|The Right Touch|
When Richard Castelow arrived in the United States with the dream of designing saddles, he knew the basic commandments of making a great saddle, which included:
• DON’T pinch or press on the withers
• DON’T apply pressure on the central line of the back—the spine or withers
• DON’T let the loins carry weight
• DO allow free and uninhibited movement of the blade bones
• DO evenly distribute weight across the horse’s back
“When I design my saddles, I keep in mind that there are three moving objects, and my job is to eliminate as much movement as I can with the saddle to make the horse, rider and saddle move in harmony,” conceded Castelow.
Whereas many saddle trees are made of plastic, a material that has very little give to it, Castelow’s saddles contain five layers of laminated Beachwood to absorb movement.
“What I’ve done is I’ve taken the unique parts of French and German saddles to create an American saddle that is unique to the American market,” said Castelow. “I tailor saddles that fit the rider as well as the horse and that look nice and are durable as well as compatible to the rider’s look.”