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