Many people experience problems with saddles and it is common to hear of frustrated riders spending large sums on saddle after saddle that for one reason or another just does not work. It is also common to hear of made to measure saddles failing, although this is not as surprising as it sounds as the saddle may well fit in theory on a static horse, but becomes a problem as soon as the horse actually moves.
Horses change shape constantly throughout their lives - even small variations in weight will immediately affect saddle fit. Most horses are fairly stoical in their role as people-carriers, and will put up with an astonishing amount of pain and discomfort, sometimes displaying symptoms that are too subtle to be readily diagnosed.
Many experienced riders who do not believe that their horses are experiencing saddle issues at all, have been surprised at the improvements to performance that working in a Solution saddle have demonstrated.
In 2006 Solution Saddles was founded in a quest to develop the perfect saddle to improve equine welfare and performance. Managing Director Anne Bondi BHSI, a highly successful rider and trainer who has produced and competed horses up to advanced level in both dressage and eventing, believes that the natural progression to the RigidFree™ concept is the biggest step forward in horse welfare in her lifetime.
The SMART™ saddle design is unique, not only because the saddles are completely RigidFree™ but also because they are designed, made, used and fitted by riders. We not only understand how the saddle is constructed and performs but understand the performance demands of both horse and rider.
SMART™ saddles do not have a traditional saddle tree. They can easily accommodate horses that are difficult to fit, have existing saddle or performance related problems, give young horses a good start or give older horses a new lease of life. Our saddles have absolutely no rigid parts to cause injury to the horse and are completely flexible. SMART™ saddles are designed to protect the horses back from pressure and trauma by using a patented shock absorbing system. Our unique balance pad system ensures one saddle can be fitted to several horses easily and allows changes in shape through the season.
In the clinical evaluation of back-related problems, SMART™ saddles are useful as a diagnostic tool and can be usefully employed to eliminate the saddle as a possible source of pain. Dr. Sue Dyson, one of the world’s leading specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of lameness in the horse, now regularly uses the Solution saddle in assessing horses with back pain and recommends its therapeutic use to clients.
“It has been my experience that some horses with back pain benefit tremendously by the use of the SMART saddle.”
Dr Sue Dyson, MA, VetMB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, Head of Clinical Orthopaedic Studies at The Animal Health Trust