I met with Hastilow USA's saddle fitter Amber at Rolex - she was able to show me some of the new and more popular traditional treed saddles. Our area in the Pac NW has had a good representation of the Concept line, and I'm happy to continue that tradition, but it has been fun learning more about what other saddles Hastilow has to offer in a traditional wood spring tree format with even more custom fit options available than the Simatree can be made to. The Impression Pro dressage saddle has been very popular and is a modern take on the previously very popular impression (still available). I'm very excited about their new "Prism" line of saddles though. The Prism monoflap jump is a really lovely looking saddle with many great features and the hastilow quality we have all come to expect from the brand. Hope to have more information and pictures on these saddles soon!
I got to spend the most time with the Black Country Saddle representatives and makers at rolex. They were formally introducing their new Dante line of saddles to the US and it was a great hit! These saddles are on the tried and true jump tree that has been making horses and riders comfortable for a very long time. After much careful consideration and work they have adjusted the way they strain the saddle seat on the dante. The changes allow for an elegant slim and supportive cantle with a bit more open of a seat and a more forward balance point. This beautiful design is very well suited to the hunters/jumpers and even eventers allowing a close contact feel with a supportive yet versatile seat design. I was able to talk my way into bringing one home to offer to all of you as a demo saddle! The Dante dressage is an equally beautiful option - I may own one of these for my own horse very soon! They have made similar changes to the way the standard Eloquence tree is strained, again achieving the more modern narrow and forward twist without compromising comfort or depth of seat. I particularly liked the option with the external "carlow" blocks.
I was able to touch, feel and talk about some of their more tried and true models and have gotten even more information on the way they design and adjust their trees with some exciting options for short backed horses and taller/bigger riders. They had a few saddles on demo with beautiful and fun welt and contrast stitching options!
As a bit of a side trip Andy and I went to visit a few of the historic thoroughbred farms in the area on formal tours. It was pretty great to listen to one of America's oldest thoroughbred farm owners at one of the more private farms as well as listen to a stallion manager talk about the farm he works at - one of the most influential farms in thoroughbred breeding (All of my horses have no less than 4 of their previous sires in their pedigrees!)
Hope you all enjoy the pictures I've included. Feel free to contact me for more information on any of the saddles or really anything else I might be able to help you with!