Bates Saddles Advocates

Allie Sacksen

Allie Sacksen

us United States

Eventer

“As an eventer, I ride everything from wide-backed pony types to high-withered Thoroughbreds, which makes saddle fitting a challenge! Bates Saddles with CAIR® are the first saddles which have been able to be adjusted to achieve a perfect and comfortable fit for each of my horses, giving us a real performance advantage particularly when freedom of movement is of critical importance, both during dressage and when jumping.

“I finally have the peace of mind that my horses are comfortable, allowing me to concentrate more fully on our performance. As an added benefit, while I’m on the circuit and in-between saddle fits, the EASY-CHANGE® Fit Solution is so simple to use that I am able to easily make small changes that help to maintain a perfectly fitting saddle for the  comfort of each of my horses, and optimal balance for me!”

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Amanda Ross

Amanda Ross

au Australia

Eventer, Dressage Competitor and Coach

I’m not going to do this in an ordinary saddle – I have way too much to do in a split second! Huge uphill and downhill landings, hard-core turns and using my Ninja skills to make split second decisions all while maintaining a faultless position for photos!

At 5’3″ I need a saddle that allows me to instantaneously sit perfectly for the situation and feel secure as though I have 6′ legs. The Bates Elevation+ is my partner in crime. It’s got my back no matter how crazy things get.

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Amy Stovald

Amy Stovold

gb United Kingdom

Dressage Competitor

Where perfection is everything, I don’t accept anything less, especially when it comes to my choice of saddle.

I’ve chosen to ride in the Bates Innova range of Dressage saddles for many years as they give me the perfect ride each and every time and allow my horses to move without restriction and in total harmony. My horses are able to develop their muscles without restriction, due to the saddle’s easily adjustable design (EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution) and cushioned air panels (CAIR Cushion System).

When I received the Bates Innova Mono+ with new Luxe Leather upgrade I was absolutely blown away! Not only does it put me in complete balance, it gives me added security thanks to the amazing new Luxe Leather.

I’ve believed in Bates saddles since the beginning but this new leather is something else, and now I won’t ride in any other saddle!

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Andrea Harrison Dressage Rider South Africa

Andrea Harrison

za South Africa

Dressage Competitor

I am delighted to be riding in Bates Saddles, in particular, my saddle of choice, the Bates Innova Mono+. The innovative systems in this saddle provide important freedom in the shoulder for my horses and allows them to have complete freedom of movement for a supple, soft back. My horses grow and change throughout their years of training and it’s wonderful to know that I need look no further than the Bates Innova Mono+ to ensure their total comfort, making them truly happy and agile athletes. Not only are my horses truly comfortable, but the systems for rider customisation and performance (the Adjustable Ergonomic Stirrup Bar and moveable external FlexiContourbloc) have been essential in improving my seat enabling me to be a more effective rider. Being adjustable for both my horses and I, Bates Saddles are totally unique and in my opinion, the perfect choice for all horse and rider combinations. I don’t want to ride in anything else!

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Anne Watts

Anne Watts

nz New Zealand

Dressage Competitor

The comfort of my horses is my number one priority, and as a para-dressage rider, my saddle is of a particular importance to me as my stability is a key factor in our performance. From my first trial ride with the Bates Innova Mono+ with Luxe Leather, I was impressed at how changing my saddle could make such a significant difference to my riding. This saddle totally supports my seat, and I believe, has actually improved my riding position. Not only is the Luxe Leather supremely grippy, but the adjustable stirrup bar and external, moveable knee block allows complete customisation for my position. Since riding in this saddle, I have been able to further stabilise my legs and which has made the contact far more comfortable for my horses. I’m truly honoured to be representing a brand which is so dedicated to horse and rider comfort and look forward to seeing their next innovations!

