Friday, 17 November 2017

"I am 100% satisfied that I have made a very sound investment in my SMART™ Eventer and it will be my saddle for life."

“I have had my SMART™ Eventer saddle for five months now and it has been used nearly every day so far. I am absolutely delighted with it and my horse, Teddy, has shown some very positive changes in his way of going since returning to Solution Saddles after a brief time in a treed saddle.

The test ride was a relaxed and friendly experience and I felt under no pressure whatsoever to buy, nor did I feel uncomfortable whilst trying it. I find that Solution Saddles are a great company to deal with and are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

I have previously owned a Solution GP for five years, which proved to be thoroughly versatile – fitting many horses of assorted sizes ranging from little 13.1hh to a HW 16.1hh with just a few simple shimming alterations.

As ever, Solution Saddles are a forward thinking and innovative company and I feel that the SMART™ saddle is even easier to fit and gives an improved riding experience.

My SMART™ Eventer saddle is so very versatile it was used over the summer during a three-discipline riding camp, culminating in a mini one-day event at the end. It performed brilliantly and went from dressage through to cross-country with only minor knee roll and stirrup length adjustments.

Moreover, with some minor shim adjustments, my SMART™ Eventer is also easily adapted for my nine-year-old daughter to ride in balanced and very secure position – a truly versatile saddle!

I am often disappointed with various horsey products that don’t live up to their claims, however I am 100% satisfied that I have made a very sound investment in my SMART™ Eventer and it will be my saddle for life.”

Gemma Barnes
November 2017

Friday, 27 October 2017

At the end of the season, Penny has felt the improvement in all of her horses since using the SMART PRO Dressage and SMART PRO Jump saddles

October 2017

"We finished a good season at Askham, all 9 horses have gone well and have all had placings. 

They have all used the SMART PRO Dressage and SMART PRO Jump saddles; I'm loving them and really feeling the improvement in all the horses.

Queen of Diamonds, placed at Bishop Burton BE90 
then romped effortlessly round the BE100 at Askham

A new horse to the yard has just won both dressage classes with 70%+ scores, ridden in SMART PRO Dressage saddle. She has definitely felt the benefit after changing from the saddle she came with!! 

Roll on next season after a winter of training & practice!

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

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."


‘’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!