SPECIALISTS IN IDEAL DESIGNED TO ORDER SADDLES

Made in the UK, Fitted & Supplied Worldwide

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SPECIALISTS IN IDEAL DESIGNED TO ORDER SADDLES

Made in the UK, Fitted & Supplied Worldwide

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From the Racing World!

Echo is a 6 year old racehorse with 5 wins and 12 places to his credit. Not only successful, Echo is “the sweetest horse ever, always tries his best. So genuine & not a crazy racehorse!” says his owner, Victoria. I think you can see this in him from his photos. I completely fell for him!!!

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Echo’s racing career has come up against the handicapper. He now has to carry too much weight. He’s not big, just 15.2hh. So he’s off home for a new career as Victoria’s “happy hacker”. I’m not sure this is quite the right description(!) but his change of career is how we had the great pleasure of meeting the lovely Echo. The plan is low level jumping/eventing and Victoria wanted a forward cut, GP type saddle with a good knee block. Discussions led to a Gazelle.

Echo ran his last race at Hamilton in September. He is now to have the winter off, allow him to naturally let down and we will start his saddle fitting in the spring. Enjoy your holiday Echo!

Here he is looking very beautiful
….and also very muddy and comfy last winter!

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Echo’s new saddle was delivered in March. Victoria wrote to us “I LOVE IT. It is so comfy”. Echo was so good. He hasn’t been ridden for almost 6 months so I was expecting him to be bonkers but he wasn’t. He must love his new saddle too!”. We hope to have a photo soon of the pair of them with their Gazelle.

Worldwide Roundup!

Well. It’s been a busy year! Lots of saddles to the UK but also to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, Japan and more! Many were Suzannahs but also in demand were the Suzannah Mono flap, Gazelle, Impala, Nyala, Grandee & Lynx. We fitted them all and most had “Designed to Order “ modifications, for example shorter or longer flaps, different blocks, deeper or shallower rear gussets, special leathers, contrast piping. Here are just a few stories in brief:

 

Nelle from New Zealand has a lovely big boy, Popeye and wanted a saddle for working hunter classes and hunting, seen here doing it in style (but not yet in his new saddle!). Nelle is 5” 10” and Popeye 17 2hh with a high wither but quite broad with it. Nelle struggles to find a saddle which is forward cut enough and has the length of flap she needs. She also likes an event type jumping saddle with a bold knee block. The answer: a Gazelle with longer flaps for Nelle and deeper rear gussets for Popeye! As I write, their saddle is nearly ready to ship.

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Dolly from Australia had a Suzannah for use on several horses. Her particular need was to accommodate her long legs! She wrote to us:

 

“Have ridden in the new saddle on 3 different horses. I have to admit I was not looking forward to riding in it as brand new saddles always have such stiff flaps.  Well, It was awesome!  I can’t believe how good it is to have those two extra inches in length!  Finally my top boots aren’t hooking on the bottom of the flap.  The deeper seat is beautiful as well!  I am so happy with it.  Couldn’t believe how good it feels and it is not even broken in yet!”

 

Corrina from Canada had a lovely Gazelle. The seat and pads were made up in black calf skin and the skirt and flaps in dark havanna Supplex. The rear gussets were slightly deeper for fit. Corrina wanted a secure saddle for jumping and she wanted it to be especially comfy….hence the calf skin and Supplex!

 

Joanne from France was another candidate for a Gazelle. It was a long saga for Joanne with a happy ending! After contacting us about a saddle, she had a riding accident, then changed horses and had a long wait for the new one to arrive from Ireland. ….he’s gorgeous! So in the end we fitted the saddle to the new one and it all ended happily with a successful show jumping outing! Photo hopefully to come!

