We have struggled with saddle fit for my horse, Daverden, for the eight years that I have owned him. Finally, this year, we discovered Trilogy saddles, thanks to our mentor Jessica Jo Tate, and our Verago changed our lives.

"Dylan" as we call him, is a tricky horse to fit, and he has very strong opinions about how his saddle should fit. It has always been challenging to find a saddle to sit evenly on Dylan's back, and not cause him discomfort in our work. Our Verago fits him beautifully, and he feels amazing in it.

With our previous saddles, I have always felt that the saddle was getting in the way of my riding, and putting me in a position that inhibits Dylan's performance. Our Trilogy allows me to sit in a very effective way, allowing me to use all of my aids in a more clear way, and helping my position on my horse get better every day. After I began riding Dylan in our Trilogy, we have had our most successful show season yet, and I know that our Verago was certainly an important piece of that success.

I also cannot say enough about the exceptional service and expertise provided by Debbie Witty. My saddle truly fits both my horse and myself for the first time in our partnership. Also, last but not least, our saddle is beautiful, two-toned brown with gold piping, making it really stand out at any horse show! The colors in our saddle are complimentary to Dylan's color, and the color of my tailcoat, which helps create a unique elegant picture in the show arena.

Thank you to Debbie Witty and Trilogy Saddles for helping Dylan and I be the best that we can be!


I was first introduced to Trilogy Saddles in 2006. I was looking for a saddle to fit my promising young Trakehner "Venturo". I had a second horse, Smiley (show name "Taipan"), an off the track Thoroughbred who had been imported from Hong Kong by my family when we moved back to the United States. I had shown him through first level but he seemed to get sore and was very resistant in his work. Many people said I was wasting my time and Smiley should be retired.

I always had dreams of showing Smiley at higher levels but those dreams were so far out of reach when he was bucking all the time! Around this time I read a book on saddle fitting that had been recommended to me by the Trilogy fitter... It became an obsession and I began to feel that Smiley's problems could be being caused by his saddle! The fitter had shown me the tissue damage caused by my old saddle and how it was affecting his movement. My Verago Elite arrived three weeks later and I about couldn't wait to try it on Smiley! My heart broke after the first ride when his behavior was just as bad as ever. I went home disappointed as ever. Maybe dressage wasn't Smiley's "thing".

I got a call from my trainer the next day saying that Smiley had been better than ever! Smiley continued to progress, his shoulders able to move because of Debbie Witty's ingenious tree design and Terry Zambrana's excellent fittings. For the first few years I showed both Smiley and Venturo against each other and they often times got champion and reserve- both in the same saddle! I made the decision to buy a second Trilogy and ended up with an Amadeo Elite. This saddle was just for Venturo.

Meanwhile I achieved my USDF Bronze Medal on Smiley- proving all of those naysayers wrong! He is the hardest working horse with the biggest heart that I have ever had the pleasure of riding. I can say, without a doubt, that Smiley never would have made it past first level without his Trilogy saddle.

This year Venturo and I made a very successful debut at Prix St. Georges. Our second show was the prestigious Del Mar National Horse Show where we held our own against some very stiff competition in the open division. We have plans to continue to show in the Prix St Georges and our goal is to show Grand Prix.
Trilogy saddles have put me in the perfect position for success. All of the horses in training with me have Trilogy saddles- from training level to FEI, quarter horses, Arabians, Warmbloods of all shapes, sizes, and kinds of movement- they all have perfect performance possibilities in their Trilogy saddles.


I first met Debbie Witty at the Para Equestrian National Dressage Championships in the Fall of 2011. I had worked with her over the phone and through sketches to get a proper saddle fit, for my new international para horse. I had tried other brands, but being only five feet tall and with a very short leg, Trilogy has been the only dressage saddle that I've felt able to get my leg down around the horse. I have Cerebral Palsy, which limits the use of my left leg, so the close contact feel is very important to me, and with the limited range of motion in my hips, the deep seat and narrow twist of the Verago provides the comfort and support I need. I rode in my Trilogy for my very first Paralympic team selection trial for London, my horse Carino H and I made the long list. I'm currently campaigning for a spot on the 2014 World Equestrian Games Team and I am working towards getting my USDF Bronze Medal. It truly takes a village to make an international horse and rider combination successful, and I love having Trilogy as a part of my team!

For many years, I struggled with the effectiveness of my seat.  The saddles that I rode in made me "perch" in my position, and consequently tensed my horse Toy Soldier's back. Toy and I were working against each other, and it was an awful feeling to be working so hard trying to achieve our goals, yet we weren’t progressing.

