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We emphasize three areas in our natural approach to horsemanship. Training, Nutrition, and Natural Hoof Care. What do we mean when we say “natural”? Well, there are two approaches to horses; as a partner or as a predator. Predatory methods are based on fear tactics, pressure without communication, and using equipment first to solve problem behaviors. It requires horses to fit into our world. When we say Natural, we mean approaching horses as a partner, using their psychology and communication to facilitate understanding. With this approach we help the horse adjust to our world, but we understand their needs and natural instincts first.

Before a horse can perform the tasks we ask of them, they must be physically capable, so we must consider their nutrition. The right nutrition, fed in a manner that they can digest, will lead to better hooves, a better state of mind, and ultimately better performance.


Aaron England showing at the NCHA Futurity riding Spoonfuls Supercat, In aVernon Purdy Saddle.

We advocate a high fiber hay diet, which we feed 24/7 from Nibble Nets. This allows the horse to have hay in front of them continuously, while slowing their consumption. We also feed a low starch formulated feed. We use Triple CrownŽ products and add iodized salt and minerals with joint supplements, which have been balanced to our hay through a hay analysis from Equi-Analytical Laboratories, www.equi-analytical.com . Our horses’ diet is a key component to their barefoot soundness.

Our natural hoof care professional is Riva England, with 15 years of learning and working with many trimming professionals. Riva has been greatly influenced by Pete Ramey and Rachael Coggins. www.hoofrehab.com. She continually dedicates herself to further her knowledge and ability in natural hoof care, and has especially enjoyed her one-on-one mentorship with Ms Coggins, who has the equivalency of a PhD in hoof anatomy through the Strasser program, and has lots of experience returning horses to soundness that have had extreme hoof pathology.

All our horses in training and competing are barefoot. This is achieved through a physiologically correct trim and correct diet, based on science and the most current research of Dr. Eleanor Kellon, VMD. www.drkellon.com  and Dr. Robert Bowker VDM, www.equinesoundness.com/drbowker.htm

Equipment:
Saddles…
Ok, ya’all…there is a new saddle tree design that recently hit the market that ya'all need to look into! Vernon Purdy Saddles.

Purdy Saddles are designed to ensure the horses freedom of motion and stability of fit. These saddles keep the spine aligned allowing shoulders to move at their maximum and full engagement of the hindquarters. The desire and design of Purdy Saddles is to help the horse be comfortable and relaxed while under saddle to enhance performance and reduce injury.

Aaron England's Testimony -
I have been using the Purdy Saddle for 18-months now and have seen significant changes in the way the horses are moving and performing. They are getting a more defined backline and collection is mush easier to accomplished. I also see a greater reach through their shoulder and stops are much more balanced. All-in-all the horses seem far happy in a Purdy Saddle. I would highly recommend these saddles to anyone that is looking to impove their horses performance and agility.

Tracy Lee Mahan's Testimony
Under saddle your horse’s ability to move and use his body is in direct relationship to how your saddle tree fits his back.

Three Personal Experiences with my Vernon Purdy Saddle…
Horse #1 – Aged Appendix gelding, big sloppy shoulder, plenty of withers.
When riding my old faithful gelding in the Vernon Purdy saddle I’ll simply be totting him across our back pasture, not even asking for collection, and he is lengthening his neck and lowering his head to his knees. Stretching out there like it feels good and a place of ultimate comfort. I’m not even asking! In the arena he collects so softly into my hands and stays there; light, comfortable and consistent. Riding him in any saddle but the Vernon Purdy saddle, it was a constant task to ask him for collection. He would willingly give me that beautiful rounded collection we all desire, hold it for twenty-thirty feet or more, then revert back to an uncollected state, and then I’d have to ask again. This dance was routine.

An even bigger eye opener was when we ran a barrel pattern. Turning that barrel under speed in the Purdy saddle he holds that powerful engaged collected frame, hunting that barrel, hind-end driving, front-end pulling, you can feel the freedom in his shoulders enabling him to work! It’s an incredible feeling! (And, no more tie-down needed). This has been consistent, every time I make a run on him in the Purdy saddle. I put one of my old barrel saddles back on to test what we were experiencing. We’d hit that barrel turn and he would invert, head/neck up, shoulders pushed into the ground, body strung out. This was night vs. day kind of evidence that he moves with more freedom and power in the Vernon Purdy saddle.

Also, he bares the typical muscle atrophy and white hairs you see around horses’ withers from years of riding in poor fitting saddles. I believe after nine-months of riding in my Vernon Purdy saddle some of that atrophied muscle is redeveloping. Wish I would have taken pictures before I started riding in my Purdy saddle, but, am taking pictures today to chart for conclusive evidence.

