There is a lot of information about Flexible Panel Saddles out there, most of it old information based on other systems.
Technology has improved as has the flexible panel saddle.
Welcome to the next generation of saddle!
One Saddle to fit every horse you ride!
What about the rider?
The way the trees are constructed for the Evolutionary Saddle gives the rider a narrower seat which helps prevent hip and knee pain, while also providing a close feel to the horse.
The bars of this saddle are very thin allowing the rider’s thighs to get closer to the mule or horse.
The trees are thin and functional when made to our specifications, being solid wood reinforced with layers of Kevlar coated with DRUAhideTM.
This allows the trees to be made thin and much lighter in weight than traditional trees without compromising the strength needed even when used for heavy roping.
This is why these saddle trees can carry a 10-year warranty. The saddle trees are anatomically designed to the rider’s seat they require minimal padding.
But if desired, they are available with nearly two inches of extra padding stitched to a correct pattern for incredible comfort during long hours on the trail.
The unique way of mounting the rigging removes bulk from under the rider’s leg, which again, keeps knees from becoming strained and hurting.
The stirrup leathers are generally narrower than found on traditional saddles and are mounted on the tree in such a way as to allow them to twist and move easily, which also prevents knee, hip and ankle strain.
Our saddle models that use traditional one-inch leathers are designed so these leathers can be positioned forward, center and rear to give the rider additional leg positions – a feature not found on other saddles.
You can choose stirrups that have a special pad that absorbs concussion and reduces aching feet.
All of these features, plus the spring panels that absorb concussion provide much greater comfort for the rider – as confirmed by 20+ years of feedback.
Many people who have arthritis in the back, hips and knees say they can ride much farther and longer in these saddles than in traditional saddles.
Heavy weight riders see benefits in all areas due to expanded weight bearing surface area on the horses back, as the panels are sized in proportion to the seat of the saddle. Providing for a comfortable transfer of rider weight to the horse’s back.
This shock absorption is the icing on the cake for the horse and we all are pleasantly surprised that this jarring concussion to the rider is reduced as well.
Why is an Evolutionary Saddle a worth purchasing?
As consumers ourselves, we at Evolutionary Saddles LLC have purchased equipment from manufacturers, suppliers and saddle builders who make products for horses but do not OWN, RIDE or even FIT horses or mules – oftentimes with poor results.
We find the people we can rely on to deliver good products are the ones who have worked hard and take pride in providing equipment made or designed by people who own, fit and RIDE the equine.
Now, at last, we at Evolutionary Saddles LLC have the opportunity to take complete charge of making these incredible saddles from start to finish.
We are directly involved in every step of production and produce the best product built to OUR (and in particular, Cathy Tauer’s and Lara Kronberger's ) specifications. You can be assured when purchasing our saddles and tack, that you are purchasing from horse people who are just like you.
All of those who are directly involved with providing the Evolutionary Saddles LLC brand of products, have raised the bar for other manufactures to follow.
Is the System X saddle just a “knock – off” of other flex panel saddles?
No, it is not a knock-off. This is an entirely new system and is not anything like the other flexible Delrin panel saddles.
True, this new system design is based on an older original idea and true, this system uses Delrin in the building process, but the way the Delrin is cut, shaped, layered and assembled using advanced technology puts this panel in a class of it’s own.
To get into this classification, stainless steel/nickel rivets are used to hold the various layers of Delrin together thus creating the unique progressive loading for weight distribution.
Both the backing and the padding layers are cut to match all of the finger cuts in the Delrin panel – allowing for complete panel performance.
The slide plate, as well as the washer are of stainless steel eliminating any rusting issues in the future, with the insert of steel allowing it to rust ever so perfectly securing a strong hold within the saddle tree.
This combination of materials attached to a specifically designed saddle tree for the best panel function, is what makes this system so easy to use and maintain and, in fact, makes it so different it is in a class of its own.
Is the System X Evolutionary saddle a synthetic, flexible saddle?
No the Evolutionary System X is a high quality, all leather saddle with a solid wood tree, which is guaranteed for 10 years.
