A SIMPLE CONCEPT LEADING TO A
MASTERY QUEST UNIQUE IN HISTORY
“The dawn of Parelli Saddles was sparked in 2001 by Linda Parelli’s perpetual desire to help horses, who were often restricted in their natural movement while trying to perform under saddle. Also, riders in such saddles were generally put in the wrong place to be balanced, which caused additional discomfort for the Horse. The simple concept of thinking about how a saddle possibly feels from a horse’s perspective soon became my personal, lifetime mission. It felt like a risky venture when my husband, Art and I founded Natural Horseman Saddles back then. We had no idea that our intrigue would lead to a mastery quest so unique in history. Due to the size of the Parelli audience worldwide, our research incorporated what is likely the broadest range of horse breeds, sizes and rider disciplines ever studied on the subject of saddle fit and saddle product development. Everyone at Natural Horseman Saddles is dedicated to making the world a better place for horses. We are driven by love, passion, commitment to principle, curiosity and the thrill of the work when those big brown eyes give us a soft blink of approval.”
Co-Founder of Natural Horseman Saddles
Exclusive provider of Parelli Saddles since 2001
IF YOU COULD BUILD YOUR OWN SADDLE
WOULD YOU BUILD IT TO FIT YOUR HORSE STANDING STILL OR
TO HUG YOUR HORSE’S BACK IN MOTION?
Each of us wants to make the “right” choices about saddles and accessories and every choice has an enormous impact on the relationship we have with our horses.
15 years of worldwide research and extensive product development incorporating more breeds and sizes of horses than has probably been considered in history has resulted in a unique SADDLE SYSTEM CONCEPT. It is designed to allow the horse to move with comfort and ease while balancing the rider in a secure position.
A HORSE’S TOP LINE PROFILE AT STAND-STILL
COMPARED TO WHEN HIS BODY IS MOVING
DISPLAYS A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE
It’s important to understand that a Horse standing still has a completely different configuration compared to when the back is lifted in motion. From the moment the first step is taken, a horse’s body becomes a totally new set of shapes. The vertical lift between wither and croup can be as much as 5 inches / 10 centimeters.
There are bulges/expansions/contractions that need to be considered, too.
All of this must be accommodated when asking this sensitive animal to carry us.
Even a well exercised and well muscled horse has a naturally downward curve in his back when standing still. Also, relaxed posture results in a less “voluminous” body than one in motion because engaging muscles, tendons, ligaments and facia requires expansion to create movement. By “tickling” a horse’s belly under the midline, you can stimulate the contraction of underline muscles and observe the resultant natural lift of the back. You can visualize the difference between the top line at stand- still compared to what it would be in walk, trot or canter.
Drag the line to see how much a horse’s back can lift!
The horse’s back rounds up significantly in motion.
Any saddle should invite and “welcome” that lift
as well as the flexion of the moving body
Allowing room to welcome the horse’s back in motion requires that you MANAGE THE INTERFACE – which is the space between your horse’s body and the underside of the saddle. After incorporating a good saddle, this is the next most important factor for successful saddle fit when you want to give your horse the opportunity to enjoy the journey with you. With SmartSaddlePads.com saddle pads and tapered foam shims you are best equipped to custom fit the interface of your horse
to adapt to individual age, top line shape and state of training.
MANAGING THE INTERFACE FOR
DYNAMIC CUSTOM FIT
SMARTFLX ™´S EXCLUSIVE, UNIQUELY SHAPED TREES ARE THE SUBSTRUCTURE
AND MAJOR KEY TO SUCCESS OF ANY OF OUR SADDLES.
The very special SMARTFLX ™ shape provides room needed for the horse’s back to come up in performance of any athletic maneuvers, especially ones requiring significant engagement or “collection”. Also sculpted into the SMARTFLX ™ shape are the ergonomic considerations built in for the rider which enable feeling close to the horse´s body and it´s movement while securely balanced and unstressed in hip, knee and ankle joints. The “bars” and “groundseat” of the SMARTFLX ™ western tree are a one-piece molded shape based on years of research and development incorporating thousands of horses worldwide. This molded piece is formed utilizing a particular, extraordinary elastomer compound material that is solid enough to protect the horses back yet flexible enough to allow the horse to move as nature intended. It is amazingly thin and keeps you close to your horse. Our wooden forks and cantles provide the base stability to hold the bars at the attitude and angle that our research proved was optimal. Our english saddles are constructed with the same principles regarding the spacious, welcoming shape we know is necessary for healthy, comfortable movement. English SMARTFLX ™ trees are handcrafted by Master Saddlers in England utilizing digitally sculpted, laminated beechwood bars reinforced by steel head plate and thin diagonal steel bands that support appropriate diagonal flexibility. Because the SMARTFLX ™ trees are sculpted to welcome the expanded “moving” horse body, there is room to accommodate an enormous variety of horse breeds and sizes. SmartSaddlePads.com unique shimming concept provides dynamic custom fit. The welcoming “hug” of our saddles’ undersides provides for a physically and mentally un-restricted equine athlete capable of enjoying full physical potential under saddle.