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Anya Durling

Anya Durling

nz New Zealand

Dressage Competitor

My first ride in the Bates Isabell Saddle was a revelation, I suddenly realised the feeling I had been missing. This saddle had an instant and dramatic effect on my riding and I immediately felt an improvement in my horses as I felt closer to them, my aids were more effective and the horses felt much softer over the back. It was a transformation that far exceeded my expectations. Now I’ve learnt more about Bates Saddles research and development including the CAIR Cushion System and EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution it’s easy to understand why you feel such a difference. This saddle is a game changer!

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Anya Noble

Anya Noble

nz New Zealand

Dressage Competitor

In my experience, all horses are much more sensitive in their backs than we fully realise. I think it is incredibly important that they are entirely comfortable and at ease through their bodies in order to perform the work that we ask from them well. If a horse is not comfortable and soft through the body, I don’t think it is fair for us to expect a quality performance from them. I’ve been riding in Bates Innova saddles since I was 14 years old (more than 6 years). The Bates Innova saddles look fabulous, optimise my position and most importantly, they are comfortable for my horses as the saddles are so simple to adjust as they grow and change shape to ensure that they remain comfortable. I’m very excited to be riding in Bates Saddles as I am very confident that my horse’s comfort will always be their number one priority!

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Bill Noble

Bill Noble

nz New Zealand

Dressage Competitor and Coach.

I switched to the Bates Innova Saddle with CAIR in 2006 and have never looked back. We want the horse to feel very comfortable and confident in its body – this is an essential part of developing an athlete – and the saddle plays a huge part in this. I believe that the CAIR Cushion System gives the horse more comfort than any other system I’ve come across; I’ve used it on many horses now, and am delighted with the results. We had always automatically used gel pads, and it was quite a shock to my preconceived ideas not to need them when using the Bates Innova Saddle with CAIR, and to find the horses more comfortable without them.

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Blair Richardson

Blair Richardson

nz New Zealand

Eventer

Bates Saddles are always working with top riders and incorporating new ideas into their saddles. I am a huge advocate of the systems in Bates Saddles – for people changing horses, the EASY-CHANGE Gullet System is such a great feature, so that you can alter the width of the saddle, which is a huge bonus. I think the fluid cushioning of the CAIR Cushion System is so important, particularly when jumping, as it distributes the weight evenly, unlike in traditional saddles, where you feel the weight of the rider on the stirrup bar, which goes straight through to the horse’s wither. I choose to ride in the Bates Momentum, which was just so comfortable from the very first ride. I find it easy to ride in the correct position and believe it keeps me in good balance with my horse. For Dressage, I choose to ride in the Bates Innova Saddle.

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Bryce Newman

Bryce Newman

nz New Zealand

Eventer

Too often the development of young horses is inhibited by their saddle performing poorly. With Bates Saddles and the CAIR Cushion System I can have complete peace of mind that my saddle is offering my horse the ultimate in comfort. The increased freedom of movement is proof to me that my horses are comfortable, which is something I consider paramount to the success of relatively young horses under the pressure of elite competition.

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Chloë Morris

Chloë Morris

be Belgium

Dressage Competitor

My Bates Saddles are a big part of my team, working towards my successes, allowing my body to stay in the right position and feeling at one with the horse to ensure we can feel each other’s movements and giving us a better connection with one another. The Bates Saddles knowledge and expertise in saddle design coupled with the outstanding service they provide, is what really makes the difference.

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Chloe Phillips-Harris

Chloe Phillips-Harris

nz New Zealand

Eventer

As an eventer, it’s so important to feel secure, yet unrestricted with the freedom to move in the saddle to adjust your position. My saddles of choice for show jumping and cross country, the Bates Caprilli Close Contact Saddle and the Bates Momentum Saddle, allow me to do just this while also providing my horse with the ability to freely move beneath the saddle with the fluid CAIR Cushion System. I find the same freedom of movement and comfort for both my horses and myself in the Bates Innova Saddles during the dressage phase as well as during flat work schooling. Having ridden in Bates saddles since pony club I’ve always appreciated the ease of adjustment to enable my saddles to suit a variety of developing horse conformations – this is a real advantage as a professional rider schooling and competing both young and advanced horses.

