Monday, 16 October 2017

“It is difficult to capture in words how happy I am with the SMART Native VSD saddle.”

“In August 2016 I had a fall from my gelding, breaking my arm badly in the process.  I was out of the saddle for almost 7 months, and when I did start to ride again my confidence was at rock bottom.  My gelding, Charlie, is not an easy horse to ride and his sharpness and tendency to spook worried me.  I quickly began to feel that my saddle just wasn't helping me to sit as securely and safely as I needed it to.  A friend suggested I try a SMART™ saddle, as she loved hers, so I got in touch with Solution Saddles and arranged for an Approved Advisor to visit me for a test ride.

I have to admit that I didn't have an immediate "yes I need this" reaction, though I did find the saddle to be very comfortable for me, and it was very stable on Charlie, who is very wide and flat backed.  I noted that he was stretching forward and down more easily than was usual, but he otherwise seemed fairly similar to usual to ride.  I arranged to have a rental saddle on trial to test it out for a bit longer. When the rental saddle arrived I was very pleased with how the saddle looked.  The brown leather was very smart and it is also light to handle.

I rode at least 4 times per week during my initial trial, which I extended to almost 4 weeks as I wanted to be as sure as possible that the SMART™ NATIVE VSD saddle was right for us.  From the start Charlie was happy to be tacked up and seemed very relaxed.  I have found that he is much less spooky than he was previously; I think this is due to a combination of him being very comfortable, and me being able to sit more quietly and securely.  When he has spooked he comes back to me quickly and the saddle has yet to move even a little, not even when he has done a fast spin and run (usually at killer pigeons)! In the school he is moving more freely too, his gaits are more flowing and he is carrying himself really nicely.  I had my usual physio check him over at the end of my trial and she was very pleased with how he looked and felt to her, she advised me to buy the saddle as it was clearly working well for Charlie.

It is really nice to have a treeless saddle that has a narrow twist and allows me to feel like I am close to Charlie's back.  The adjustable knee rolls are great, I can move them or change them depending on what I want to do that day.  I can read Charlie's body language through my seat, which allows me to ride more proactively and sensitively, which I love.  All of my post-fall nervousness has disappeared since I got the SMART Native VSD and I am riding more often and getting better results than I have ever done.  This is a huge thing for me, as at one point I seriously considered giving up as I was so nervous when riding.

It is difficult to capture in words how happy I am with the saddle.  It has absolutely 100% changed my riding for the better.”

Amanda Fidler
September 2017

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Sheryl was thrilled to have a SMART Native VSD saddle on rental for a recent clinic before her own saddle arrived.

“I was thrilled to have a SMART™ NATIVE VSD saddle on rental when I attended the Buck Brannaman clinic at Aintree this Summer.

It was vital to have a saddle that would stay in balance on a young horse in a dynamic environment and give her the confidence to move freely. The SMART™ NATIVE VSD did exactly that and suited her build as 4yr old Arab x Connemara.

I can't wait for my own SMART™ NATIVE VSD to arrive from Solution Saddles!

Many thanks for the advice and professional response from the team.”

Sheryl Wilson


Winners of the 2016 ‘Dressage Anywhere’ Riders’ League, SMART Customer Gemma Avery & Dave

"Four years ago, I bought “Mountaintownie Wild Fire” (Dave), just after his fourth birthday. He was quite a weak, wimpy youngster and it has taken time to bring him on slowly.

I chose a SMART™ Dressage saddle for him as I had been having trouble getting a traditional treed dressage saddle to fit him. As Dave is very short in the back, I found a treed 17" saddle always sat on his shoulders so that he couldn't lengthen his stride or use his front properly. Dave is much happier in his SMART™ Dressage saddle, building up muscle really well.

After purchasing my SMART™ Dressage saddle and moving up to Novice level, we excelled ourselves by not only qualifying for the Dressage Anywhere 2016 Online Championships at Intro, Prelim & Novice levels but we also managed to finish with a  win in the Novice, a second in the Prelim and 6th place in the Intro. We also won the overall Rider League championship for 2016.

“Mountaintownie Wild Fire” with the rosettes he received for
the DressageAnywhere 2016 Online Championships

I have continued to work with my trainer and Dave at home and, although we have still not managed to get to our first live competition yet, this is my goal before the year ends."