The new Enlightened Equitation FlexEE saddle is a high quality synthetic saddle at an amazing price!
Designed by well known Classical Seat trainer, Heather Moffett, the FlexEE saddle is built on a leather tree, a very old method of making a flexible saddle. The saddle, as with all Enlightened Equitation saddles, past and present, is ergonomically designed to allow the rider, even a total beginner, to sit in the correct ear/shoulder/hip/heel alignment with ease.
The stirrup bars are set back on the dressage model to enable a very deep thigh position, and the large velcroed on knee rolls (sold separately) that Heather has designed for this saddle, really assist with the deeper knee position. The Velcro on the sweat flap of the GP saddle reaches far enough to permit the dressage knee rolls to be placed well back, in order to enable the dressage/flatwork seat with ease, ensuring that the saddle truly is 'General Purpose'. The bars are one inch further forwards on the GP to allow for shorter stirrups for jumping.
The saddles come in two models, Dressage and GP, currently in three sizes, 16", 17" and 18". There are two width fittings, medium and wide. The saddle has a gullet plate in the front arch as, being leather, the arch can splay if used on a very wide horse and the rider then wants also to use it on a narrower one. The saddles have no points, the gullet plate ends 2cm from the bottom of the tree, and the panels are then 'floating' so that they widen in or out, according to the width of the horse’s shoulders. Therefore the wide fitting, for instance, will also cater for even extra-wide horses, as the panels will just spread out according to the width of the horse. The saddle being flexible, will not bridge, conforming to the shape of the back and is self-levelling.
The panels have been designed to provide a wide bearing surface for the horse. These are moulded as in typical close contact panels and ensure absolute symmetry every time. The gullet is not as wide as on many saddles nowadays. Having the gullet too wide causes lateral instability, but the muscle is strongest at the point of attachment to the spinal processes, and the further apart the gullet, the weaker the muscle where the edges of the panels rest. So the gullet is 2.25” wide, widening out towards the front arch, as with a flexible saddle once girthed up the gullet will pull in, leaving the width the same all the way down.
Considerable attention has been paid to the comfort of the rider too, in that the seat is layered with Cushion EVA and latex, giving a very comfortable ride. The seams are far enough apart to allow the wider splay of the female seatbones to rest on the padding, and not end up on the hard slope of the tree, as happens with many saddles, when trying to sit in the deepest, most central part of the saddle!
The seat and knee pads are covered with Clarino synthetic suede. This is the material used in the seats of expensive ranges of breeches, and we have chosen for its longevity and well known, trusted name. It is fully washable in breeches, so we know that even repeated wettings in climates such as the UK, will not affect its wearing qualities.
The stirrup bars are made for this saddle, a hook bar, cut from solid stainless (not cast) steel and attached either side of the tree, relieving pressure. Sweat patterns under the saddles have been exceptionally even in all test horses used. The girthing is a three point system and assists in spreading pressure over the whole saddle. Biothane girth billets are used which is the material used for high end synthetic endurance bridles and driving harness.
The design of the dressage flap has the elegant lines of the EE Vogue SoftTree saddle, making a truly stylish saddle at a very affordable price. The cantle will feature a lacquered brass cantle plate with the EE torch logo, and the lacquered brass head nails, are also with the double EE logo, adding a smart finishing touch.
The GP flap is cut sufficiently wide at the back, in order to accommodate the thigh in the flatwork position. Many GP saddles do not take this into account, and the wider thigh especially, will overlap the back of the flap.