The ethos behind everything we design is that it should enhance your horse’s freedom of movement, strengthen your communication and allow you to achieve better results. Read about our scientific testing protocol and why it’s so important here

Our research and results has been published by scientific journals – read why this is so important

Our product designer

With a background as an international show jumper, Vanessa Fairfax understands the needs of the professional rider. She has been designing saddles for more than 20 years and is a Society of Master Saddlers Saddle Fitting Assessor. These two interests and skill sets have blended seamlessly to produce some of the most exciting saddlery developments in the last decade.

"I base my designs on facts, not opinions or guesswork,” she explains. “It’s about harnessing technology to a very traditional and largely craft-based industry. Cutting-edge testing equipment and software means I can see the effect of tack on a horse in motion. A combination of pressure-mapping and gait-analysis shows cause and effect in motion. When results synchronize, you know you’re on to something - it’s ground-breaking and very exciting. ”

Continued evolution

Vanessa teamed up with international dressage rider Daniel Timson to develop the first Fairfax Saddle – the Monoflap Dressage. Collaborations with more world-class riders followed, including Team GBR member and medallist Gareth Hughes, his wife Rebecca Hughes, multi-Olympic medal winner Andrew Hoy, World Silver medallist Harry Meade and Olympic Silver medallist Spencer Wilton.

The most recent saddle research has looked at horse & rider synchronisation and the importance of the rider's position. the World Class Dressage Monoflap was the result of this extensive study into how the saddle's seat and knee block configuration affects rider biomechanics and how this influences the horse's performance. The World Class Dressage saddle is chosen by Charlotte Dujardin. 

In addtion to saddles, other items of tack have been scrutinised and perhaps one of Vanessa's most revolutionary designs has been the Performance Girth – an item so influential in the horse’s way of going that Horse & Hound magazine described it as “Team GBR's secret weapon” at the London 2012 Olympics and Britain’s World Class Performance Director asked us to delay its launch until after the Games because he felt it could give the British Olympic team an advantage.

Download the Horse & Hound article about the Performance Girth here.

The results of our research into bridle design were astounding. This new understanding has led to the creation of the ground-breaking Performance Bridle.

Fairfax's continued research and innovation has seen the company recognised with the Queen's Award for Innovation - an accomplishment that's unique in the saddlery industry.