After moving out to Maryland last summer, I was very fortunate to have been introduced to Trilogy saddles by my trainer and mentor, Jessica Jo Tate. She suggested that I try Trilogy since we both felt that we were fighting with the saddle in order to achieve throughness and suppleness with Toy, and I was still having a hard time using my seat correctly and effectively.

Debbie first had me choose a saddle model that I felt most comfortable in, which was different than saddle fitters I had worked with before. This made so much sense to me because in order for the horse to be the most comfortable, the rider must feel comfortable in the saddle as well. For so many years I had to modify my riding in order to make the saddle “work”.

After fitting the saddle to Toy it was time to try it out. I could not believe the connection I was immediately able to achieve from my seat to the horse's back.  My hips felt incredibly free and because of this, my legs hung in a correct and effective position. Toy was moving more free than I had ever experienced. I don’t think the smile on my face could have gotten any bigger. My horse was finally happy! JJ and my mom were watching our first trial, and even JJ was shocked in how it immediately changed my position and how well Toy and I were working together. The first thing my mom said was, “In the ten years we’ve owned this horse, I’ve never seen him move so well.”

Keeping Toy's back supple and swinging has been an ongoing struggle since I bought him as a 3 year old. Achieving cadence felt labored and rigid, and I was fighting with the saddle to try to keep up. I am no longer fighting with the saddle to be able to follow his motion; we are harmonized as one.

We achieved some of our best scores in the 2012 show season after purchasing the Trilogy Amadeo, including a 68% at Intermediere I, and two Top 3 finishes in the Young Rider tests at Dressage at Devon. Toy and I are currently schooling the Grand Prix and hope to compete in the Brentina Cup in 2013 or 2014.

Debbie Witty has been such a pleasure to work with.  She happily answers any questions I have and is extremely thorough when adjusting the saddle's fit.  It is very apparent that the horse's comfort is her first priority. It has been a delight to work with such a knowledgeable and friendly person. Thank you Debbie for taking my riding to a whole new level, and most importantly improving the partnership I have with my horse. It wouldn’t have been possible without you and Trilogy saddles.

Owned by Glen Ridge Farm
Kevin & Ann Tarsagian

I remember the day we met Debbie Witty from Trilogy. Jessica and I were at NEDA Fall festival and knew that Hinter, our Fell Pony was falling apart. He was trying his hardest to hold it together but he was noticeably uncomfortable. We decided that we were going to have to pull him from the rest of the show.

I remember calling my husband Kevin and telling him that we were now sure that Hinter’s custom saddle was causing him much discomfort and we were fearful that he had been permanently injured. His response was that we should find a new saddle for him immediately. It was shortly thereafter when we met.

The disappointment and frustration was all over our faces and heavy in our hearts. We approached your booth and were greeted with warmth and heartfelt concern. We looked at your Trilogy saddles and immediately were impressed.

It was shortly thereafter you asked to see Hinter. When we brought him to you, you immediately validated our concerns that Hinter’s saddle did not properly fit him and was causing him great discomfort. I remember saying to you we want to purchase a new saddle and you said “no”. You would not sell us a new saddle, instead you helped us shim the saddle and immediately Hinter was relieved of the pain. Jessica rode Hinter with the shims and we stood there with tears in our eyes. This would buy us some time to get him balanced again.

Jessica worked for months with Hinter using your recommendations to restore his shoulder. Thanks to Jessica’s hard work and determination, and Hinter’s willingness to trust Jessica. Hinter’s weakened shoulder muscled up, back to normal. It was then that you said Hinter is now ready for a Trilogy saddle.

After renting us a saddle, measuring Hinter and customizing some details Hinter’s Trilogy saddle arrived. When the new saddle was placed on Hinter it was exactly what we were hoping for. The fit and finish are exceptional and the customized detailing is nicer than we expected.

Debbie, thank you, for taking the time to help Hinter. He is a magnificent pony and with his Trilogy saddle, he is happy and moving freely. He completed third level with scores up to 68%, less than a year from when he was competing at First level and was so soar that he could not complete his fall show season.

Please share our story with others as it speaks volumes to your professionalism and love of horses. You placed Hinter’s best interests before your own. Your actions prove your dedication to the health and well being of each and every horse.

Kevin and Ann Tarsagian

Hinter has been such different pony since I have been riding him in his Trilogy saddle. Before we got his saddle from Trilogy Hinter was showing at First level and not very happy, he did not want to be over the back and lost all his jump in the canter.

