The saddle is an item of sporting equipment that we expect a lot from. It has the difficult task to bring together two different bodies – the rider´s and the horse´s – in such a way that they combine into one harmonious whole. To successfully design such equipment one needs to understand the physical structure of both man and horse, as well as the natural character of the horse and its gaits. One has to apply the best knowledge of saddle making and leather treatment that can be found and source the best raw materials and know how with regards to designing and crafting a saddle.
Benni´s Harmony saddles are the result of such a cooperation between experts in horsemanship and master craftsmen in saddle making.
Benni´s Harmony saddles are designed by Benedikt Líndal, Riding Instructor A and Master Horse Trainer of the Trainer Association of Iceland (FT). The world famous saddlery Stübben in Switzerland, leaders in quality saddle making, are cooperating with Benedikt and produce Benni´s Harmony saddles and tack.
SADDLES – general information
What makes these saddles special is that they are designed with the well being of the horse in mind. In order for the riding horse to learn and improve he has to feel well. The shape of the saddle gives the rider a good position, which leads to a good seat. Special care has been taken to insure a soft and comfortable seat for the rider.
The saddle tree is the base of the saddle. In each Benni´s Harmony saddle is an especially designed Stübben spring construction, made from unbreakable material which forms an open frame with steel springs and woven hemp bands.
The saddle tree is flexible both across the seat and diagonally and gives with each movement of the horse. The rider sits approximately in the middle of the saddle to ensure that this spring construction works properly. The Stübben saddle tree has been pre-tensioned with a special method. This means that pull and pressure are working well together. Between the movement of the horse and the weight of the rider the saddle swings. Because of the flexibility of the saddle and the fact that the rider´s weight is in the middle of the saddle, the saddle adapts to the back of the horse and the riders sits in the movement. This prevents pressure points. A saddle can never be better than its tree. The tree is the soul of the saddle.
The billets are long, the buckles are under the flap and the rider is very close to the horse with his thighs and calves. A short girth, soft but very strong, is used with every saddle. When the saddle is done up the girth is almost automatically positioned at the thinnest part of the horse, approximately one hand´s width behind the front leg. This as well as a good distribution of the rider´s weight, ensure the good fit of the saddle on the horse. There is no danger of restricting the respiratory areas of the horse, which can happen when putting the saddle too far back.
The knee block is positioned high under the flap and provides a comfortable support for the rider´s thigh, but the knee remains unhindered. The panels under the flap are filled with natural wool, apart from Portos (see Portos). The channel between the panels is wide enough to ensure there is no danger of rubbing along the spine of the horse.
The saddle is in the correct position when the girth is in the right place, about 2 – 4 finger widths behind the shoulder blade. The shoulder of the horse is then unhindered and the rider sits near the horse´s center of gravity.
Benni´s Harmony saddles come in the following versions:
Adventure, Comfort, Focus, Portos and Junior. The older types Allround and Elegant, with smooth seat or ribbed seat (RS) can be ordered especially. For the well being of the horse it does not matter which saddle you chose because they all have the same saddle tree, the difference lies in the tensioning. All types work equally well for training, riding tours, competitions and more. It is only a matter of the rider´s preference.
It is possible to obtain all types of Benni´s Harmony saddles in 3 sizes (the channel at the front is of different width – 30, 31 and 32cm.) For the majority of horses the medium size will fit but for horses with especially thin backs or very wide backs it is advisable to consider the other sizes. The seat is available in 2 lengths: M: 17,5 and S.: 17,0.
The leather used for Benni´s Harmony saddles is first quality cowhide. Using the latest technology and over 100 years of tanning tradition and experience with treatment of raw material by the manufacturer, the leather is of the highest quality with a beautiful surface and characteristic. The leather is dyed according to ecological European rules. The saddles come in the traditional black and also in a particularly beautiful dark brown.
Biomex are diamond shaped pads in the seat, which reduce the pressure on the riders tail bone and reduces the stress onto his spine. This prevents getting tired when on horseback. As an extra bonus it makes for a particularly soft seat.
For riders with especially long legs extra long flaps can be made to order.
Each saddle comes with a protective cover.