Since getting Abbey I’ve had a relatively cheap saddle that’s done the job while she’s been developing and maturing.  She’s 7 now and after a 16 months of consistent work her muscles are developing well; the time has come to invest in a good one.

I’ve looked at quite a few and really liked the Ideal Impala but a friend, who’s also got a Connie, discovered AH (Andrea Hicks) saddles. She was really struggling to something that would fit her 4 year old who’s high withers. But she had Steph Bloom from AH Saddles out and was really impressed with the range, the holistic approach and the level of service she has received.

When I sat on her pony for a fitting I fell in love with the saddles too.

So Steph came out and I tried all her saddles (or near enough!) First up the flatwork saddles – I tried two dressage (the Phoenix Classic, left, and the Heathland, top right) and the working hunter (bottom right).

It was in these saddles that we saw the biggest difference in Abbey’s way of going (she was so bouncy I found sitting trot hard) and in my position (longer legs, properly underneath me).

Firstly, me riding in my ‘old’ saddle:

SC saddle

In the Heathland dressage:

Heathland Dressage Saddle Ridden

Finally, in the Phoenix:

Phoenix Classic Dressage Saddle Ridden

Of their jump range, I tried the Ultimate Jump (left) and the Sport GP.

While I loved the jump, there was a gap between my knee and the knee rolls even when I’d put up my stirrups whereas my legs fitted neatly into the gp while still having the security I wanted for jumping.  The gp is very comfortable, I could easily go for long rides in it, and because it is well clear of her shoulder, I’d be able to use it for showing at a local level.

So after 2.5hours and lots of patience from Steph, Abbey and my friend who kindly filmed me riding I’ve treated myself to a new gp for jumping, showing and hacking and a dressage for our flat work.

Wow what a difference they are making, both to the way Abbey is moving (her shoulders have so much more room to move) and they put me in a much better position.