Customers

During our first decade in business, most of our customers were driven to us because of saddling problems so extreme that some of their horses were unrideable. In our second decade, more and more riders with healthy and athletic horses joined our family but we continue to be sought by -- and to serve -- those with extreme problems.
In these testimonials, RP customers describe the search that lead them to our saddles, and the results they enjoyed.

Lora Wereb and Merlin in their Heraldic lightweight saddle

My horse has built topline, shoulder, and back muscle since I've had my RP. The white spots that occurred from the last saddle are almost all gone! He loves going 50 or more miles and he has not been sore since we’ve started using the Heraldic. Besides my horse, I use it on therapeutic horses that I am taking lessons on, they respond so well now that I've continued using my saddle on them.

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Lysane Cree, Mae West Holliday "Mae" and Belesemo Extreme "Buddy" in their VSD Summit and Heraldic saddles

The Heraldic is the only saddle I have ever put on Buddy. He had only been backed a few times when I bought him and having already ridden myself in an RP for years, there was no doubt in my mind that I would get an RP for him. I wanted to start him right and have him always feeling good about the saddle..

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Sue McLain and AH Priority Male "Prior" in their Heraldic lightweight saddle

Prior seems to travel in a more relaxed frame, particularly when we are out on the trails. His lope is more ground-covering and doesn’t carry his head as high. I am more balanced and able to keep my weight centered, rather than occasionally posting against the cantle. Prior seems a less grouchy, although he intermittently wrinkles his nose when I’m asking for a more difficult maneuver in the arena. But, he’s picking up the right lead and our downward transitions are becoming smoother… things that were more difficult for us earlier in the year.

Above all else, I appreciate the customer service that comes with this saddle. When I first called RP, I was relieved. I had been buying a saddle almost every other year and almost every company I dealt with made wholesale promises that their saddle could fit ”any”horse. Prior regularly proved them wrong with sore shoulders, white hair growth, or rubbed and broken hair in the loin area. And, it hasn’t stopped there. Fitters DeWayne and Celena have sought me out at endurance rides to see if Prior’s back muscles are changing and to make minor tweaks (if needed) to ensure Prior remains comfortable with this saddle.
The level of service I’ve received and continue to receive is more than what I could have imagined.

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Rita Boehm and Kosmisch "Kosi" in their Elegance dressage saddle

My RP saddle was part of a combined medical, training and saddle-rehab program for my horse Kosi.  I’ve spent the last two years working through his medical issues and he had become unrideable. He was diagnosed with significant arthritis in his spine and the pain caused him to shut down. In the fall of 2013 I had his back injected, a couple of months later he had a Tildren injection and I started using the RP saddle. He is now forward and willing! I didn’t believe it was possible to get my horse back.  I truly believe that the RP saddle was a key element in his progress.

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Sarah Vas in her Encore dressage saddle (Sarah also owns a VSD Traditional and custom saddle seat Encore)

I compete on the national Arabian circuit. I show Main Ring Saddle Seat and Hunt Seat classes and I do the full gamut of hunt and dressage classes in the Sport Horse division. I needed a saddle that gave me the best advantage over the big barns because I run a small string. Having a horse down isn’t an option for us. With my RPs, the horses have no more muscle atrophy and better movement overall, stronger backs. Arabians tend to have short, sloping backs so once they get comfortable with the sheer amount of coverage the RP panels have, they won’t go well in anything else.

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Michele Ng and William "Boca" in their Tribute dressage saddle

Fitter Lisa Jordan came out to watch me ride and because I lamented that my horse’s mystery movement issues go away when he is ridden in an RP, but the saddle doesn’t give me enough support to allow me to refine my aids. Carmi and Lisa figured out how to make a saddle that can do both and then let me lease it until I was sure it would work for me. Who could ask for more?

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Jim Gemperline and Belesemo Valiant in their Heraldic lightweight saddle

As soon as I sat in a RP saddle, it was like I felt as a kid when I rode bareback. My horse relaxed under me and a whole new language opened up between us. When I used to work on ranches, all saddles were Western type with 'one size fits all'. The RP English style was more freeing than I could have imagined. I actually felt better in the saddle than out of the saddle.

