We mentioned in the Best Rolex Fashion post that Tiana Coudray won an RZ Dutton Saddle for best presented horse and rider combination. We already discussed why that makes sense, but what about the saddle? What are they all about? And where do they come from? And, if Tiana is going to be riding in one what with her talent and style, where can I get one? Turns out, we’ve got the scoop.
Phillip Dutton and Ronald Zabala-Goetschel designed these new, lightweight saddles (you can get them in a dressage, show jumping and cross-country model) focusing on the comfort of horse and rider as well as the proper balance and fit to help riders improve their position and the effectiveness of their aids. Phillip is riding in the saddles right now at Rolex so be sure to have a look and report back!
Phillip says that ”I think saddle design, especially for cross-country saddles, hasn’t changed much in recent years and I felt a need for a lightweight saddle that breathes as the horse gallops along. With our saddles the movement of the horse keeps the air flowing through and the saddle really moves with the horse since it’s not as fixed as a traditional saddle. It fits well to the horse and gives the rider a unique feeling of being one with the horse.”
The saddles are manufactured in Argentina which is great news since if you want the highest quality leather products that’s where you’d want to go (that, and cute espadrilles). They also come with a patent pending ventilation system called WISAIR, which increases air flow under the saddle as the horse moves. The idea is that it decreases heat build-up and perspiration in the body areas that are in contact with the saddle. Consequently, there should be less heat on the horse’s back, resulting in less sweat, decreased risk of dehydration, and less sore, fatigued muscles which results in a faster recovery time. All good things, especially when you’re trying to give your horse every advantage over cross-country. It’s almost 4 pounds lighter than most jumping and cross-country saddles available on the market today (weighing only 9 pounds, 14 oz.). The idea, again, being that decreased weight helps to increase your horses’ speed and endurance, which, combined with the benefits of the WISAIR ventilation system, improves performance and competition results. In a test video created in Florida over the winter, one can easily see that after seven minutes of galloping under direct sun at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, almost no sweat can be seen on the horse’s back when removing the saddle and pad.
Ronald noted “They say at the track that for every mile, one pound = one horse length. A four-star is four miles with about forty fences so I think that the lighter weight will make a lot of difference for the time and the amount of stress on the horse.”
Though any saddle pad can be used with these saddles, Wise Equestrian has designed and developed a saddle pad in cooperation with ECOGOLD that has ventilation in the same place as the saddle, which increases its effectiveness.
So where can I get it? Simple. Go to booth 26 at Rolex and, voila, there you have it! If you’re not at Rolex then check out RZ Dutton saddles on their website. Also, the saddles will be at every competition in which Phillip competes so look for him and you’ll find the saddles!
So go check them out and tell us what you think! Maybe Tiana and Phillip will give us their reports too? That would be a bonus!