English saddles made in the UK, Fitted & Supplied Worldwide



A Good Year for Impala Pro, Suzannah Monoflap & Sienna Dressage Saddles….& T&T

At the beginning of last year, I wrote:

” What will 2023 hold for us all? Have to admit, it has started slowly for us but we are not alone!!!! Hopefully things will pick up as they usually do(!) as the year gets properly into gear! Fingers & everything crossed!!!!

Happily things did pick up but we all find ourselves in a similar position now keeping our fingers crossed for 2024!

Last year our customers were predominantly from the UK and USA and joined by Australia, New Zealand, Canada & Sweden. So our geographical reach was not quite as broad as usual.

It was a good year, as ever (!), for the Impala Pro and the Suzannah Monoflap but also for the Sienna and the T&T (Ideal’s adjustable range). Joining them were the Gazelle, Grandee, Olivia, FWB, 1550 GPD, Ideal’s Polo saddle and the Ramsay Show Saddle. Horses had deeper or shallower rear gussets, a different tree and shorter and/or modified panels. Riders had  bigger, smaller or different  blocks, longer or shorter flaps and many had patent rolls & piping & some, a patent cantle too!

Amy in the UK, who had an Impala Pro Dressage saddle said:

Just to let you know that I did my first dressage competition in the new saddle yesterday and the difference in the way that the horse goes and how I sit is quite unbelievable. I’m absolutely thrilled with it. It’s beautiful and so comfortable.

To finish, here are a few of the horses!….and a lovely message & photo from Gail in USA.

Tom is an 18.2hh Shire in Australia who had an Impala Pro Jump in 2022 and a Suzannah Monoflap Dressage saddle in 2023!

Reggae in the UK had a Ramsay Show Saddle.

Leo in Sweden, an ID x ISH had a Impala Pro on a Jessica tree.

Digby, an ISH in the UK had a Grandee Elite.

Natasha, in Australia had an Impala Pro for her lovely horse.

Beautiful Sienna Dressage Saddle

“Love my beautiful Saddle. We won the class! Definitely the Saddle!”
….from Gail & Lazaro in USA
The saddle is a Sienna!

Most Saddles made to a Very Individual Specification for Fit

What will 2023 hold for us all? Have to admit, it has started slowly for us but we are not alone!!!! Hopefully things will pick up as they usually do(!) as the year gets properly into gear! Fingers & everything crossed!!!!

Last year, overseas customers accounted for two thirds of our orders rather than the usual roughly half. The USA, Australia and New Zealand were key markets for us, joined by orders from Canada, Switzerland, France and Norway. Very happily, we had several customers returning to us for another saddle. Katie from USA said…..

“It’s another work of art! It fits Solon perfectly and it’s very comfortable. Thank you again to you & Ian for such wonderful help & service”

As ever there was a wide range of type of horse & pony. As illustration, felt I had to share this pic from France. What a mane!

…..and, as ever, most saddles were made to a very individual spec for fit and in some cases for “look”. The Suzannah was as usual a key model, both the twin flap, in some cases built on a Jessica tree, and the mono flap. Popular too were the Impala Pro, the Grandee and the Gazelle. We can add to the list the Styletta, Lynx Monoflap Deluxe, Ozelle, Nyala, Sophia and the T&T adjustable. Notable last year were orders for larger seat sizes, 18″ & 19″ & 20″, some built with shorter panels, some not.

Specifications included modifications to the standard model such as:

  • shorter/longer/more forward cut flaps
  • deeper/shallower gussets
  • longer girth straps
  • shorter panels
  • custom knee rolls/blocks
  • multi cell comfort seat
  • coloured/contrast piping and stitching
  • Crocodile or stingray cantle

This Technical & Traditional (T&T) Adjustable Dressage Saddle was made with a specified flap length, blue piping and Stingray cantle:


Lets conclude with some kind words from Elsie in Scotland….

“Saddle is here and all is well, in fact better than well. I am delighted & more importantly so is Princess….good look and good fit. Thank you so much for all your help.”

“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!

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!

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

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”!

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!

