When did you first find out about EQ saddles?
I'm on the EQ mailing list and just over a year ago I got an email asking if I was interested in becoming a saddle fitter.
How long have you ridden in an EQ?
I first tried a saddle in August 2013, then participated in a three day introduction to saddle fitting training clinic in July and tried another saddle in November 2013.
Do you use your EQ saddle in training, competition, or for pleasure riding?
I plan to do it all. Currently training my young horse. Dressage competition as he becomes more trained. And pleasure trail riding which will include backcountry mountain trails when what little snow we have melts and the days get longer.
Have you noticed any differences in your horse since riding in the EQ saddle? (Movement, temperament, willingness or other characteristics)
Massive differences! I got more out of my young horse in the first two weeks in EQ than in six months of training. Willingness to move forward was a big issue. I attributed it to immaturity and all the scary things the world presents to a riding horse starting out. In my EQ, right away he was willing to move forward, and is now very forward. The scary things are still scary but we can get past them. Pre-EQ when we tried to go forward and he didn’t want to there would sometimes be cow kicking at my leg. This has not happened once since we got our EQ. Brimstone was really only half broke pre-EQ. I’d gone slowly as he was physically immature and then was out most of the summer with a bone infection in his elbow (100% recovery). He didn’t respond to canter aids, couldn’t complete a circle. Once I put him in the EQ all that became a piece of cake. He is still very green but is starting to leg yield and changing length of stride in trot. To move off or increase speed I now have to do not much more than think it. Huge turnaround.
What do you like best about the EQ saddle?
My horse loves it. It fits me better than any saddle I've ever ridden in so I love it too!
If you could change one thing about the EQ saddle, what would it be?
I wouldn't its perfect. I guess if I was being REALLY picky maybe lighter (Brimstone is 17.2 or 3).
What are your riding goals for this year - for competition, schooling, pleasure or other goals?
To keep improving in our schooling to the point where we can start competing at lower level dressage shows. Do long trail rides and some backcountry adventures
What would you like other people to know about EQ saddles?
How perfectly you can make it fit your horse. And then how much your horse will like that will manifest as improved willingness to go forward, learn and an improvement in paces. Plus the rider will feel closer to the horse. There are so many saddles to choose from you should be able to find a match that will not only be a perfect fit for the horse but also for the rider.
What are some features or benefits about the EQ system that you discovered on your own but were not told about?
How secure I feel in the saddle. A dressage saddle isn't always my first choice for starting a young horse that is full of himself and still liable to spook and spin but I feel totally secure in my EQ. Just the other day I was riding and a small herd of deer broke cover right beside me. Brimstone did a perfect 180. I didn't even come close to losing my seat let alone falling off. I went back to look at hoof prints and all there was two hind prints facing exactly the opposite direction to that which we had been going that were dug in a good 3"!
Prior to 2017, EQ saddles for sporthorses were marketed by their sister company, the ReactorPanel Saddle Company.