Tuesday 23 September 2014

First Mini One Day Event with the SMART GP Pony Saddle - Customer Update - Video

Antonia & Blondie at their first mini one day event.

Due to Blondies round belly and back shape, her tree'd saddle would slide up her neck all the time.

 Their SMART GP Pony saddle stays in place even with her extravagant jumping style.

Antonia and Blondie enjoy jumping all the big fences at fun rides and compete at 80cm and 85cm showjumping classes.

Maxine Oxford,

An update from Maxine Oxford for Antonia & Blondie

“My twelve year old daughter, Antonia, competed at her first junior Tetrathlon with Blondie. She had to run 1500m, swim for 3 mins and shoot at a 7m turning target with one hand.

The pictures below are of them jumping over a 2'9 to 3' course. They were one of only four partnerships to go clear - and most of the competitors were riding horses. Blondie was so sweet, ears forward as usual, tail flicking and paws up :D

Antonia came 10th overall - I was so amazed!”


Antonia Oxford, riding her pony, Blondie, around a course of 90cm in their SMART Pony saddle.

Friday 19 September 2014

The Eventing Way - Houghton International CCI* - Reports From 2013 Event Diary

July 2013
“The consistency of the trot rhythm was particularly pleasing. This is something that has improved all the time since we started using the SMART Saddles.”
We made the long journey to Houghton in Norfolk with two lorries and five horses!
The Navigator was competing in the CCI** class, Sabreeze in the CCI* and Phantom Spark, Cadanbyrig No Warning and Cadanbyrig Moonrunner competing in British Showjumping classes and the Eventers Grand Prix.

The Navigator passed the first trot up with flying colours and went on to do his dressage on the Thursday of the event. He warmed up well and did a good test to score 51.9.

We had a lot of rain on the Friday at Houghton and it changed the ground from good going to deep and challenging! Scobie went really well cross country and had jumped all of the difficult combinations with ease, but unfortunately got caught out, along with others, at a big parallel under trees five fences from home,  where he misread the back rail and they fell. Horse and rider were fine but it was a big disappointment.

Scobie was sound after his fall and we were relieved that despite falling he wasn't sore in his back nor was there any damage to the flexible SMART saddle! - Not the result we had hoped for but that is the ups and downs of eventing!
 Sabreeze competed in the CCI* class, which was his first three day event of his eventing career. In the dressage phase, the consistency of the trot rhythm was particularly pleasing. This is something that has improved all the time since we started using our SMART saddles.

After torrential overnight rain, the going on the tough cross-country course had deteriorated and became very deep and holding, causing lots of problems around the entire track. Sabreeze, unfazed by the conditions, jumped a fantastic clear round inside the time and finished full of running.


Sabreeze continued to cope well with the difficult conditions the next day in the show jumping and we were delighted to complete his first three-day event. 

Check back soon to find out how The Eventing Way team got on at Barbury Burghley Young Event Horse class and the Retraining of Racehorses Parade at Ascot.

BYRDS Rider Has Never Looked Back Since Purchasing Her First SMART Saddle - Customer Update

"My story was chosen as the Solution of the Month in May 2013, and I would like to update you on our progress since then.

I now have a new ride who is a warmblood called Daydream Believer and I ride both my horses in my SMART Sport dressage saddle. We were very successful earlier on this year, being selected to represent the Northern region team for British Young Rider Dressage Scheme. 

Tilly was so relaxed under the saddle and it showed through her test. 
We have plenty more outings planned, and are aiming to ride at winter regionals! 

Previous Update: 
“I bought Bobby, a 16.3 Irish sport horse as a four year old when I was fourteen. Initially, I had a treed saddle for him but it did not fit and I didn’t want to buy numerous saddles to accommodate his ever-changing shape.
When my local Solution Saddles Technical Advisor came out for a home consultation visit she brought the SMART dressage saddle, which I instantly fell in love with. From the word go, Bobby was a different horse. He became free and swinging in his walk. After going out to competitions I realised I could cut my warm up time down as he was instantly relaxed under the saddle, rather than tensing up and rushing off as he did before.

When the new SMART SPORT dressage saddle was launched, again I fell in love with it. Bobby is a big horse with big movements, and I felt more secure in the new design.

I would definitely recommend these saddles to anyone; when purchasing from Solution Saddles you know that not only are you buying a saddle, which is “horse friendly”, you are buying a service from Solution Saddles and their Advisors. My Technical Advisor was so helpful and worked with me to make sure I was 100% happy with my saddles and was happy to answer any questions, however silly they may sounded.
I have never looked back since changing to the SMART saddle system. I know all my horses will have the best on their backs.”
Cassidy Adey
May 2013

Monday 15 September 2014

From Lameness and Muscle Atrophy To A Happier Horse with the SMART SPORT Dressage & Jump saddles

My horse has not been difficult to fit with saddles…

but he started to have ad hoc periods of lameness and I noticed large rub patches appearing at the back of the saddle area.  His saddles were checked and adjusted which seemed to work for a while but he soon started to become lame again so I took him to the vets for a full check up. He was sound on all counts with no sign of the mystery lameness and no apparent back pain.  With some relief I brought him home but after a few weeks he felt lame again.

