Thursday, 4 December 2014

Laura Morrish - Confident A SMART GP Offers The Best Start For Her Youngster Buddy.

Solution Saddles Customer Story - From The Archives

After reading about treeless saddles and the benefits for the horse, I wanted to find one for my horses. My old mare had a lot of back issues, many of which I think could have been avoided if I had had a properly fitting saddle when she was younger.

I decided on a cheaper make of treeless saddle at first and noticed a difference in all the horses I used it on. It was certainly doing them good and they were moving much more freely, but it did not suit all the horses I rode. It felt unstable, slipping easily from side to side because there was a lot of padding under the saddle. I felt further away from the horse than in a traditional saddle, and at times, quite unbalanced.

My horse’s health and comfort is hugely important to me. I ride a lot of young horses and some problem horses so, in the long term, these were going to be issues. I couldn’t afford to be worrying about the saddle slipping and I wanted my youngster to have the best possible start..

I first saw Solution Saddles at Horse of the Year Show 2012, where I sat in a SMART saddle. I was very pleased by its looks and comfortable feel. It looks just like a traditional treed saddle but as demonstrated to me, the RigidFree system means it freely moves and flexes with the horses shape.

I booked a home consultation visit to test ride the SMART saddle. When the Approved Advisor came out she went through all of the information on fitting and using the saddle that I needed to know. 

I felt completely secure, so was able to focus on riding my youngster rather than thinking about the saddle. I ordered my SMART GP saddle straight away!

Pictured above, Buddy and I the day after receiving our new SMART saddle. This was our first ever hack and just the 6th time he has been sat on. I felt comfortable and secure in the SMART GP saddle straight away, and we had a lovely ride.

I'm confident that the SMART GP saddle is the best start I can give my young horse and can't wait to get back in the saddle again!

Laura Morrish


Solution Saddles Customer Story - From the Archives.

Coedeneirin Solo is a 12.3 hh Welsh Section C pony owned by Lindsay Caldwell. He is based at the late John Dufosee’s stables at Nyland in Dorset, and has recently been awarded the Pitchford Trophy by Endurance GB at their annual Awards Dinner in Daventry, for the registered native pony gaining the most points in all types of EGB rides for the 2010 season.
Solo did not have the best start in life, he was ridden far too early and his back muscles were badly damaged. He was rescued in a poor condition and scared of his own shadow. He has been ridden by ex-British team member Lisa Franks, since 2006.

Lisa said “I decided straight away that I had to use my Solution saddle on Solo. I had previously and very successfully used it on other horses, but because he was so small, it seemed to be the obvious choice; there was not going to be a chance of any pressure points and the saddle would help spread my weight evenly. I find that Solution saddles also allow you to feel the horse’s movement and whether there is any problem with the gait, which in endurance is most important. I have had the saddle fitted and monitored by Approved Advisors over the years, and Solo has blossomed.”

‘Solo’ was originally destined for the show ring, and although he had many successes, and did qualify for the NPS novice ridden championships at Malvern, he has found his real niche in Endurance.

He has built up over the years and now regularly completes rides up to 80 km in a day and has represented Wales at the Home International Competitions for the last four years, most recently placed 5th in the 82 km endurance ride at Burgie, Scotland in August 2010.
His rider Lisa says: “In order to do this type of mileage, his tack has to fit well and also be adjustable for both horse and rider as he is constantly changing shape. This is where his Solution saddle really comes into its own.”
In 2007 Solo surpassed what his team had hoped for him, not only did he complete one 80 km ride to go advanced, but he completed the 80 km ER (race) at the Inter-Regional Championships, helping their team to second place overall. They then went on to be given an award at the Red Dragon as the top scoring Native Pony and best pony under 14hh.

Lisa was thrilled to bits with Solo in 2008 as he was progressing well. As they looked forward to competing for the Welsh Team in the Home International in Northern Ireland, Lisa reported “After Solo successfully completed the FEI CEI 2* 80 km endurance ride at Euston Park, at a speed he has never done before in his life (13.99 kph!), the vets were quite interested when we said we used a Solution saddle - there is not a mark on his back” At the end of the season, after successfully completing 10 rides, Solo was going beautifully and was full of life when he went ‘out on holiday’.

In 2009 Solo continued his success and was awarded the trophy for the best pony under 14.2hh ridden by an adult, sadly picked up an injury that cut his season short.

He bounced back in 2010 and Coedeneirin Solo and Lisa Franks added to their long list of achievements and awards, including a distance award for successfully completing 2,400 km in his career to date – all in his Solution saddle!  He also has taken the regional native trophy for the past four years and the top under 14.2hh.

“Since using Solution saddles, Solo he has changed quite dramatically. He will always be highly-strung and flighty but he used to be totally tense when ridden in a traditional saddle with a tree and would try to run away from it. Now he is totally chilled – and this is entirely due to the fact he has learned that he can work without any discomfort and life is FUN.”
Lisa and Solo have had a good start to 2011 having already completed over 300km competitively. So far they have achieved a top ten placing in an FEI 1* 80 km ride and a bronze award in the Exmoor 80 class at the Golden Horseshoe. They are starting out with their new SMART Native saddle and looking forward to another successful season.

Julia Skippen & Veteran, Harvey, Got Over Their Back Problems With A Solution Saddle

Solution Saddles Customer Story - from the archives

Harvey and I have been together for just under ten years and he has suffered more than average from various injuries and ailments, but the biggest problem was always his stiff and sensitive back. 

After owning him for four years I had accumulated four saddles, and, according to two saddle fitters, they all fitted him.

Harvey disagreed. His behaviour varied from a series of small hops to full-on bucking bronco.

Then I attended a demonstration where a horse without any known problems became even freer and better to ride in a Solution saddle. 
As soon as I could, I took Harvey to try one. Instantly he told me that it was right. Several years later we haven’t looked back and I have both a Dressage and a Jump saddle from Solution Saddles.

I never thought I would be able to ride him properly when he was having such problems, but now that he is 18 years old we’re enjoying more jumping and dressage than ever before.

Recently a BD judge and trainer commented that he doesn’t move like an 18 year old horse. 

We have just returned from the BRC National championships in Lincoln where we were placed 6th in Medium, 9th in Elementary and 4th as a member of our Riding Club open dressage team.

Julia Skippen

Monday, 1 December 2014

Solution of the Month December 2014 - The Flexible SMART GP Solved 5 Year Old Solomon's Saddle Problems.

"I would like to say a big thank you to Solution Saddles for sorting out my saddle problems.

My horse Solomon is 5 years old and we were having many problems with an ill-fitting treed saddle. It had only been used for 4 months but in that short time had caused considerable damage to his back and withers. It was fitted correctly initially but as Solomon grew, it pinched and caused muscle wastage. This was causing Solomon to nap and buck which was getting dangerous for both of us. Through our regular equine chiropractor appointments I discovered his saddle wasn't fitting him at all.

I then had the flexible SMART GP saddle fitted by my local Approved Advisor and it is amazing; it is the most comfortable saddle I've ever sat in.

I have now had my SMART GP saddle for 4 months and had the equine chiropractor to check Solomon’s back again, she was very happy with the fit of the saddle and his back has improved dramatically. His top-line and back are very strong and the muscle wastage is improving day by day.

Justine and Solomon at their local show in their SMART GP saddle

I compete at local shows, cross country, hacking, jumping and flat work, my horse is very happy in his SMART saddle and I like that it looks like a traditional saddle in the show ring. It feels very safe and stays securely in place. Many people comment on how lovely the saddle is and ask me about it.

Thank you Solutions Saddles for making me and my horse very happy and comfortable."

Justine Walker