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April 27, 2013


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Susan Richards-Benson

Hi there,

My name is Susan and I have recently relocated from Egypt! During my time in the country I was very actively engaged in equine rescue, and actually helped to launch an equine rescue in the Red Sea area. My experiences opened my eyes to the great hardships endured by the working equines int he country, and in an attempt to raise awareness about the conditions they suffer through I have written a book entitled, "Born of the Pyramids, Rocky's Story."

It is actually based around the true story of a horse that I knew who greatly touched not only my heart but the hearts of many that knew him. He displayed great strength and courage, and it is in his honour that I am dedicating this book. Accordingly, proceeds from each copy sold will be donated to equine charities around the world as it only seems right that the book itself is put to a greater good.

I have been contacting blogs online and offering free copies of my book (PDF version) in exchange for a review on their site, as ideally the more people that know the better! I am hoping that this is perhaps something that you may be interested in at Equisearch.

If you would like to learn more please don't hesitate to email me, or you can visit the Facebook page I have set up for this at:

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I hope to hear from you soon.

With kindest regards,

Susan Richards-Benson


both brena and baasha cannot grow in white hairs to show us saddle fit issues (although when wet, pink skin areas show what would have been white injured spots). then again, brena probably has pink skin naturally under her white?

i have an extra wide horse now. as wide as yours, perhaps - she measured an extra wide in the wintec gullet system.

i rode for the first time yesterday and immediately felt wrong - i was being pitched forward, and i've fit my saddle to several horses without this happening.

also, i experienced the dreaded saddle roll on trying to mount such a barrel of a horse. *sigh* i hate to clamp a saddle on so tightly, but want to be safe and able to mount from the ground.

i've never bought a new saddle, and if i have to, it will probably cost more than the horse itself. i really want to join the specialized club, they are really comfy, but i love my wintec for the reasons you discussed here - you are not held in a fixed position, you are free to move and if you want good equitation, you have to work at it, the saddle won't do it for you (like the specialized).

maybe you can offer advice. if the saddle is low in the front, that implies i've put a too-wide gullet in, i think. but i measured the horse at that size. so my next step is to use a thin wool pad, rather than my foam panel+wool skito. i don't know how that could make a difference, but i have to try something.

sadly i did not go for a "real ride" just yet, the horse is way too nervous still. we just walked and jogged around the arena and that was fine for a first ride.

i'm hoping having a mare means having a much more sensible horse: )

White Horse Pilgrim

Brena has some old areas of thickened skin caused by pressure. These don't seem to trouble her. I've seen other riding centre horses with far worse.

It was interesting to see the saddle maker put trees on Brena's back to find the best one. She requires the very widest. It's great how much better this fits, and that also makes the saddle more stable on her back. It doesn't mean that I can necessarily mount from the flat (I am also older than you and have a damaged back) however I prefer not to in any case. It's better for the horse if a mounting block is used.

At least my saddle cost less than the horse (£1,700 vs. £3,500) and I think that each represented good value in its own way. New saddles all cost that much over here, and some (especially endurance saddles it seems) are even more.

I hung on to my old saddle for too long. It's been on half a dozen horses successfully until Brena, and I've ridden thousands of miles on it. However familiarity breeds complacency. I wasn't looking objectively at how it fitted. There's a moral in that.

Too wide a front arch will drop the front of the saddle. A thicker pad would make the saddle fit as if it is a little bit narrower. But you need to look at the saddle and see how it fits. Does the form of the saddle match the shape of the horse, both longitudinally and in cross section?

Another thing is that a well rounded horse is just that - round in cross section. However many saddles are more of an inverted "V" shape. A saddle like that will have a restricted contact area.

Do you think that an uncomfortable saddle is contributing to the mare's behaviour? (Incidentally I'd go for a gelding every time for sensible behaviour. Mares have their strong points too, such as loyalty.)

When Brena arrived I found that she was much better behaved out on the trail, whilst arena riding bored and annoyed her (and perhaps she just didn't understand what it was about.) Even short rides around the farm tested her patience leading to pushing of the boundaries.

White Horse Pilgrim

Hi Susan, unfortunately your comment went automatically into spam and I've only just found it. Yes, I'll be happy to review your book. I don't use Facebook and your email address doesn't come up on my blog - could you add a comment with your address?

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