Made in the UK, Fitted & Supplied Worldwide



Made in the UK, Fitted & Supplied Worldwide


“We now feel comfortable asking horses to work”

“We now feel comfortable asking horses to work”

Rosehill Dressage is a classical dressage training centre in Northville, Michigan, USA instructing students of all ages from beginners through to Grand Prix.

Towards the end of last year and through this year we have established the most rewarding working relationship with Anne Stahl, the proprietor and instructor. The net result to date is 15 dressage saddles for her clients. Many are the Suzannah Monoflap but also the Styletta and the Olivia. We started with primarily Spanish horses but then Warmbloods and off track TBs. 

Laura & Inter Caracol, 3 year old PRE have an Olivia

“Ian is fab!”

Anne has years of experience and over these years has tried many different brands of saddle. She told us that constant problems were saddles moving from side to side and/or pinching the horse’s shoulders and/or not being stable in the correct place on the horse’s back. Problems were solved through a combination of Ideal’s unrivalled range of saddles & trees for horses of all shapes and Ian’s “ability to understand what we are experiencing and relate this to what he recommends as the solution”. Anne went on to say “Ian is fab”! I think Ian would add that he wouldn’t be so fab (!) without Ideal, their philosophy, their Designed to Order service plus the recourse from time to time to discuss the solution to a problem with Rob Lugsden, Ideal’s owner and the inspiration behind their designs and philosophy.

There is so much that could be said but a few quotes from Anne say a lot! 

“The work of the horse improved and improved”


“horses are moving more freely & positively”


“moving more gymnastically”


“symmetry is important in training”


“it helps soundness”


“he’s happy & comfortable in flying changes and straight”


and very importantly

“we now feel comfortable asking horses to work”.


Watch the rider too!

Talking to Anne, something else stood out for me and is an aspect of the saddle world that doesn’t get so much focus…..the rider! One of the Styletta’s was made for an unusual shaped horse. He has huge withers then drops away. “Watch the rider” says Anne, “totally in the right place” and “the horse swings through the back, remarkable improvement”.

Overall, Anne said the riders “didn’t have to think about the saddle, their body stable, their back supported”. So everyone, watch the rider too when assessing a saddle!

Thailand joins our list of countries!

Thailand joins our list of countries!

Our mix of business, UK and overseas stays around 50:50. The USA is an important overseas market for us, as are Australia, New Zealand and Canada, Europe much less so for now, surprise surprise!

Thailand joined our list of countries this year when we supplied a dressage saddle to a trainer of King Power’s horses in Thailand (the other love of the family after football). The saddle was a Suzannah Monoflap to specification to be mainly used on a KWPN who is destined to emulate his wonderful stable companions. We were very kindly allowed to show you these amazing photos!

Desiree Maile Lavilla with Ulambo, sitting in his custom made Suzannah Monoflap Dressage saddle.

As I write, an Ozelle is on its way to Iceland. These wonderful photos are very evocative of the horse world in Iceland. Our thanks to those who have let us share them with you. A pic of the saddle we sent will soon be on its way! 

In the USA, we have built up a great relationship with Rosehill Dressage, a dressage centre in Michigan and supplied many saddles, mostly the Suzannah Monoflap but also the Styletta and Olivia. But more on this in a later post! 

Trends over the months have been the ongoing success of the Suzannah Monoflap but also the Impala, both the dressage and the jump and the Pro of each. The Gazelle deserves a mention too!  Nearly all saddles have been to a very individual spec for fit and “look” through the Designed to Order service but notable in the last few months has been the number of saddles built on a different tree…………Impala Pro on an H&C tree, Impala on GPX (Grandee) tree, Impala Pro on Gazelle tree, Working Hunter on GPX tree, Nyala on Jessica tree, Suzannah on Jessica tree. The purpose being for the rider to have the saddle they want and the horse to have the tree it needs!

Erin from NY State in USA didn’t need a different tree from his owner’s choice of saddle! Here he is enjoying his two new saddles: 

Gazelle 1550 jump saddle in military & black with royal blue piping. This saddle was made more forward cut than standard & with longer flaps

Suzannah Monoflap Dressage saddle with white welting, black patent rolls & forepiece and Stingray cantle.

Such a variety of horses!…..and saddles!

Such a variety of horses!…..and saddles!

Odysseus (or Ody) 15.3hh 13 yr old Freisan from USA








Part of the fun of what we do is “meeting” all the horses….and their owners!…from around the world. In recent months, the UK and USA have been our key countries. Sadly things have been a bit quiet from Australia and New Zealand, but the USA has made up for it….so far! France and Denmark have been good to us too.

Interesting are the trends that have emerged over the months. As ever, the range of types of horses is amazing and I attempt to give you some feel for that here. Another trend in recent months has been the predominance of dressage saddles (Suzannah Monoflap, Tonishia Supreme, Hayley WG and Styletta) going to USA and GP type saddles (Gazelle, Grandee, 1350, 1550 ) in the UK. It will probably be the other way round in the next few months!