After getting his new saddle Hinter has gone from a unhappy pony to being very willing to work, my trainer call's him a little soldier. He is like night and day, he can feel me so much better and has become more sensitive to my seat aids.

His new saddle in not only very well made and beautiful, but puts the rider in a great position.

Hinter will be showing at forth level for the 2012 show season and that would not have been possible if it wasn't for Debbie and Trilogy saddles.

Thank you,
Jessica Viveiros O'Donnell

There is a common bond between saddle maker, fitter and trainer; all strive to make it easier to move in harmony with the horse. Debbie Witty has crafted the Trilogy saddle to be the best on the market because she listens to the horse and its needs. The trainer crafts the relationship between horse and rider and Jennifer R. Roth is one of those unusual trainers who gives her all to her students and also achieves success in her own riding. This year Jennifer received her USDF Gold Medal riding Charles and Joann Smiths’ Marnix in her first two trips down centerline at Grand Prix. She and Marnix have continued to grow together throughout the season, improving in consistency and confidence in the Grand Prix. Jennifer and Marnix are showing a wonderful bond, gained through relaxation and trust. This new found relaxation can, in part, be attributed to his well-fitting Trilogy saddle which Debbie herself had made and maintains for him. Marnix was a horse that historically suffered from chronic back soreness. He no longer has an issue and moves easily under his custom Trilogy saddle and Jennifer’s reassuring training. Jennifer has also done well with many other mounts in the barn. Charles and Joann Smith’s Intermediare I horse Vermeer is also going well and is scheduled to soon make his debut in the Intermediare II and Grand Prix, thanks to Jennifer’s calm, confidence-building training. Jennifer’s own young horse Reebok is quickly moving up the levels and is a shining star. All three of these horses tend to be hot and tense but Jennifer is giving them the confidence to perform at their best.

The crowning achievement of any trainer is the success of their students. Jennifer has had, just this year alone, 15 riders/horses in the barn qualified for Regional Championships and 2 riders have achieved their USDF Bronze Medals. High percentage awards, Dover Medals, breed awards, Championship awards…these have been a part of every show for Team Gypsy Woods. Most of her clients choose to ride in a Trilogy saddle, not because it is a requirement, or even a suggestion, but because they can feel good quality and the positive difference a well-fitting saddle makes in both their riding and in their horse’s comfort & performance. Many of her students have had that “ah ha” moment when they see how a Trilogy saddle makes their riding easier; they were fighting an ill-fitting saddle and were amazed when they felt the exceptional difference the correct one can make. Debbie has such an amazing eye. She can see what you need now, and what may need to be adjusted as rider and horse continues to develop, so many clients choose the Trilogy brand themselves.

2012 has already been an exceptional year at Gypsy Woods Farm. Everyone is looking forward to 2013 to see what it has in store for all the horses and riders.

"How do you know when a saddle fits well?"
This was an earnest question that was asked by a fellow amateur barn mate. She was trying to absorb as much as possible during a saddle fit session with Debbie who had made a special trans-continental trip to fit my three horses.

While Debbie has a very good 7-point fit tutorial and can explain to you about physiology and asymmetrical muscle development, the best way I could answer my barn mate's question was to say, "You have to ride in a saddle that was fit by Debbie!"

Like a school master who can give you the correct feeling of throughness or the right response to a half halt, when you ride in a saddle that was fit by Debbie, you can truly "feel" how saddles are supposed to fit, not just understand intellectually.

As Debbie evaluated my horses in cross ties and reflocked the saddles, we went through a meticulous process of observation and feedback under saddle. She watched how the movement of the horse influenced the position of the saddle and myself and made small adjustments which made big differences; for example, the stickiness to the right rein which I had considered "part of the warm up" for one horse instantly went away!

The biggest "aha" moment came when we found the fit for my gelding who had found the adjustment to California and a new rider and riding style very challenging. He also came with a slew of physical issues. Debbie made keen observations about his physical state and provided me with solutions which I can try as his back continues to develop differently.

I told Debbie the story about my Ikebana teacher when I lived in Japan. To teach us the correct placement of a flower, she would hold the stem of a flower between her thumb and index finger and just rub it gently a few times to shift its orientation ever so slightly. The flower would look instantly alive and as it was meant to be there.

This is exactly what it felt like when Debbie adjusted the saddle for my gelding. Instead of a "creeky" back with holes that gradually had to "fill up" through the warm up, the saddle felt like it made the horse "complete." The back was alive and the saddle was meant to be there!