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Craig Barrett

Craig Barrett

au Australia

Eventer

Our whole team at Sandhills is extremely proud to be associated with Bates Saddles, as they offer the highest level of performance with the greatest comfort for our horses. For many years now I have been riding in the Bates Innova during the dressage phase and greatly enjoy the support of the Contourbloc®. During the jumping phases I trust the Bates Elevation as it offers me close contact while I am able to maintain a balanced, stable seat. Throughout the demanding season, our eventers are constantly changing condition and having saddles that allow us to make ongoing changes is very important.The EASY-CHANGE® Fit Solution allows adjustments required to be made with ease and the addition of the CAIR® Cushion System System gives us confidence that our horses are performing at the highest level with the greatest comfort.

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David Taylor

David Taylor

us United States

Eventer

From the first moment I sat in a Bates saddle, I knew they had bridged the gap between rider comfort and exceptional feel without jeopardizing freedom of movement for both horse and rider. With the use of the CAIR Cushion System and the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution, Bates saddles offer an incredible advantage when the performance of our horses is paramount. Whether heading down centerline, flying over a stadium fence, or galloping around cross country, Bates saddles put the needs of riders and their equine partners first and foremost, making them part of our recipe for success.

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Deon Stokes Eventer Australia

Deon Stokes

au Australia

Dressage Competitor and Eventer

I am absolutely delighted to be riding in Bates Saddles. Growing up in West Australia, the home of Bates Saddles, I was introduced to them at a very early age and have been using them ever since, so when it came to sponsorship they were my natural choice. It is a privilege to work alongside a company that puts the comfort of horses and the performance of riders as top priority. I ride in a variety of Bates Saddles in both Dressage and Eventing disciplines and have complete confidence in their adjustability, enabling a perfect fit for each horse’s unique conformation and movement, as they progress through their training programme. Together with my saddle fitter, we achieve a customised fit for all of my horses, both my broad and strong warmblood horses, as well as my more finely built eventers.

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Dominique Carson

Domenique Carson

us United States

Dressage competitor and Eventer

As a dressage rider, ‘feel’ is the most important sense I have. Bates saddles have the unique ability to offer support and balance without affecting the ‘feel’ of my horse. From the first moment I experienced a Bates saddle, I could feel the difference in myself and my horses immediately. The CAIR Cushion System and the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution offer an experience while mounted unlike any other saddle I’ve ridden in before. This is made even more evident by the healthy happy horses I ride. I know with Bates saddles that the comfort of my horses comes first which allows me the peace of mind to ride and compete worry free.

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Emily Cammock

Emily Cammock

nz New Zealand

Eventer

Depending on the horse, I ride in either the Bates Innova Saddles range or the Bates Isabell Saddle for dressage as I love how these saddles support my position whilst maintaining a very close-contact feeling. When I’m show jumping or on the cross country course, I couldn’t be without my Bates Momentum Saddle. This saddle has been with me as I safely completed the Badminton Horse Trials and the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event, to name just a couple. I feel both secure, and able to move in my Bates Momentum and I love how I can not only customise them to fit my horse, but with the adjustable front and rear Flexiblocs, my position can be perfectly supported too!

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Hayley Beresford

Hayley Beresford

au Australia

Dressage Competitor

Over my riding career, I have ridden in many different saddles; however I was immediately impressed by the Bates IsabelI Saddle. The Bates Isabell Saddle allows for improved communication between horse and rider. This ensures my horses continue to feel free and soft in the back and I have an even greater connection and understanding as to what is happening underneath me.

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Heath Ryan

au Australia

Dressage Competitor

Bates is an exciting company to work alongside, as they have the nerve to go where no one else dares venture with truly innovative features that impact on performance. To be competitive at the elite level you need a partnership between horse and rider brave enough to push boundaries.

