Why choose an Amerigo saddle?
The fact that we use the highest quality materials goes without saying, but a lot of what makes the difference when you choose an Amerigo saddle are the things that you don’t always see at first glance.
Many years of experience of working with world class riders and their horses, across all disciplines means that the Amerigo designer, Peter Menet, has a wealth of knowledge on how saddle design can influence the horses movement and performance both positively and negatively. His extensive knowledge of the biomechanics of both horse and rider, allow him to create saddles that influence both horse and rider in a positive way, improving the performance and also the long term health of the horse. Placing the riders weight in an area where the horse can carry it easily means that it can round its back, and the hindlegs step further under the horses point of balance, carrying more weight on the hindquarters. This results in the horse being able to stretch through its topline and over the wither which is essential for any level of collection, whether jumping or dressage. A horse that is working with a saddle that allows it to work with its own body, instead of against it, will have a much happier mental attitude to work, and also a healthier body, keeping it performing at a good level for much longer. A great example of this is the amazing Itot du Chateau, ridden by Amerigo Rider Edwina Tops-Alexander, now 17 years old, and still competing and winning at 5* level!!
Each of the saddle models is created for a particular type of horse, and the saddle trees used are shaped individually to achieve the correct shape for that particular horse. The Amerigo Measurement System was created by Peter to provide an accurate record of each horse and riders measurements to enable a precisely fitting saddle to be made, and the development of the horse to be monitored after that.
Once the saddle tree has been decided upon, the saddle design can continue, with the type of panels used being the next most important decision to be made. All of our saddles, Amerigo and Amerigo Vega, are made with wool flocked independant panels, which can be made with different levels of volume to suit each horse. Each panel is produced individually by hand and requires great skill to ensure that two equal panels are produced. Such a panel system provides many advantages in terms of fit for the horse. The absence of any ‚ends’ or pre formed stitching (gussets) on the horse, with the panels blending out away from the horse, and becoming flatter and wider with use, means that they offer a very precise and individual fit, even if used on many horses. They can also be adjusted or changed very easily as well as being low maintenance. Reflocking on a regular basis is not required.
Once these important decisions have been made, and the correct width has been calculated, there are very many preference choices available to the rider. Colour, type of leather, kneerolls, or addition of an engraved nameplate.
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Adjustments: If your horse changes shape, Amerigo saddles can be adjusted at the head iron to be made wider or narrower as required, up to a maximum of 1.5cm, and a new horse may not automatically mean a new saddle too. If the basic shape of the new horse is similar to the old one, it may be possible for the saddle to be changed to fit the new situation. We advise you to check with your Amerigo Saddle Expert, and any alterations to the saddle tree should be undertaken by an Authorised Amerigo Saddler.
Young horses: We also advise that when choosing a saddle for a young horse that great care is taken to ensure that the best fit possible is achieved initially, and that the saddle is regularly checked to make sure that it still fits well as the horse goes through its development stages. The investment in a good saddle in the early days of the horses ridden career pays dividends later in life.