Nicky Pennie's story about her reasons for using the BALANCE Saddling System.
journey with BALANCE saddles started in 2015 when I was based in France. I was
training with someone on the flat who recommended them & I have honestly
never looked back, nor have I ridden my horses in traditionally fitted saddles
since. At the time I was mostly riding my first horse Bella, we were doing
dressage & although we were getting respectable scores, once she had a
BALANCE saddle, things felt so much easier for her, & in turn she became
more rideable for me.
filled out nicely, despite not being in bad shape before having her BALANCE
saddle, the biggest difference was in how she carried herself, she looked much
‘fuller’ across her back & was no longer ‘upside down.’
2017 I bought my wonderful horse Kiki, who has been an absolute delight from
the day she arrived. I was happy to discover that both my BALANCE jumping &
dressage saddles worked well for her and we had great success from the start,
on the show jumping circuit in France.
It was interesting to watch how the shape she made over a fence changed the more her muscles developed from working in the BALANCE saddles. I could see a significant difference from our first show together, 6 weeks after she arrived, to everything we have done together since, she muscled up really nicely & moves so well.
is eighteen this year (2023) & thanks due to low mileage & as natural a
life as possible, she is feeling great & my hope is that she has a long
& healthy ridden career ahead of her, where we will continue to have great
Her successor, for whenever she wants to do less, is a lovely young gelding called Pumpkin, who was bred by a great friend of mine and has been with us for two years in Autumn - his name gives a clue as to when he joined us! He rising four now and is going to be backed this Autumn, so he is currently long-lining & learning about life from the ground. This will prepare him to be confident and strong enough to cope with carrying a rider when he is ready. He has his own BALANCE saddle that he will be started in. This is a BALANCE saddle made by John Hamilton many years ago and is still in excellent condition. It has already had a life far longer than Pumpkin!
Kiki in a BALANCE Xtreme jump saddle, which we both love. I had blue piping
added to coordinate with our cross-country colours & my hope is that it
will work well for Pumpkin too, such is the versatility of BALANCE saddles
& their padding system.
There are so many things to think about with horses and I can honestly say that using BALANCE products to create a method of Functional Saddling, which respects the way horses need to move to stay sound and healthy, gives me peace of mind that I am doing my best by them.
I have become great friends with Birgitta (Bergsten) from my days in France. Although I have now moved to the UK, she is still always available to talk to and to look at what I am doing via the internet/phone, if I want to check anything. For example.... when I needed to find a good starter saddle for Pumpkin, she was able to help me find something suitable.
Of course, she spends most of her time helping horses and people in person, ‘hands-on,’ but for those of us who don't have easy access to a BALANCE trained, saddling consultant/coach, it is good to know that it is possible to get help via distant consultations and saddle checks.
I love my horses. They are my family and doing my best for them is my highest priority. Thanks to BALANCE they have lovely saddles that work well for them and make it possible for me to fine-tune the comfort of my horses when they change shape. They have also supported me to ride the best I can too. If you are anything like me, then once you understand the BALANCE approach to saddling and experience it, you will want it for your own horses, and they will thank you for it too.
Being able to move in a powerful, balanced and engaged way, without restriction or discomfort, is every horse’s birth-right and essential in order for him to be able to carry the unnatural weight of a rider, without doing harm to himself.