” It still brings me to tears
to realize what my horse
was trying to tell me “
Linda’s Pro Dressage
An extraordinary, calf leather mono-flap saddle for performance of the highest level maneuvers. Designed based on our principles considering the well-being of the horse as well as the rider, Linda’s PRO DRESSAGE is broad underneath for the horse yet provides the comfort of a narrow “twist”, deep seat and cantle high enough to support/assist excellent posture for vertical alignment of shoulders, hips and heels more comfortably without “trapping” the rider into a rigid pose. Linda loves the small fixed thigh blocks.
The FLUIDITY GP is Linda’s original favorite saddle constructed with the horse´s opinion as paramount! It’s an excellent choice when you want to ride “english” and “do it all”. Exquisite soft-seat cradles you securely on your balance point on the back edge of your seat bones while soft knee rolls and underlap blocks cushion and support your connection. The GP is a comfortable, versatile, dual-flap saddle suitable for freestyle riding in the arena and cross country as well as performing collected maneuvers. Jumping up to 3 foot heights is lots of fun in this saddle!
” Your horse will THANK you “
– PAT PARELLI
Pat’s Ranch Roper
Pat Parelli’s RANCH ROPER is a tough cowboy working saddle styled as a traditional low-profile “Wade”, that had been named after a Buckaroo saddle that Tom Dorrance discovered back in the 1930´s owned by a man named Wade. After falling in love with the features and the “feel” of the revolutionary, (remove comma) NATURAL PERFORMER saddle, Pat asked us to create a heavier-duty saddle for ranch work and roping that would look traditional but take care of the horse for long hours better than conventional saddles of the past.
The NATURAL PERFORMER is the most versatile saddle tool for reaching high levels in the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program. It has been a revolutionary performance saddle for a wide range of athletic maneuvers since 2006. The NATURAL PERFORMER combines the best features of a western saddle – optimum weight distribution and rider safety & comfort – with the best features of an english saddle, such as promoting/allowing collection, engagement and fluid lateral movement.
The NATURAL RIDER features a deeper seat pocket but otherwise is patterned after the NATURAL PERFORMER. It’s a versatile saddle offering comfort and security for trail riders or more athletic pursuits: a great choice for all striving to reach high levels in the Parelli Program without investing as much as the NATURAL PERFORMER options require. The NATURAL RIDER JUNIOR is also available, crafted in seat sizes small enough to accommodate young riders and very small adults.
MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION
FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR HORSE
Investing in a new saddle is always an important decision. Your saddle needs to fit you and your horse when you receive it, but also adapt to changes due to growth and stages of muscle development. Parelli Saddles are made to fit and last a lifetime. You can take advantage of the research we’ve done for you during the process of developing them.
HERE’S HOW WE CAN HELP YOU:
We encourage you to try out the saddle of your choice before you buy it. Select a saddle from our TEST-A-SADDLE program and feel how it rides on your own horse. Our saddles work best with our unique custom fit pad-and-shim system, and we’ll send those items along with your test saddle (unless you already have your own and don’t need extras). Girth or cinch, too. We look forward to hearing your personal assessment of the comfort and performance results from your rider perspective as well as the opinion of your horse!
OF ALL PARTICIPANTS IN OUR TEST-A-SADDLE PROGRAM FOLLOW THROUGH
AND PURCHASE A SADDLE!
This is how the Test-A-Saddle Program works
You and your horse will have the chance to experience the feel and fit of the saddle for an entire week and will only pay for shipping service roundtrip of the saddle and accessories (which will include insurance for the value of the saddle), supplies and handling. We can help you with your custom fitting.
The total fee is $150 for the round trip shipping within the Continental US and €150 for the round trip shipping within the EU. If you participate in the test ride program and choose to purchase a Parelli Saddle, we will not charge shipping fees (within the continental US or the EU) when we ship your new saddle to you. If you live outside the US, we will deduct the equivalent US Continental or EU shipping charges from your total purchase. In case you wish to keep and test the saddle longer, additional cost of $30 USD or €30 occur per additional day. In case you have other special timing needs, you have the option to lease a saddle for longer periods of time, e.g. if you would like it attend a special clinic where you need a saddle model for a sport different from you primary discipline.
WATCH LETITIA GLENN EXPLAIN THE CONCEPT
ON THE HORSE SHOW WITH RICK LAMB
ON THE HORSE SHOW WITH RICK LAMB
You Are Welcome to Contact Us
And We Always Love to Have Visitors
Natural Horseman Saddles, Inc.
25 S. Clover Lane
Bayfield, CO 81122, USA
(Toll-Free within the US)
Natural Horseman Saddles Europe GmbH
Ikarusstr. 26, 40747