From the Saddle
As a family we are passionate about our horses. When we’re not fitting saddles we are riding in them – training and competing is a real family affair.
Meet our horses and follow our journey…..
16.2hh. 2008 gelding by Silvano.
We purchase DJ in 2014 from Ireland. We completed our first CCI* 1 and intermediate in 2015, and also won a Novice at Gatcombe the same year. Due to a field injury he has missed a couple of seasons but is now fit and ready to go, we are very excited about the season ahead.
Image courtesy of ML Photography
Image courtesy of Action Replay Photography
Pineau De Re
16hh. 2004 French bred gelding.
Pineau De Re is best known for winning the Grand National in 2014. He retired from racing in 2016, and then we were lucky enough for him to join our team in 2017. He is now a retrained racehorse enjoying his parades at Aintree and successfully eventing at novice level.
One of the yards favourites who we thoroughly enjoy having around.
16hh. 2011 Oldenberg mare by Furstenball.
Smartie joined the team summer 2018. She came to us to sell and we ended up falling for her, so we brought her! She is a lovely mare with very low mileage.
Showing great promise and is now out competing at BD Novice and Elementary level with Caroline and loving it.
Penstrumbly Jubilee (JB)
16’2 2001 TB
Lizzie competed JB to CCI** level and has now retired from eventing to become a dressage diva. Caroline has taken over the reins and is thoroughly enjoying riding and competing him at Elementary level, now aiming towards Medium this year.
Meet The Team
“My mother always said I should have a well stocked pantry, but maybe not with saddles and horse rugs!”
Its amazing to think how far the business has grown from my little pantry in the farmhouse. Back then we sold everything equestrian. Most weekends we’d load the contents of the shop into my horse lorry, (with a horse wedged in to compete on at lunchtime) and off we’d go to all the local shows to set up our stand. We would quite often fit saddles at the side of the show ring 5 minutes before they were due to compete.
As time went by the saddle fitting part of the business became busier, riders became more aware of the advantages of properly fitting tack and soon it took over all together. There wasn’t the choice in saddles that there is today, so I spent many hours in my car sourcing good quality saddles for clients at sales all over the country.
Being one of the first ladies to complete The Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddle Fitting Course it was proud achievement. I’m a great believer in that you never stop learning and have enjoyed attending regular courses for the last 40 years.
Caroline Doolittle – Everyday I’m still learning…..
I don’t remember a time in my life when horses weren’t part of it. As a child I was horse mad and would love helping mum at shows on her stand, as well as competing my very naughty pony.
This love turned into a 30 year career in equestrian retail, managing Equimix Saddlery now Oldfields of Ombersley.
I thoroughly enjoyed this time as it gave me a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in many different equestrian products including bits, bridles, safety equipment and of course, saddles.
When I wasn’t competing, I’d be out with mum fitting saddles, so it was a natural progression to moved to saddle fitting full-time. Since then we’ve not looked back and the business has continued to grow with Lizzie (my daughter) joining the team this year.
On a rare day off I still enjoy riding, training and competing our horses.
Lizzie Brunt – The pony that started it all…..
The pony that started it all…..
When your nan returns from a riding school with a pretty little pony she swapped for a saddle, alarm bells should have been ringing! However, I was 7 and was desperate for my own pony so I was going to love her no matter what.
Tiddily was a feisty 12.2, 16 year old, jumping machine, well she was once you could get her going in the right direction. She was very opinionated and liked doing things her own way, it soon became clear why the riding school had swapped her. However, I adored her anyway, she taught me determination, perseverance and most of all a good seat.
As I grew, a few more naughty ponies came and went. Then ‘Connie’ came into my life, this very ordinary 13.2 coloured cob took me from jumping 2ft at Pony Club to BSJA Newcomers in the space of a year.
This is where it all changed – through my teens I was very active in the Pony Club Show Jumping teams and in 2012 we won the National Championships.
Through Pony Club I found my love of eventing and never looked back. My horse at that time Tay was an eventing natural moving up to BE CCI* in just two seasons.
To gain more knowledge and experience on leaving Hartpury Equine College I went to work for international and Olympic event rider Austin O’Connor and later Vittoria Panizzon, before setting up on my own.
Working at the top level of this sport gave me a unique in-depth knowledge on how top performance horses are trained and the importance of correctly fitting tack. Having a mum as a passionate saddle fitter also helped, as she always has one eye on how the saddle is fitting and how the horse is moving. We also get to sample a lot of new designs.
I now split me time between competing my own horses and saddle fitting.