What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

ReactorPanel Saddles’ Carmi Weininger Became a Believer, Then Bought the Business

June 22, 2012 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Carmi Weininger is riding Iditarod ("Ditto"), owned by Carol Babington, in Prix St. Georges in the ReactorPanel Saddle Company dressage model, the "Encore". Photo by JC Dill.

Wellington, FL- June 20, 2012- Fifteen years ago Carmi Weininger, at the time a hunter/jumper trainer, had a mare with a chronically sore back. Her search for the best saddle for her horse’s comfort and well-being led her on an unexpected life journey.

After trying all sorts of treatments and multiple saddles for more than a year, Weininger found the ReactorPanel Saddle inEngland. For the first time, she experienced her horse moving comfortably-performing like never before. The difference was profound.

Weininger became a believer in the innovative saddles.

ReactorPanel Saddles have a unique design, which distributes weight evenly across a broad area of the horse’s back. Using flexible panels rather than traditional flocking, the shock-absorbing RP system flexes to follow the movement of the horse’s shoulders. By keeping pressure away from the wither and spine and freeing the shoulder, horses are able to access their full range of motion and athletic potential. The result is a more comfortable and happier horse; sensitive or asymmetrical horses are easily fit with this adjustable system.

“I had so many friends and customers that were having the same difficulties with saddle fit and sore-backed horses so I had the perfect laboratory for testing the RP’s function,” she said. “About the time I was getting really excited about how many problems the saddle solves, the company closed its doors. I ended up buying the business and moving it to the United States in 2000.”

This ReactorPanel model, the Encore, comes in multiple colors with many options.

Weininger’s journey with ReactorPanel led her to realize that proper saddle fit is often overlooked and that many horses are living and working in a great deal of pain. She has become one ofNorth America’s leading authorities on saddle fit, combining education, science and traditional saddle fitting for the very best outcome for both horse and rider. She is a popular and sought-after speaker on the subject of saddle fit.

“Every time one rider learns about saddle fit, one more horse has the chance for a pain-free ride. It’s a slow process, but very worth it,” said Weininger.

The endurance equestrian community embraced the ReactorPanel Saddles early on.  They have been endorsed and used by members of the endurance Equestrian Teams in the US, Spain, Dubai, Canada and England, including World Champions such as Valerie Kanavy, John Crandell and Maria Alvarez-Ponton to name just a few.

“The endurance discipline put us on the international map, but dressage is our biggest market and the saddles are growing in popularity in every English discipline,” said Weininger.

Her ReactorPanel Saddle Company believes in a high-touch, customer excellence approach to sales. The company, now based in Oakland, CA, makes saddles for multiple disciplines, including dressage, trail, endurance, eventing hunter/jumper, fox hunting and cross-country. They require that all customers use the saddle for a two-week, free trial, prior to purchase, to ensure proper fit and comfort for both the horse and rider.  Saddles are fit and adjusted by specially trained Fitting Agents, or by users who enjoy do-it-yourself projects.

“We encourage people to think about the role of the saddle, which is essentially an object placed between two moving beings with the ability to enhance communication between them – or to shut it down,” she explained. “We want to ensure that the saddle fits both horse and rider properly, that both are comfortable and performing to their fullest, and believe this is only possible after at least two weeks of test rides.”

ReactorPanel customers, equine chiropractors and back specialist veterinarians agree and the list of The ReactorPanel success stories and testimonials grows daily.

For more about the ReactorPanel Company go to: http://reactorpanel.com

If you are interested in being a ReactorPanel Saddle Company Fitting Agent contact: laurie@reactorpanel.com