Tuesday 20 December 2016

Before discovering SMART saddles, Becky Fossett was at her wits end in trying to find a saddle to fit her cob.

Dylan looking handsome in his new SMART GP saddle.

I just wanted to say thank you so much!

Over the past 11 years I have had countless saddles due to Dylan changing shape; I have spent thousands of pounds on various types of saddle and really didn't know which saddler to turn to next.

Since trialling and purchasing my SMART GP saddle, the difference to Dylan and myself has been amazing. He is so much more flexible and forward and his lateral skills have also improved. Plus, my hips don't hurt half as much as they did in a treed saddle!

My best friend, who is at my yard, was so impressed by the difference that she also purchased a SMART GP saddle for her horse.

Thanks again for all your help and support, I finally feel Dylan and I have a saddle that will last us our lifetime!

Becky Fossett

Thursday 15 December 2016

Vicky Bloomfield and her horse are happy, comfortable and relaxed in their new SMART Eventer saddle.

I couldn't be happier with the new SMART Eventer saddle. My gelding is so relaxed and going beautifully in it, he has a noticeably longer stride trotting, now his shoulders are not restricted. I am so comfortable too, after years of discomfort in the wrong saddles. 

I look forward to riding everyday now, it's a pleasure. 

Vicky Bloomfield, May 2016

Amanda Beevers is over the moon with the SMART™ Native Pony saddle for her daughter and their round pony.

My daughter’s very round pony was very hard to fit a saddle to - after various saddle fittings resulting in no saddle due to her shape, I was getting out of my depth and losing the will to live. 

We moved to a new yard, where I met a girl who had a SMART™ saddle and she couldn't have expressed more just how fantastic they were, so I promptly called Solution Saddles – and it was the best phone call that I have made!

The Solution Saddles Approved Advisor came out and fitted a SMART™ Native Pony saddle for my daughter and her pony – it was so exciting to be able to ride again, knowing that the saddle wasn't going to hurt our pony or put pressure on her back like her old saddle did. 

We are over the moon with it - it looks and feels great and has helped my daughter with her jumping position.

My daughter is 9 years old and has had her SMART™ Native Pony saddle for over a year - these are her words:

 ‘’The SMART saddle is amazing -  It’ never slipped once,  it keeps my position right while jumping, feels comfortable and fits my pony great!"

We have never looked back since buying the SMART™ Native Pony saddle and would never have another brand. The after care is fantastic and I would 100% recommend Solution Saddles to anyone.

Amanda Beevers

Friday 9 December 2016

Mel and her Maxi Cob are thrilled with their high scores in their SMART™ Native saddle.

I’ve had my horse, Coolie, for 2 years now; he is what you’d call a maxi cob and we had the most dreadful time with his traditional saddle slipping to the right. The saddler would have to come out almost every two months to re-flock and juggle, but as soon as Coolie lost or gained weight, I’d have to get the saddle adjusted again.

A friend of mine suggested we try a SMART™ saddle, so I arranged a home consultation visit with my local Solution Saddles Approved Advisor. I was extremely sceptical but by the end of the test ride I was totally amazed – the saddle hadn't moved and Coolie felt like he was moving much more freely. 

We have been thrilled to bits with our Native GP saddle ever since; I have never looked back.

A year later and we have a new found love of dressage - well I have (not so sure Coolie enjoys his circles as much as I do)!  I had wanted to invest in a dressage saddle for a while, but was unsure whether it would be worth it for us at our very basic prelim level. However, I decided to take the plunge, and with the help of our lovely Solution Saddles Approved Advisor, we decided on a SMART™ Native Dressage saddle, which I had customised with a Suprabloc kneeflap.

In our first competition in our new saddle, we achieved the two highest scores we’ve ever had in any dressage test, as well as the best collectives for rider’s seat and position that I’ve ever achieved. We got a first and second place as well as some lovely comments from the judge.

I cannot recommend these saddles highly enough or thank Solution Saddles enough for pandering to my whims!

Mel Glover

Photo credit: Jasmine Punter - jasminepunterphotography.co.uk

Wednesday 30 November 2016

The SMART™ Eventer saddle fits all of Rachel's horses, including her rare breed Boulonnais Draught Horses.

"After the theft of all my tack, I was forced to replace numerous saddles.

I own three rare breed Boulonnais Draught Horses that require short, very wide saddles, a Connemara and a Polo pony; to replace all of their saddles was going to mean a huge financial outlay. 