 

Yuka from Japan chose a Roella, which is a narrower twist version of the Suzannah. Yuka didn’t need the saddle fitted to a particular horse, it was for use generally on Thoroughbreds. Her first thought was a medium fit but we advised a medium wide unless the horses were the really skinny type. However, Yuka needed the saddle fitted to her! She is petite and Japanese people have proportionately shorter legs. So, Yuka had a 16 1/2 “ seat with much shorter flaps than standard. Ian and Ideal put their heads together to work out what length. The saddle was made up in special leathers: Memel Solid skirt & flaps and Grippy Hide seat & pads. Yuka asked for a brass nameplate on the back of the cantle to read “Yuka & Horses”! Yuka wrote us a lovely message made lovelier through the translation (she does’t speak English)! Our thanks to Yuka’s English sister-in-law for help in our communications and and our appreciation too for online translation tools!

“Hello Jane

I’m sorry , my answer became slow.

Roella is my ideal saddle!

In the form that is easy to sit down. The seat is tender, and without too being wide, it supports the knee block kindly without being too obstinate. It is easy to ride on because I have shortened flap

leather.

As it is soft and is light, it fits a horseback kindly.

“The medium wide” was right.

Roella is moistened and I have not yet poured the oil as it is soft.

I intend to wait until leather wants oil.

The summer of Tokyo was very very hot, and nobody were in the club not to be able to ride a horse, but in September, everybody came back to the club little by little. I introduce your shop if somebody shows interest in my Roella!

Thank you Jane,

Thank you very much. Take care.”

Stacey Donnelly from Talesend Farm, Somerset, Virginia USA ordered a Nyala primarily for her son Neil and his competition horse, Fool Proof but for her use occasionally too and also perhaps on their other horse, Darcy, the chestnut shown here. The horses were not too far apart so it was possible to accommodate the two.

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Neil & Fool Proof are competing successfully with a string of successes & top places in Horse Trials this year. They are entered in their first CIC 1* at Morven Park at the end of September. We wish them a great day!

Here is a video of Neil and Fool Proof jumping at Middleburg HT in June…..in their Nyala!!!! I think you will agree Neil rides not only successfully but beautifully too and is a joy to watch…..

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If anyone is interested in sponsoring this talented your rider, please get in touch and we will forward your details.

Sarah from Saudi Arabia ordered a Lynx Twin Flap for her horse Twilight. The saddle was to have Jessica style knee rolls and no thigh rolls. She found it impossible to find a dressage saddle in Saudi and (we are glad to say) found us! Asked about her saddle, she wrote :

“ I looooooove it ):” 

Here are Sarah and Twilight looking very elegant….and comfortable and relaxed too!

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To finish my roundup, let’s return briefly to the UK. Suzannah’s were often the choice for dressage saddles, not only the original Suzannah but the new mono flap version too. Also successful has been the new FWB GP saddle designed on a hoop head tree for the extra wide. Some saddles were made to a very individual spec, for example an Impala for a customer in Essex had deeper knee rolls, was more forward cut, with Buffaloe skirt & flaps and Grippy Hide seat & pads finished off with Cognac piping! As ever, we have seen a great variety of horses, (even an Orlov Trotter!), who turn their hand/hooves to a great variety of things! Our job is to help them do this in freedom and comfort.

 

Till next time!…..

 

From Malta

I just had to ask Sarah if she would let me share her photos here! I think we all dream of this!

Sarah contacted us about a saddle for her 3/4 American TB, 1/4 Dutch bred youngster. Smart Shrimp! He is now 28 months old, Sarah having had him since he was 3 months old. “Shrimp” is young but Ian says there is not a lot of difference from a fitting perspective between a 2yr old and 3yr old. Sarah’s thought was a 1650 GP which is a good choice for a young horse. It is a very forgiving fit and has plenty of panel which will encourage him to develop top line.

When I asked if she had done anything with him yet, I received the wonderful reply that she had sat on him a few times in the sea!!!! Here are the photos:

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Sarah also has a mini Shetland called Angus, for her daughter, Alex.

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and a rescued 9 year old French-American standardbred. Here are the three of them together.

