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The SoftTree is a revolutionary design unlike any other saddle on the market. The manufacturing process is unique in saddle-making. The Vogue saddles have no rigid parts, other than a small rigid cantle support, which cannot be felt by either horse or rider. It is not like fully treeless saddles in that those are very thin and do not provide a ‘twist’ for the rider, instead our saddles allow the thighs to drop and legs and hips do not feel straddled. The ‘SoftTree’ is built up from layers of materials, tested and chosen for their shock absorbing and pressure resisting properties, but also shaping the seat to feel much more like a conventional treed saddle for the rider. This ‘SoftTree’ enables the saddle to flex with every oscillation of the horse's back, giving great freedom of movement, with no restriction of the shoulders or hindrance of the lifting of the horse's back.

Reflecting Heather Moffett's passion for the Iberian horse this Portugese equitation saddle has been developed by Heather from the Vogue to provide a comfortable, SoftTree saddle for both horse and rider. The Iberica is available with a 17 or 18 inch seat in dark havana or black. The Iberica has Heather's trademark set-back stirrup bars enabling the rider to achieve an instant 'ear-shoulder-hip-heel' alignment.

The whole seat and flexible front arch are made from 45mm thickness of the Seatbone Saver memory foam, into which the rider sinks, giving great depth of seat and exceptional comfort. The moulded replaceable panels are designed to give a traditionally gulleted underside to the saddle. With the addition of padding for horses with muscle wastage, it is possible to fit almost any horse. The SoftTree saddle offers unrivalled comfort to both horse and rider, combining the flexibility and best characteristics of a treeless saddle, but with the rider support of a treed saddle.

With all saddles, whether treeless, part-treed or treed, there will always be an element of fitting. There will never be a saddle that is a “magic wand”, which can just be placed on every horse’s back without any thought to his conformation. Those with atrophy and/or asymmetry, and some young horses with undeveloped topline and musculature, will require additional padding. EE Agents should give you advice on this before purchase, preferably through a personal consultation visit, which is part of Enlightened Equitation’s Vogue trial service, although customers in an area where we do not yet have an agent, may be advised via conformation photos and other important information.

As stated, consideration of the fit of the saddle is highly important in young horses or other horses that change shape on a regular basis due to fluctuating condition and/or fitness levels. It is imperative that owners should pay attention to this and ask their saddle supplier for help and advice as soon as they notice any changes, before their horse develops any soreness or white hair. Enlightened Equitation would highly recommend that any increase in workload when purchasing any saddle should be undertaken gradually, keeping a check on all the above.

It should also be remembered that there is no single saddle out there that will suit every single horse and rider combination, this is why it is so important that there is a wide range of types of saddle to choose from and that they are trialled sufficiently before a final decision is made.

Riding in the SoftTree saddle:

The seat has been designed to allow the rider’s thighs to drop easily into a more vertical knee position, the saddle having a definite ‘waist’, which does not leave the rider feeling straddled as if bareback. The Vogue offers the same level of support as a conventional treed saddle, yet is the nearest thing to sitting on a cushion on a horse!!

Nearly all conventional saddles have the stirrup bars set too far to the front, resulting in the rider’s seat being pushed to the back of the saddle, and the thighs pulled forwards. This is why so many riders find it nigh on impossible to maintain the ear/shoulder/hip/heel line - the very tool that is supposed to be assisting the rider, i.e. the saddle, is actually preventing him or her from maintaining this ideal position of balance! This is especially so in rising trot.

The rider who is accustomed to sitting in a ‘chair’ seat as a result of riding in most GP saddles, will feel more stretched as little stretch is placed on the hip and thigh joints when sitting in this way - as soon as the leg is brought back into line and the hip joints have to open and the thighs stretch, the saddle will feel wide to begin with!!

The stirrup bars are set back, as in all of the Heather Moffett designed saddles, to enable an instant ‘ear/ shoulder/hip/heel’ line to be easily achieved. The bars have been designed to permit the use of normal stirrups, allowing the leather to come away and prevent the rider being dragged in the event of a fall.

