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Paul Jeffrey

One of New Zealand's leading endurance riders, and member of the NZ Endurance Team to compete at the World Equestrian Games in Spain 2002. At the time of writing this Paul is ranked 4th in the world on the UAE rankings and has two horses ranked 5th and 25th.

"Once the distance starts to get up above 100km and especially at 160km the type of saddle becomes much more important. Added to the longer distance racing comes the continuing increase in pace with speeds regularly averaging 18 - 20km per hour for 7 - 8 hours. This is when the saddle really becomes critical. As a heavyweight rider (80kg-body weight) I was always trying to find a lighter saddle without really considering the comfort of my horse. Alan Mackinder suggested to me one day that a couple of extra kilograms were nothing to a horse that was comfortable and able to maintain a full and relaxed stride. After thinking about this I waited in line for number 6 off the production line of his new "Flexi-Tree" saddle. At about 5.5kg mounted it is still a light saddle.

Anyway, my new "Flexi-Tree" finally arrived and with it came the rush of my adult horsing life as my horse moved from a trot to a canter and I felt every muscle in his back move under me. I felt like a kid riding bareback again. Since then I have ridden and trained all my horses in this saddle and the results speak for themselves. Neither of my two top horses has vetted out lame in any 160km ride with this saddle. They compete in the top group of NZ horses and always finish with a clean, long stride and no sign of back or shoulder stiffness. The saddle allows a tremendous range of shoulder movement without restriction and I now hold this as far more important than a couple of kilo's of weight. I am still amazed at the different muscles I feel in my horse now, I can even feel the muscles contracting and relaxing when they are drinking. It's a great feeling to have this much contact. I will be training my horses for Spain in this saddle only and riding it at the World Championships in Jerez. I have traveled twice to Spain with this saddle and an added advantage is not worrying about the tree getting broken in transit when someone fails to notice the fragile sticker. For me the Mackinder Flexi-Tree is a modern design that suits my training, racing and travelling."

Paul Jeffrey

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Peter Verryt

As a professional Endurance Horse Trainer/Rider, I am constantly striving to give my endurance horses the best chance of success in this most demanding of equine disciplines.

Having at any one time up to 12 horses in training, has in the past required a large tack room with a vast array of saddles to choose from. Presently I use only one style of saddle, the Flex-Ride saddle made by Alan Mackinder.

I believe this saddle addresses three fundamental issues regarding correct saddle fit for endurance riding:
· Horse comfort
· Rider comfort
· Correct rider position.

Horse Comfort: As the horse moves its back line is constantly changing shape, the Flex-Ride saddle changes shape with the horse. The traditional method of checking saddle fit whilst the horse is standing is misleading. Sure the traditional 'fixed tree' saddles may appear to fit whilst the horse is standing, but their rigidity prevents correct fit whilst the horse is moving. Thus producing "dry spots" where excessive pressure has been placed by ill-fitting saddles. I have had my Mackinder Flex-Ride saddle on 15 different horses for extended periods and I am yet to see a single "dry spot" on any of my horses.

Rider Comfort: Gone are the days of the old endurance adage: "as long as it fits the horse it doesn't matter how uncomfortable it is for the rider". Spending up to nine hours per day in the saddle during training, riding up to 160km per day in competition, it is imperative that the saddle is comfortable for the rider. The Flex-Ride saddle is the most comfortable saddle that I have ridden in.

Rider Position: The Flex-Ride saddle puts the rider in a biomechanical efficient riding position; this allows a rider to maintain a correct, balanced posture for extended periods of time without becoming fatigued. This helps your horse perform at its optimum level for the duration of the ride.

I believe that the Mackinder Flex-Ride endurance saddle makes for many happy and willing endurance horses. Oh and riders!

Rider Profile: Peter Verrydt, Endurance rider for 17 years.

Recent achievements:

2000, National Distance Rider Heavyweight Division.

1999, NSW State Champion

1998, National Distance Horse (trainer/rider).

1998-1999- 2000-2001, NSW Distance Rider H/W division.

1998-1999-2001, NSW Points Rider H/W division.

Peter J. Verrydt. 29/3 2002.

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Terry Wood pictured on the Biscuit, Gold Medal combination at World Championship France 2000, and top International combination at the Dubai World Endurance Cup 2001.
Dual Quilty winner, twice Australian National Champion Terry Wood says,

" I've stopped searching for the best endurance saddle, as I now own two of the revolutionary new design Alan Mackinder "FLEX RIDE" saddles in my tack room.
I have used them in all 15 rides since Shahzada 2001, including the NSW State 160km, the UAE Presidents Cup Desert 100 miler (7/2/02) and the Burrowye FEI 110km, plus all training miles, on some 10 different horses.
I see their best features as -
1) The ability to mould to the back of most horses, due to the flexibility of the tree
2) Allowing the rider to feel the the movement of the horse under you, and is the closest thing to riding
bareback that can be imagined!
3) It encourages centred riding due to the position of the stirrup mounts."

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Helen Cameron & John Robertson

At Karabil Arabians we breed tall, big-framed arabians BUT existing saddles weren't fitting. John's mare was out over 12 months - sore shoulders, short striding. Tried a dozen before the Mackinder Flex-Ride - now 2 out of 2 successful rides.

Before NSW State C'ship 2001 K.Tarki was extremely back sore (poor saddle fit), borrowed Mackinder Fles-Ride, successful completion - no soreness!

Helen Cameron & John Robertson
Karabil Arabians

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Mackinder Endurance
248 Cedar Ridge Road
Kurrajong, NSW 2758
Phone: (02) 4576 1362