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Lastly, fun at a gymkhana plus Alex & Angus showing us all how to do it:

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From New Zealand

Bella from New Zealand was looking for a dressage saddle for her 7 year old, Hanoverian gelding, Lyndon. Although Bella liked her current saddle, she thought it was too narrow for Lyndon. A friend of Bella’s in Holland has a Suzannah and is very happy with it and thought that this design would suit Lyndon and Bella. How right she was! The wide twist and generous panels would help Lyndon gain and keep top line at a crucial stage of his training and development.
For Bella, her main preference for us to accommodate was that she did not like too big a knee block so the saddle was made with shorter and slimmer blocks than the standard Suzannah block. We also advised Bella that the Suzannah has a wider twist and there is “more saddle” than she has been used to. We explored other options, for example the Lynx Twin Flap but Ian didn’t think the fit would be as good for Lyndon so after conferring some more with her friend in Holland, it was decided to go for a Suzannah.
Lyndon is quite high withered but then fairly wide with quite a lot of shape in his back rather than being flat. So the saddle was made with deeper rear gussets and his shape meant that more flocking was required in the waist of the panel.

A few weeks later Bella writes….
“And Yes! This morning the saddle arrived!
So I rode on it this morning without anything under it.

When I first got on him it felt right straight away! Yay!
I think it is the same as with shoes, when you buy shoes they have to fit right from the start not that you have to get used to them for weeks…

I walked for 10 minutes and then started to ride like I always do. It felt so comfortable! I have the feeling that my position is better. My legs are much stiller and I can’t lean backwards too far.

Lyndon also made all the right noises.. he seemed pretty happy and relaxed!”
It fits perfectly so far”

And a bit later ….
“Have been riding for over a week now and still love the saddle!”

The result: this lovely photo of the two of them……

Re size 3

From USA

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Page lives in Minessota, USA and has a greatly loved Friesan/Morgan cross gelding called Luther. Her saddle fitted Luther but didn’t work for Page. So, this time Page was the fitting conundrum for us, not Luther!!!

Page wanted a dressage saddle but due to the angle of her knee joint, the length of her thigh bone and her round thighs, she has found it impossible to find a dressage saddle that fits her leg comfortably. She finds that her knee travels over the knee block as she rides and traditional dressage saddles are too straight cut for her. Other considerations for us were that Page likes a narrower twist, a medium, not super deep seat and supportive knee blocks and currently rides in a 19” seat.

Ian had a chat with Ideal and together they thought the answer was a saddle with an increased bearing area, wider gullet and a broader more generous and not too deep a seat. That saddle was a 19” Jessica Professional made with a lower cantle, slightly more forward cut flaps and shorter, higher knee blocks. Subsequently we decided to have knee blocks on Velcro, 3 pairs, which would give Page greater flexibility in this respect.

Luther has big shoulders and is wide but not over wide. He is a bit asymmetrical, as many horses are but Ian’s view is that the saddle should be flocked evenly and then the flocking takes up the shape of the horse rather than the other way around. It turned out that we had thought Luther was more “up” in front than he actually is and on this occasion we didn’t get the balance of the saddle quite right first time. I assure you reader, this does not happen often but I tell the story as evidence of our commitment and guarantee to our customers: we arranged for the saddle to be collected from USA, made the necessary adjustments and sent the saddle back out to Page all at our expense.

Luther. Isn't he lovely!

Luther. Isn’t he lovely!

Page has been a wonderful customer and we have had great fun corresponding. She has another horse, Anja, a Friesan cross again, just 3 years old and we are looking forward to helping Page with a saddle for her next year.

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Anja

To complete this story for now, a few words from Page:
“I’ve never had a saddle fit my leg so well. Luther felt free in his shoulder and canter depart was awesome. The sweat pattern was perfect. I am very happy.”

“Things are going VERY well! This saddle is so versatile. I can hike my leathers to get in to a good two point position and my knee STILL does not go over the flap so that is perfect. I couldn’t be happier.”

“People need to know what a fantastic job you do!”

and the best one(!!!)…..
“Please keep in touch. I really like you guys!”