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Carolyn Hock and daughter Mae Chase-Dunn in their Heraldic lightweight saddle

We love the Heraldic – it is very, very comfortable for both rider and horse. Mae loves the custom triple thick seat foam seat for very practical reasons: for international-level canter work, she needs to be in the saddle but ride light, and for the many hours of trotting, she does very careful posting. Long-distance racing – and the training that precedes race day – requires so many hours in the saddle that comfort for horse and rider is critical.

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Parry Kietzman and Parzeval in their custom Esprit Hunter/Jumper saddle

The saddle has a very close contact feel. When I’m riding in it I’m aware of everything Parzeval’s spine and shoulders doing, and I think this helps me keep him balanced and engaged. I also love how adjustable it is. This is important to me since my horse is still young, so I know that as he muscles up and his body changes I’ll be able to adjust the saddle so that it will still fit him. 

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Penny Melin and Brimstone in their Elegance dressage saddle

I got more out of my young horse in the first two weeks in RP 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 RP, 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-RP 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 RP.

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Sandy Miller and Teddy in their Flyer jumping saddle

I promised a photo of Teddy being hunted in the RP and here it is! The photo was taken at the 2012 Keswick Hunt Club Opening Meet at Cloverfields Farm in Keswick, Virginia. Keswick Hunt Club is one of the oldest foxhunting clubs in the Country as recognized by The Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). I have been a member of this club since the mid ’80s!

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Lynda Weese and Teddy in their AvantGarde dressage saddle (Lynda also has Elegance and Encore dressage saddles)

Why I would not want to train in any other saddle than the RP: I have six horses that have been in the saddles for more than six months and all of them have had adjustments made at least once some up to three times. Any other saddle would not have been able to change the amount these horses have changed in their backs and still fit ideally.

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Hannah Rivard and Maia in their Elegance saddle

Not everyone wins their dream horse in an essay contest. Not everyone has a horse change almost everything about their life. But I did, and I am forever grateful for that. I had wanted an Andalusian for as long as I can remember but could never afford one, so when the Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse announced in 2008 it was hosting an essay contest where the prize was a Pure Spanish Horse, I jumped at the chance.

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Terri Tinkham and Oliver in their VSD Traditional saddle

Oliver’s Story: Well, she keeps procrastinating so I guess I am going to have to tell this tale myself. I think she feels a bit guilty since it took riding me for 8,000 miles before she finally figured out that I needed not just a new saddle, but a saddle that FITS me.

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Regina Broughton and Tommy’s Impressev Ace (Tango) in their Endurance saddle

OMG! This says it all when I’m talking about my Reactor Panel Saddle. I have a 13-year old Appaloosa gelding named Tommy’s Impressev Ace (Tango). I have been a NATRC competitive trail rider on Tango since 2005. We have had 4 different saddles and each saddle caused different problems for him. In distance riding,

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Bethany Wood and Wicktory in their Baker Alexsandra (Bethany also has Foxhunter and Esprit H/J saddles)

This is my now 15 year old Hanoverian mare Wicktory performing at the Intermediate I level last fall in the GAIG Region 1 Championships at Lexington, VA. I have owned her since she was 4 and I always say she’s just as lucky to have me as I am to have her. I broke her myself and have been her only rider with the help of a very special team of people around me.

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Reagan Hayes and Sullivan in their Esprit H/J saddle

I really never thought I’d like a ReactorPanel and told Carmi as much before my first ride. I had just started to work for Carmi and naturally, Carmi wanted me to ride in an RP so I could understand how they worked.

