Meet Thistle, my very cheeky 19 year old New Forest Pony. We’ve been a team for the last 11 years. Thanks to Thistle I’ve been lucky enough to compete at Horse of the Year Show as a working hunter pony and win at dressage, show jumping and eventing.
Beginning of 2011 I noticed that his old saddle was damaging his back. Several saddlers told me that he was just “getting old” and that with his shape I wasn?t going to find anything that fitted. I spoke to Mathew Lawrence who recommended that I try Dean and Gini. Two weeks later I was the proud owner of a beautiful Tamar Working Hunter Pony Saddle. They were the first saddler’s I had met who understood that my pony’s comfort was the most important thing to me, although I haven’t sat in a single saddle made by Dean and Gini that isn’t also rider-friendly and looks fabulous.
His muscles began to repair and he was going better than ever. After worrying that he would be resigned to hacking and light schooling, I was over the moon with how good he looked and entered him in some shows. He felt so supple and loose through the back and was jumping better than ever. However, life is never straightforward and a couple of months later I got a phone call to say Thistle had been stolen from his stable and had been found in a field down the road wearing just a saddle. Whatever had happened to him had damaged the ligaments in his back and the vets were unable to say whether he would ever be completely sound. Eventually nearly 3 months after this I was able to sit on him again. It’s been a long and slow process getting him back in to work but Dean and Gini have been absolutely brilliant, adjusting his saddle whenever needed to allow his muscles to redevelop and strengthen.
This year I’m planning on taking him out to do some veteran showing. I decided it was no use having a shiny new saddle and a scruffy old bridle so last week he became the proud owner of the first Comfort Show Bridle! I may be biased but I think you’ll agree that he looks rather handsome in it!
For those of you who enjoy the benefit of your extra jumping rolls on your Pony Saddle Company Saddles you have Emma and Thistle to thank for them. During their saddle fit Emma had explained that she was planning to again show Thistle to National Level and therefore needed a neat showing saddle, she also competes at Cross Country at home. Dean, thinking laterally as usual has a jumping saddle with velcro knee rolls in the back of the van for another customer, took them and put them on the Tamar Emma had chosen and voila! the optional Knee Rolls were born and are now available on all Pony Saddles as Standard or Native Ponies as an Option. You dont always need to buy two saddles.