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Isabell Werth

Isabell Werth

de Germany

Dressage Competitor

I believe we developed an exceptional saddle. Our foremost thought was for the horses and to design a saddle to sit optimally, with as little a burden for the horses as possible. I believe we succeeded with this very well and now the CAIR Cushion System has gone one better. I have been riding in both the Bates and Wintec Isabell saddles with the CAIR Cushion System, in training and competition, and I have to say I’m really impressed! From the very first moment, I had a fantastic feeling in the seat. You have the feeling you are sitting even closer to the horse, even more in the horse. In all of my years of riding we have traditionally put gel pads or foam pads under the saddles, and now this is not necessary because an air cushion is already integrated into the saddle. Also – which is even more important to me – my horses immediately responded showing that they too felt comfortable.

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Janet Shaw

Janet Shaw

nz New Zealand

Dressage Rider and Coach

As an accredited British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor, I have spent many years producing dressage horses and riders up to Grand Prix level. After riding in Bates Saddles for over 20 years, I decided to learn how to adjust these saddles. Both my clients and I enjoy the ease of being able to make adjustments to balance the saddle on the spot using the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution for both their horse’s comfort, and their rider position. The adjustments in the saddle fit and balance for the horse, as well as the customisation options for the rider are not only simple to use, but they are just as simple to reverse if the desired effect is not achieved. For me, this means that if a rider is having difficulty achieving an exercise, I might choose to alter the Flexiblocs (knee blocks) or change the positioning of the Adjustable Ergonomic Stirrup Bar, to support the rider’s position at that time.

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Joris Vanspringel

Joris Vanspringel

be Belgium

Eventer

Bates Saddles give me the perfect position and balance during both cross country and show jumping. The CAIR Cushion System provides my horses with the ultimate freedom to move and the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution makes the saddle adjustable for each horse even when its body shape changes with age and training.

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Jose Antonio Garcia Mena

Jose Antonio Garcia Mena

es Spain

Dressage Competitor

Dressage horses must be able to move freely, seamlessly, without interruption and I can relax knowing that the CAIR Cushion System is the best choice for my horses comfort and muscle development. I choose to ride in the Bates Innova Mono+ Saddle as the mono-flap design enhances communication, whilst the movable FlexiContourbloc and Adjustable Ergonomic Stirrup Bar really allow me to customise my riding position – providing support without restriction.

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Louisa Hill

nz New Zealand

Dressage Competitor

After having had the opportunity to ride in various models of Bates Dressage Saddles with the CAIR Cushion System I would never consider changing to a traditionally filled saddle panel again. My horses and I have been riding in Bates saddles with CAIR since it was first introduced and the difference it made to our comfort was immediately obvious. I have also found that Saddles with the CAIR Cushion System and EASY-CHANGE Gullet System are very flexible in achieving a good fit on a variety of different horses. I am definitely an advocate of Bates Saddles with the CAIR Cushion System. I choose to ride in the Bates Innova Saddle, I like how the Contourbloc enhances a correct leg position, without any interference and the seat is incredibly comfortable, and yet still achieves a great ‘feel’ of the horse.

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Lucy Phillips

Lucy Phillips

gb United Kingdom

Vaulting Competitor

I choose to ride my top Vaulting horse, Pitucelli (Pitu) in a Bates Isabell Saddle because it is so adjustable allowing it to be fitted easily to any inequalities in muscle bulk which is common in the vaulting horse. The majority of my training is on the left rein as at 3* and 4* competitions we only compete on this rein. I do vault on the right rein in training however as to prevent one sidedness as Pitu needs to be ridden equally on both reins in a comfortable well-fitting saddle. My Bates Isabell Saddle does the job perfectly.

I think it is incredibly important for vaulting horses to be ridden (hacking and schooling) to give variation to their work program, keeping them mentally fresh and to prevent one sidedness. During our dressage training sessions we work on suppling and stretching exercises on both reins with plenty of transitions. I need Pitu to be active behind, supple in self-carriage, and to have the opportunity to work forwards down and round without the restriction of side reins.

