Welcome to Total Contact Saddles – This new design of treeless saddle which allows the rider to gain higher levels of rapport with the horse and develop technique
The Total Contact Saddle Concept
The Total Contact Saddle doesn’t look like an ‘ordinary’ saddle. It’s not meant to. After all what’s the point of developing new technology and have it the same as the old that’s been around for over 2000 years ?
The saddle was designed to put the rider in as direct a contact with the horse as possible but give them the security of having stirrups. To that end the parts of a traditional saddle that are not really needed – the tree, all that padding and even the cantle and pommel in many cases – was stripped away. The rider can now really feel the horse – often for the first time – and, as importantly, the horse can feel the rider. With this enhanced rapport between the two it’s possible to ride with minimum effort and aids, to understand how the horse is reacting and for the horse to understand the rider more. Of course this does mean that poor technique on the part of both does show up but that’s quickly put right and such things as rider crookedness, poor balance and ineffective aids are improved as the positive feedback loop between action and intention is clarified and both horse and rider learn from it. Some clients have reported their horse “goes better” in the TCS, “is more responsive”, “is more relaxed”, “moves easier through their shoulder and back” and riders typically take about 15 minutes to ‘forget that they’re riding in it” as they feel their horse breath, sigh, the back work and flex and really start to enjoy their horse.
The saddle comes in two variants. One with shorter girth straps – for use with a standard type girth – and one with longer straps – for use with a shorter/dressage style girth. You don’t need special girthing or stirrups. For welfare reasons the stirrup attachment is set lower down the horse’s side than a traditional English saddle so as to prevent ‘white marks’ and soreness and aspects of fitting etc are explained on the next page of this navigation button. Orders can be made by entering our ‘shop’ and each saddle is hand made from high quality leather by an English Master Saddler and uses English metal fittings.