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Cate L.

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Hello everyone! :)

I am a new member on the forum, so I hope I am posting this in the right place. I am looking to buy a new harness saddle for my mini mare. I already know that I will be going with the comfy fit, as I already bought the breast collar a year ago and absolutely love it! However, my question is should I go with the sliding back band or the standard saddle?
To give you guys a short background.We currently drive in a wood/metal easy entry cart. Driving on a lot of uneven terrain, including lightly wooded areas. So I want my mini to be comfortable, and safe as possible.
I read somewhere that the sliding back band has caused a few carts to tip over, which has me concerned. I don't know if there is any truth to this, but would appreciate other peoples thoughts. Any insight on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
 

Cayuse

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Hi and welcome!
I have heard exactly the same thing about the sliding back bands. It was explained to me that if you hit a deep pot hole or uneven ground the shaft can somehow be pulled down enough so that the other side of the cart will flip up. I just bought a new harness and in shopping for it, several harness dealers advised me to stay away from the sliding and go with the regular backband.
 

MindySchroder

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Hi Cate! Personally I prefer the regular saddle for driving, but I do believe the sliding back band versus the regular one boils down to personal preference.

My mare, Sky HATES the sliding back band as there is just too much movement and it upsets her. I have been using it with my small pony Mikey and he doesn't mind it at all. BUT he doesn't mind much! LOL He is wonderful to drive but doesn't give a lot of feedback.

We drove out in our rough pasture the other day with the sliding back band and what I didn't like was all the movement that was happening in the saddle. There will be some movement with the regular back band as well when we drive over such rough ground, but there was a lot of side to side movement with the sliding back band. I think the only way to alleviate that movement would be to really tighten the girth and the over girth, which I do not like to do. (I will add that the people that use the sliding back bands tend to drive with tight girths... at least that is the feedback they are giving me.)

Here are a couple of blog posts about saddles. The first one is an over view of the saddle as a whole... with a little blip about the sliding back band at the bottom.

https://theessentialhorse.com/2018/06/10/the-saddle/

This post shares this gal's viewpoint as well! She highly recommends using the sliding back band! I just wanted to share two different viewpoints :)

https://chimacumtack.com/should-you-buy-a-sliding-back-band-saddle/

I too have heard stories of people tipping their carts over, but I don't know anyone personally that has done this. I do know of one gal that tipped over her sled when driving over rough ground but she feels that the sliding back band saved her pony from being injured in her tip over. So differing view points for sure! And you'll note that the cart is very uneven in the post about choosing the sliding back band yet she doesn't appear about to tip over.

Those that use them say they will never go back. I personally will be going back to my reguar saddle or my MaraFUN treeless saddle for my trail driving :)
 

Cate L.

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Thank you both for the advice! I think I will be going with the standard saddle. :)
 

MajorClementine

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I have the sliding back band on both my comfy fit mini saddles. I really like them. Clementine seems to really benefit from it when we are driving the sulky around fast turns. The back band doesn't slide a lot but just a bit to keep the saddle from pulling to one side on her. It used to torque the saddle a little and she really didn't like that. She also seems more comfortable in it over rough ground since instead of the cart bumping up and down on her it has a little side to side give stopping a lot of that up and down motion. I've never been worried about tipping over a cart due to the sliding back band. And if it were to tip I think that the sliding band would help more than cause a bigger problem. I guess it all comes down to your and your horses personal preference.
 

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