I was looking for a saddle that allowed my Warmblood the freedom to use his shoulders and engage his back more, especially as we started more lateral work. I felt his traditional saddle was blocking his movement and I could not use my seat fully.
I initially rented the SMART™ Elite Dressage saddle so we could both become accustomed to the flexibility and allow my trainers to see if there was a difference. One trainer said how much the horse's walk had improved and would now easily gain an 8 in a dressage test – we are now getting this!
The lateral work is also improving, I can now sit and feel the movements - the close contact design helps!
The SMART™ Advisor was so helpful, I had a concern about the fit and she offered solutions over the phone and arranged to come out to review the saddle. Pictures of his back had been taken at the initial visit so we could see the difference and how the horses back muscles had developed in 4 weeks. The saddle balance pads were tweaked and now the saddle fits his new shape perfectly.
Before (December 2021)
After (February 2022)
I was very sceptical at the start of the trial, but now I don't think I could ride in a traditional saddle and I am sure my horse would let me know that he was not happy too. If in doubt rent a SMART™ saddle and feel the difference!
Gillian Kettles, 2022
Update: April 2022:
I purchased the SMART Elite Dressage saddle in January and the saddle has radically improved my Warmbloods movement through his back so much that with his improved dressage scores we have now been selected to represent Scotland at the Senior Inter Regional competition in May . A dream come true THANK YOU SMART Saddles.
~ Gillian Kettles