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I have been a practicing human and equine therapist for over 23 years. I noticed SMART™ Saddles many years ago. My opinions on anything equestrian come from my experiences and I take quite some time before I would recommend something. This is a responsibility to me as a therapist that anything that I recommend I need to be really sure of!
I initially noticed a marked improvement in the horse’s backs and bodies that were being ridden in SMART™ saddles and this observation became a recurring pattern which, over time, increased my confidence in these saddles. I spoke to a very experienced dressage rider who had ridden Grand Prix horses who had changed to these saddles and loved the extra movement she could feel from her horses. I am also a restorative exercise specialist and spend my days working on movement restoration, and I really feel these saddles are a great asset for this.
I had an experience where a client had bought a SMART™ saddle for her elderly mare. It astonished me the difference this saddle had made to this horse’s body, there was also a progressive improvement until one day I went to see the horse for a check-up and the horse seemed to have regressed. I asked if she had been using a different saddle, to which the owner told me that her trainer will only ride in his own saddle. There was an obvious difference and trauma that had resulted from the trainer’s saddle!
I also like these saddles for horses that have incurred serious injuries, who have no chance of regaining their previous individual symmetry. I find them very good in horses with conformational difficulties which affect their movement, body development and saddle fit.
If I had the time to have my own horse again, the SMART™ saddle would definitely be my choice.
Samantha Hulme (RES-CPT, EMST, ITEC, OCEPT, BHSAI)