My Goal is to eliminate discomfort for both horse and rider thereby maximizing performance by increasing freedom of movement”
Dan Kroetch is a Master Saddle Fitter who travels widely throughout North America, Europe and Asia conducting saddle fitting clinics and giving lectures on the proper fitting of saddles. Dan has a reputation for being able to fit the most difficult horses and his specialty lies in his ability to help those horses that are experiencing pain from their existing saddles.
In conjunction with Academy Bartels, Dan was invited to take part in a 15-month study with Utrecht Veterinary University in the Netherlands on how ill fitting saddles affect the horse's movement. The findings were published in 2004.
Danny believes that when fitting a saddle to horse and rider it is important to include the Circle of Influence. Like a wagon wheel the circle of influence is comprised of a number of supporting “spokes” each spoke represents an influence on the horses well being including; rider, coach, veterinarian, farrier, saddle fitter and alternative medicine practitioners such as massage therapists, chiropractors and acupuncturists.
Although the wheel will remain functional when missing one or more spokes…in order to ensure top performance each area must be optimized. When fitting a saddle to a horse and rider pair, Danny must ensure that there are no other areas that may be effecting the horses ability to do his job.
The Saddle-Fitter — Danny Kroetch is a master saddle-fitter who travels all over North America, Europe and Asia fitting saddles to high performance horses and riders. Currently his company DK Saddlery is the largest exporter of English saddles to Europe. At the 2004 Olympic Games three riders from two different countries competed in his DK Freedom Saddle. Mette Rosencrantz won the $25,000 Grand Prix Invitational riding Basquewille in a DK Freedom saddle at the Las Vegas World Cup April 20, 2007. Danny is currently heading a large research study on saddle fit at the University of Utrecht in Holland and is now the only saddle manufacturer ever to be published in the Veterinary Journal.
The Company — Before starting DK Saddlery, Danny was frustrated by the limitations of saddles that he helped fit to horses and riders. This frustration led him to design a saddle that incorporated his years of experience and research, creating a fully adjustable saddle that can be re-fitted as your horse develops. Danny can now customize the fit for even the most challenging horses and riders
Try our saddles in a dare to compare experience and you and your horse will feel the difference!
Our unique air system matched with an adjustable tree and the longest tree points on the market creates an unmatched comfort for you and your horse.
I am excited to be the new owner of this beautiful DK western saddle! I’ve been wanting to find some equipment that would let Alkimus, Elgin, and I venture out of the English world, and this saddle seemed like just the thing. DK’s are fully adjustable, meaning each side of the tree can be individually fitted to the horse to compensate for any physical imbalances, allowing it to stay truly centered on the horse’s back. It is also designed to free up the horse’s shoulders, making it easier for them to lift their back and work through their body.
I am usually hard to impress with sales pitches and new technology, but once we saddle Alkimus up and I hopped on I was sold! He was freer in his back, more relaxed, and more forward than he was during our ride just hours before. I could feel him wanting to move and use his body. The longer our ride went on the more he began to experiment with how and where he could send all the new found energy. What a great feeling! On top of that, it fits me perfectly and makes finding a good position a piece of cake. I’m so excited to put some miles on this beauty. A DK dressage saddle is next on my list!
I am a big advocate of DK saddles. The fact that they are 100% adjustable makes them worth their price. The tree is flexible and moves with my horse’s back motion without creating pressure points. The air ride makes it smooth and allows muscling on both sides of the withers . (Unlike many horses that are hollow each side of the withers).
My stallion Abanico is a PRE and was recently approved with Oldenburg GOV! One very rare approval. The judges thought his back’s motion was amazing and created elasticity. I bet it’s because of my saddle!
I can tell you that this horse didn’t do clean changes before we got our DK saddle. The DK team was part of the success bringing my horse at Intermediate II.
I recommend these saddles to everyone who loves their horses.
Usdf silver medalist and FEI trainer.
