the best looking barefoot hoof is a bit slow in coming. I use the Easyboot Gloves. They fit her very well and I never have any trouble.

We live in Oregon, so I ride through some pretty challenging mud. Mud that goes past the fetlock. Mud that sucks in more ways than one. Mud never bothers the Gloves. They always stay on. The only time any Glove has come off was when we powered up a really steep hill. The torque was just too much. Horse stopped, I reapplied the boot. No problem. I like to put firm 6 mm pads in the front Gloves. I find my mare really moves out when I do that for her. The Mueller tape works really well too. I like to experiment. I don’t need it, but I like to know how it works.

When I took this picture we were standing in a clear stream. You can hardly tell, but the water is fetlock deep. No rubs, even with lots of stream crossings and wet gaiters. I will never shoe a horse again. With the information I have read, going bare certainly seems to be in the best interest of my horses. I like being able to trim all 3 of my horses. No more stumbling right before the next shoeing. I love that. I am grateful for Gloves. They are so easy.

Name: Julie Campbell
City: Rogue River
State: Oregon
Country: USA
Equine Discipline: Endurance
Favorite Boot: Easyboot Glove

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Action Rider Tack is a proud supplier of EasyCare products.

Be One With Your Horse!

Treeless Saddle vs Treed Saddle

Welcome to our series on the Freeform Saddle!73

In today’s post we will focus on the following question:

How does a treeless saddle differ from a treed saddle?

For a history on why Treed Saddles were created in the first place, you can read this post –

However, for a highlight on the differences let’s look at Treed Saddles vs. Treeless Saddles:

Treed Saddle: Has a wooden or fiberglass tree
Treeless Saddle: Does not have a tree

Okay, that’s pretty simple and I’m sure you’re looking for more than that, so let’s change the questions to these:

  • If we’ve had Treed Saddles for almost 2,000 years, then doesn’t it stand to reason that they are good saddles?
  • If Treed Saddles are harming horses in any way, wouldn’t the saddles been changed before now?

Now, those are more interesting questions! And with the chance of sounding flip and callous, let me point out a few historical misgivings to (hopefully) place some doubt in your mind about the validity of those questions.

  1. Cave paintings have been found to be at least 35,000 years old (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/733747.stm) and the first civilized society is said to have been formed almost 12,000 years ago out of Mesopotamia. Yet, human beings believed that the world was flat until almost 2,000 years ago when Aristotle began his proofs that the Earth was indeed a sphere.
  2. In the 18th century, Cocaine was promoted as a miracle cure and was highly promoted as such through the late 19th century. It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that is was discovered that cocaine induced habitual usage and caused serious side effects. It wasn’t until the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 (http://wings.buffalo.edu/aru/preprohibition.htm) that cocaine was taken out of products and general circulation.
  3. In China for over 1,000 years, young girls had their feet bound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_binding) leaving them with lifelong disabilities. –

Yeah, humans have a history of making mistakes. In some cases, the misunderstandings have lead to serious and painful consequences. And, as you have just read, sometimes, it takes us a number of years (sometimes, thousands of years) to change and get it right.

So let’s look at a couple of reasons that people are choosing Treeless Saddles over Treed Saddles:

  • Even if a horse is fitted properly for a treed saddle, a horse moves when you ride. As a horse moves beneath a treed saddle, even with the correct fit, the structure causes pressure points which can result in soreness, muscle damage and in extreme cases can cause nerve damage. A treeless saddle is less capable of causing soreness and damage.
  • Because a treed saddle lifts the rider off of the back of the horse, there is less communication between the rider and the horse. A treeless saddle, on the other hand, has a much lower center of gravity giving the rider the sense of riding bareback with the security of a saddle and placing the rider in greater contact and communication with their equestrian friend.

Of course, any of the above may inspire more questions or concerns. We hope to address all of them in the following weeks. However, please feel free to voice your opinion and concerns here!

Be One With Your Horse™

 

Why was the treed saddle developed in the first place?

We would like to have a series of blog posts to answer some of the questions about Freeform Saddles that we hear when exhibiting at shows across the country. But before we even begin, it’s important to answer the most important question of all:

Why was the treed saddle developed in the first place?

It is believed that horses have been ridden from as early as 4000 BC. In 800 BC, a saddle pad with a strap to hold it onto the horse was developed and the first saddle with a tree was introduced 400 years later. It wasn’t until 302 A.D. that the first set of stirrups was added to the saddle.

Reconstructed Roman Saddle

It is thought that the first treed saddles were developed in order to utilize horses for war. After all, the Romans were a proud band of warriors and needed to stay on their horses with their armor, shields and weaponry. During the middle ages, saddles became even more structured as knights who had some difficulty balancing themselves on land, found it even more difficult on a horse. A treed saddle gave these armored giants the stability they needed.

English Saddle (Stubben Tristan)

Over time, armor became lighter and the English Calvary was instrumental in developing a lighter saddle more in alignment with the treed saddles that are on the market today. Treed saddles were certainly the standard with the military being the front-runner of innovation because of their needs on the battlefield.

As our civilization grew and the military abandoned their steeds for metal giants and technology, innovation for saddles was left to the public. Riders no longer looked at horses as tools to be used in battle, but as partners in their adventures whether it was in the show ring, endurance riding, competitive rides or the everyday pleasure ride. This rider began to become more concerned about what a treed saddle was doing to the horse rather than what a treed saddle was doing for the human. As a result, research began on how to develop saddles that were good for both the rider and the horse. Some riders couldn’t wait for the research and a movement of bareback riders began.

There is still much debate as to whether it is better to use a treed saddle over a treeless saddle. You will find that we are biased. At Action Rider Tack, we’ve been riding horses for years and once we discovered treeless saddles, we haven’t turned back. Currently, we ride in and sell both the Barefoot Saddles and Freeform Saddles and continue to research and test treeless saddles to ensure that we are carrying brands that we can stand behind and deliver to you.

Freeform Classic Treeless Saddle

We hope you will join us in looking at some of the questions that we hear at shows and enjoy the journey with us, as we bring some clarity to you in our answers.

Be One With Your Horse™