My riding instructor recommended the SMART™ Eventer saddle for me and I just wish I had one in my life earlier! It fits all of my horses, from my heavies to my fine Thoroughbred types and is also the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever sat in – my seat bones will forever be grateful. In addition, it has revolutionised my riding. My horses feel freer and our communication has become fine-tuned; I can feel them and they can feel me.

One of my Boulonnais mares, Sophia, recently took part in her first show, ridden by Dan Hammond, and was the World Breeds’ Ridden Reserve Champion. Dan would now like to qualify Sophia to the British Dressage Draught Horse Championships.

Finally – this summer we had the first ever UK-born Boulonnais Draught foal (as seen in Horse & Hound), who we are watching closely to become the only breeding stallion in the UK. He will be broken and ridden away in my new ‘couldn’t-be-without’ SMART™ Eventer saddle!

There are only 13 Boulounnais Draught rare horses in the UK and 1,000 known worldwide!"

Rachel Hossle

Wednesday 2 November 2016

The SMART Native GP Saddle is the best investment that I've ever made when it comes to saddles!

My grandson has always been nervous about jumping. His pony's previous saddle always used to slip, but our new SMART Native GP saddle never moves - whatever you do  - and is so comfy for both of us. 

These photos were taken at the Wellow Children’s Show, where he and Polly won 1st place for 'Higher and Higher'. We were so proud of them!

Thank you to all the team at SMART Saddles for the help and advice on choosing the correct saddle for this roly-poly pony. It is the best investment I’ve ever made when it comes to saddles!

Best Wishes

Wilma Manchon

Saturday 1 October 2016

Within minutes of trialling a SMART PRO Dressage saddle he was already moving better...

Jenni Zawadzka and her horse, Sir Nunn Golden Jewel, illustrate how quickly a SMART saddle can make a difference

After continuously struggling with saddles, both my friend and my instructor mentioned trying a SMART Saddle from Solution Saddles, as they thought that they make a difference to my horse.

Prior to getting in contact with Solution Saddles, I bought a saddle from my local saddler which, although looked like it fit, was causing damage and making him intermittently lame.

My part-bred Arab, Sir Nunn Golden Jewel, has always been hard work and like many owners, I put it down to various reasons such as the time of year etc. but looking back, his saddle was the problem.

Within minutes of trialling a SMART PRO Dressage saddle he was already moving better, not ‘chucking’ his head around and moving more into the contact. Within half an hour I could feel him stretching his back and swinging through! 

Since purchasing my SMART saddle, we have gone from strength to strength; his back is changing shape from using the correct muscles, it is soft and supple and he has been continuously willing.

We have really put our saddle to the test with long slow hacks, fast hill work, schooling, lessons and competitions.

I could not be more pleased and i’m looking forwards to beginning our three year old Andalucian’s career with this saddle, with him only knowing the best.

I'd recommend these saddles to anyone!

See the difference for yourself in the video below:

Thursday 1 September 2016

It’s lovely to finally have a dressage saddle that I don’t groan at the weight of and which my horse doesn’t groan at the sight of!

Fiona Stephenson and her horse, Shorty, are enjoying the advantages of their new SMART PRO Dressage saddle.

''The most important part of horse ownership for me is ensuring my horse’s wellbeing. Saddle choice and fit is obviously a very important part of that and, after a disappointing episode with my previous dressage saddle, I decided to try a SMART Pro Dressage saddle. Two main factors influenced this decision: the lack of rigid points on the SMART saddle and the lightweight nature of the saddle. I felt that these two points alone meant that the SMART saddle had a significant advantage over any other dressage saddle that I have tried.

The look and feel of the saddle is impressive. It is extremely light and the deep seat and moveable blocks mean that it feels superb to ride in. I also found the positioning of the rider very balanced and, of all the dressage saddles I have tried in my search for the perfect one, this has been my favourite from a rider position point of view.

My horse works significantly better in the SMART saddle, most noticeably in downward transitions and through changes of direction; he stays much more supple and through and is less inclined to fall behind the contact.

I have not needed to fit extra balance pads as the saddle fits perfectly without, but it makes perfect sense to me to have a saddle that I can quickly and easily change the fit of, so that if he loses muscle on his back or becomes asymmetrical for any reason, I can easily change the fit of the saddle.

