The Hulsebos Advantage

Since 2001, Jan Hulsebos has been traveling to the USA several times per year. Hulsebos Saddlery is committed to the long term satisfaction of riders who invest in a Hulsebos saddle. Because horses change shape, saddles should be checked for fit every six months. Clients need not send their saddles away for adjustment. Hulsebos restricts its sales to areas where it can provide service personally. Hulsebos now offers a fully equipped mobile workshop en route from New Jersey to Texas along the East Coast and South Central regions of the USA.

Hulsebos Process

Key to the success of Hulsebos saddles, is the individual measurement of horse and rider. Both are evaluated while working in the current saddle and in different model Hulsebos saddles. As every horse and rider combination is different, Hulsebos seeks to evaluate how each rider interacts with the horse. The current saddle is examined and wither tracings and outlines of the horse's back are taken. 

Special attention is paid to both horse and rider:
  • conformation of the horse
  • breed of the horse
  • age of the horse
  • stability of the saddle on the horse in all three gaits (any movement of the saddle forward, backward or side to side) 
  • rider's seat, leg position, and balance
  • any physical or medical issues for horse or rider
  • horse's reaction to the saddle
  • rider's comfort to the saddle
In addition, the rider has several options to choose from to customize the saddle:
  • Primary purpose of the saddle - dressage, jumping, endurance
  • Flap length
  • Knee rolls - whole, half, broad, small, flat, or none
  • Seat size
  • Seat shape - deep, flat, soft
  • Cantle style - round or square (depending on saddle model)
  • Billet length
  • Leather types
  • Leather colours 
After agreeing on the saddle specifications, the finished saddle is delivered personally by Hulsebos Saddlery and any adjustments are made at that time, ensuring proper fit. Periodic follow up visits are scheduled to ensure optimum fit for horse and rider.

 

Tree

The Hulsebos saddles contain a multiplex tree, which will be equipped with a panel that is selected for each individual horse depending on the horse's back and specific needs. It is  constructed with the highest quality English leather.

The tree is built from five layers of birch triplex which are glued crosswise onto each other. The tree is stretched by hand with webbing bands, creating a flexible seat. The tree is very strong, but still flexible. It is because of this flexibility that the rider can get a greater feeling of contact with the horse. This also enables riders to follow the movements of the horse with greater ease.

 

Panels

Hulsebos Saddlery uses a number of different panels:
  • Standard panel
  • Special panel for the developing young horse
  • Modified panel for horses with high withers or a horse with a sensitive back
The panel incorporated in the saddle can differ per saddle, and therefore per horse. For example, the modified panel has a broader foundation, distributing the pressure over a greater surface area. In addition, the gusset on the back side can vary from small to large, depending on the conformation of the horse.

There are many questions to ask in order to determine the optimal panel selection. A few are listed below:

Does the horse have high withers?
Is the saddle for a young horse or an older one?
Is the horse round around the ribs, but with not much withers?
Is the horse shortbacked?

By incooperating these factors into the construction of a saddle, we are setting the horse and rider up for success in the saddle.

Flocking

Hulsebos Saddlery recommends customers to have the saddle checked and reflocked once per year. For optimal re-flocking and adjusting, it is vital that the horse and rider be observed under saddle before any changes are made. Once the initial under saddle evaluation is completed, the saddle will be adjusted and re-fitted. Horse and rider will be evaluated under saddle again to ensure a perfect fit.

Leather

Hulsebos Saddlery uses only the highest quality leather. There are several options to choose from including:

Leather Type Leather Texture Leather Thickness Primary Application
Calf Smooth, soft, high maintenance 1.2-1.3 mm Knee rolls, Seats, Bridles
Schneider Standard, fine grain structure, often chosen for its balance and durability 1.6-1.8 mm Knee rolls, Seats, Girths
Schrumpf Robust leather with more of a rough grain structure than Schneider 2.1-2.2 mm Knee Rolls, Seats
Buffalo Supple, thick, available in rough grain structure or fine grain    Skirts, Flaps, Girths
Makela Slightly roughened leather similar to suede 2.1-2.2 mm Knee Rolls, Seats, Girths
Plain Tough 4.0-4.5 mm Flaps, Skirts

In addition, leather is available in black, brown, dark havanna, and london colours.