Crosby Brand Ambassador: Flo Carter
Hi, I’m Flo Carter and I’m lucky enough to be a Brand Ambassador for Crosby Saddlery, I’ve been a part of the team for a couple of months now, and today I’m going to be talking about my experiences with my new saddle, and how it has helped me develop as a rider.
I’m a 19 year old Event Rider from Buckinghamshire, competing up to Novice/2* with my 3 horses. I’m currently on a Gap Year, which may have turned in to 2 given the current COVID circumstances! The new boy Star (pictured below) came over from Ireland last October, and we have been getting to know each other since then. He loves his jumping, he’s a real machine and nothing seems to phase him.
However, when it comes to the world of dressage, he isn’t such a big fan, it just isn’t as exciting apparently! Our progress with our dressage has been far slower than with our jumping, which is so frustrating as everywhere we go people comment on how lovely his paces are and how much potential he has. It wasn’t until my new Crosby Dressage Saddle arrived that I realised what had really been holding us back most of all, was that I was riding in a jump saddle. Naively, I’d perhaps never really contemplated just how significant a change in saddle could be. But when my Crosby Dressage Saddle arrived (looking very smart!) it was like a penny just dropped. We went straight into the school and Star just got on with the work, no fuss at all, he instantly began working over his back more than normal, and the connection between us was far more stable. The saddle helped to hold my leg in place better than a jump saddle, and in turn Star settled down fast, he can be a really sensitive soul and it was so nice to see his comfy he found the dressage saddle.
I feel like there is hope again for my dressage, we have come on leaps and bounds in the 2 months we have been working in our Dressage Saddle, and we’re now ready to go and get stuck in when Eventing restarts. It’s great to think we may now have a better chance in the Dressage, which will set us up nicely for all 3 phases (as I said previously, he loves his jumping!)
I have to admit, receiving the saddle, especially in the dismal depths of lockdown, was like Christmas had come early. I mean isn’t it every horsey girls dream to ride in a new saddle? I’ve loved riding in my Crosby Dressage saddle so much, not only does it look super smart, but it is extra-comfy. Which is so important as those long flatwork sessions can be hard enough work without having to deal with an uncomfortable saddle! The big knee roll helps keep my legs super secure, and the deep seat helps me to sit upright, something I can be quite bad at! As a rider it is also such good piece of mind knowing that Crosby Saddles are all made with an Opti-fit Gullet system, so should Star change shape at all, we can just change the gullet, instead of worrying about buying a whole new saddle!
I filmed a video where you can watch my first reactions to opening up my saddle when it arrived, as well as my first ride in it. You can watch that here: https://youtu.be/GaX0Kd0uBR8
I’m really excited to continue to share my journey in my new Dressage Saddle with you all, our clear benchmark is that at our first Event together before lockdown, Star got a 45 dressage.... (at least there’s room for improvement!) So let’s hope that with the new dressage saddle, as well as the many hours of hard work that we’ve put in over lockdown, we’re ready to improve on that score!