I found the customer service, and the focus on the customer, fantastic. Having the ability to hire the saddle for two weeks and the availability of the payment plan shows that the company has a pragmatic and thoughtful approach.

There are lots of other little details that make me very satisfied with my new SMART saddle, such as the SMART Deluxe saddle cover which fits the saddle perfectly, is waterproof and padded, and has slots for the stirrups to sit in. Attention to these little details reflects the general approach of Solution Saddles and increases my confidence in the product.

It’s lovely to finally have a dressage saddle that I don’t groan at the weight of and which my horse doesn’t groan at the sight of!''

Monday 1 August 2016

SMART Eventer Saddle Review – Iona Phillips

I recently purchased a SMART EVENTER saddle from Solution Saddles. I have now tried it out thoroughly, including competing in it, and I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this saddle to any eventer or leisure rider.

It is a fabulous saddle that looks the part too. The ability to adjust and change the knee rolls means that I am able to be in the correct position for dressage as well as being free to move and lift out of the saddle when show jumping.

The fit of the saddle for both myself and my horse is great; the contact is even over my horse’s back and he is moving freely beneath it; there are no areas pinching him or restricting his movement.  I find it easy to sit correctly and comfortably, I also love the close contact feel it gives me.

My horse’s stride has completely changed thanks to the SMART EVENTER saddle, he is now able to fully extend and reach without feeling restricted. He works in a more comfortable outline and is fully engaged in his hindquarters; as a result I have been able to work more on his top line. He is jumping with better form and now has the ability to bascule and make an improved shape over jumps.

Pictures of Teifi and I recently competing in the SMART Eventer saddle.

Iona Phillips

Friday 8 July 2016

Daisys performance has improved significantly since getting her SMART™ Eventer saddle.

“Daisy is going so well in her SMART™ Eventer saddle, I am really happy with it.  

Daisy jumping in her SMART Eventer saddle with my coach.

For the past year she has been grumpy when a saddle was put on her back, this was the only resistance she showed (she is obviously very stoic). It was brushed off by previous saddle fitters as not important. However, her performance has improved significantly since getting her SMART™ Eventer saddle and she no longer minds being tacked-up - to me that is a big clue to how important it actually was!

An excellent representative from Solution Saddles conducted my test ride. Her attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond to make sure the saddle was right for my horse, is the main reason I ended up purchasing from the company. I've found the customer service to be outstanding and refreshing after the issues I've had with other saddle companies. 

Thank you, I am a very happy customer and have recommended SMART™ saddles to several people already.” 

Laura Macgregor.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Riding in a SMART Eventer saddle has been a revelation for Tracey and her Irish Sports Horse, Merlin.

Merlin is a sensitive horse and would always scoot forward, particularly in canter, with our previous tree’d saddle - I think this was because it was causing him pain and dug into his back.

Since riding in the SMART saddle he's moving more freely, working through his back more effectively and I have peace of mind because I know he's comfortable and enjoying his work - that is worth its weight in gold to me.

I fully endorse this product and will be recommending it to my friends.

Tracey Gadd

Monday 9 May 2016

I have been riding in Solution saddles for the last 5 years; time and time again they have proved to be invaluable for both myself and the many horses I have used them on.

I was originally introduced to Solution Saddles by a friend when I was struggling to find a saddle for my extremely sway backed horse. I tried her SMART saddle and instantly felt a difference in my horse so bought a second hand Solution saddle. I loved this saddle and competed in all three disciplines with great success.

Unfortunately I had an accident which left me with a partially paralysed right leg.  After 9 months rest I began to ride again but found I needed more support than the Solution saddle could provide. As I didn’t think that I would be able to jump again, I upgraded to a SMART Dressage saddle.

The saddle was fantastic and offered me so much more support and in turn confidence – within a few months I went on to win the Prelim Championship at my local competition centre!

It was not long before I realised that the jumping bug had returned! I started to jump in my dressage saddle but as the weeks went on I felt that I needed a jump saddle to help me with my position. So, about 6 months after buying my dressage saddle I also purchased a SMART Jump saddle.

Both saddles proved to be invaluable when I purchased my new horse last summer; it turned out that he was cold backed and had kissing spines. The saddle that came with him was badly fitted and causing him real pain. As a result, he was struggling to use his back end and wouldn’t step under and work from behind – this was also affecting his jumping. Within 4 weeks of changing to the SMART Jump saddle he was a different horse! His whole movement had changed and he was really able to bascule over the fences.  

