Monday, 29 November 2021

Overseas SMART fitting service a success for US customer

 “For years I have struggled with saddle fit for my ever-changing Haflinger.  Eventually, our saddle fitter recommended we try a treeless saddle. While researching the models she suggested, I came across UK-based Solution Saddles.  I am located in the USA and had very little information about these saddles, but I was impressed with what I saw.  


I decided to enquire about a couple of SMART saddle models and was pleasantly surprised by how informative and helpful the customer service was, even when I admittedly was only casually looking at the time.


Living in the USA, I was also a bit hesitant about the idea of importing a saddle from the UK, but I became increasingly confident as the online community and Solution Saddles provided me with so much information and support. 

 

I was in regular contact with Solution Saddles, happily messaging back and forth, answering my questions and looking at photos and videos of me and my pony to assess which SMART saddle and size would best suit us.   With the level of competence and care with which I was treated, I decided to go ahead with the overseas transaction.

 

I'm so happy I did!  My SMART Pro Eventer saddle arrived safely in the USA and with continued support, I had no problems making the necessary adjustments for optimum fit and balance.




My pony is now moving nicely and, as he has added his fall fluff, I've only had to change some shims rather than curse the saddle fit.  I am looking forward to many seasons with this saddle!"

 

Thank you!

- Andrea & Franzi

Friday, 29 October 2021

SMART Advisor: Zsuzsu Illes - California, USA


As a qualified Master Saddle Fitting Consultants (MSFC) saddle fitter, Zsuzsu looks at the horse AND rider, each as a whole, and focuses on saddle fit in motion.

"The 20 plus years of study in Classical Horsemanship, which focuses very specifically on the biomechanics of the horse’s movement and the rider’s seat, is an important factor in Zsuzsu’s knowledge and ability to understand saddle fit in motion. Zsuzsu’s experience and knowledge as an effective rider and trainer brings to saddle fitting a much needed skill and asset."



Find out more about buying a SMART saddle from out with the UK.


You can find out more about Zsuzsu here: https://www.rebalanceexpert.com/about


Thursday, 7 October 2021

SMART VSD saddle review: "I can’t put into words how delighted I am that these saddles exist"

 


“Following a trial with a SMART PRO VSD saddle, I was completely in love with it - as were both my horses! I have had the same saddle fitter for about 5 years now and we’ve always fitted holistically, even despite this, the change in both horses is incredible. 

 

Odie is six but has been started very gently for a number of reasons; I’ve struggled to find a saddle that can cope with how quickly he changes shape not only between fittings but also within the space of a single ride! I was convinced to try a SMART saddle because it would be an investment for his ridden career. 

 

King is 21 and has some physical limitations. As such, I’m always very cautious of changing things too much with him, for fear of upsetting our cautious equilibrium.  

 

We agreed on a selection of saddles for me to try out based on how I’ve always ridden, and the activities I normally do with my boys. As she was my existing saddle fitter, the SMART Advisor knew my horse very well. She turned up with everything for me to try and whilst we just loved the feel of them, none were quite right until we tried the SMART PRO VSD - I was convinced this wouldn’t work having historically had a working hunter saddle which was a similar shape. I could not have been more wrong, so decided to take it on a trial.  

 

I was determined to ride as much as I could in this saddle to really test it out. King and I try and get in one really long ride each week, but with the weather being what it was, we set out at 7am. We achieved 12.5 miles in 2.5hrs (averaging around 5mph - a decent endurance ride pace!). 


 


Odie is learning about life in the school. Historically he’s struggled to stretch over his back and flex, this was like finding a new magic button for my little horseWe hacked up the drive the next day (something I’ve not been happy to do), I just felt so safe and secure in the saddle - I could do anything! 


 


King continued to tot up the miles and I soon noticed something; this horse who in the 14 years I have owned him has ALWAYS dipped away from a brush or hosepipe, particularly after riding, wasn’t anymore. Once I clocked this, I noticed, he wasn’t spasming his back as I mounted anymore either. Out of curiosity, I got my massage lady to have a look at his back while she was on the yard. She was astounded at the difference in his reactivity. It’s always been a comment on her reports about him; to have finally found a solution is phenomenal. 

 

Odie then discovered yet another button, to go with his new stretchy, we discovered we can canter! I’ve only ever asked him out hacking up until this point, and even then held on for grim death. But I felt so safe, and secure, I just asked, and off he went on the correct leg as if he’d always done it! 

 

I can’t put into words how delighted I am that these saddles exist. I want everyone to know about them and understand that a saddle can be flexible and supportive for both you and your horse. My boys are a testament to that - as is my gradually increasing confidence! 

 

 

 

Caitlin Kretzschmar 2021