I also have to give a lot of credit to Peggy McGaw, the rep in the area who hanged out with us from 9am to 5pm and treated the day as a "learning session" and did not charge me a cent! Peggy will now be able to pick up where Debbie left us as my horses continue to develop. This is an example of how Trilogy and its representatives truly stand behind their product and take much pride in their work.

Thank you Debbie for your great saddles, hard work and dedication. You are a life-time horsewoman with a keen understanding of the horse from multiple angles. Your experiences make you a uniquely qualified person to provide that bridge between horse and rider.


Hucks Toi, my first dressage horse, deserves the credit for leading me to Trilogy Saddles and Debbie Witty. He suffered a broken rib as a youngster and can be quite sensitive in his back. I needed a saddle first and foremost for his comfort, and one that would allow him to move freely to develop his muscles for dressage. As an adult amateur (and somewhat new to dressage four years ago), it was important for me to find a saddle that helped stabilize my position. Enter Trilogy and the local saddle fitter, Terry Zambrana.

Terry spent a lot of time with Hucks Toi and me to find the right Trilogy. We tried them all. His comfort and ease of movement was paramount. Each saddle had its own advantages but the amazing thing I found with the Trilogy is that the comfort and confidence level actually increased once I was riding in it. It is one thing to sit in a saddle on a block, but another all together to feel it move underneath you on your horse. As the rider must look elegant AND be effective-the same can be said for a saddle.

Terry would quiz me during and after the ride to get my feedback on how Hucks Toi felt and responded. She would note her observations on my position which I also confirmed…the Verago Elite improved my position. For me, that first Trilogy saddle became the cornerstone of my riding. It gave me the foundation of correct position and allowed Hucks Toi to advance in the work. A few years later, a young Oldenburg presented his glorious and still growing self to me. I needed a saddle that would adapt to this young talent, Royal Opponent. There was no doubt for me that I wanted another Trilogy, but would it suit my new horse? Again, Terry patiently spent time working on getting the right fit for Royal as he was going through all kinds of growth spurts and muscle development. She was always available to make the necessary saddle adjustments. It was with Royal that I truly felt the security of how a quality saddle aids the rider’s seat. As his gaits developed in suspension and cadence, my seat had to become stronger in order to follow his movement. My Trilogy Verago grew not only with my developing horse but gave me the confidence to advance with him. In August 2011, we became the CDS Southern RAAC 1st Level Elite Champions and with our winning score of 74%, we captured the overall Elite RAAC High Point. We have even scored a couple of 10s!

Along the way, I was introduced to Debbie Witty of Performance Saddlery. Anyone who has spent some time with Debbie knows she sets the tone of her company for she is genuinely interested in the fit and performance of her product. What impresses me more is her enthusiasm and encouragement for Trilogy riders to succeed in both their personal riding and show ring goals. And it isn’t just the sponsored riders, but the regular amateur riders who are the backbone of our sport. She is quite the lady and an ardent supporter of dressage in the United States.

Every time I go up center line be it in the show ring or in the arena at home, I ride with pride knowing
there is a great company and saddle team cheering my horses and me on to success and helping us
achieve our dreams.

Last year I acquired a new horse Millennium, a horse that was known to be a ‘problem child’ for saddle fitters. Millennium, or Mickey, has kissing spines, a very painful condition in which the spinous processes of the vertebrae rub together during motion. When he was undiagnosed, this condition resulted in explosive behavior, his reaction to pain. After he was diagnosed and treated, correct saddle fit was of the utmost importance to ensure the muscles of his back could be allowed to work freely and evenly. As with all horses, the more comfortable we could make him, the better his work!

I was having trouble finding a saddle that fit him well AND that I could stomach riding in every day. Some saddles that were passable for him were absolute torture for me! I was very interested in finding something that would work the best for Mickey, but I also wanted to be able to walk afterwards. At the time this seemed like an impossible goal.

Two friends of mine, Jennifer Roth of Gypsy Woods Farm and Bridget Hay, highly recommended I contact Trilogy saddles about Mickey. The Trilogy fitter was more than happy to come to my farm in New Jersey and work with Mickey to see what we could come up with. I ended up with a Verago that not only allows me to not grimace through the entire trot tour, but that Mickey likes as well! On the whole he has been much looser and more relaxed through his back. His warmup time has been reduced as he becomes more supple and through much earlier in the ride than before. I couldn’t be happier with the saddle and the service! I also have a Debbie McDonald saddle for my almost-Grand Prix pony, whose owner is quite petite, and I love it too!

A huge thank you to Trilogy for helping me and my horses find comfort!


