This inspirational photo is the legendary long distance rider Karen Nelson of Nevada, riding her 15 year old Arabian Rapunzaal in the 100-mile Tevis Cup.
Says Karen: "Colin Dangaard has faithfully and expertly saddled my horses for three decades. This man knows what he is doing. What I like about him is he really cares for the horse, and all the rest seems to flow naturally into a place where a person ends up with the right saddle for the horse, and themselves. He is genuine and he cares. I could not have had my riding career without his expertise. Thank you Colin. I am so glad you haven't retired, and that you are actually making new and exciting designs. Anybody who wants an Australian saddle, or owns one, should be greatly relieved. Please keep on trucking, mate!!
I rode my first endurance ride in Oct 1985, and thought the 25 miles would kill me. The 2nd 25 was at Camp Pendleton, on Rapunzaal, and others thought HE would kill me. RAPUNZAAL, I still miss him. Gone over 11 years.
In Calendar year 1987, I rode 7 different horses in 18 different rides, including Colin Dangaard's horse Kelly at the Littlerock Lions Club 50, and rode for a total of 905 miles, finishing top ten in 5 events. I rode 5 of those horses from the starting line, on the day of the ride, without any previous riding on each of them: Sierra Fadwah /Kelly /Cougar's Pasha /Fadjur's Heidi /Salib. I had Ka Mon for a whole 5 days before I rode her in the Bill Thornburgh 50. She was a 'desert horse' & didn't cross water. That ride had over 35 water crossings. We did fine.
I rode Sierra Fadwah on a 5 day 250 mile ride, top ten 2 of the 5 days, and 6th overall for doing the 5 days all on one horse. That was
the first time I rode him--and he was a stallion.
At that time, I only had the Wayne Walker saddle you sold me in spring of 1986. That saddle worked fine on every horse I rode, and they were vastly different. Kamon didn't weigh more than 750 # and Sierra Fadwah was over 1100 #. NO problems at all.
A rough summary of 1987: 12 months 18 rides 905 miles 7 different horses 5 top tens-daily & 6th overall on a 5 day event. 5 horses got on for first time at starting line. Started 18 rides. Finished 18 rides.
No PULLS. No back problems.
In 1988, I chased the National point system on Sierra Fadwah, traveling to or into 7 states: Arizona / Utah / Wyoming / Idaho / Nevada / Wisconsin / & both Northern & Southern California. We ended up Reserve National Champion Middleweight Division winners. NO PROBLEMS with the saddle at all.
Thank you for everything you have done for me all over the years.
And---YES---I still like the "NELSON" stirrup Leathers you make better than anything else.
Happy to give a testimonial. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you."