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WHY BUY RP SADDLES?: Saddle Design Evolution:
For centuries, horses were used in the military and to assist humans with daily work and transportation. Our ancestors relied on their horses, so it was essential to keep them pain-free. But today, horses are a luxury, and the ability of the horse to function without pain is less important. If a horse can't perform up to our competitive standards, too often we simply sell him and buy another.
Since the 1940's, as the role of the horse has shifted from utility to sport, saddle "improvements" have focused on increasing the rider's comfort. Unfortunately, these changes—such as smaller panels for "closer contact" and recessed stirrup bars to reduce bulk under the rider's thigh—have made saddles much less comfortable for the horse.
As saddle design practices have shifted, manufacturing techniques have also changed. Saddles used to be custom-fit to specific horses and were built one at a time. Now, the saddle industry has shifted to mass production. People commonly buy saddles by price or brand, often without taking their horse's conformation into account.
This practice is akin to buying shoes without considering size. Can you imagine ordering a pair of sneakers labeled "Athletic Shoes" and expecting them to fit everyone?
Even the most intelligent riders rarely pause to consider that they are sitting on the horse's muscles and blood vessels. Too many highly regarded trainers and coaches never question saddle fit. It is distressingly common for bodywork experts to find horses with saddle-induced pain and even tissue damage and atrophy. Some of these horses compete at high levels in dressage, eventing, hunter/jumper, and endurance.
Imagine the levels of performance these athletes could achieve if they were pain-free!
At last, saddle designs have evolved to enhance the horse's comfort and ability to perform. Alternative saddles such as the ReactorPanel are revolutionizing the industry. For the first time, riders who recognize the severe performance limitations and damage most horses sustain from conventional saddles have choices.
All of us at the ReactorPanel Saddle Company ride in this saddle because we believe it's the best thing available for our horses. And when it comes to people, we feel that the RP is as comfortable, balanced, and close-contact as a saddle can be.
At the same time, we understand that there is no single solution for all horses and riders. We believe the only way to test a saddle is to put it on your horse and ride in it for an extended trial. That's why we invite you to experience the RP System for yourself—with no cost to you except for freight.
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