Why a truly flexible saddle could help you and your horse [Promotion]

  • Solution Saddles logoSolution Saddles offers the only 100% flexible sports saddles available on the market place today. Designed and approved for all FEI disciplines, SMARTTM saddles offer all horses and riders a truly adjustable saddling solution, enabling comfort and performance at all levels, at all times.

    Available in general purpose, dressage, jump and show models, SMARTTM  saddles are available in a range of sizes to suit small children to tall adults and with 3 distinct base types targeted at different equine back profiles.

    How a Smart saddle worksWith no rigid parts such as a tree, pommel arch or cantle, the saddles are able to fully flex with the movement of the horse, allowing the horse to move freely without being impeded by the rigidity of the saddle frame and the tree points.

    How SMARTTM Saddles work

    As the scapula (shoulder blade) rotates, it is able to slide under the flexible base panel, resulting in increased stability of the saddle. While a traditional saddle may rock from side to side, lift at the back or sit unevenly to one side with the movement of the horse, SMART TM saddles flex around the trunk of the horse. When weight is applied, the flexible construction conforms to the back contours and does not bridge.

    The saddle gullet can expand or contract to however wide or narrow the shape of the horse’s back, without pinching. Due to this flexible nature of SMART TM saddles, they can accommodate a horse though any changes in shape throughout its lifetime. With no head plate to adjust or flocking to alter, SMARTTM saddles simply flex around the horse, whatever shape he/she is. Balancers may be used as and when required to maintain optimum fit. Look at the case study below”

    Sore backBefore (March 2012): Horse’s back showing large bald, rubbed areas and atrophy from saddle:                                                                                       





    Healthy back

    After (June 2012): After being ridden in the SMARTTM SPORT saddle, the same horse is showing improved muscular development back with no rub marks:





    Optimal fit is easily achieved through the use of our Easy-fit SMARTTM balancing system. SMARTTM saddles can also be easily fitted to multiple horses. Balancers can also be used to support the rider in different ways, for example if the rider feels tipped back, additional support is positioned under the seat bones. The removable Velcro knee block system enables the rider to not only choose the shape and size of knee block that suits them best, but to also position them accurately in order to achieve optimal support and comfort. For general purpose riders, the block can be changed between flatwork and jumping to promote effective riding between disciplines.

    Easy-fit SMARTTM balancing system

    Balancing panelsConstructed using a patented layering system of variable density materials, the saddles are resilient and do not collapse once weight is applied. The self-tensioning ‘W’ girthing system provides freedom of movement and stability throughout the stride cycle of the horse. Routine use of the Tekscan CONFORMatTM Pressure Mapping system provides evidence that, correctly fitted, SMART saddles offer reduced peak and overall pressures when compared with a well-fitted treed saddle.

    Ongoing scientific research studies using biomechanical analysis highlight that use of a flexible saddle increases horse/saddle/rider synchrony. The alignment between each element of the horse, saddle and rider interaction is more linear in a SMARTTM saddle, producing a more harmonious performance. Riders report improved communication and feel, often finding an improvement in their own back pain.

    How to try a SMART Saddle

    Smart GP saddleThe radically different concept of the SMARTTM saddle system allows any rider experiencing saddle problems to experience for themselves the changes that can be seen and felt in their horse and their riding. Simply contact Solution Saddles to arrange your trial of a SMARTTM saddle.

    Solution Saddles’ network of trained and approved advisors are available nationwide to help fit a SMARTTM saddle to you and your horse(s). Whether it is for an initial home consultation visit or for a refit to check progress, SMART saddle advisors are always on hand for help and advice.

    Solutions Saddles offers a rental service so that you can thoroughly test a SMART saddle out before deciding to buy one. We want you to be confident that the saddle is right for you and your horse.

    To help make the saddles as accessible as possible, 0% flexible payment plan options, spreading payments over a period of up to 12 months, are available.

    Smart showing saddleSMARTTM saddles are available to buy worldwide on a sale or return policy. Solution Saddles also has advisors in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Fitting help and guidance is available by phone and e-mail so you can receive Solution Saddles’ support wherever you are.