Horse #2, 4-yr-old Quarter filly, good shoulder, flat backed, she has visible withers but boarder line of being mullon-withered.
I had two unmistakable issues when it came to saddles and this filly before I purchase my Vernon Purdy saddle. One - I tried every saddle (and pad combination) in my tack room, borrowed a few, and everything I tried rolled on her, while simply lounging her! You can imagine my frustration in trying to get her broke as a 2-yr-old, and the constant difficulty of fight a rolling saddle while putting a foundation training on her. I placed the demo Vernon Purdy saddles on her and went to warm her up, and no rolling! First, problem solved. We went through our usual warm-up on the ground with the usual responses. Rode through typical exercises we all go through when putting a foundation on our young horse’s, lope circles, flexion, should/hip yields, light roll-backs, stops, etc., did not feel unbalanced or the need to adjust the Purdy saddle once! Dismounted and you could see one-inch of daylight between her and the girth. My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. I ordered my Purdy saddle that day!

Before I state the second issue, I want to share that this filly is the sweetest natured, willing, easy, compliant filly you could ever ask for, and yet still be a running bred horse. Being a youngster I’d warm her up on the ground before our rides in which she held onto what I believed to be a mental habit of being ‘girthy’, letting out a few bucks when asked to go from trot to canter. This was too consistent to be just feeling good and letting out fresh energy. She did it every trot to canter transition both directions the first few times circling on the lounge-line. This ‘girthy’ bucking issue completely dissipate after one week of riding in my newly purchased Vernon Purdy saddle. Me, being vertically challenged, I sent my saddle back to Mr. Purdy for fender adjustments. I didn’t want to stop riding my filly, so, I though on my old saddle, obviously the rolling issue reappeared, and so did the ‘girthy’ bucking issue during her ground work warm-up, on the very first stride from trot to canter. (No, there was nothing wrong with this saddle, barrel raced in it for years). It took a few days longer than anticipated to make the fender adjustments, I kept riding my filly in the old saddle (to keep testing her response) with the same results. When I got my Purdy saddle back, it took three days and that ‘girthy’ bucking issue stopped and has not returned.

Horse#3, 18-yr-old Paint mare, straight shoulder, flat backed, no visible withers – mullon-withered.
The obvious difficulty with this mare was keeping a saddle from rolling. No matter what pad, what saddle, how tight I made that cinch, saddles rolled. Simply, lounging her, saddles rolled. After the experience with above Horse #2 - dismounting and finding one-inch of air between her and the cinch. I thought I’d do a quick test with the Vernon Purdy saddle and this Paint mare. I placed the demo Purdy saddle on her back, did not cinch it up, and pulled on the strings to see if it would remain centered on back. It did! I was surprised at how hard I had to pull on the saddle strings to get this saddle off balance. My old saddle, she could wiggle her skin, and step out from underneath the saddle before I walked to her opposing side and cinched her up! (Ya, she has that kind’a personality, but, one heck of a barrel horse).

Old News…
We’ve all heard the same story, our horses’ shoulders are being pinched and shoulder movement is being restricted by our saddles. We also know that many saddle trees do not allow room for our horses’ backs to elevate into the collection frame we all work so diligently to teach our horses for optimum performance. I’m sure you too have come across the numerous articles about lameness issues that developed from our horses’ back-pain due to poor fitting saddles. We also struggled with the dilemma of custom ordering a saddle tree that is created from a mold of our horse’s back. Well, it fits that one horse great. And, how many saddle pad remedies have we tried?

Bottom line from my experience…
I’ve been riding is my Vernon Purdy saddle for nine-months now, on multiple horses, performing tasks ranging from foundation training to competition level Barrel Racing, Cutting, and Cowboy Dressage. These horses are performing every maneuver I ask with such clear freedom of movement, truly utilizing themselves to their fullest ability, that I won’t ride in anything but my Purdy saddle. I’m selling all my old saddles and purchasing at least two more Vernon Purdy saddles.

Thank you Vernon Purdy for your years of diligence in developing a saddle tree that truly creates freedom of movement in our horses, and making my love of training and competing with these wonderful animals so much easier.

For more information on Vernon's saddles you can call him at 928-978-2889 or Search him on facebook Vernon Purdy Saddles.

 

CONTACT US TOLL FREE 1-877-484-9


TOLL FREE 1-877-484-9718 or 520-237-2430
Email:
Aaron@aaronengland.com
1577 FM 1564 W.
Caddo Mills, TX 75135

 

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