The stirrup bars and girth billets are sewn onto either side of a webbing reinforced butt leather layer, so that no straps go from side to side of the saddle potentially pulling down on the back of the horse.

The whole seat and flexible front arch are made from 45mm thickness of the Seatbone Saver memory foam, into which the rider sinks, giving great depth of seat and exceptional comfort. The moulded replaceable panels are designed to give a traditionally gulleted underside to the saddle. With the addition of padding for horses with muscle wastage, it is possible to fit almost any horse. The SoftTree saddle offers unrivalled comfort to both horse and rider, combining the flexibility and best characteristics of a treeless saddle, but with the rider support of a treed saddle.

The SoftTree saddle, when brand new, may look a little odd when first placed on the back of the horse. The panels and flaps may appear to point a little backwards. This is because when the rider’s weight causes the saddle to sink in the middle, this pushes the flaps forward. The saddle may appear not to touch all along the back, and may protrude at the rear, on either side of the back, but after riding in it a few times it will very quickly mould and adjust to the shape of the horse.

The saddle may even look asymmetric when taken out of the box! This is because it is fully flexible, excepting the cantle, and will sometimes assume the shape of the box. This will quickly correct itself once used on the horse.

Under cold conditions, the memory foam used in the seat will feel hard. It is advisable to warm the saddle before use, either keeping it in a warm place, or allowing it to sit for ten minutes or so on the horse’s back before riding, preferably with a rug over the saddle and horse’s back to retain heat if necessary.

Dressage stirrup leathers (i.e. those with a T bar or Conway Loop, and a loop at the stirrup bar end which hooks over the bar) should be used, as the stirrup bars cannot be recessed as with treed saddles. Alternatively, use normal stirrup leathers, with the buckle at the stirrup end. We sell leather stirrups with a sleeve made by Mattes which are perfect for use with the HM saddles. They can be found in our online shop under Saddle Accessories. Using the stirrup leathers in this way is common place in Europe, even with treed saddles, to avoid having
buckles under the leg.

Ensure that the girth is done up equally on both sides and make sure that, even with a dressage girth, it is long enough! If the girth is too short, it will result in the horse’s elbows hitting the buckles as the shoulder swings back and forth. This is very painful, can cause injuries to the elbow, and has even been severe enough for it to be known to bring a horse down. Therefore, the girth should be long enough to come about one to two inches below the bottom of the saddle flap, once the girth is sufficiently tightened.

The SoftTree saddles have a soft front arch, which expands and contracts automatically to accommodate all but very high withered horses. The saddle has a gullet, which is more for lateral stability than spinal clearance and being soft with no hard tree in either the front arch or down the gullet area, does not need spinal clearance, but the presence of a gullet does ensure lateral stability, even permitting mounting from the ground on some horses. Although we strongly do not advise this on a normal basis, as it is damaging to the horse’s back, it may be unavoidable whilst out on the trail.

Pressure points:

Questions often arise regarding whether there are pressure points caused by the rider’s seat bones, as there is no wooden or plastic conventional tree to support them, but the saddle is as thick as conventional saddles and made of layers of shock absorbing/pressure dissipating material. We have experienced no soreness in all of the test horses, ‘cold backed’ horses have shown no resistance at all to the saddles, and those who have suffered sore backs through conventional saddles being incorrectly fitted, accept SoftTree saddles willingly. Some horses with kissing spines, that have been rehabilitated, have readily accepted the SoftTree saddles whilst objecting to a conventional treed saddle.

A high wither cut numnah or saddle cloth should be used with the SoftTree saddle on all horses, regardless of wither shape. Such saddle cloths and numnahs merely follow the shape of the front arch of the saddle and fit well up into it, removing the need to pull the cloth up into the arch, and do so again often several times on each ride, to avoid pressure on the withers as will occur with a straight cut cloth.

Rider weight limits:
The Vogue range has a weight limit of around 95kgs and the Flexee Saddles is around 80kgs. These limits can be increased when using a shimmable Mattes Saddle pad with Polyflex Felt shims.

vogue-saddles

HM Vogue Saddle Range

The Vogue is the flagship of the Heather Moffett saddle range. It is styled along the lines of the expensive mono-flap dressage saddles, being almost indistinguishable in looks although with the benefits to horse and rider comfort of the SoftTree. It is completely competition legal for all disciplines.