This system is sometimes confused with treeless, sport or other flexible saddles because the name indicates a flexible panel system. But this saddle is NOT a treeless saddle or a flexible tree saddle.
Why Nylon Webbing? Why Less Rivets?
We use nylon as it is stronger than leather. Nylon will not rot away and weaken over time as leather or polypropylene products do.
We sew both leather and nylon instead of using rivets because the use of rivets actually takes material away (as there is a hole pre-punched to put the rivet in) weakening the structure and in time rivets may pull through.
Copper rivets also corrode over time and weaken leather so care must be taken if you have these on your tack. We do use rivets where they are the only way to attach metal or hard plastic to leather.
We cannot sew through metal or hard plastic. We also may use Chicago screws instead of rivets as they can be unscrewed and taken apart to replace worn pieces.
The down side of Chicago screws is that you must take care to add a drop of lock-tight-red so that the screw will not accidentally come apart and you loose a rein or such.
Therefore, whenever possible we sew all nylon products, as that is the strongest and most secure way of securing nylon webbing. Additionally, the thread we use is also nylon. The use of any cotton or polypropylene thread will rot over time and fall apart.
Nylon, whether it be webbing, rope, thread or fabric material is the product of choice for the marine industry as it resists salts and damp conditions.
We strive only to use the best materials for the job at hand, so do not be fooled into thinking that nylon is not strong.
Just look at your cars seat belts, as these are the same belts that take men and women into space and keep our troops safe within their parachute jumping harnesses. Yes - that webbing is all 100% nylon, and it is sewn, not riveted.
What is Delrin and how does this make this saddle different?
Early in 1950 research director and chemist Frank C McGrew developed a tough and heat resistant material he called "synthetic stone." During the years of development, which involved a patent dispute, DuPont patented Delrin® in 1956. Delrin® (Polyoxymethylene) is an acetal homopolymer resin that is a durable lightweight crystalline plastic, which uses a breakthrough in stabilization technology.
It has an excellent balance of desirable properties that bridge the gap between metals and ordinary plastics.
This Delrin not only has memory (which allows it to return to it’s natural shape), but also has a unique combination of strength, stiffness, tensile strength, hardness, dimensional stability, toughness, fatigue resistance, solvent and fuel resistance, abrasion resistance, low wear, low friction, creep resistance under a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions, with high fatigue endurance, corrosion resistance and mechanical resilience.
Due to these outstanding characteristics Delrin is popular for its versatility within a broad use of industry applications, such as automotive, aerospace, electrical and medical applications.
At our manufacturing facility, this product is cut, assembled and mounted to a saddle tree of very specific proportions to allow maximum performance of this incredible System X panel.
In western models of Evolutionary Saddles, the flat panel is sandwiched inside the skirts of the saddle.
These skirts are mounted so that they spread the rider’s weight over a large area and flex to fit either a horse or mule, whether the animal has a very wide round back or a narrow skinny back.
You can actually see the skirts flex as you ride. These skirts do not look different from traditional western skirts.
With over 20 years of feedback from earlier systems of panels and saddle designs, they have proven to horses to be so much more comfortable. In many cases horses quit displaying behaviors caused by pain from rigid tree saddles, and now perform better than with a traditional saddle that inhibited movement.
The very same panels are on the English and Endurance saddles mounted beneath the rigid saddle tree. The difference is these panels are encased in a zippered pouch, which actually gives the panel a softer more flexible feel since there is no added leather skirt.
Why does the saddle look like it is a mile in the air from some angles?
Let us assume that the saddles bars are CHEESE. Both the same size and length, depth and width...
Our bars are shaped so that they flair up to the very TIP of the top and most outer part - surface of the saddle bar. Which when viewed from the back give them the illusion of being higher off the back than they really are.
This flare up give the necessary room for those panels to flex underneath the saddle tree without interfering with the movement of the panels.
So from flat backed to a high rise in the croup horse, the panel will fit BECAUSE the bar allows it to. But that bar when viewed from several angles will appear to the untrained eye to look as if it sits higher off of the horses back, especially if the horse has a flatter top line.