Many people have been taught that it is good practice to have saddles re-flocked now and again, but in actual fact it may not be necessary, nor even advisable. We have known many BALANCE Wool-flocked saddles to be 15 years old or older, with no adjustment needed to the original flocking. This is because the Padding System protects the panels from the horse as well as the horse from the panels.
If you turn your saddle upside down and feel the panels, do they feel uneven, lumpy or hard? Or are there areas where there are dents/'holes' in the panels where the flocking is missing/less dense? If so, then it would be good to address this, but if not, it is usually best to leave the original flocking alone. This is because, in our experience, it is almost impossible to adjust the flocking and get as good a result as the original flocking.
If your panels are lumpy or hard etc. the best thing to do is to get a good saddler to strip out all of the old flocking and completely re-flock softly with high quality, long-fibre white wool.
(If the saddle is still in warranty please contact the BALANCE Office for advice).
Important Please Note: If you are experiencing problems with your panels, it may be necessary to assess whether there are any postural issues relating to your horse and/or the rider that needed to be addressed. If panels have become unevenly compressed for example, and any postural issues are not remedied, the problem with the panels is likely to return after re-flocking. It is very important to identify and address any such issues for the sake of your horse's comfort and well being, and it will very much help the rider too :-)
Some BALANCE Saddles (such as the Felix, Matrix and Horizon models) have foam panels. Although the leather encasing foam panels does stretch a bit with use, the panels are extremely reliable and unless they receive extreme pressures in order to compress them unevenly, they do not usually require any attention over time.