The Vogue is styled without skirts over the "e" hook stirrup bars giving the closest possible contact with the horse.

The Vogue is available in three variants, a dressage style and two styles of general purpose saddle. All three models of saddle are available in black or brown, in 17" or 18" with the option of suede seat and/or knee pads at no extra cost. The flaps can be made with or without the decorative stitching, giving a wide range of style options.

The Vogue dressage has Heather Moffett's trademark set-back stirrup bars enabling the rider to achieve an instant 'ear-shoulder-hip-heel' alignment.

The Vogue GPS is styled like a VSD (Very Slightly Dressage) saddle and is suitable for riders who wish to do general riding and small jumps.

The Vogue GPT is suitable for the taller rider with long legs, who may not be able to ride with their stirrups shortened on the GPS without their leg protruding too far off the front of the flap.

Both the GPS and the GPT are true GP saddles with the flap cut so that it is still possible to ride with the stirrups at flatwork length without the rider's leg coming off the back of the saddle.

There is an option to add extra D-rings on cantle for a small charge.

Supplied with a set of panels and a pair of moveable knee rolls. The customer can choose between large or small knee rolls depending on their preference, and it is also possible to purchase extra sets of knee rolls.

Each of the three models of Vogue (dressage, GPS, GPT) are also available in a limited edition deluxe version. Featuring specially selected, cognac coloured, Italian hide, these saddles provide a unique alternative to the standard black and dark Havana leather. This colour does have an additional charge and wait time.

If you have any specific customisation that you would wish to have applied to your saddle, please do not hesitate to contact us. Examples would be - extra D rings, change in seat depth, lower cantle and so on. Custom orders will need to be paid in full for on submission of the order and are non-refundable.

Trial saddles available, see bottom of this page.

Usually, the waiting time for new saddles is 6-10 weeks approximately.

Vogue RRP: $ 3290 inc GST Iberica RRP: $ 3490 inc GST

HM Flexee Saddle Range

The HM FlexEE Finale is an extremely high quality Italian Leather saddle at an amazing price! It is built on a leather ‘tree’, a very old method of making a flexible saddle. The FlexEE Finale is replacing the highly popular FlexEE Finesse synthetic model. As with all Heather Moffett saddles, the Finale is ergonomically designed to allow the rider, even a total beginner, to sit in the correct ear/shoulder/hip/heel alignment with ease. The Finale European Leather is incredibly soft but durable, the quality is absolutey unmatched in this price bracket!
Each saddle comes with a full set of gullet plates, see photo. The entire range of Wintec Gullet Plates can also be used with this model.

The HM FlexEE Finale Models:
Flexee Finale Dressage - Seat sizes: 15 - 16 - 17 - 18. Colours: Black, Havana or London (Tan)
Flexee Finale VSD (Very Slightly Dressage) - Seat sizes: 15 - 16 - 17 - 18. Colours: Black, Havana or London
Flexee Finale GP - Seat sizes: 15 - 16 - 17 - 18. Colours: Black, Havana or London

The HM FlexEE Synthetic Saddle is BACK DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND!!
Fully flexible leather-treed saddle
Comes with full set of interchangeable gullet plates and can even be used without
Flocked pure wool serge panel
Comfort for both horse and rider
Sizes 15-18"
Comes in Dressage, VSD and GP
Clarino seat and knee pads
Black or Havana

FlexEE Leather Finale RRP $1790 inc GST FlexEE Synthetic BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND RRP $1490 inc GST

FAQ'S

Are the stirrup bars set in the same place on both the Vogue Dressage/GPS/GPT and the FlexEE Dressage/VSD/GP?

All HM saddles are designed using the theory that a saddle should help you to sit in a correct position and you may find that the stirrup bar placement feels different to other types of saddles. All of our GP saddles have stirrup bars that are placed further forward than our Dressage saddles so they should still enable you to jump, as well as sit in a more balanced position without having to fight the stirrup bars, which are nearly always placed too far forward. Ours allow the rider to sit in the ear, shoulder, hip, heel alignment with ease.