I am now regularly out completing at affiliated show jumping competitions and am slowly moving up the levels – something I never thought I would be able to do but because of these amazing saddles I can!

I have now had my new horse for just over 6 months and I have just treated myself to the new SMART PRO Jump saddle, all I can say is ‘wow’ – I absolutely love it! It fits my high withered horse perfectly and I haven’t needed to use as many balance pads as with my SMART Jump saddle, which means I have a closer contact to my horse. I also love the external 'Suprabloc' knee blocks that keeps my weak leg in place.

Thank you for all you have done for both me and my horses!

Bryony Hurrell.

Monday 4 April 2016

Moving up the grades has been easier for Maxine, Antonia and their ponies with help from Solution Saddles.

“We bought 8 year old ‘Spin’ 18 months ago from another Pony Club family. She had evented at BE100 level as a 5 year old then went on to have a number of homes where she just didn't click with her young riders. She was often stressed and would canter everywhere so her old owners used to have to lunge her for 30 minutes before getting on.

Spin seemed much happier as soon as she was fitted with our Solution saddle; the first Pony Club camp we took her to, the instructors didn't recognise her as she was so happy in her ridden work. Antonia has found it challenging moving up to a 15hh sharp horse from her 12.2hh superstar pony, Blondie, but with help from our Solution Saddles Technical Advisor, to get the saddle fit right along with regular lessons, they seem to be getting it together!

Antonia and Spin recently helped their Pony Club team win at Hartpury, qualifying for the The Pony Club Dengie Winter League Show Jumping Championships.

As you can see from Spin's face she loves jumping in her Solution saddle!"

Maxine Oxford

Maxine Oxford first sent in a story to Solution Saddles in 2013.
Antonia and 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."

In 2014 they successfully tried their hand at junior tetrathlon:

“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!”

Update: Blondie is now showing 8 year old Sienna how its done in the same SMART Saddle.
“ Blondie floating along in trot at a recent Pony Club rally".

Update: March 2017

Brave Sienna sits securely on Blondie with her SMART saddle.

In 2015, Maxine shared with us the story of Flicka, a ‘problem pony’ who went on to have the opportunity to race at Cheltenham with their Solution saddle, read their story here http://news.solutionsaddles.com/2015/08/maxine-oxford-flicka-from-problem-pony.html

Thursday 10 March 2016

The versatile Solution saddle will now be the saddle of choice for Geraldine since trying one for the first time.

Evie is just 12 years old and her fabulous 14hh pony ‘Triggs’ is 20!

Triggs loves Eventing and they compete at BE90 level; they nearly always have a double clear and finish on their dressage score but unfortunately dressage is their worst phase. Previously, Triggs hated dressage and would not go forward, his head was in the air with a hollow back and incorrect bend.

One day, Evie’s dressage trainer suggested she take off the saddle and just ride on the pad - he is a great believer in treeless saddles and thought it would help. A miracle occurred; Triggs lowered his head down with a lovely stretch and was moving forwards on his own without constant kicking from Evie, so we immediately started looking for a used Solution saddle.

With the help of an Approved Advisor from Solutions Saddles the saddle fit was customised for Triggs and he continues to improve every day. I would even go so far as to say he enjoys his flatwork sessions now - no more kicking required from Evie so she can concentrate on sitting better and improving her contact. Evie says he is much nicer to ride and much happier in himself. His jumping has also improved because I think he is much more comfortable - at the moment he is the best he has ever been.

The Solution Saddles Approved Advisor also fitted the saddle to Evie’s almost outgrown but absolutely gorgeous 12.2hh pony, Princess, and I think that they will now go out and do some dressage competitions. Princess has always been difficult to fit but the Solution saddle is just great on her!

This really is the most versatile saddle as it also fits our young home bred 16hh warmblood cross, out of our event mare by Grafenstolz. We will use it on him all the time as he changes shape and grows. Evie is hoping he may be her next ride so she will be well used to the saddle.
We have never thought of using a treeless saddle before but I think a Solution saddle will now always be our saddle of choice."

Triggs is so well at the moment I can’t believe he is 20. I am certain your saddle has been instrumental in making him so energetic. He just feels so full of joy. 

Best wishes,
Geraldine Torr
Evie Mackel