From Canada

Zuzana lives in Saskatchewan County in Canada. She has several wide backed horses, Lusitano crosses and Warmbloods and rides to Grand Prix level with some. She trains with Mary Wanless and likes to “clearly feel her seat bones and ride with a fairly closed angle of her leg”.

Zuzana had recently bought a Tonishia but found it wasn’t wide enough for some of her horses and so she was on the hunt for another saddle! Although she and the horses love the Tonishia she would like her new saddle to be closer contact with a smaller block and less restricted seat.

We thought there were two options:

Option 1: we could adapt a Tonishia to greatly enhance her closeness to the horse and accommodate her leg position. We would do this by having less padding in the seat, cut the panels less full, custom flock the saddle with lambs wool which is lighter and softer than the Jacob’s wool used as standard by Ideal and reduce the bulk and depth of the block allowing her knee to pass under the block. The block could be on Velcro allowing her to ride with or without a block.

Option 2: choose a different saddle, our suggestion would be the Lynx Pro. This saddle is a fairly new addition to the Ideal range. It is a closer contact saddle with a smaller block, a less restricted seat, designed for the high level rider. It is a very forgiving fit and should be fine for the horses.

We exchanged lots of emails and Ian and Zuzana chatted on the phone and it came down to this!…….

“to summarise: a “modified Tonishia is a bit of a compromise between what is ideal for you and what we know works for the horses. But you know the saddle so it is not a leap in the dark. Alternatively, go for what I think you want, the Lynx Pro and I guess trust in us that it will work for the horses too!”

Zuzana went for the Lynx Pro and I am very happy to report dear reader that it did work! Here are a few things Zuzana wrote to us:

“I rode a few horses in the new saddle today – and love it! It feels as comfortable as my treeless – like I can forget there is a saddle there at all. The more open seat is great and the blocks are perfect!”

“Yes, the saddle’s working out great, love it. It is the best saddle I ever rode in ☺ . The horses are super comfortable in it and it stays centred with a loose girth”

“It’s been great dealing with you and you definitely have a customer for life!”

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Zuzana is riding in her new saddle in the snow. It was -25 degrees!

From Norway

Let me introduce you to Glima!

Elisabeth  lives in Norway and wanted a saddle for her new mare, Glima who had arrived from Iceland a few months ago. After much discussion, thought  and fun for everyone,  she decided upon a saddle in Sala coloured leather with Ranch coloured piping along the seat,  based on the Ideal Icelandic but with Ideal Jessica style flaps, calf skin seat and knee pads, both with extra cushioning, large short knee rolls and dressage style girth straps. Ian’s comments included “the saddle will be a very similar width (to Elisabeth’s current saddle), just narrower by a nudge, have a shallower gusset at the back and a softer, flatter  flock”. He suggested point and balance straps (v girth) to help stability given that the horse is a young Icelandic, round and flat. He commented that the larger, shorter knee rolls are more versatile and practical than dressage blocks (Elisabeth’s first thought) as your knee can pass underneath, allowing more freedom of movement. He went on to say that the Jessica flaps with these blocks are a good combination of being off the horse’s shoulder but allowing your knee forward.

When fitting the saddle, Ian had to allow for the fact that this young horse was not yet ridden away and was going to have a foal before being backed.

Elisabeth wrote “I love, love, love my new saddle”

The following year, Elisabeth bought a 10 year old black stallion. His saddle was similar but subtly different to Glima’s saddle.  It is an Icelandic with a medium depth seat and short, large knee rolls with “formed “saddle flaps.

 

 

From The Isle of Man

Sammie from The Isle of Man was looking for a saddle for her 14.1 Section “D”, 9 year old mare Maggie. Sammie rides the pony and so does Ella, Sammie’s 9 year old daughter.  Very green for her years, Maggie has a big, arching jump and so security for Sammie and Ella was a key consideration.  They also hope to do some dressage. Sammie loves the look of the Nyala: they want to be able to “put their knees into” the saddle.  The Nyala is a great jump/gp hybrid with a neat, secure seat.

