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
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
· 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
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.