In November 2015, Susie Caldwell, my assistant, Amy Summerall, one of our Saddle Up reps, and I took a trip across the ocean to Italy. It was a bit nerve racking due to the tragic shooting in Paris the day before our flight. We couldn’t let that stop us: I had saddles to design! And the best way to do that was to take a trip to the factory.
Visiting Italy is wonderful. The food! The wonderful people! And of course, all the beautiful sights! After our first day of recovering in Verona, we headed to the small town of Lendinara, where we spent 3 ½ days working with Guendalina at the LeSelle factory where they make Freeform Saddles and other unique and beautiful saddles.
I have had 2 saddles in my mind (and on paper) for 3 years now. These saddles will be treeless, with a bit more flex. I wanted to create a saddle that would also have the sought-after twist for a treeless. You’ll hear more why these are good things later.
While visiting the saddle factory, I was asked to teach a small saddle fitting clinic in Tuscany. Wow, I said “heck yeah” It was a long trip with 5 of us in a tiny Fiat. Zeina, her father Germano and us girls. What a great adventure. We met lots of great folks and helped fit several horses, along with teaching the different ways to fit the Freeform. Not to mention the totally awesome basil pesto pasta we had for lunch. Oh my….
Sad to say Amy had to leave us a few days into our trip. Her mother became ill, and she returned to be with her. Before she left we did have a glorious evening celebrating her birthday: a meal to remember! Yes, eating and enjoying wine was a daily occurrence.
During our beautifully long days at the factory I worked on redesigning a few of the Freeform saddles. We will have a new western saddle coming out this winter. Plus a new long distance trail saddle. And my new brand of affordable treeless saddles with two models.
Keep tuned in to my website and Facebook page for updates. Meanwhile, enjoy these snapshots of our trip.