Many thanks to Mr Danny Kroetch of DK Saddlery for coming out and fitting our saddles today (Covid precautions in place!). I’ve now had horses in DK saddles for over a decade and am always happy with their quality in product and fit and with how the horses feel (plus they’re very comfortable for the rider!). With DK I’ve never dealt with back pain (horse or human!) or other saddle issues and I credit them as a huge part of our team in creating healthy, happy, well muscled and sound horses for the long run, thanks again DK! #littledressage#dksaddlery #daretocompare
I just received my DK Freedom yesterday. It is exactly what I hoped for. It feels great, my horse and I are communicating better than ever, and riding is even more fun now! I know you could have added more amazing embellishments if I had agreed to that. This saddle is exactly as stylish and conservatively colorful as I wanted. I cannot wait to show this saddle off in the arena! Hats off to you!
Just dropped Danny Kroetch (aka Mr. DK☺️) off at Logan. We finished up our whirlwind New England fitting tour on Martha’s Vineyard this morning. Serviced clients in MA, NH, CT, NY, VT, and on the Cape this trip. We fit everything from Andalusians, Friesians, TN Walkers, QH, Hanoverians, Haflingers, Anglo Arabs, hmmm, let’s see...did I leave anybody out?🤔Well, you get the idea;) Providing saddles which are beautifully designed and crafted AND infinitely adjustable for the life of the saddle. Please contact me if I can help you find the last saddle you’ll ever need.💕🐴👍🏻
Jann Middleton & Scout
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to purchase an All Purpose DK Saddle. The concept of a saddle that provides lifetime adjustment options for my pony’s possible changing needs made such sense to me. However, I was unprepared for the sheer comfort and joy this saddle has given to me, also! I just love the beauty and craftsmanship of this saddle; it is like a fine piece of furniture that I aesthetically enjoy both on and off my pony. Because of the way the saddle is made and that DK takes the time and care to meticulously measure the rider and the horse, my saddle is the most comfortable and secure feeling saddle I have ever ridden. Both my pony and I immediately felt the difference in the fit.
Recently a friend and I went on a 3-day foliage ride event in the mountains of Vermont. Because my saddle has been so comfortable, I decided to ‘take a chance’ and ride without a saddle seat pad. I am 68 years old and saw so many other riders riding with seat cushions or extra saddle pads…. I was wondering, what did they know that I didn’t? I am happy to report that I rode each of the 3 days for many hours in my DK saddle and was not sore EVER! Either was my pony, and he is 17 years old! He loved the whole event; he was so happy and moved so freely; he never tired out. My friend and I couldn’t figure out where he was getting all his stamina…he was putting the younger horses to shame! Answer: He was as comfortable as I was with his DK saddle!
So, Danny Kroetch… Thank you so much for my All Purpose DK Saddle! My pony and I are looking forward to many many years of joyful, comfortable, and healthy riding together!
Jann Middleton (and Scout)
I recently had an eye opening DK moment. I've recently been trying out several horses for myself and students, riding in other people's saddles (off putting for a dressage rider.) One day, I went to check out an eventer, not excited to get in another jump saddle, but this time the saddle was so comfy! And when I lengthened my stirrups, it supported me just like a dressage saddle! Of course, when I got off I noticed that it was a DK and was no longer surprised that I was so impressed by a jump saddle! - Rhiannon Williams
At EQUUS we are all about EDUCATING EMPOWERING and EQUALIZING!
Thank you Danny from Dk Saddlery for the impromptu EDUCATIONAL session on saddle fitting at the Advanced Equine Rehab course put on by the Animal Rehab Division of the
Canadian Physiotherapy Association SO INFORMATIVE and INSPIRING!! — with Canadian Physiotherapy Association/Association canadienne de physiothérapie, Dk Saddlery and Animal Rehab Division.
Priddis, AB Canada
It’s been a year since my back hurt.
It was just before last summer that Danny and Crystal of DK Saddlery came out for us to do a ‘Dare to Compare’ saddle trial. I could tell everyone was sceptical and I really didn’t expect to feel such a difference.
