From the high-flying professional, to the happy hacker, buying a new saddle can be incredibly stressful and expensive. Carefully designed and stringently tested, every saddle in the John Whitaker Saddlery Collection has been developed to enhance both the horse and rider’s performance. Crafted from the finest calfskin leathers and protected with a two year guarantee against leather defects and a lifetime tree guarantee, all John Whitaker saddles are of the highest possible quality. With prices ranging from £850 to £1390, they are confident that you will not find another saddle that meets John Whitaker standards of quality and price.
Before you start searching for the perfect saddle, you need to consider what you need from a saddle. Whether you have a passion for jumping, dressage or eventing – you need to choose a saddle which will improve your technique and performance. Every single aspect of all saddles in the John Whitaker collection are designed and built for a specific purpose and discipline. For example, the Dressage saddle features a deep seat, long panels and built-in calfskin covered knee rolls to help maintain the proper leg positioning. The design is kept subtle, with black stitching and a simple JW Diamond on the panels for a truly sophisticated dressage look. The Kids Pony Saddle has been created with safety and stability in mind, with large, soft knee rolls and a forward cut to keep children safely in the seat and building their confidence. The panels of the kid’s saddle are crafted from a durable printed leather, which minimises the amount of aftercare needed, and ensures your child will outgrow the saddle – not the other way around.
Nylon Trees vs Wooden Trees
Traditional wooden trees are exceptionally heavy, and by nature are quite rigid. The combination of this can create huge pressure points on a horse’s spine, and cause pain and reluctance to be saddled up. This rigidity means that constantly changing saddles from season to season to match your horses muscle tone can be extremely costly, as well as inconvenient. Elasticated Nylon trees are made from a single mould injected with a durable Nylon formula, which ensures the tree is not only exceptionally strong, but very flexible. The flexible quality also means shock is absorbed within the tree, reducing strain on the horses back and providing a more comfortable ride for you. This revolutionary tree is used in all saddles in the John Whitaker Collection, and is protected by the ultimate seal of approval – the Lifetime Guarantee. John Whitaker also offer a bespoke resizing service using their special Infra-Red Thermo Moulding Technology which can adjust the width of the tree by up to 2cm, catering for any changes in your horses size.
Although synthetic leathers do have their benefits, the grip and quality that comes with a natural leather saddle cannot be beaten. Where possible look for saddles with soft calfskin leather panels, as they need little to no breaking in, and allow for greater feedback from your horse. A calfskin seat is also a fantastic added bonus, as the natural grain of the leather really helps keep you in the seat and is extremely comfortable. Comfort plays a major part in choosing your perfect saddle, which is why John Whitaker International have incorporated calfskin seats and knee rolls into every saddle they create. All the leather used is covered under a two year leather guarantee, which protects against any defect in the leather.
Flocking saddles can be a major inconvenience. Not only do you have to have a qualified saddle fitter visit your yard every 6 months to assess the saddles fit, there is no guarantee that the saddle will fit perfectly once they’ve left. Natural wool tends to ‘bulk together’ and can be compacted by your body weight, resulting in hard and lumpy pressure on your horse’s spine. All the saddles within the John Whitaker International collection feature our revolutionary Latex Under Panel, which features a dense memory foam flocking which moulds perfectly to the shape of your horse, eliminating any pressure ‘hot spots’. Once removed the memory foam reverts to its original shape, unlike its wool counterpart. As the memory foam never becomes impacted, your John Whitaker Saddle never needs reflocking. The mouldability of the memory foam means that your John Whitaker saddle can be used to different horses, providing they are of a similar shape.
For traditionalists out there, there are slits on the under panels which allows extra wool flocking to be used if desired.*
For more information about the John Whitaker International Saddlery Collection, or to find out more about how to fit your saddle, visit us at www.johnwhitaker.com, or call us on 01706 340 500.
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*All wool flocked saddles should be regularly checked by a qualified saddle fitter. John Whitaker international suggests that all new saddles should be fitted by a qualified saddle fitter to avoid injury to your horse.