Owned and ridden by: Emily Hatton
When I first started riding Hunter, she was owned by an older man who believed every saddle fit every horse. I had never ridden her in something she was comfortable in, so I wasn’t aware of how well she could go in a proper fitting saddle. When Hunters owner sold her to us, he took the saddle I had been using with him, which forced us to find a new saddle.
Holly was recommended to us and helped us find a saddle that fit our budget and most importantly fit the horse.
All was well for a couple years until myself and Hunter started growing out of our saddle. We tried a couple of different options, and got Holly out to check them. She explained to me that most of them were pinching Hunters withers, and showed me how to check this, so I would know for future reference.
My mom had already purchased and received an equipe dressage saddle, so we decided to try that as a last resort. Holly immediately knew which saddle would be the best for her and the ride I had that day was amazing. Hunter was through her back and limber within the first five minutes (usually it takes us 20+). She jumped even better than before and started using her shoulders, instead of having them stuck. Hunter loved Holly and never danced or was girthy with the new saddle, which had always been a problem before.
We immediately ordered one, but unfortunately ended up cancelling our order because my horse passed away.
After a couple months I ended up getting a new horse and ordered a new equipe saddle (which she felt amazing in, surprise surprise) and Holly explained every aspect of the saddle and how it fit my horse. She was also helped me find a saddle that fit my horse that I could use while waiting for the new saddle.
Overall I 100% recommend Holly as a saddle fitter as she cares most about how the horse feels and how the saddle affects them, rather than just selling the saddle. She’s always available to answer any questions about anything saddle or back related.
Looking forward to my new saddle and getting up the levels in eventing with a comfortable and happy horse 🙂
Holly has been a tremendous help, and I trust her completely. Would recommend her to anyone who wants their horse to be happy and healthy in work.
HARLEQUIN ROMANCE “HARLEY”
Harlequin Romance “Harley”
Owned and ridden by: Sophie Hart Bunting
I purchased my horse a few years ago out of a field, and he quickly began outgrowing his saddle as he muscled up. I was looking to purchase a new dressage saddle and eventually a new close contact as well. I was in a rush and on a budget to find something before show season started. I had heard about Holly Barnett through two different people at my barn that had used her. One woman had used Holly for saddle fitting, and the other for saddle fitting and purchase of a brand new Equipe saddle. Both had rave reviews for Holly and great experiences, so I decided to give her a call.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole saddle fitting experience with Holly. She came prepared to each appointment with a line of saddles that were in Harley’s size range, and my price range. She took his measurements in case we had to order something, but also so we could keep track of his size. I specifically enjoyed her knowledge of both fitting the saddle to the horse, but also making sure the saddle was fitting me as a rider properly as well. When I was in need of a close contact saddle, but was on a tighter budget, Holly was available to answer questions via email and came out to look at and fit some used saddles I had on trial. I really appreciated and push to others the fact that she puts the fit of the saddle and satisfaction of the customer first. I have had many experiences where the goal is to sell the saddle, no matter if the fit is a bit off. She is also able to adjust saddles and shims for the perfect fit for a changing horse.
My horse was coming up sore from increased work and from the saddle that he was quickly outgrowing. I tried massage and stretches with very little result, and the vet was recommending very expensive chiropractic work. When Holly came to look at the fit on my old saddles she also suggested doing some Body Work to help his back and shoulders. I had never heard of it or seen it before, and was skeptical, but gave it a go. Holly was so great at explaining everything she was doing, and Harley was clearly enjoying it. He was noticeably more comfortable and in a better mood right away. After 2 body work sessions and only 3 weeks riding in the fitted dressage saddle, Harley’s back was back to normal. I really appreciate and push to others the fact that Holly does not just do the work and leave. Holly is great at explaining what she is doing to the horse, and also is more than happy to teach you some exercises you can do on your own to your horse for maintenance in between appointments. She is great at answering any questions you may have.
After working with Holly for just a couple months, finding two ‘new to me’ saddles, just a few body work sessions, Harley is back on track showing and doing well at Pre Training/Training level eventing and Third level dressage. Holly always keeps in touch with her clients, and is available and willing to answer any questions you may have and is very happy to hear updates. All in all, it was a great experience. I always recommend her services to anyone who is need of saddle services and/or having back/ muscle soreness issues.
Happy horse = Happy riding 🙂
Owned and ridden by: Nina Garth
Before I met Holly, I was using a different saddle fitter. One who really just wanted to make a sale, and by using that particular saddle fitter, problems would be fixed temporarily, but within a few weeks, Thunder would let me know that his saddle was bothering him. I had watched Holly visit another client at the barn I was at, and I loved how she explained everything she was doing and looking for when fitting a saddle to the horse. I decided to give her a try.
I knew my saddle, which was a low end beginner saddle, needed replacing because Thunder was tense during rides, didn’t want to bring his back up and use his rear end, and occasionally would take off for no reason. Holly and I talked about a new brand of saddles she was using (Equipe) and I decided to try them out. We tried 3 different saddles, checking the fit before putting them on. One of them right away was out, as we could see it wouldn’t be a good fit for Thunder at all. But the other two were given a try for a ride, only to find one that really fit for Thunder and I. During this saddle fitting session we did some flat work and went over some jumps. Thunder, who had not jumped in about 3 weeks, and used to take off towards jumps, went into them like they were nothing. I knew right away this saddle was perfect!
After going through the fitting and ordering one just meant for him, and now riding in it, he’s a different horse. He doesn’t rush jumps, he listens to my seat, and I feel safe and comfortable! The saddle has also helped my position to be more correct. I would definitely recommend Holly to anyone having saddle issues!
Owned and ridden by: Samantha Tapper
I was going to email you, but then figured I was going to tell the world how amazing you are instead.
To update you, Spicey is in love with her saddle again. Our first ride back in it she was so happy we essentially couldn’t do anything but gallop, she was so happy she could stretch out without any tightness! Then yesterday’s ride we finally got our suspension back. You KNOW the saddle fits when she gets her suspension back!
So from Spice and I – thank you! Thank you! Thank you! And to anyone who is wondering if you should contact Holly – do it! Your horse will thank you.