Given that Sammie and Ella are very different size and weight, the saddle would have flexible blocks on Velcro so that they could adjust them for who was riding. Seat size was also a question but it was decided to size the saddle to Sammie and the pony as Sammie was the main rider now and would be for a while. Even if she squeezed in to a smaller seat it would still be too big for Ella and if the seat was too small for Sammie she would tend to sit on the back of the saddle causing discomfort and problems for the pony.

In this story, the needs of the two riders has been the key issue, Maggie being quite straightforward to fit. How the saddle looks was also very important. Sammie loves the look of the Impala Pro Dressage saddle…….”the two tone and contrast stitching and piping is just gorgeous”. So, her Nyala is going to be made up with dark havanna seat and knee pads, black skirt and flaps and white stitching and piping as per the Impala. She is having a matching two tone girth with white stitching and a set of dressage leathers in black.

The saddle is due any day now. When it arrives we will post an image to show you how great it looks!

From Lancashire

Suzanne is the lucky owner of two wonderful piebald cobs, Shaun & Wilf. Wilf is a true Piebald and Shaun is all white except for his head! Wilf is 14.2 and now 24 years old. Shaun, show name Shaun the Sheep, stands just under 15.3 and is much younger. Suzanne does mainly dressage, schooling and hacking but enjoys a bit of cross country on Shaun. She now does all her lessons, competing, xcountry and horse camps on Shaun although Wilf is still active and ridden and often hacks out with a friend on board.

A couple of saddle “problems” came up in our discussions with Suzanne and they are problems many share.

Problem 1:

Suzanne is tall and the cobs are short backed. Ideally Suzanne needs a seat size bigger than the cobs can accommodate.

Solution:

Part of the solution lay in the choice of saddle, a dressage saddle, a Suzannah. To make the saddle more flexible for hacking and the occasional jump across country, we suggested the saddle have two sets of blocks, one full dressage, one shorter and also GP girthing.

The other part of the solution is to be practical: fitting “rules” state that a saddle must not extend beyond the last rib but in the real world lots and lots of horses and riders are not anatomically suited and this last rib fitting “rule” sometimes needs to be interpreted with some discretion. Rather than whether the saddle extends a little beyond the last rib, we believe THE most important “rule” is that the saddle is in balance by which we mean that the rider sits naturally in the centre of the seat and the weight of the rider is evenly distributed over the entire bearing surface of the saddle. If the saddle is too small for the rider, the rider will tend to sit on the back of the saddle. The rider and saddle will not be in balance. This will create discomfort and soreness for the horse

Problem 2

Suzanne would like to use the new saddle on both cobs

Solution:

Wilf is sway backed and Shaun is too but less so. The saddle will have a custom flock with pure white lambswool. The idea will be to flock the saddle more to Wilf’s shape but given the soft consistency of the flocking it will work for Shaun too. We don’t want the saddle to “bridge” on Wilf ie it makes contact at the front and back but not in the middle. Conversely we don’t want too much shape in the saddle for Shaun so that it makes more contact with his back in the middle of the saddle than either front or back. But Shaun is a bit sway backed too and the soft consistency of the flocking material will do the trick. All a bit tricky but possible!

This all being said, it turned out there was a different solution to “problem 2”! Two new saddles ie one for each was not an option but Suzanne began to ask herself whether it made more sense to gear this new saddle more towards Shaun than Wilf. Wilf is getting on in years now, with hopefully many more to come but most of her riding is on Shaun. So it was decided to fit the new saddle to Shaun and look out for a second hand saddle for Wilf. It turned out, Ian had just the thing, a Minster dressage saddle that he could offer Suzanne at a very good price.

 

So, in the end, both boys were fixed up! Suzanne has just taken delivery of the saddles and we are waiting to hear how she and the boys are getting on.