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Maddy Whelan

Maddy Whelan

gb United Kingdom

Dressage Competitor

The Bates Pony Dressage saddle has enabled me to ride with an effective seat since the age of seven. It holds me in the correct position whilst being extremely comfortable. I am now riding 14.2 ponies at FEI test level and the Bates Pony Dressage saddle continues to help me to ride effectively through my seat. All of my ponies have loved the fit, and the freedom of movement from the CAIR Cushion System too!

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Maria Caetano

Maria Caetano

pt Portugal

Dressage Competitor

Dressage demands perfection, and it is only achievable with a comfortable and relaxed horse and rider, which is exactly what the Bates Innova Mono+ Saddle allows. My horses are free to move beneath the CAIR Cushion System which, coupled with the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution allows their muscles to build and develop. Being able to achieve a perfect fit as my horses change shape throughout the season is so important not only for their comfort, but also for my position – and now with a truly innovative Bates Saddle I believe we will perform better than ever.

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Meg Wade

Meg Wade

au Australia

Endurance Competitor

Our aim at Castlebar is to produce world class endurance athletes, and we take great pride in the consistency and quality of our home bred horses. The team at Castlebar is proud to be associated with Bates Saddles as they offer the highest level of performance with the greatest comfort for our horses which is paramount throughout challenging Endurance events. The riders of Castlebar Endurance Arabians favour the Bates Innova Saddle as it provides the greatest level of comfort and security for total confidence throughout both training and competitive riding. The demands of the Endurance discipline are constantly changing our horses muscling and condition, and the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution in Bates Saddles allows adjustments to be made with ease. We also ensure all of our saddles and girths feature the CAIR Cushion System which gives us confidence that our horses comfort, freedom of movement and performance are maximised.

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Nikki Richardson Eventer Australia

Nicky Richardson

au Australia

Eventer

Bates Saddles are constantly producing innovative saddle designs and fitting systems which have proven truly beneficial whilst competing with multiple horses across a variety of disciplines. The EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution allows my saddles to be custom fitted to different horses, coupled with the fluid cushioning and even weight distribution provided through the CAIR® Cushion System.I choose to ride in the Bates Momentum, Bates Elevation and Bates Innova saddles which all incorporate the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution and CAIR Cushion System, to ensure my horses are able to comfortably perform at the highest level.

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Phillippe Jorissen

be Belgium

Dressage Competitors

As a professional rider, I’m always looking for a good saddle, and someone told me that I should try out a Bates Innova Saddle. Since then, I have used my Bates Saddles on different horses simply because they are able to be fitted to a variety of horse confirmations and allow the rider to feel close contact with their horse.

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Prue Barrett

Prue Barrett

au Australia

Dressage Competitor

I find the Bates Saddles extremely comfortable to sit in, the CAIR Cushion System gives me security and softness in the saddle even when I am struggling to find the medium trot button. I feel as though I stay with the movement better and not lose contact with the horses back. My horses are no doubt reaping the benefit also. Even after riding a horse for quite a long time, I have taken the saddle off and have found there are no dry patches where the saddle has been sitting. This indicates to me there are no pressure points at all.

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Rebecca Farrow

Rebecca Farrow

au Australia

Show Competitor

With every thoroughbred I ride, comes different saddle fitting requirements and the Bates Show Saddle is the answer every time. With the CAIR Cushion System and the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution, it means the saddle is flexible and fully adjustable to suit my horses. This superior comfort for both horse and rider means optimum results for getting the most out of my horse, whilst still factoring in the aesthetic element required in the show ring. There has been great consideration to the final finish of the Bates Show saddle, with leather covered buttons, doubled stitched girth points and a beautiful straight cut flap to show off the horse’s shoulder. In my view, this is the ultimate show saddle.

