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."


‘’Now, with the SMART Pro Jump, I have a rather nice mare with lots of potential, and I don't need to look for another horse as she's a keeper! ‘’

“I have been riding for about 40 years;  through Pony Club, hunting, eventing etc and I have never had a horse or pony that I haven't managed to find a treed saddle for. Until Stella came along, I'd never even heard of a SMART saddle, let alone ridden in one.

Stella is a 6 year old, 15.2 ISH showjumper. When I bought her as a four year old I didn't think there was anything strange about her conformation, she looked pretty well put together. But, two years and four saddles later, I still couldn't find anything that worked on her. Everything either moved forwards and slid round on her, causing ruffled hair behind the shoulder, or if it stayed put, it rubbed under the seat area.

She would buck into canter, buck on landing from a jump and attacked me every time I put the saddle on. By the end of a hack, she'd be jogging, head shaking, snatching, trying to stretch her head down. She also used to drag her hind feet and square off her toes, and she was very crooked.

I had a professional sit on her, who said she thought there was something physically wrong with her, so I had her checked by the vet. The vet reported she was totally sound. He scanned her ovaries and even tried her on Regumate in case her hormones were affecting her behaviour, but there was no change. I had always used a ‘proper’ saddle fitter and bought well-known, high quality saddle brands but Stella hated all of them.

All through this, she lunged beautifully, so I knew it had to be my riding or her saddle. Given that she was even worse with the professional, I'd narrowed the problem down to the saddle.

Research on the internet led me to Solution Saddles. I read all the reviews and decided I had nothing to lose, especially as there is the option of a trial service. I also liked the fact that the SMART PRO saddles look very like 'normal' saddles and there were people out there eventing and show jumping in them.

I contacted Solution Saddles and was put in touch with an Approved Advisor, who answered my reams of questions before visiting me for a fitting. She was friendly, very professional, sympathetic and coached me through the trial ride. She stayed with us for as long as it took until I was happy. The after sales service has also been fabulous; the Advisor is always on the end of the phone - or even text - to answer my questions.

Six months on, I have a totally different horse. She has stopped bucking completely, she no longer attacks me when I put the saddle on - she doesn't even bother to stop eating her hay as I tack up. She is much happier, more willing, and has stopped headshaking. The toe-dragging has stopped and she's much straighter. There are no rubs on her back, which is now more evenly muscled and in better shape. She's always loved her jumping, but she's come on massively in the last 6 months; I've gone from thinking her limit was probably 90cm – 100cm to thinking, there's probably much more here.

Although the SMART PRO Jump seemed like an expensive saddle for me to purchase, I had a very difficult horse who wasn’t very nice to ride. Now, with the SMART PRO Jump, I have a rather nice mare with lots of potential, and I don't need to look for another horse as she's a keeper!

Also, when you've been bucked off several times and had to cope with headshaking and stroppiness for two years, even if you don't think it, it changes the way you ride and the things you do with them, and it eats away at your self-belief. We are now a much happier combination.”

Louisa Carbery

Friday, 8 September 2017

SMART™ Dressage saddle before and after testimonial from Sally Johnson and her 18hh warmblood

“I’ve now owned a SMART™ Dressage saddle for six months and so far, so good.

I’ve ridden in the saddle almost every day and my horse hasn’t rejected it.  This is unusual.  Generally he likes me to spend at least £2000 on a new saddle, usually the best and latest technology, only for him to decide he doesn’t actually like it a couple of weeks later.

Solution Saddles rental service allowed me to have a SMART™  saddle on trial with all the accessories for as long as I needed.  With my serial saddle purchasing history, this option was reassuring to say the least and is an indication that this is a company with real confidence in its own products.

Although I originally chose to try SMART™ saddle to prevent yet another costly saddle mistake, what I really hadn’t expected was that my horse could change so much – bearing in mind that I’ve had him for nearly 10 years.    He is a big moving horse, but yet, has never had a medium trot to speak of.   Although his sideways movements are good to the left, he always struggled to the right.  I thought this was 95% down to me, 5% down to him.  I didn’t really think it could be the saddle until I tried a SMART™.

Since changing to a SMART™ saddle he has miraculously developed an extended trot and is able to comfortably half pass in both directions.  He doesn’t change legs in canter any more (unless I want him to) which was one of his favourite evasions, and he’s stopped trying to put his head up in downward transitions.  I’d like to say it is because my riding has improved by 95% over the past 6 months but I think this is highly unlikely.

He’s now completely different to look at; his back is clearly stronger, the dips behind his withers are filling in, and each time he changes shape, an Approved Advisor has been available to assist us if needed.


At a recent fitting we were able to take out most of the pads and shims which further adjusted the balance of the saddle, making it even better from my point of view – my horse was already very comfortable.  

From the initial saddle fitting to the last, nothing has been too much trouble; the customer service has really been second to none.

I would recommend anyone who is looking for a new saddle should to try a SMART™.  With the excellent trial packages on offer you’ve really got nothing to lose and potentially a great deal to gain.

Meanwhile, I’ve booked in for a dressage test – which will be the first time I’ve been out in public for four years.

Sally Johnson and Mr Sloth

Friday, 1 September 2017

"All of a sudden, sideways is as easy as forwards... Fantastic!!" - Penny Lawn update

August 2017

"I love both my SMART™ PRO saddles.

