The Independence Saddle

Freedom Through Adaptive Technology


The Independence Saddle is an adaptive saddle with adjustable and removable headrest, backrest, forearm supports, hand grips, Italian safety irons, and a Safety Release System. This therapeutic saddle features a prompt reduction technology that gradually allows more independent sitting on horseback by riders with special needs.

Adapting and supporting according to the needs of each individual, The Independence Saddle, and its prompts allows a person with severe physical challenges to sit safely and independently astride a horse, while the traditional physical dependency on side walkers is dramatically decreased.

How It's Made

The Independence Saddle offers both safety and versatility, and is adaptable enough to accommodate riders of varying sizes, disabilities and/or injuries. Once the rider's needs are evaluated, prompts will be determined and provided as needed. Head and back supports provide head and trunk control. Adjustable forearm supports stabilize the arm and shoulder girdle, allowing the rider to lean slightly forward into a functional sitting position. Hip supports stabilize the pelvic girdle. As the rider gains core strength, and goals are achieved, prompts may be removed.

Our special needs saddle gives a sense of accomplishment, providing physical, occupational, and psychological therapeutic opportunities. The Independence Saddle offers each rider an immeasurable sense of success and self-fulfillment, maximizing his or her quality of life.


The Independence Saddle is a collaboration with Colin Dangaard, President of Colin Dangaard, Inc. of Malibu, California. Dangaard, with almost 50 years of experience in saddle-making, was the first to successfully market the Australian Stock Saddle in North America.

The particular model used in The Independence Saddle is called The Survivor Poley which is a modernized version of the classic Australian Stock Saddle, popular in the Australian bush for over 100 years.

A characteristic of this saddle is that it has an enormous weight-bearing surface area. The weight of the rider is spread over several hundred square inches, depending on the size of the saddle, thus dramatically lowering pounds per square inch.

The saddle provides a deep seat and high cantle with poley thigh support, making it an ideal choice for therapeutic riding. These same characteristics have made this saddle popular with mounted police and military patrols where riders often have 12-hour days.