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Rozzie Ryan

au Australia

Dressage Competitor

No one can judge the Bates Innova Saddle, until they have experienced it. To feel how it enhances your position without interference, offering security when needed, so you can ride relaxed and confidently in synergy with your horse. I have never really been comfortable riding in saddles with large knee rolls, I was therefore very sceptical at first seeing the Bates Innova Saddle. Yet the Contourbloc isn’t a knee roll at all! It doesn’t interfere, yet offers greater security and stability, so you are free to focus on the task at hand. Now I don’t want to ride in anything else, I am a complete convert!

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Sarah Stretton Eventer Australia

Sarah Stretton

gb United Kingdom

Eventer

I’ve used Bates Saddles throughout my eventing career, the performance benefits of Bates Saddles enable me and my horses to perform at all levels. The innovative CAIR Cushion System ensures the rider’s weight is evenly distributed across the horse’s back eliminating pressure points, so I know that my horses have maximised freedom of movement and are always comfortable whilst training and competing. Many horses I retrain and school have wasted withers and very poor muscles across the back caused by a previous saddle that doesn’t fit. Many owners cannot afford to buy a new saddle or have adjustments made on a regular basis. With the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution Bates Saddles can be easily adjusted when either a horse changes shape, or should I need it to be used on another horse in the yard. With the help of Dr. Gail Williams (my Veterinary Physiotherapist) and Bates Saddles all my horses are completely comfortable whilst in work.

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Scott McKenna Dressage Competitor, Trainer and Coach New Zealand

Scott McKenna

nz New Zealand

Dressage Competitor, Trainer, Coach

I have used Bates Saddles since I was 10 years old. In fact, I still have my original saddle; my niece currently competes in it and I am sure that my daughter Charlotte will too. 

With my current Bates Saddles, I like the adjustability of the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution and I find my horses and those that work with me; relax and accept the saddle universally. The quality craftsmanship of design and the CAIR® Cushion System all provide me with the peace of mind I need to get on with discovering new performance heights. I am able to get the best I can from horse to horse and therefore provide my horses with their best opportunity to excel in a very demanding and competitive sport. 

These features combined, make a huge difference to me as a rider and to my horses – I wouldn’t be without my Bates saddles.

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Shane Rose Eventer Australia

Shane Rose

au Australia

Eventer

In elite competition, we push the envelope in all we do, so when it comes to my saddles I demand only the best. When you’re travelling between 600 and 700 metres a minute, it comes down to a question of balance, timing and judgement – there’s no time for the faint hearted. Bates saddles sit me in a great position, keeping me well balanced, so I’m prepared for whatever happens next.

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Shaun Dillon

Shaun Dillon

au Australia

Eventer

As a competitive Eventer I demand a lot from my horses and gear, so when it comes to saddles I trust in Bates Saddles. The ease of adjustment is second to none, and the cushioning of my horses back, achieved with the CAIR Cushion System ensures a close and even contact in all three phases of eventing. In Dressage I ride in both the Bates Isabell Saddle and Bates Innova Saddles, depending on the particular conformation and unique movement of the horse. In Showjumping and cross-country I choose to ride in the Bates Elevation+ Saddle, for a secure lower leg and a seat that gives a very centred and balanced position in both a two- and three-point seat. I also have seen major improvements in girthiness and a marked difference in movement when using girths with CAIR.

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Stuart Tinney Eventer Australia

Stuart Tinney

au Australia

Eventer

The issue of the comfort for the horse is dealt with very well in all Bates Saddles with the CAIR Cushion System and the EASY-CHANGE Gullet System. I ride in the Bates Innova Saddle for Dressage and the Bates Elevation Saddle for jumping. The Bates Elevation Saddle seats me closer to the horse than ever before, you really feel how narrow it is in the seat, but also under your leg with your knee being ‘on’ the horse’s shoulder I love the position this saddle puts you in, as it is easy to get up and out of the saddle, feeling very balanced and central over the movement.

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