Blaze's recovery from previous, saddle related damage and loss of performance.

Blaze's recovery from previous, saddle related damage and loss of performance.

This case study has been sent to us by Sheryl Robinson about her horse Blaze.

Blaze came into Sheryl’s life in 2019. She had ridden as a child, and when in her late 30s decided that she wanted to have a horse of her own again, so got back into having riding lessons and started to look for the right horse. It took many months of searching before she found Blaze. He was 14yrs old and she was in her late 30s, when they met. Sheryl had not attempted to jump a horse at all until she found Blaze, but they have gone on to doing many things together, including fun-rides, hunt-exersise rides and even swimming in a river! They go to the beach regularly and do cross county and jumping clinics. Sheryl describes him as her ‘heart horse’.

This is Sheryl's story of how Blaze came to have a BALANCE saddle.

When I bought Blaze, he didn't come with a saddle, so I needed to buy one for him. I found a local, qualified saddle fitter and made an appointment for her to see Blaze. She brought a few different saddles and we settled on one that seemed to suit us both.
After that, he had a regular check from a qualified saddle fitter, every 6 months. He also has regular checks from a physiotherapist, to make sure he is comfortable.

In May 2020 I moved Blaze to a new Yard. Most of the horses at 'Wild Duck Hall' are ridden in BALANCE saddles, but I have to admit that I didn't understand the concept and therefore, wasn’t too keen on them.

Then, in May 2021 we started to notice that he was underperforming. In trying to figure out why this was happening, we noticed that the shape of his back had changed rather dramatically, compared to how it had been.

The evidence of high pressures from a conventionally fitted saddle, in a width that caused compression to the soft tissues. The resulting reduction in blood supply and a contraction in the horse's back from over-stimulation of the reflex points below the withers, has created a saddle shaped indent!

Having realised that his back muscles seemed to have 'disappeared' in the saddle area I decided to see if I could borrow a BALANCE saddle to see if it made any difference. I was able to try someone's BALANCE Nexus Jump saddle which suited me, and fortunate enough to be able to borrow that saddle to go on a fun-ride. Blaze jumped the best he ever had!

With the help of Hilary Wakefield and Sarah Robertsons, we found Blaze a second-hand Nexus saddle of his own, and we haven’t looked back.

The muscles have recovered through the use of a saddle and pad combination that are designed to work together to keep out of the horse's way. They also allow & encourage a healthy, oxygenated blood-flow to the muscles underneath the saddle, during ridden work.

The pictures say it all, as you can see, he recovered his muscle, posture, and his enthusiasm for life. The saddle was the only thing that got changed!

Note from BALANCE

Hilary Wakefield and Sarah Robertson, both have many years of experience using the BALANCE approach to 'Functional Saddling'. In fact, Hilary trained with BALANCE co-founder Carol Brett, in the BALANCE method of 'Functional Saddling'. She uses her knowledge and skills to help horse owners explore the many benefits of this 'horse-centred' way of keeping ridden horses comfortable, healthy and sound.

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