My lovely little Thoroughbred, has always tried his hardest at dressage but never found it easy. I’m sure he found it difficult due to the lack of freedom to move to do the necessary movements. With the SMART™  PRO Dressage, all of a sudden, sideways is as easy as forwards... Fantastic!!

I think I've done more trot sitting since having my SMART™ PRO saddles than I've done in all my years Eventing!! It is SO comfortable! ...and if I'm comfortable my horse has to be more comfortable!"

SMART™ Saddles Ambassador - Penny Lawn B.H.S.I.I.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Bethan has had fantastic results with her SMART™ Jump saddle on numerous horse over the years. - Updated

I LOVE my SMART™Jump saddle!  I have used it on many different horses over the years and always had fantastic results.

Kastone was an RSPCA rescue horse. He was lightly backed using the SMART™ saddle with no problems at all. He was then turned away for a year and brought back into work. Backing him was a breeze thanks to having such a great saddle, he hasn’t had a single problem.

At his first One Day Event he was first after the dressage phase with over 77%, to finish 2nd overall. We have lots planned this summer and I can’t wait to see how he progresses.

I know it wouldn’t have been such plain sailing without my SMART™ saddle.

Another great benefit of these saddles is that I can use one saddle on all of my horses, even though they are all completely different shapes and sizes.

My 15.2hh 5 year old mare, Florie, was re-backed using my SMART™ saddle as she had some previous issues. She has been amazing since and I have discovered what a talent she has at jumping. The pictures speak for themselves; she certainly feels free and loose enough to jump.

I also use my SMART™ saddle on my 20 year old showjumper for hacking. He is still enjoying being ridden after a hard competitive career. He is pictured below jumping in my SMART™Jump saddle 6 years ago.

Pictured below are a few of my horses using the SMART™ saddle. I have done sponsored rides, hunting, showjumping, dressage, one day events, hunter trials, beach rides and all day hacking in them.

They are super-comfy for all disciplines!

Bethan-May Williams

September 2017
- Read about Bethan-May Williams and her rescue horse, Kastone, in this Horse and Hound news article:

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Success at Frickley Park Horse Trials and Ryedale show - SMART™ Saddles Ambassador update

Penny Lawn B.H.S.I.I.

August 2017 – Frickley Park Horse Trials

All three of Pennys horses were placed at Frickley Park Horse Trials wearing their SMART™ PRO saddles.

'Bold Impulse' seen here cruising around the IN cross country 

Homebred, 'Eye of the Tiger' in the BE100

July 2017 – Ryedale Show

Congratulations to SMART™ Ambassador, Penny Lawn and ex-racehorse ‘Bradleysintown’,  who were not only placed in the Burghley Young Event Horse class at Ryedale Show, but also WINNERS of the RoR TBA Retrained Racehorse Challenge – all in their SMART™ PRO Jump saddle.

Hawallie VDL was also 4th in the Burghley Young Event Horse class in the same SMART™ PRO Jump saddle.

Well done!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Introducing SMART™ Saddles Ambassador - Penny Lawn B.H.S.I.I.

Bramham based event rider, Penny Lawn, trained at the world renowned Yorkshire Riding Centre, home of Olympians, Jane & Christopher Bartle. Penny has competed successfully at 4* level eventing, Advanced level dressage and Foxhunter/1.30m Showjumping. Currently training and competing both home produced horses and horses for clients, alongside training riders at all levels in all disciplines, Penny rides in the SMART™ Pro Dressage and SMART™ Pro Jump saddles.

You can read about Pennys’ eventing season with the SMART™ PRO saddles as it happens …

June 2017

Penny put the SMART™ PRO Jump saddle through its paces for some great British Eventing results including a double clear and placing in the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Qualifier classes.

July 2017

Bold Impulse finished in 6th place in the Novice section at Aske International Horse Trials
- their first run with the new SMART PRO Dressage and SMART Pro Jump saddles!

 “He felt super!”


"I believe a SMART™ saddle is what everyone should be using!"

 “Following the purchase of my SMART™ GP saddle, I am a huge fan of SMART™ saddles; it is like magic; the way you feel part of the horse when riding, and with such soft leather it feels like you are moulded to the horses back.

Having completed a horse physiotherapy course, I think they are the way forward and believe a SMART™ saddle is perfect for horses with spinal issues; when you look at a horses spinal column, a SMART™ saddle is what everyone should be using. I feel passionate about the science behind the SMART™ saddles and how beneficial they are to supporting injured or difficult-to-fit horses.

Thanks to a friend, I was able to ride in her SMART™ saddle before the Solution Saddles Advisor came to fit to me and my horse at a test ride. Not only did we get on so well, but she had a great understanding of fitting for the welfare of the horse and avoiding back problems.

Thank you Solution Saddles!” 

Suzy Bannon

Lady Beauts wins her class at Derby College Hunter Trial in her SMART™Native Jump saddle.

“Before trying the SMART™ Native Jump saddle, I was sceptical about changing to a treeless saddle, as all those I'd sat in moved and were not suitable for jumping.

However, I had a trial in the SMART™ Native Jump saddle and couldn't believe how comfortable it was; it rode and looked like a traditional treed saddle but was rigid free. All saddles I had tried previously struggled to fit the wide shouldered / flat backed native but this fits like a dream and doesn't move at all.


 Beauty is much freer in her shoulders and has not had a single back issue in the five years I've owned the SMART™ Native Jump saddle.

Hopefully, we will have many more years of razzing round cross country courses.”

Karen Dawson & Beauty