It’s Monday 7th February, and with my hands freezing, water taps frozen, and cold grumpy horse, it still feels like 'blue Monday'. The thought of riding has gone from being the highlight of my day to being a chore, where I’m more busy thinking about how soon it will be until I can thaw out in the shower instead of how accurate my leg yield steps are. That night - as I was slowly tacking up while telling myself that it WILL be worth it once I’ve ridden - I knew something had to change.

I needed something to work for and look forward to, a goal to take out the monotony of my everyday schooling. I realised I should work towards entering some Dressage competitions but felt I needed something more to really bring my love back. Then I found my Cavaletti Collection Monoflap Dressage Saddle.  As soon as I tried it the cold nights felt instantly warmer and I knew my enjoyment for riding had returned.

Finally, I have a beautiful saddle that makes me feel at one with my horse. The close contact between my calf and his side makes my transitions so much smoother, with a much clearer instruction and much less nagging. Gone are the days of my legs swinging from nose to tail, and now I enjoy checking out my leg position in the mirrors thanks to the security of the external knee block. The depth of the seat, along with my longer stirrup leathers, allows me to sit deeper into the saddle, and finally, I have stopped bouncing with every canter stride. My “a-lot-of leg-required” horse has even found more uphill paces due to the freedom in his shoulder offered by the independent panel. After years of being critiqued by judges for my position, I’m now looking forward to reading the comments, full of the confidence my new saddle has given me. I’ve tried my luck in Dressage arenas for the best part of ten years and at long last, I won’t feel like a fraud, my days of “Stressage” are behind me and it really feels as though we’re dancing together.

So once again I’m excited to ride on these cold evenings and spring even feels a little bit more in my sights now I’m not in such a rush to dismount and hurry home. Gone are the blues of January and instead I’m enjoying the pinks, purples, and oranges of these late winter skies that only us equestrians truly know and appreciate. Only this year, thanks to Cavaletti, I’ve got an even better seat to appreciate them from.