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

Never a dull moment at Saddles Worldwide!

…..from a 19″ Suzannah on a Jessica tree for a tall man and his Lusitano stallion in the UK through to a tiny, tiny 13″ seat/12.5″ tree Ramsay for a very young little rider and her show pony in Australia and everything in between! Well, not quite everything, but it isn’t far from the truth! Notable this year is that so many saddles have been made to a very individual specification. This is what we do(!) but this year in particular, the need for what we do to get the fit and in some cases the look, is very evident. Here are just a few examples:


A Grandee Elite was made for a UK customer with shorter flaps, wider front leg gussets, a wider gullet, flaps as per the 1450 Impala, Cruiser seat & pads and D rings all round. Also for the UK was another Suzannah on a Jessica tree in two tone Sala with shorter flaps, a square cantle, more forward cut and with three sets of blocks on velcro. Bound for Canada was a Gazelle on a Jessica tree (yes, the Jessica tree featured quite a lot this year!) with Buffaloe skirt & flaps, Cruiser seat & pads, comfort seat,”Milky Bar” patent piping and matching leathers & sheepskin girth. Off to the USA was a Gazelle with balance straps, no thigh pad, deeper rear gussets, wider front leg gussets and two pairs of blocks on velcro. In the process of being made as I write is an Exceed with cobalt blue patent piping for a customer in New Zealand.

Gazelle with matching leathers & sheepskin girth


To finish. I must mention the B word….Brexit. Our business mix is roughly 50:50 UK and the rest of the world. This year has seen a drop off in enquiries from Europe. I fear the Brexit effect. However, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have taken up the slack and 50:50 is still the split….and Iceland has joined our list of countries!

“It’s everything I dreamed of”!

……and Jackie went on to say “Huge thank you to you,  Ian, and Rob! I didn’t get it until 6pm, but still had an hour of daylight,  so I ran out cleaned up a horse and rode in it.  I LOVE IT! Thank you! ”

Jackie is the talent behind J S Training and Sales based in Andover, Kansas. She has had two lovely saddles from us in the past and now this fabulous Suzannah Monoflap. It is difficult to do this saddle justice in photos.  You really have to see it to believe it! It is made up in calf, the colour is Military with “Milky Bar” patent piping & rolls. Special too is the detailing on the flap. A final subtle touch is the cantle half moon in Buffalo.

The “darker” photos are ones we took before the saddle was shipped. The lighter photos, Jackie took during that first ride. Jackie’s photos better illustrate the colour than do ours!

Here is a link to Jackie’s Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/JSTraining23/ where she has “posted” her saddle!

PS Rob, referred to above, is the boss man at Ideal!



Ideal Ramsay on an H & C Tree……”A Picture Paints a Thousand Words”

“A picture says a thousand words”!

Simonn from Tasmania used this famous proverb in the English language when she sent us these photos of her ponies at a recent competition. Apart from thinking what a delightful picture they both make, we also have to admit to being very pleased with what the pictures say about the saddles! The ponies were fitted with Ramsays, both built on an H & C tree and both to a very detailed spec. “They are going so much better with these saddles” said Simonn……..and indeed they look to be going beautifully!!!!

Photos reproduced with the kind permission of Melissa Lee Stone Photography.

Ramsay show saddle off to The Nationals!

Renee from Australia ordered a Ramsay show saddle for her daughter’s pony, Daisy at the end of last year. She wanted the deepest seat version with an integrated pencil block.

As you can see, Daisy is gorgeous and Renee’s daughter rides beautifully. They make a very elegant pair! Renee sent us these photos and wrote:

“Over the last two weekends we have attended two major shows here. Daisy’s saddle fits her perfectly and looks amazing on her and she is so free in her movement.

We won smartest on parade in the leading rein and she was Runner Up Small Open Pony so she is off to represent NSW at the Nationals. Thanks so so much once again for your amazing service.”

Success so well deserved. Lets wish them all luck at The Nationals!

ENSW Elizabeth Farm Horse of the Year Show 2018

Pacific Coast Championships 2018

Photos by kind permission of Lorelle Mercer