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ABOUT US: Company History
In the early 1990s, the Roe Richardson Company in England created the ReactorPanel saddle system.
First, the company assembled a skilled team who could pool their experience and knowledge to create a superior saddle. Chief among them was Barry Richardson, a master saddler and innovator credited, among other things, for inventing hind leg straps for horse blankets. Another team member, a certified equine bodyworker, had grown disgusted with the amount of saddle-induced damage she was called on to treat. Engineers were called on as needed, and a range of test horses and riders contributed hours and hours of effort.
The team´s mission was simple: They would build a better saddle. They were convinced that, if designed correctly, an innovative could enable the horse to carry weight more comfortably than traditional saddles while simultaneously providing access to a full range of movement.
After several years of applied science and trial-and-error attempts, combined with computer pressure analysis and field testing, the saddling system was stable. The panels reacted to the horse´s movement while spreading weight over the largest possible area, from the back of the scapula to the last true rib. The adjustability of the hook-and-loop fasteners allowed the saddle to be changed as needed for a wide range of horses.
Most exciting of all, riders reported feeling completely in tune with their horses. Behaviors previously viewed as "equine personality" or training issues—girthiness, bolting, spooking, rushing fences, traveling hollow, etc.- simply disappeared. The design was a success, verified by computer analysis, the riders, and the horses themselves!
In 1998, Carmi Weininger, the proprietor of a riding school in Colorado, encountered back problems with her 6-year-old TB mare, Lulu. After countless visits with veterinarians and all kinds of innovative and alternative therapies—and, in the meantime, going through four saddles - Carmi finally tried the ReactorPanel. To her delight and amazement, the RP saddle fixed all of Lulu's problems.
Intrigued, Carmi began to import and distribute ReactorPanel saddles in the U.S. And in 2000, when an opportunity to buy the company arose, she leapt at the chance.
For the first year, the ReactorPanel Saddle Company was a hobby business alongside Carmi´s farm and riding school. But in 2001, Carmi decided to focus on the saddles. She sold her riding school and relocated to California. For the first few months, RPSC was housed in a small office that had been converted from a one-car garage. Carmi fondly refers to that time as "our Hewlett-Packard days," recalling the humble origins of the computer giant.
Today, company headquarters are in a "real" warehouse space in Oakland, California. There are fitting agents in a number of states, distributors in the UK and Canada.
Our company mission is simple: to provide products that are good for the horse and rider while doing our utmost to delight customers with exemplary service, integrity, and fair policies. For Carmi, "RPSC represents an amazing opportunity to create the sort of company I´ve always wanted to work for."
We invite you to check us out.