Wednesday, 9 August 2017

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

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

SMART Customers review: "Super-pleased with our new SMART™ Pro Dressage saddle"


"We are super pleased with our new SMART Pro Dressage saddle. The first time we went to a competition with it we came third! At nearly 17 year old, 'Dude' is a little set in his ways but he is moving so much more freely in his new SMART Pro Dressage saddle."

Chloe Crossman & 17 year old Dun a Bit

Friday, 16 June 2017

Rebekah is looking forward to stepping up to BE90 after finishing 3rd at BE80 level in her new SMART™ Pro Jump saddle!

I can't rave about the SMART™Pro Jump saddle enough. I competed in it for the first time, on my gelding ‘Dante’, at our second ever BE80 at Somerford Park - we came 3rd out of 41 competitors and qualified for the Blue Chip Central North West BE80T Challenge.

After spending the past few years as dressage divas, our return to jumping has been exciting, but my old GP saddle wasn't offering me the security I felt I needed, leading me to look into other options. I knew I wanted a flexible saddle as I believe this offers better freedom for the horse, as well as needing a saddle to fit multiple horses, this led me to Solution Saddles.

Thanks to the excellent customer service, I was able to organise a test ride quickly and noticed an immediate difference in Dante's way of going, as well as how secure and comfortable I felt.


The SMART™ Pro Jump saddle has already proven its value many times over in the very short time I've had it; it has made jumping much more enjoyable for me and my horses. I am now optimistic about making the step up to BE90 in the future! 

Rebekah Adshead

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Katie found her horses jumping improved when she changed to the lightweight SMART saddle

Diamond Purdy at the age of 16.
"She hasn't jumped this well since she was a four year old !! We have only recently converted to a SMART Saddle, I wish I had know about them years ago. They are so lightweight and she is so much more relaxed with this saddle. Her turns and shape over a fence has improved with the extra freedom" :) 👌

Katie Marshall

Friday, 2 June 2017

"What the SMART GP saddle has given me is priceless..."

"I started working with Solution Saddles last year, so I am used to hearing good reports from clients who have tried SMART™ saddles. However, I hadn't tried a SMART™ saddle myself until a few months ago; mainly because my horse Annie, at 22, is mostly retired. She can be tricky to ride unless she is in full work, she always has been and has the ability to make you feel like you can't ride most of the time, hence she has been pretty much out of work for the last few years with the occasional wander out - at walk.

I am an equine podiatrist so I know and understand the many factors that contribute to a horse’s performance. Over the years I've had all the usual things checked for Annie; feet, back, teeth, saddle, bit etc. but all were apparently fine. So, I concluded it must just be her temperament ... without stereotyping her as a chestnut mare. I've had her since she was four, so I’ve had enough time to figure her out, or so I thought. 

After taking a SMART™ saddle for a trimming client to try, I tried it for myself on Annie, for a quick walk round the block, just to see how it felt compared to a normal treed saddle.

It obviously felt different to her. 

From the first ride until now she has been a completely different horse to ride. She is easier now than she was when we were competing. With the SMART™ GP saddle, we can trot on a loose rein, canter on a loose rein, we are jumping again (albeit fallen logs in the forest, but jumping!) and we can walk afterwards without her getting stressed and tense.  Those who know Annie will realise what a true feat this is!

She doesn't toss her head up in transitions. She doesn't get the strange diamond shaped sweat patch on her shoulder. She's not stiff or sore after a ride. She doesn't rush. She doesn't grab at the bit or run through the bridle. And she hasn't done her silly 2 beat bouncy canter that consistently got me marked down in dressage.  She is relaxed.

Honestly, it's the biggest horsey investment I've ever made ... I think it costs more than the horse did 17 years ago!

But what it's given me is priceless.

It's made me fall back in love with riding. 

The SMART™ GP saddle has given Annie and I the chance to make some more memories even though I'd retired her. It has given my youngster the opportunity to have the best start when the time comes to back her.

So whilst I really can't afford to be buying saddles ... I can't afford not to ... 

I owe it to Annie to make her life as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. 

We owe every horse that. 

If only I knew 17 years ago what I know now ... our life together could have been very different.

Better late than never I suppose.

Jenny Parsons
Wild at Hoof – DEP / MEPA

#thankyou #solutionsaddles

Friday, 26 May 2017

Catherine is enjoying the comfort, security and easy-fit system since using the SMART Pro Dressage with her Icelandic Horses

I have Icelandic horses, which are gaited and often short backed. In this sport it is very important that the horses shoulder is able to move freely and that balance and evenness are maximised to produce an even-beat gait.

A Solution Saddles Technical Advisor fitted the SMART PRO Dressage saddle for me and I found her to be excellent; she was attentive to what I needed and even spotted a small unevenness in my horses’ back, which corresponds with my own slight asymmetry relating to a hip problem. A small adjustment was made using the SMART BalancePads and I immediately felt a small but very important difference to my position.

I find the SMART Pro Dressage saddle extremely comfortable and secure and I like the way that adjustments can be made to the fit. I can also use it on both of the horses that I ride and it is lightweight - making tacking up easier. The Suprabloc knee block also look really smart.

Even though I was familiar with Solution Saddles, it was great to be able to take advantage of the Rental Service before purchasing to be certain it was the right saddle for both me and my horse.