Our Journey


The first time I met Debbie was nearly 10 years ago when she was a (the) representative for Albion saddles. She came to my mother’s farm, Freedom Hill, to help reflock several saddles for myself and clients. At the time, I had one particular young Holsteiner that was a very athletic, insecure, sensitive mare. In her younger years asking her to do anything required me to submit ‘written requests’ that would be returned to me frequently for editing. She taught me the finer points of training a hot mare and just how far ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ goes with our four legged divas. We had some very exciting experiences with various saddles that she did not like……she made her dislike of a particular saddle and fit known to all by doing incredible acrobats without a single leg even near the ground for what seemed like an eternity. My all time favorite experience was trying a new saddle that I later realized was pinching her….I made this discovery when she would buck every time I would try to get off. Every time I shifted my weight to swing my leg over her back the saddle would pinch her and away we could go. This particular adventure lasted nearly an hour before I could ‘safely’ make a flying dismount……...then…….. I called Debbie.

By the end of our first fitting, Debbie had acquired the nickname “my guardian angel”. It was imperative with this particular young mare that I not only had a saddle that fit her correctly, but a fitter that made the experience of finding the right saddle and fit a positive one. Over the next few years Debbie helped me achieve what seemed impossible- that mare happily and successfully competed through FEI. She now had the freedom through her shoulder with stability and comfort over her back to do what she never realized she really wanted to do: a ‘9’ extended trot.
She learned how to fly.

As Debbie was developing the new line of Trilogy saddles we spoke often about the style and fit. I could not wait to get my Verago. When I rode in it the first time it was everything I had hoped it would be. It is a saddle that puts the rider in one position-the correct position. More important, my sensitive, big moving horses are fitted with ease due to the wider, thicker panels which gives you more stability. I love my Verago so much that when I lived in Germany working for the Holsteiner Verband as an auction rider I shipped my saddle over with me. It was $500 one way and it was worth every penny! I am alive and well today in part because of that saddle. I was not about to ride and train those athletic three and four year olds in an old, hard, slick extra saddle that the Verband had laying around that would have probably been too big for me anyway (let alone present my horses in the auction without my ‘seatbelt’ saddle)!

Debbie continues to help me today with all my horses. She has trained an excellent fitter that I have come to know so well, Terry Zambrana. Between Debbie and Terry my sensitive mare Solei, is developing correctly. We examine her back muscles and the muscles over her gaskins every time she visits to see if they are devolving symmetrically and each time, she is more even than the last…..progress; that’s all I can hope for.

My only wish is that I had met Debbie before I started working my first Grand Prix horse, Caviar. He had a high wither and a bit of deep back, on top of that, he was a very sensitive horse that worried about everything. Our journey together from a four year old that no one else would ride because of his ‘athletic antics’ to a mature eighteen year old makes me wonder….he would have been a happier horse because of her.

As riders and trainers, I believe we all take a strong vested interested in keeping our horses sound and healthy. We pay close attention to the daily impact we have on our partners. However, we mustn’t overlook that a proper fitting saddle is a crucial piece of the intricate puzzle of achieving their happiness and our success by giving them the chance to be the best they can possibly be.


My name is Kelly Weiss I have been a Dressage trainer and competitor over the past 30+ years. In that time I've had the great fortune to have trained a great cross section of riders from precarious beginners to the Grand prix level hopefuls. As a stand-out and effective educator I hold in high regard one of the most important elements to achieving world class teaching and riding abilities has been to pinpoint and fully understand each individuals bio-mechanics (how they work muscularly). This hold true for both horse and rider. Without this critical assessment effective training is at best incongruous and completely out of step with basic principals.

In full concert with the intricacies of both human and equine mechanics there is one very critical piece of equipment that literally joins Horse and Rider together. It is the Saddle. Without an absolutely perfect fit for Horse and Rider, the harmony that we all seek to achieve is rendered ineffective.

In 30 years I've ridden in just about every saddle available to the Dressage community. I'm taking the time out of my Schedule (for the very first time) to inform everyone who is interested in achieving their highest goal, that your efforts at Trilogy have produced what I personally feel is the Most balanced, Best fitting, Most effective bridge in bringing horse and rider together that I have ever experienced. Until now I have never felt as strongly as I do about any Saddle. "We all just get by with what we have". In my opinion and for what it's worth, your Saddle is the best that the industry has to offer, bar none. There is no longer a reason to " just get by ".

Don't change a thing. You've hit a home run and I can't thank you enough on behalf of myself and the many whom I have the pleasure of helping along our sports journey.


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