Things had been the same for all my life. I enjoyed my work each day and had mostly learned to deal with the nagging discomfort of a saddle on my back. I’m a jumper and it can be really fun and fast! You see, sometimes when my back was particularly sore I really just wanted to get the courses over with as quick as possible. I like jumping but the landing and turning always hurt the worst, so I thought it was better to get that done and over as quickly as possible! I was also always happiest with the right turns and even though I could feel her pulling to go left, I kind of thought it felt like my shoulder was stuck.
Anyway, the day DK Saddlery came out was an eye opener to say the least. Right away things felt good but that can happen – some days did start out better than others – so off we went. But this time the pain never came. We jumped a few jumps and after a couple not hurting I started to thinking “This is relaxing. I’ll slow down – what’s was I rushing for?”
Since that first day we haven’t looked back. They tell me my back is bigger? I’m not sure why that’s a big deal, but what is a big deal to me is I don’t ache anymore and I feel fitter and stronger than ever! My courses are much slower and we don’t hear gasps from the audience for our speedy rounds, she doesn’t pull as much and everything feels much easier than before.
The best part is that when the saddle does start to feel a little small Holly just calls DK up and out they come and ‘bing bang’ it feels great again he just changes it on the spot!
DK, Tina Watkins (massage therapist) and my rider all wrote a fun article on how much better I’m doing too: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/03a22b_b156a17a830f48e2bd811cc91d4e66ad.pdf
Every horse should have a DK!
- Arthur Grayton
Priddis, AB Canada
When I first tried DK Saddles I approached it with a skeptical mind, trying to objectively determine if there really was a difference from all the other saddles on the market. It took all of 10 minutes in my first ride to absolutely feel a difference in my horse, and over the last year I can say with certainty those initial moments of relaxation and freedom have only grown and evolved into more fluid movement and happy horses.
Where to begin? I have tried countless saddles and even considered giving up and just riding in a bareback pad (I was THAT desperate) when my trainer essentially forced me to ride in her DK about 5 months ago. I told her I didn't want to try it for the simple fact I couldn't afford another new custom saddle. After all I was currently riding in a 6 month old fully custom CWD Dressage saddle as a sponsored rider. After struggling through a lesson and just about throwing in the reins she went and grabbed her saddle. Much to my chagrin, she saddled my mare and I jumped back on....it was immediately clear that this is what I needed and what my mare needed. I scraped together every penny my husband and I could manage and put the deposit down on my new DK Bond II. I even picked some fancy silver piping and welting to match my show jacket and helmet. I was like a little kid at Christmas when it finally arrived! It was so much more beautiful that I had imagined. When I finally was able to ride in it, it was an immediate game changer. My mare is happy and willing again. She is scoring higher than she ever has this year and progressing through her training with ease. I know not many of you ladies will talk about this topic, but I have no shame. I know that you have ridden in saddles that are what I call "crotch busters"...you know what I"m talking about. This is the ONLY saddle I have ever ridden in that I can confidently say is NOT a crotch buster and fits me so perfectly I can hardly wrap my brain around it. I can ride 6+ horses a day in it and feel as comfortable as I did before the first horse of the day. I can't thank Danny and his team enough for building this amazing saddle for us, not to mention his help fitting the saddle and getting us set up with pads and a brand new girth. I proudly wear our DK gear at every show and tell everyone about my new pride and joy. Do yourselves a favor and get on the air ride train! You won't be sorry! I owe my trainer a big thanks too. Without her physically removing my previous saddle and forcing me into her Bond, I wouldn't be here either! It truly takes a village.
My 2008 barrel racing season did not end the way I had hoped. After a visit from my horse's chiropractor, I found out it was because his back was bothering him. In the spring of 2009 I tried out a DK saddle. After a month of using only that saddle on my horse, my chiropractor was back and couldn't believe the difference in his back. I was sold! We went on to win the title of the 2009 Ontario Dodge Rodeo Tour Ladies Barrel Racing Champion. When my DK saddle was having some adjustements made to it, I went back to using my old saddle, and immediately he began having back problems again. I couldn't wait to get my DK barrel saddle back. The chiropractor says his back is perfect again and he is running great. It's a great feeling when you know your horse is comfortable in the saddle on top of him, and I also enjoy knowing that I have a quality saddle underneath me!