Solvang, CA — Busy dressage superstar Charlotte Bredahl-Baker is an Olympic medalist, a 4* judge, the U.S. Assistant Dressage Youth Coach, and a popular trainer and clinician. Now, she can add another title to her impressive resume: Custom Saddlery Most Valuable Rider (MVR). Custom Saddlery’s MVRs are some of the biggest names in the business. Bredahl-Baker joins a cadre of professionals including Steffen Peters, