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
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.
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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).
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?
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
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
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
1577 FM 1564 W.
Caddo Mills, TX 75135