November 23, 2009
Hi John and Ann,
Sorry it took me so long to get this done, but here it is anyway.
My name is Jeanne Aslakson and I live in northern Michigan. I do competitive trail rides and have also done some endurance. This past August (2009) I was riding the Shore-to-Shore ride across the state of Michigan. I was riding my little 13 year old black Arabian gelding, Prince. Prince is an old hand at competitive trail riding. In the past, his pulse and respiration (P&R) scores had been awesome.
I rode the 25 mile competitive ride on Monday, his P&R scores were terrible. In addition, he was so sore that I had to bring him back to the vet later that night, to be re-evaluated to see if he could go on Tuesday. Well, Prince was cleared to go for Tuesday. On Tuesday, again his P&R scores were terrible, he was also "rope walking" when I rode him into the first vet check. I thought for sure I was going to be pulled. So, I took off his saddle, and after his hold time, trotted him out for the vet, and she said he was OK to go. At this point, I'm still clueless as to what is going on with my horse. After I vetted out on Tuesday, I got to talking with a friend of mine whom I don't see too often because she lives in another state. She asked what saddle I was using, so I showed her, she said "have you ever tried a Boz?". Well, no, I told her, I had heard of them, but never tried one. Then she introduced me to another friend of hers and he was quite knowledgeable about Boz saddles. To my complete surprise, he offered to let me ride in one of his saddles. I was pretty much speechless, and thought, heck yeah, I'll try it! So, I rode in his Boz saddle, Prince's P&R's were the best they would be that week, and we WON the ride!
I had to give back the saddle, and someone else let me borrow a flexible panel saddle so we could finish the week. But Prince's P&R scores were never as good, at least we finished though.
After I got home from the Shore-to-Shore ride, I couldn't stop thinking about how my little horse, who was so sore and could barely walk, that just by using a Boz saddle for one day, could go out and win. I've had horses ever since I was 9 years old, and grew up in 4-H. I had bought all kinds of saddles, from high-end trail saddles, to flexible panel saddles, to "treeless" saddles and then synthetic saddles, I even brought my horse to a saddle maker and had him fit for a custom made saddle, but I still always had some type of problem with them. The problems ranged from sore shoulders, neck and back, or lameness, to flipping the head, not being able to stand still while mounted, jigging on trail, pinning his ears when I sent to cinch up, and on and on. Some of the saddles I had were so heavy that I could barely lift them up to straighten the pad. But, I still did not want to order another saddle. So, one day, out of the blue, I sent an e-mail to Boz, telling him what happened on the Shore-to-Shore. He gave me a call and we talked for quite a bit. I was still very skeptical but I decided to order his Riding By Reasoning DVD and book. When I got it, I watched the DVD, then I read the book, cover-to-cover. I had never heard of the rider's groove, or riding with forward hung stirrups, or riding more on my feet than my seat. So, after having watched the DVD and reading the book, I went out and rode in the saddles I had been using. I could not, no matter how hard I tried, get myself up in the rider's groove. I was still sitting way too far back on my horse's back. In one saddle I own, the rise is so steep, that it is impossible to get up where you should be on the horse's back. Well, I was convinced. Mind you, this process didn't happen over night, it took many weeks of thinking, reading and watching, and trying. I decided to order Boz's saddle kit. I wanted to know exactly how the saddle was put together from the ground up.
Of course I was excited when my saddle kit arrived! I couldn't wait to get at it. Unfortunately, I had been in accident and had a detached bicep muscle. But, my non-horsey husband agreed to help me put it together. All I can tell you, is that it was a lot of fun putting it together. As each step was completed, more and more, the saddle was coming together, and I was amazed at how easy it was! All the components of the saddle were of excellent quality, from the stainless steel screws to the leather parts of the saddle, the stitching was immaculate and the leather was soft and pliable. I knew I was getting the best!
I was able to ride in my new Boz saddle about 3 times, 15-16 mile rides each time. I am still getting used to riding in a new and different position, but I'll never go back to my old saddles. I can see the difference in my horse's gait and movement, and I just love how lightweight these saddles are. Unfortunately, it is firearms deer season in Michigan right now and nobody in their right mind would venture into the woods to ride, but as soon as deer season is over, and before the snow flies, I can't wait to get out and ride in my new saddle! So, if anyone out there is thinking about buying a Boz saddle, feel free to call or e-mail me. Just try one. You'll never go back. Still skeptical? Get the Riding by Reasoning DVD and book, it's a real eye-opener.
Sincerely, Jeanne Aslakson
phone: (231) 775-6499