NSC was founded on the concept that saddles needed to suit BOTH horse and rider. Whilst today this may be common knowledge, before the NSC was formed in NZ in 2002 the thought process was more to do with fitting the horse and then ‘making do’ for the rider.
Josephine Dancy founder of NSC, was unsatisfied with “custom” saddles being no more than a change of colour of the piping. Since her current range of brands were not interested in actual pattern changes, she started her own brand. With the help of many top riders over many years, the NSC brand became renowned for fitting tricky combinations with genuine custom alterations to panels, flaps and girthing. Truely made to fit your horse AND you.
Josephine spent a lot of time in the UK choosing trees, saddle specs and trying out many (many, many) prototypes on endless horse and rider combinations, creating saddles for the NZ sportshorse.
NSC’s saddles are still made in England by top craftsmen, with traditional beech laminated wooden sprung trees, top quality English and Italian leathers and pure wool flocking. They are quality saddles known to last the test of time.
In 2017 Catherine Baxter took the helm. As well as safeguarding the original NSC brand, she incorporated some of the much-loved saddles from The English Saddle Company, designed to fit the broad hard to fit shapes arriving in New Zealand, to form NSC-The English Saddle Co.
With a larger team than ever now working together, the evolution of NSC has continued. For riders who love close contact saddles, NSC has worked with sponsored riders and saddle makers to create close contact dressage and jump saddles, with panels that horses and riders alike can enjoy.
For the riders who ride for relaxation, the range has saddles designed for extra comfort, with hours in the saddle in mind.
And for our little riders we have a goal too, to get them balanced in the saddle so that they can enjoy the correct position from the start, preventing damage to developing spines.
The spine has its most rapid growth during puberty. Then for girls around 14/15 the growth slows right down, for boys a few years later (early 20’s is when the growth plates finish ossifying). Prior to this, the spinal growth plates are soft and can be damaged by hours of forcing the spine into an unnatural curve, such as by an ill-fitting/wrong size/unbalanced saddle.
During growth spurts the body doesn’t have as much tension around the growing spine, making it easy to misalign. This is why it is so important that parents understand children need to be placed in a position in the saddle that is naturally aligned for their body.
NSC has developed a range of saddles for kids and ponies to keep them growing & moving in harmony, free from pain. These saddles have ergonomic features incorporated to allow us to support developing bodies whilst the spine and muscle memory forms and is strengthened.