    Contacts and how to find out more

    w: www.solution-saddles.co.uk

    T: 01909 720 259

    e: smart@solution-saddles.co.uk


    Where are SMARTTM Saddles made?

    Made in Derbyshire, England, SMARTTM saddles are hand crafted using top-quality materials, sourced from within the UK.

    Does one SMARTTM saddle fit all?

    No, not always. A common myth with treeless saddles is that they can be used on any horse’s back without any adjustment, but this is not the case and Solution Saddles don’t advocate this for SMARTTM saddles.

    While some horses are very straightforward to fit, others with extreme conformation, such as a high wither or atrophy may require balance pads in order to provide sufficient support for the back. Solution Saddles recommend that you have a home consultation visit from a Solution Saddles’ approved advisor to ensure from the outset that you receive correct advice on the fitting principles of SMARTTM saddles.

    With Solution Saddles’ range of saddle models, there is a selection of designs suited to different back profiles.

    Can SMARTTM saddles be used on multiple horses?

    Smart dressage saddleYes. Most riders first select the saddle that suits them best — and then fit it to any horse they ride. Not only will a SMARTTM saddle accommodate one horse and its changing shape throughout its lifetime, a SMART saddle will also accommodate a variety of horses throughout their lifetimes too.

    Will I notice a difference straight away?

    Yes, most horses will respond immediately to a SMARTTM saddle, as soon as they realise that they can move under the saddle without restriction. But in some cases, perhaps where the horse is more cautious or has pre-existing back problems, it may take a few sessions in a SMARTTM saddle until they become confident to move freely again.

    How can weight be evenly distributed without a tree?

    Trees do not evenly distribute weight; this is physically impossible if you put a rigid structure between two live, moving beings. The SMARTTM saddle design protects the horse’s back from pressure and trauma by using a unique patented shock absorbing, flexible layering system.

    Are SMARTTM saddles secure?

    SMARTTM saddles are very stable when correctly fitted and balanced. The flexible design allows the base panels to move in coordination with the movement of the horse, rather than being pitched against it. Many of Solution Saddles’ clients go to the company after experiencing ongoing problems with saddles slipping, but find that this is eradicated when they start using a SMARTTM saddle. The SMARTTM Native saddle is particularly effective on “roly-poly” ponies that often push saddles up their necks.

    Can I jump in a SMARTTM saddle?

    Smart showjumping saddleSMARTTM saddles are available in 3 different types of jump and general purpose models and are allowed in all FEI disciplines. Jumping performance and technique is often improved in a SMARTTM saddle. The horse is able to bascule easily and, without the anticipation of the tree points hitting the scapulae on landing, confidence quickly improves.

    What accessories can I use with a SMART TM saddle?

    Solution Saddles recommends a full range of accessories that have been tried and tested to work with SMARTTM saddles. You can test ride as many recommended accessories as you wish with a SMARTTM saddle and decide which ones work for you.  Your approved advisor can help you decide which ones will help improve performance of the saddle for you and your horse’s individual requirements. However, many everyday items that may already exist in your tack room can be suitable for use as part of the SMARTTM system.

    How does the SMARTTM rental service work?

    The SMARTTM rental service is very popular, removing time constraints and pressure from buying a saddle. You can try any model or size for an extended period, allowing you thoroughly test it in a variety of conditions.

    To rent a SMARTTM saddle, a £500 deposit is required. Rental is charged at £50 per week but if you decide to buy within 2 weeks then no rental is charged.

    Should you decide that a SMARTTM saddle is not for you, simply return the saddle and Solution Saddles will refund your deposit less £50 for each week (or part thereof) that you had the saddle.

    How often does a SMART saddle need checking?

    Horses may change weight and shape on an almost daily basis, so it is recommended that you keep a close eye on the fit of your saddle at all times.

    An advantage of using a SMART saddle is that it is possible to keep up with your horse’s continuing weight and shape fluctuations without the need for any professional adjustment to the saddle itself. SMARTTM saddle owners soon become familiar with how the saddle should sit and feel when in optimal balance and are able to make quick and simple adjustments as required.

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