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Sensation Ride™ History

The Sensation Ride™ saddle began after a series of designs were blended together to create a lightweight, soft saddle with unmatched weight distribution. The beginning of the Sensation Ride™ started in 1999.

The designer, Dana Johnsen, had been making saddles and tack even as a child for her toy horses. This desire to build saddles for horses grew over the years and evolved from treed, to semi-treed, to flex-treed, to treeless. Each design refined and adjusted as the needs of the horse and rider evolved. 

The industry had not catered to the needs of the round-backed horses who were forced to fit within the confines of saddle trees intended for their narrower counterparts. This is where the flex-tree came in. These saddles were designed to fit with flex and also conform to fit the contours of your horse, without restricting movement. They were wildly popular among the endurance riding community. 

The treeless saddle began with a small part of the flex-tree in mind, but also the classic, timeless design of the bareback pad. Sensation Ride™ saddles started with a small "butterfly" insert, which was intended to sit just below the swell or pommel, on the inside of the saddle. The idea behind this was to offer support and clearance behind the wither, as traditional saddles would, while maintaining the light weight style of the bareback pad.

Over time, after many impression tests, string tests, rigorous field testing and studying the before and after behaviour of the horses, it became clear that these saddles were designed with an impeccable weight distribution system. Thus, the butterfly piece was taken out of all Sensation Ride™ saddles. This final design is what we have today.