From Germany

Sheila contacted us for saddles for her two Arabs, Will & Noddy. Both are six year olds and both had been backed the year before. To date they had been hacked out but looking forward, Sheila hoped to perhaps show them and/or do some endurance type riding.

Arabs are rather notoriously tricky to fit! To compound this potential problem, Sheila was finding it hard to find saddles in Germany for anything other than the Warmblood type and for anything other than dressage and jumping. Will is the more substantial type, wide, indeed very wide, and long striding. Noddy is finer, high withered and short backed.

 

Arabs are notoriously tricky to fit!

Will was our first project! Sheila sent us a photo of the type of saddle she had in mind. There were various ways to arrive at this but given that the Ramsay tree works very well on Arabs, this was going to be our starting point. However, Will is very wide, so Ian had a long chat with Ideal and they strongly recommended that we use a Finesse tree. This is the same as the Ramsay but for wider horses. From the photos and video that Sheila had sent to us, it was clear Will was unwilling to go forward. It was very likely that the saddle being used was too narrow and could well be the problem or at least eliminating the saddle as the cause is the first step and hopefully the solution.

Much discussion then centred on flaps and blocks and seat depth. The saddle in the photo Sheila had sent us had dressage style blocs. Ian suggested that given that she wanted to use the saddle for working hunter, showing and general riding, a shallower, shorter block would give more flexibility and allow Sheila to ride shorter. The final spec was for an Ideal Finesse in Dark Havana with a medium depth seat, and GP blocks. The saddle would be fitted with point and balance straps to help stability.

The saddle arrived and “looks lovely”, said Sheila. However, Will was still not happy although at least he did not buck or kick out as he had done with his last saddle, said Sheila. We asked Sheila to send us some photos and hopefully a video so Ian could check the saddle was sitting in balance. Meanwhile, Sheila took great care to familiarize Will with the feel of his new saddle. Sometimes it can take a bit of time for a horse to respond. His behaviour is so conditioned by his past discomfort that it doesn’t change immediately.

However, in Will’s case, there was a different cause. It turns out he had a serious problem in a stifle. An operation and long box rest later. I’m relieved to say that there is a happy ending. Sheila is being cautious with him, but he is sound and in light work.

Now for Noddy! It must be said, Noddy is easier to fit!!! The spec for the saddle was very similar and everything went smoothly.

After receiving her new saddles, Sheila said:

“Noddy loves being ridden. I am very happy with the saddles and find they are a perfect fit. I have seen made to measure saddles here that are twice the price.”

 

That Noddy loves being ridden is perhaps the best testimonial we can have!

From Norway

Bente contacted us having been referred to us by a friend. She needed a saddle for her daughter, Malene to use, if possible, on two horses. Both horses are 6 year old, rising 7, Icelandic competition horses. The narrower horse, the red one, was not very muscled. He had been ridden in an ill fitting saddle and had had some time off with back problems.  The wider horse, the black one, was rounder but a bit fat rather than fit!

Malene wanted a black Ideal Suzannah with a 16 ½” seat. This is a snug seat for a Suzannah but photos Bente sent to us confirmed that it was not too small for Malene. However, Ian was a bit concerned that the snugness would force her into one rather strict, dressage style position. So he suggested that she have shorter, smaller knee blocks. This would give her some freedom of movement and flexibility which she will need when riding over varying terrain.

The templates of the horses’ backs were such that Ian felt the one saddle could be used on both horses, particularly since it was a Suzannah. The design of this saddle makes it remarkably flexible in this respect. He would fit the saddle to the wider horse and Malene could use a pad if necessary to lift the saddle a touch on the narrower horse.

Bente wrote to us :

The saddle is PERFECT! Malene is so pleased with it. The saddle fits perfect for both! You have to send or best thoughts and thanks to Ian too. He has done very good work on this!

I have to say that I have my doubts in forehand, but I had no reason for that, because this I would do again

Thank you so much for all your help and kindness. I think Malene will love this saddle.

I will recommend you to all my friends, that’s for sure.