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Karlene French and Bear in their Encore dressage saddle

Bear, my horse, and I have been together for almost four years. Bear, although built with an upright neck and slightly scooped back, had always moved beautifully and had an excellent work ethic in dressage. He also had had an expressive zeal for jumping. So, after three years together, we had been competing at 1st level dressage, schooling 2nd and 3rd level movements, and moving up from novice to training in eventing

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Dr. Rebecca Florio, DVM in her Endurance saddle (she also has a VSD Traditional saddle)

My name is Rebecca Florio. I'm a veterinarian who loves to do endurance. I have almost 3,000 endurance miles, and about 900 limited distance miles. I have 2 RP saddles. I bought my first one when my mare,

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Linda Mann and P.J. in their Esprit H/J saddle (Linda also has an AvantGarde dressage saddle)

"A totally different horse!"When I first bought P.J., I knew immediately my saddle would not fit him, so I went out and bought a new one. For the next 3.5 years I tried 3 different saddles on him. P.J.’s attitude was never quite right. He would grab his lead rope and bite on it when it was time to saddle him.

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Lari Shea of Ricochet Ridge Ranch in her VSD Summit saddle

"It couldn't have happened without a great saddle between us."At Ricochet Ridge Ranch, my horseback riding vacation business in Mendocino, California, our 50 horses have been tacked up in a wide variety of saddle makes and styles over the years. We offer English, Western, Australian and "endurance" types of saddles for clients of varying ability levels, from the complete novice to the very advanced rider.

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Amy Tetervin shows her Baker Alexsandra dressage saddle (Amy also has a VSD Traditional saddle)

A Multi-Horse Success: In 1993 I bought a 3 year old registered Morab filly to train and ride in dressage and on trails. She and I became as close as two species can get, reading each other’s thoughts and learning to trust each other 100%. As she matured, her saddle, an old-style narrow gulleted dressage model,

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Carol Federighi in her Esprit H/J saddle (Carol also has an Elegance dressage, Baker dressage and Endurance saddle)

An RP for Every Discipline: I bought my first ReactorPanel saddle (the Elegance dressage saddle) around the time I bought my new horse, and we both loved it. But I was really uncertain about getting a ReactorPanel jumping saddle. I just didn't know how it would feel to jump bigger jumps in the RP - would I feel too much movement? Would the saddle catapult me forward? Would it drift around the horse's back? Would I feel too high off of the horse?

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Emily Sorensen in her Encore dressage saddles

Confessions of a Teenage Saddle Shopper: I´ll admit it--before I knew better, I rarely tried clothes on before buying, I had faith that letters and numbers would adequately describe my body, fitting rooms were as elusive as my ability to guess the correct size.

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Patty Halbeck in her VSD Summit saddle

Diary of a Saddle Trial: I've fallen in love with a saddle!!!! I am trying hard to remain calm and objective, but it is a wonderful thing to be able to ride and feel free and balanced with your horse. Aslan, my short-backed, wide-backed Arabian and I had several requirements we were aiming for when I started my saddle trial with ReactorPanel:

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Amy Oh in her Lacrosse dressage saddle

I shopped for a saddle for Ian for 6 months to no avail. Finally, after a professional fitter blessed one, I settled on a saddle. But, a month after I purchased it, Ian was sore. So the fitter came back and adjusted the flocking. Two weeks later, Ian was even more sore.

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Kat Swigert and Lakota in their Cross-Functional and Encore dressage saddles

I thought you might like to know that Lakota won BC in the RAT at Descanso in Ember's saddle--and I suspect that the saddle had quite a bit to do with it.Getting a saddle that fits her, doesn't pinch the shoulders, and doesn't slide forward onto her ears when going downhill was a major challenge (and she has the white hairs to prove it).

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Cindy Collins in her Endurance saddle

During my endurance career, which started in 1979, I have ridden in Sharon Saare, Stonewall (my husband loved this one for himself, but it doesn't fit many horses), McClellan copies, Orthoflex, Boz, Marciente, a Neiderseuss, a Stubben Survivor, several cheap brands of endurance and English saddles, and am now riding in a ReactorPanel endurance model.

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Lynne Glazer and Rem-member Me (Ember) in their VSD Summit saddle (Lynne also has Endurance and Baker Dressage saddles)

I think so far the thing I love the best is the seemingly infinite adjustment possibilities the saddle has. I had my first ride in the RP saddle. I really like it. My horse seemed to like it, walked out and extended well at the trot. The workmanship is impeccable. We experimented with the fit for a while last night (in the dark) and again this morning.

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