My Bowen practitioner was concerned at the amount of muscle atrophy he had and she was sure there was some deep shoulder muscle bruising where his saddle had been pinching and moving from side to side. The rub marks on his back were now significant.  This was definitely a saddle problem, so she recommended trying the RigidFree SMART Saddles.  

The local Solution Saddles Technical Advisor visited and spent a considerable time trying various different models and sizes.  We finally agreed the new Smart Sport saddles were the best solution for both the horse and for me.

Three months later, with our new Smart Sport Dressage saddle, he is noticeably freer moving and has a much looser swing to his back.  He is just a happier horse.

I was so impressed with the immediate difference this made to my horse’s way of going that I also bought a Smart Sport Jump saddle. It gives me a great XC position and I feel really secure in it.  My horse feels a lot happier jumping too with much more freedom in his shoulders. The bald patches and rubs at the back of the saddle area have completely disappeared and he is already building up muscles around the shoulders and withers.

He is a much happier horse and we would both like to say a big thank you to Solution Saddles.

Sue Sandford

The Eventing Way - Aston le Walls & Rockingham CIC** - Reports from 2013 Event Diary

May 2013 - Aston le Walls  

“A good day out with the babies and very educational.”

Hannahs Silk (Indy) and Cadanbyrig Drifter (Joey) went to Aston le Walls to compete in the BE90 level class at their unaffiliated horse trials.

Indy was first to go, she scored 36.5 in the dressage. She jumped a great round in the show jumping just rolled one pole and went really well cross country - much more confident than the week before at West Wilts which was pleasing.

Joey was next up and again found the cross country near to the arena far too exciting to concentrate on dressage but then jumped a  good and easy clear round in the show jumping and followed that up with a confident clear across country.

June 2013 - Rockingham International CIC**

“Preparation for Houghton”

The Navigator went to Rockingham to do the CIC** but only intended to do dressage and showjumping as a preparation run before Houghton the following week.

He did a good test in the main arena and focused despite the atmosphere with flags flying and people moving around the tradestand area. He scored 52.2 which left him in the top 15 overnight.

The showjumping was the following day and was an up to height track again in the main arena. His jump has been improving and we have been building the partnership at this level and although he had a couple of rails down the overall round was very pleasing.

He was withdrawn after showjumping as planned.

Check back soon for another update from The Eventing Way event diary to find out how they got on at Houghton as they continued the season with their SMART saddles.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Solution Saddles Customer is Now Pain Free in Her SMART GP Saddle

"I wanted to drop you a line and say a huge thank you. I am over the moon with my SMART™ GP saddle.

 I bought it from Solution Saddles last year and have never looked back. It is so comfortable and I do everything in it. I had a bad fall a few years ago and always suffer from a bad back with other saddles but since I have bought my SMART™ GP saddle I always return home pain free. 

The photo is of me and my horse Ben competing in our very first one day event, we both had a fab day and just want to say a huge thanks for making these incredible saddles."

Charlotte Wilkinson

Customer Story - Security and Balance for Robbie Bell & His Pony Ben

  “Many thanks to Solution Saddles for introducing my son Robbie and I to their SMART™ Native saddle range.

While wandering around Badminton horse trials trade stands in May 2013 we started talking to the Solution Saddles Agents and my son sat on a SMART™ Native GP Pony saddle. He liked it a lot so on returning home I organised a Home Consultation Visit from the local Solution Saddles Agent with the very saddle that my son had sat in at Badminton.

His pony Ben is a very flat backed 11hh Shetland cross and we had had great difficulty in keeping saddles in the correct place. We had found that when wearing his normal saddle it would move forward causing Ben to hump resulting in the saddle moving further still up his neck. My son also found other pony saddles we had tried to be uncomfortable.

Ben was much happier in the SMART™ Native Pony saddle from the first time we tried it. Humping into canter had become a habit, but this immediately stopped in the new SMART™ Native Pony saddle.

My son is quite a nervous rider but he found the security and balance provided by the SMART™ Native Pony saddle has allowed him to build his confidence and is now virtually unstoppable.

He is hacking out at speed and cantering into his jumps. The SMART™ Native Pony saddle is so versatile he uses it for all pony club activities, dressage and showing. Although expensive to buy I know that it will fit his next pony and I can easily size up when necessary with the good resale value.


I decided that it was pointless carrying on with a saddle and pony combination that didn't work and I didn't want to part with Ben, so the SMART™ Native Pony saddle was the answer.
You can see from the pictures that Ben and my son Robbie are really enjoying riding together.

Helen Bell

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Solution of the Month September 2014 - Saddle Nightmare Solved For a Sensitive Hanoverian Mare - Video

“Thank you so much for your help in solving my saddle nightmare. My 6 year old Hanoverian mare has always been very, very sensitive. She had a choppy right canter and was inclined to change behind as she went round corners. Changing from a tree to a SMART SPORT VT RigidFree saddle seems to be a miracle cure. 
On the final day of our extended saddle trial, we went to a competition and scored 7s for all her medium trots and canters (she's only just started these so delighted!) Even though she needs to build strength and learn to relax the difference is phenomenal! 
She is also less grumpy, thank you very much!”
Nicola Nisbet

Nicola Nisbet has kindly sent in these two videos showing her horse before and after starting to use the SMART SPORT VT Dressage saddle. There are just 3 weeks between them yet the difference is quite remarkable.