What kind of numnah/saddle cloth should I use with the FlexEE/Vogue?

Assuming that you don’t need to use any padding with your saddle (you will be advised on this during your fitting or via email consultation), then we would always recommend a plain high wither saddlecloth to be used with your saddle. In fact we would advocate using a high wither numnah or saddle cloth with any saddle, on any shaped horse, so that there is no danger of it pulling down over the horse’s withers and making them sore. We also find that it is better to use numnahs with short d-ring straps with our saddles rather than long straps that wrap around the girth straps – you usually find these on a Dressage style numnah.

My girth seems to get looser when I am sitting on the saddle – why is this?

The saddles are so flexible, they react to the rider’s weight. When your weight is on the saddle, the saddle will be compressed and therefore lower towards the horse’s back. This, in turn, means that the girth will become looser, particularly with a brand new saddle that has never been sat on before. Therefore, we recommend that for the first couple of rides you keep checking your girth to make sure that it is secure until you get to know the saddle and until it beds in.

What is the difference between a Fhoenix and a Vogue?

The Fhoenix was the forerunner to the Vogue and is no longer in production. They are both made from the same materials but the Vogue is the latest version and, therefore a superior saddle to the original Fhoenix, the main difference being that the Vogue has a narrower twist and provides more spinal clearance than its predecessor, although there are other variations as well.

What are shoulder shims?

Shoulder shims are only used on the older style synthetic FlexEE, now only available used. That style of FlexEE has moulded ‘Owen’ panels that are laced in like a normal panel at the back and are velcroed into position on the front. Most horses (except for very wide horses with no wither) need more substance around the shoulder area to support the saddle so we have made the synthetic saddle more versatile. The ‘legs’ of a French panel can be easily added to the underside of the saddle just by using Velcro. The FlexEE Finesse does not require shoulder shims as it a French panel saddle.

Do I need to use knee rolls?

This is very personal to you. We make all our saddles with Velcro pads to attach knee rolls, as we understand that we are all different shapes and sizes and so we have made sure our saddles are as versatile as possible in this respect. You can even use different knee rolls, for example, from an old saddle if you prefer, just as long as they have Velcro!

Why do you use Dressage girths with all your saddles including GPs?

This is because they are less bulky under your leg, which gives you better contact and also more comfort for the horse. It also means that the pressure distribution is much better, because the girth straps are attached at 3 points along the length of the tree (Y-shaped girthing system) and not concentrated to one area.

Can I try before I buy?

Absolutely! We have an excellent demo program. Please see our Demo Program page in the drop down menu above.

I have been advised to use padding with my saddle but surely a well-fitting saddle shouldn’t need padding!

Due to the flexible nature of all our saddles, we don’t make adjustments to the saddles themselves (except for the gullet plates in the FlexEE leather saddles) so we would use padding to help with balance. However, more often than not we recommend padding because there is muscle wastage and, whether using a treed saddle or a flexible saddle, we would always advocate using the padding to replace the lack of muscle in an area and then fit the saddle to that. This means that you are not only giving the horse more protection where they need it, but also not hindering them developing that muscle, as they will not be restricted by a tight fitting saddle.

What is the difference between an Owen panel and a French panel?

Most horses will need a French panel (see picture below), which means that there are ‘legs’ which run down the front of the saddle down the horse’s shoulders, but if you have a very wide horse then this may be too much. The Vogue would then be a better choice!

finesse-drsg-black-underside_1024x1024
Vogue Panels

Our 10 Day Return Policy has now been extended to the Heather Moffett Range.

Our Demo Saddles are available for 7 Day trial on your own horse/s

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HM Vogue Iberica Dressage Saddle ~ Seat: 17", Gullet: TREELESS, fits very wide horses with no additional padding required.
High withered, atrophied horses will require a shimmable saddle pad which can be supplied with the demo saddle.
Demo Deposit: $3290

Saddle Accessories