Louie is a Welsh cross, 15.2hh, 9 yr old gelding and I have owned him for two years.
He has been a complete joy in every way. However, at the beginning of this year, we were starting to get a few behavioural issues, such as head-shaking, putting his tongue over the bit, violent spooking and also the occasional huge buck. Initially we thought it was pollen related, then we thought it may be back issues but the treatments I tried didn’t improve the behaviour.
We began looking at his saddle to investigate whether this was where the problems were coming from. Like most horses, Louies' shape had changed a lot over the last year as conditions changed. Over Winter he was stabled 24/7. Prior to lockdown, he was out during the day, and we were having dressage lessons weekly, so he was developing muscle. Throughout lockdown, he wasn’t ridden at all, and all that muscle tone disappeared.
When I came to ride again, I discovered the saddle was too tight over the shoulders and was bridging at the back. My saddle had been fitted to Louie by a Master Saddler on three separate occasions in the course of the year but I started to think, maybe the saddle had been causing issues all along?
So, I tried a SMART Dressage saddle on trial for two weeks.
The difference in Louie is amazing. Head shaking stopped, bucking stopped, tongue over the bit stopped, spooking for no reason stopped. And the saddle feels wonderful to ride in; I feel secure, very comfortable and love being able to feel Louie's movements so much more than in the previous saddle.
Not only that, but I know I do not need to worry about this saddle hurting my boy. I know it fits, and it can always be fitted, no matter how much he changes shape, gains or loses weight.
I highly recommend these saddles for many reasons.
~ Julie Thompson, Essex