In nearly every case we have used Ideal’s Designed to Order service quite extensively.to achieve the fit both for horse and rider and the appearance desired. The saddle made up in special leathers, patent rolls and/or welting and decorative stitching were all popular while the range of specifications for fit covered the choice of tree, depth of rear gussets, width of front gussets, length of panels, girthing arrangement and for the rider, depth of seat, flap shape and length and the choice of blocks.

We’ve had some great feedback….”its stunning”, “I’m really pleased”, “both love the saddle”, “absolutely love it, its beautiful” which adds to “the fun” for us!

So, lets see what the next few months bring!

“Meet” some more of “our” horses!………

Cash, 16.2hh 9 yr old Dutch Warmblood from UK


Alex, 15hh Haflinger from Denmark




Ziggy, 16.2hh 4 yr old KWPN from USA


Archie, 15hh 4 yr old Irish Cob from UK





Serenade, 16.2hh 5yr old Oldenburg mare from USA











In honour of Sara and Alfie

In honour of Sara and Alfie

Meet Sara and Alfie! Alfie was featured in publicity boards for Blossoms Rescue Centre in Suffolk when Sara was fund raising. Sara’s ill health and now incurable cancer meant the closure of Blossoms after 35 years. Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk came to the rescue and took Blossoms’ animals into their care. Here is a link to their site Hillside Animal Sanctuary They have nearly 2000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules.

We met Sara and Alfie when Sara wanted to try and find a saddle that would allow her, despite chronic pain, to enjoy some gentle outings on Alfie. It was also a present to Alfie for when “he ends up with someone on loan when I die”. We were able to help and indeed, they had a lovely FWB on a hooped tree in black with white piping and stitching, which happily we had in stock. It was an XXW which Ian then fitted to template……in 30 years, Alfie was the widest Ian has fitted!!!!! Sara has managed to enjoy some gentle outings with help from her family….and Alfie.

Here is Alfie now…..

This is a very moving story and in honour of Sara and Alfie we would like to try and raise a charitable donation for Hillside. We have set up a project on the Just Giving platform.

Here is the link  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/saddles-worldwide

We will be making regular donations and hopefully collectively we may raise a meaningful sum. A big thank you to everyone who donates.

“I only wish I had found you sooner”!

“I only wish I had found you sooner”!

This lovely saddle went off to Jane Sturrock in France at the beginning of the year. It is a Suzannah Monoflap, 16 1/2″ with 16″ panels, all covered flaps with white stitching and crocodile inserts on each flap and on the back of the cantle.

Jane sent us some photos and a lovely message…..which says it all!!!!

“Please find attached photos of my fabulous new saddle! Arrived in France within a month of ordering.
As always, both you and Ian have managed to supply me with a saddle that fits the Andalusian breed of horse so brilliantly well. After spending so much money on other saddles, like Amerigo and Bates and never finding that they have felt right on the build of the horse. They just perched on top of them like a basket on an elephant. Now both the horse and myself feel truly connected in unison! I only wish I had found you sooner.

I appreciate all Ian’s expertise, advice and knowledge ensuring the comfort and freedom of movement of the horse. The saddle is amazingly comfortable for the rider too and gives you such close contact to the horse.
The Ideal Suzannah monoflap model was really great advice from Ian to fit most of the short coupled stockier breeds. I totally agree that it is incredible how one saddle can adapt to slightly different sized horses. The saddles are aptly named, truly Ideal!
It was super to be able to make it more bespoke and customise the design for such a small amount of money extra.
The Ideal saddles are extremely good value for money anyway, particularly as they are made to measure. I couldn’t believe that you could produce such an amazing fit from a few photos and a template of the horse.”

Suzannah Monoflap with white stitching & crocodile inserts.

Suzannah Monoflap with crocodile insert on the cantle.

Here are a few photos we took before boxing it up!

Thistle the Tank!

Thistle the Tank!

Or whisky barrel on legs!!! Dear Thistle (proper name Inverness), a very wide 15.2hh Warmblood Thoroughbred cross, had not done alot recently and had become overweight. Hence her nicknames!

Jo from Massachusetts contacted us late last year, a Suzannah having been suggested as the answer for Thistle. Thistle was new to Jo’s family and the aim was to do low level dressage with her. Thistle had training in dressage before time off so it was a case of getting her fitter, slimmer and back in to ridden work and Jo was very concerned that Thistle should be comfortable under saddle.

The answer turned out to be a Suzannah Monoflap on a low head tree. In Jo’s words….” the mono-flap allows for excellent contact with the horse which, for a big barreled horse like Thistle is key!” In black with wine piping and welting, Jo decided upon Buffaloe skirt & flaps and Cruiser seat & pads. We fitted the saddle and gave it a custom flock.

We were so happy to hear that Thistle “is moving completely differently from when last under saddle”. A bit later, we hear she’s “improving every day. She gets ridden by both experienced and beginner riders . She takes care of everyone and is learning/re-learning her dressage lessons”.

To finish the story, a few more words from Jo….

“I love it and more importantly so does Thistle!
Thank you Jane and Ian for excellent advise and great service!”

Suzannah Monoflap on Low Head Tree

Suzannah Monoflap on Low Head Tree
Buffaloe skirt & flaps, Cruiser seat & pads
Wine piping & welting

Photographs by kind permission of Joseph Cantor, Photographer