Behind the scenes at Elevation Dressage and Eventing (part 2)

In part one of our feature on Bates Saddles sponsored riders Nicki Carson and David Taylor, they revealed how they became professional riders and a bit about their daily lives with horses. Today, we find out how they discovered the innovation in Bates Saddles.

“Bates Saddles is constantly working to improve the technology in their saddles and take it the next step further.” – Nicki

Nicki appreciates the technology in Bates saddles from a trainer perspective as she witnesses the improvement in her students’ positions as soon as she has them ride in a Bates saddle.

“…if you make a quarter of an inch adjustment even on the stirrup bar, it has a massive change in how they ride. It’s awesome.”

Bates Saddles saddle cloth and rider leg.

“The innovation in the Bates saddles is unparalleled. – David

David praises the adjustable features in Bates saddles for the horse and rider, which allows riders to perfectly fit their saddle to their horse while benefitting from the Contourbloc and Adjustable Ergonomic Stirrup Bar to support their optimal riding position.

“There’s nothing else that I know of that is even similar to it on the market.” – David

David Taylor riding Beans.

David’s first dressage saddle was a Bates Innova with Extended Contourbloc. He found this life changing saddle at the local tack shop when he was desperately searching for a dressage saddle. Nicki borrowed this saddle, and they ultimately met with the Bates Saddles team and Ron Bates, Managing Director of Bates Saddles.

Nicki and David had always wanted a saddle sponsor, and only choose to be sponsored by products they believe in, so becoming Bates Saddles sponsored riders was an easy decision.

“Their comfort, their adjustability for the rider and the horse – it was something we had already fallen in love with so we were really excited when we met the team at Bates and we all fit together with our goals.” – Nicki

Nicki and Lizza in their Bates Innova Mono+

Nicki rides in the Bates Innova Mono+ for dressage, and the Bates Advanta for cross country. She considers the Bates Advanta a “total game changer” for her jumping position and comfort during cross country as the SweetSpot is slightly deeper but not restricting. She believes this is one of the best things about Bates saddles: Security without feeling stuck.

Nicki and Flying Frankie in their Bates Advanta.

David rides in the Bates Dressage because it “fits him like a glove” and he “loves everything about it”. However, his favourite saddle is the Bates Advanta – a high-performance eventing saddle.

“It’s super lightweight, you cannot get closer to your horse. The only way to get closer is to take the saddle off.”

David with his favourite saddle - the Bates Advanta!

Nicki and David recently received their NEW show jumping secret weapon: Bates Victrix saddles, with Nicki riding in a Havana Brown with Navy highlights and David the Havana Brown with Red highlights.

David declares the Bates Victrix is “…an amazing saddle. It’s as close as you’re going to get in a traditional saddle.”

Nicki agrees, and thinks riders can showcase a bit of individuality with the coloured highlights on the Bates Victrix.

What colour of Bates Victrix would you choose? Discover your new showjumping secret weapon here.

Nicki’s advice to an aspiring young rider is “Never stop pushing to find the person who is going to push you as hard as you want to push yourself… I wanted to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and I don’t think everybody is willing to do that.”

While David believes “Ride with those who have been where you want to go…you want to be successful, you need to ride with someone who knows how to get you there.”

Besides championing Bates Saddles, Nicki and David share other favourites such as they both prefer mares over geldings and riding in tails, consider crunchy carrots as the best treat (David shares them with his horses), and they always wear a helmet when riding.

“Totally mind your melon!” – Nicki

Nicki and David with their mares.

Thank you Nicki and David for partaking in our rider feature! If you fancy watching their in-depth video where they discuss all things horses and Bates saddles, please click here.

To keep up with what's happening with Nicki and David, visit Elevation Dressage and Eventing