Part 2– Team Joyce owe a lot of thanks to Pam Davey a long time friend we have known for many years expert in fitting saddles. I remember walking to the bus from high school going passed the Olympic Saddlery store for a peak at what I could dream to own one day. Pam owns Olympic Saddlery in Lilydale Victoria. Pam specialises in fitting saddles the guru in knowing what to use or try. Pam considers the actual shape size of the horse involved ’ this gives a much more detailed informative approach to fitting the saddle correctly. Pam visits you and your horse. People who have been around the longest seem to bring many ideas to the fore. Things you would not know of just becasue they see so many cases and know what works and can explain why it works.
This was not fixed overnight ‘ nothing is ever fixed that quickly, it is still a matter of being open to suggestions and trying them out. Oaks Volta took 8 months to sort and we feel we have him comfortable and happy. Lily took 6 months to fit & balance the saddle with her body condition and now I have the solid knowledge of what to do with her as she fluctuates her weight.
Oaks Volta loves the Amerigo Vega Event saddle from Horseland.
Why you ask because it has NO under flap. Can you believe it. This is the ultimate saddle for horses that seem to have a large shoulder area. This saddle places no pressure across his shoulders. It follows his contour nicely. Wesley’s leg line is accurate meaning he can now sit up properly and apply pressure correctly. Volta has become more willing to bend because he no longer feels jammed on the top. The nose poking before the fence has gone. Wes loves the soft seat with the front and rear blocks , he has never been keen on the real flat saddles he likes a bit of meat to grip. The top quality leather just tops off a well-made strong durable saddle. Wes is stoked finally he has found the ultimate comfort for Oaks Volta and himself. Let the showjumping season begin we are excited.
Lily loves her two saddles. We have altered a 20 year old Wintec all purpose for jumping. Sarah used to ride in it back in the Pony Club days. It now has two points totally reconstructed into a Y angled direction which makes sure the girth stays in the right place. I use a slight raiser pad when I think her divots are protruding to make sure we are clear of any rubbing along her whole back. When she is retaining weight/muscle mass each side of her wither there is no need for the raiser. The front has been restuffed a little and the interchangeable gullet is now the right size for her back/wither.
The pinnacle saddle of all for Lil and I has to be Anky Professional Dressage purchased from Horseland. I have never ridden in a Dressage saddle before but now when I am wanting to only wanting to do flat work I grab it every time. What a major difference, it helps me so much with my position. It is unbelievably comfortable from the first sit in, no need to break it in. The quality of the leather is remarkable – so soft and durable. It also has an interchangeable gullet so it will fit any wither / back size. No need for any raiser pad of any type. It sat spot on in the right area and did not move forward or back after riding. Lil felt loose and relaxed through her back. Her ears remained forward most of the time. We are actually making grounds now starting extended trot and even the odd side pass. It’s amazing when they feel loose with no restrictions the reaction is the want to learn & please. They then enjoy being worked because it does not hurt. I love the large knee blocks which help me to stay sitting correctly. Even Wes uses it on Oaks Volta again with no’ raiser this saddle is definitely one to consider if you are looking for your next once in lifetime Dressage saddle.
Anky also provide AMS panels. Inside each panel is a neoprene lining as well as the wool flocking. Wool and Synthetic flocking can bunch up in the panes and cause hot spots or uneven pressure over time. The AMS system eliminates pressure hot spots. Just what I need for Lily’s back a little extra comfort.
Before I leave you ‘ after you have ridden do the ultimate check yourself to see if your saddle is spot on. Having a sweaty horse is best as the signals are clearer. There should be no dry patches at all. No rubbing spots. The sweat should be even and the hair flat. If you have this then well done you have a happy horse with a correctly fitted saddle. Enjoy riding and visit the closest Horseland store near you for great advice on saddles and saddle fitting.