"Well, I have been riding in the new (SmartRide Rx) version of the TC2 for a few weeks now. I have the following observations over and above those I have made previously with my original TC2 which I rode in for nearly 2 years before we upgraded to the most recent iteration in early May, 2019. For me, the saddle feels completely broken in for my needs. I would say that occurred in the first week. The new one feels just as good as the old one for the human.
1. Overall my horse is in a better mood in and out of the tack – quieter in the stall, happier to be groomed and ‘messed with’ even than before.
2. Flatwork is better. Transitions are better, softer, rounder, less abrupt. One can literally lift the seat with the leg on and think the transition and it happens.
3. It feels like the stride has lengthened in all gaits. Getting down the lines is easier.
4. Maintaining the rhythm in the trot and canter is easier. Less work for me and it seems less work for the horse. This leads to ‘finding’ the jumps more consistently, always a plus for the amateur.
5. The horse seems to have a more stamina with less work from me. It just feels like I have more horse under me without having to work harder to create that energy.
6. If the weather is not really humid, I don’t need to turn the hose on the horse to cool him out. This certainly helps save the hoof quality as summer goes along. This is an improvement even over the first TC2.
7. Muscles feel more consistently well hydrated. Interesting observation – If you will remember those two longissimus muscles that run along on either side of the spine and attach to the vertebrae on the top-line that I am always commenting about. I’m not sure you have ever noticed how well formed and supple these are in young horses (under 2). They remind me of two tenderloins, sitting slightly above the dorsal processes of the spine. As the horse ages and goes under saddle, over time, these muscles sort of flatten out, particularly in the lumbar area. I have noticed that these muscles in my horse are less flat than they were before, or than I would expect in a 17 year-old. In other words, they look more like they belong to a younger horse. I can actually feel the demarcations of the muscles when I do my weekly massage session. I can only attribute this to an animal that is comfortable through the back, comfortable enough to lift up toward the saddle and the rider, or perhaps free to move up without meeting significant resistance. This should allow blood flow and fluid balance in this very important muscle to be better maintained. These muscles need to act like an accordion along with the spine to allow for lengthening and shortening of stride in an almost effortless way. This is only possible in an animal which is encountering little resistance from the saddle or the rider along the topline. One gets the feeling that one is riding a rubber band. It’s a good thing.
If you haven’t ridden in a TC2 in the last 90 days, you have not ridden in a TC2.
Best regards and keep it up!"
-Melissa Holland, DVM, DACVA