The BUA is a saddle like no other, the unique design has brought the saddle into the 21st century.
It is innovative in its tree, materials and versatility. And because of the materials, it is a very light saddle: the BUA Original comes with thin but durable automotive leather, a carbon fibre tree and mesh on the foam panels. The Performance version with full leather and wool flocked panels is slightly heavier but still much lighter than conventional saddles. It is possible to create a hybrid version of the 2 types as all parts of the saddle are modular.
How else does the BUA differ from other saddles?
- Cantilevered tree with adjustable suspension
- 2 seat options: standard and narrow
- Double stirrup bar positions
- Ultimate shoulder freedom
- No restriction for lower back muscles
- Interchangeable flaps
- Adaptable fit due to dynamic panels
- Modular saddle parts
- Double v girth system
Cantilevered tree: The saddle tree is the inner structure of any treed saddle, it is a rigid framework that helps to distribute the weight of the rider over the largest possible area of the back of the horse. The current conventional saddle tree which was designed around 1950 by Toptani incorporates the seat in the weight-bearing structure, just like it had been done in saddles all the centuries before. And any innovations in saddle trees that have been developed since, be it treeless, synthetic trees, and even adjustable saddles, are all based on this concept.
The design of the BUA saddle tree is revolutionary, as it is cantilevered, thinking outside the traditional saddle “box”. With this design, the cantilevered tree combines a seat for the rider that is not directly connected to the structure for the horse’s back. In a way, the rider is suspended ever so slightly above the horses back, without losing the all-important contact needed for giving seat-aids.
The tree is made of carbon fibre, so it is very light and durable, and it will give some flexion for the horse’s back, absorbing the impact of the rider above it.
Freedom of movement: Because of its design, the BUA saddle gives the horse a lot of freedom to move. This is due to a combination of features. We have already mentioned the cantilevered tree which moves with the back of the horse and helps absorb the impact of the rider on the horses back and vice versa. Another advantage of the rider not being fixed to the horses back is that this gives the horses back muscles a lot more freedom to move. With a traditional tree, the horse needs to push part of the rider weight up and away when the long back muscle contracts. Even more so in the walk when that muscle alternately contracts left and right. The rider will “sit” on that muscle, so not only does the horse need to work to move its own limbs but it first needs to push the rider “away”.
Another reason the BUA gives so much freedom to the back is the way the rear end of the saddle tree is constructed. The surface of the bottom part of the tree splits into two panel frames. The panels will be slotted on the these and the beauty of these frames is that they move independently with the lower back of the horse, giving the back muscle even more freedom.
At the front of the saddle the shoulders of the horse benefit from the short points of the tree. This allows the shoulder blade to rotate underneath the saddle without risking actual contact with the points, a problem that occurs quite often with many traditional saddle trees especially those with long points. The front leg will have a bigger reach in the BUA, making the horses movements more expressive, and the horse much happier to move because of the lack of restriction.
Advantages for the rider: The rider will get a versatile and very comfortable saddle with the BUA.
The seat is comfortably padded and has got 2 options to choose from: the normal and the narrow option. The twist of the seat is relatively narrow, which helps in jumping, but also for women with a smaller pelvis. All BUAs come with 2 stirrup bar positions enabling selection of the best position for each particular rider; this will depend on leg length, rider seat, and whether doing dressage or show-jumping.
Because of the cantilevered tree and its suspension, the rider will be able to absorb the movement of the horse much more than in a conventional saddle. The suspension of the seat is easily adjusted in small steps from the tighter sport mode to the lighter leisure mode.
If you want to switch between disciplines, you can keep the same saddle as the flaps are easily interchangeable. Saving you money, space, and keeping the same feel for you and your horse. In fact, the entire BUA saddle is modular, so all components can be interchanged.