Following the trial period, I took Svipur to a training show and we did really well. The trainer said it was the best tolt (Icelandic gait) she had seen him do and I am sure the SMART Pro Dressage saddle and expert fitting advice contributed to this.

Catherine Holland

Catherine Holland writes the ‘Little Viking Horse’ blog and is active in the Icelandic Horse of GB community.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Having had problems finding a saddle to fit her 13.2hh mare, Amy is looking forward to affiliated competition thanks to her SMART Native GP saddle.

“I cannot recommend Solution Saddles highly enough. The SMART Native GP saddle is amazing and the support given from the company is fantastic!

When I bought my mare she had a bad back and due to her round, native shape, other saddles I had tried rode up over her shoulders. I had had to resort to riding bareback while I waited 14 weeks for a bespoke treed saddle to be made, as all the saddles I tried hurt her. Once the saddle arrived, although the saddler assured me it fitted, Pippy hated it. I persevered until Pip went lame and myself, my vet and physio all agreed it wasn't working. I had no idea what to do. Pip had been seen by the vet, had monthly appointments with our physio and we couldn't get a saddle that worked for her.

I then researched treeless saddles and found out about Solution Saddles
 - and we haven't looked back!

We won our first showjumping competition last weekend and are hoping to affiliate by October - none of this would have been possible without our SMART Native GP saddle.

Our Solution Saddles Approved Advisor has been with us every step of the way, giving advice and guidance months after coming to fit the SMART saddle. I would recommend SMART saddles to anyone and can't wait to save up the money for a SMART Jump saddle now!

Amy Shone
April 2017

Over a year on, Rachel and her mare have had nothing but success with their SMART Eventer saddle.

I purchased my SMART Eventer saddle in January 2016 after a rocky start with my new mare (who I have owned since August 2015). I found myself with a catalogue of issues from tacking up through to ‘tanking off’ when ridden. Most concerning was the sudden muscle atrophy either side of her withers, despite using a correctly fitted saddle by a Master Saddler.

Now, over a year on, I haven’t looked back. Haze and I compete regularly at 85cm showjumping and cross country, and we have even turned our hand to a bit of dressage.   

The improvement in her movement, and most noticeably her attitude to work, is incredible.  Haze is happy to be tacked up and the issues with ‘control’ have vanished, never to be seen again.

Whilst the initial outlay for my SMART saddle was significant, I believe I have saved a sizeable sum over the 15 months since switching to my SMART Eventer and will continue to save for years to come. I have not required saddle fitters to adjust to her changing shape over the seasons; I just add or remove shims as advised, and I have not spent the hundreds of pounds I was previously on physio and back treatments.

My SMART Eventer saddle never slips. It is comfortable for both Haze and I and the RigidFree design allows for a much closer contact and clearer communication - to the point I ride mostly through my seat now and the benefits have been huge. 

It has allowed me to transition this ‘hot’ mare to a bitless bridle (although sadly we are not allowed to use it for competing), something I could not possibly have dreamed off 18 months ago.

The journey Haze and I have been on is one of success and it all started with Solution Saddles. I’m so excited to be out and about, I never imagined we would be jumping clear rounds at 85cm and yet here we are!

Rachel Howard-Louvaine

Friday, 21 April 2017

Five star review for the SMART™ Native GP saddle

 I have owned my Haflinger pony, Crunchie, for many years, but this winter has possibly been the hardest. In September 2016 he became lame, and then to make matters worse, he started with thrush in both back feet. After spending a lot of time off work and being spoilt with plenty hay, he became quite round! By the time I could get back on him, we needed a new saddle.

My saddler recommended I try a SMART™ saddle; I tried one and instantly loved it; it’s comfy, lightweight and has helped massively with my position.

My Approved Advisor was fab, explaining everything I needed to know about Solution Saddles and why the SMART™ Native GP would be good for Crunchie. The whole process was quick and hassle free. I rave about my new SMART™ Native GP saddle to everyone!

Linda Cawthorne 

Friday, 7 April 2017

The comfortable SMART™ Jump saddle helps one customer achieve BE aspirations following spinal surgery

I purchased my 15hh cob x thoroughbred mare 6 years ago but couldn't find a saddle that would stay still on her back. She was asymmetrical with muscle wastage and all of the saddles I tried were slipping back and to the right.

On top of this, I had undergone extensive spinal fixation surgery following a riding accident in the past.  I was finding it very difficult to get back into a correct position or ride comfortably, in balance. Not an easy combination or a straight forward problem.

I asked around my eventing friends for help and they recommended I try a SMART™ saddle.

Following a home consultation visit, I went on to purchase a SMART™ Jump saddle with all of the accessories recommended to me by my Solution Saddles ApprovedAdvisor. From this point on we haven't looked back - both the horse and I are so much more comfortable. By this stage, I was a complete convert and a year later I decided to purchase a SMART™ Dressage saddle.

Last year we were on the winning British Riding Club 80 National Championships Horse Trials Team and this year we are competing at 90/100 and intend to BE for the rest of the season. I'm really proud of our achievements since changing to the SMART™ saddles as I'm 53 this year and didn't think I would ever be able to event again.

My horse's back has undergone a complete transformation and is incredibly strong. Her movement is unrecognisable from the little cob I bought; her lateral work is improving and she is even becoming strong enough for a little passage!

I do not believe we would be have achieved so much had Solutions Saddles not been there to support my own and my horse's development.

- Annie Rae