All the best from Norway

 

 

From Australia

Virginia is an Equine Myofunctional Therapist, trainer and competitor and lives in Australia. She contacted us about a dressage saddle for her horse, a 5 year old Warmblood x American Saddlebred gelding. He has been under saddle for about 18 months and is working at Novice/Elementary dressage and jumping around 70-80 cms. Virginia described him “as quite short backed and solid and since his scapula slopes a fair way back behind his wither”, she felt there was not a huge space left for a saddle to sit before his last rib.

Virginia described a long tale of woe in her search for a saddle , one that suited them both. She is not very tall but not light either and this compounded saddle fitting problems. Cheeky Chops expressed his discomfort with an unwillingness to go forward particularly in canter, lots of tail swishing and “pig rooting”. Many different brands, styles and sizes were tried to no avail.

These are some of the photos Virginia sent to us before placing her order for her Ideal saddle, and the change after:

Ian explains that Virginia and Cheeky Chops were suffering from a common problem. The saddles were too narrow for him in front but because he was well muscled and croup high, he kept Virginia in balance and so the problem was disguised, other than manifesting itself in the horse’s discomfort. However, with the correct width of tree for the front, the horse’s shape and musculature behind the saddle will tend to make the saddle too low at the front and for Virginia to feel “downhill”. The answer is to rebalance the saddle using the flocking so that the saddle lifts at the front and sits down at the back. The Suzannah has drop panels as standard and front gussets so it lends itself exceptionally well to this fine tuning.

The next common problem was the perception, which is widely shared, that the saddle should not extend beyond the horse’s last rib. The fundamental problem here is that this is very rarely possible to achieve if a saddle is to fit both horse and rider. If the rider is big relative to the space on their horse’s back where he or she can sit….”you cant do it” says Ian. If you accommodate the horse in this respect, the rider is squeezed in to a saddle that is too small, their leg falls too far forward and they sit on the back of the saddle, causing uneven pressure, discomfort and a sore back for the horse.

The number one golden rule is that the front arch of the saddle tree must be the same shape and width as that part of the horse’s back upon which it should be positioned.  The other golden rule is that the saddle is in balance by which we mean the saddle is positioned such that the rider naturally sits in the centre of the saddle and the combined weight of the saddle and rider is evenly distributed over the whole bearing surface of the saddle. The Suzannah with its wider twist and big, broad panels is ground breaking in this respect as it is designed to maximise this bearing surface.If these two golden rules are obeyed, it rarely causes a problem if the saddle extends a short way beyond the last rib.

Our thanks go to Virginia for allowing us to tell this story. That her problems were common problems is only clear to the expert but having said that many experts would not recognise them nor be able to find the solution. We must say this next!….. Luckily Virginia found us and through us, Ian and his team!

“ I LOVE the new saddle!!! I have ridden in it 4 times and it hasn’t moved at all on him not like any other saddle I tried. It is lovely to sit in and I definitely notice the difference position wise as it sits my pelvis and leg in a much improved position…….and touch wood I haven’t had any pig roots or even any real ears back since I have been using it. Very HAPPY CUSTOMER”.

A couple of weeks later, Virginia wrote “ My instructor, Cherie is a top level judge and coach in this country and in her day rode Grand Prix Dressage and Show Jumping. She is very impressed with the alteration the saddle has made to my riding and to the comfort and happiness of my horse. I even made her sit on him in it and it was only then that she really realised how wonderful it was and how it sat you in the right spot without even trying and allowed your leg to hang in a much more correct position without forcing it. “ Virginia went on to say that her instructor “made about 5 other people sit in it (poor Chops must have thought he was doing pony rides) and it made a big improvement to most of them. The interesting thing was that it suited many different body types – tall and slim to short and round, long legs and short legs”.

As you can imagine reader, we were thrilled to hear all this. We care about what we do, indeed we are passionate about it! We believe this successful outcome is down to the combination of excellent communications, Ian’s experience, expertise and attention to detail plus the quality and excellence of the design of the Ideal Suzannah saddle.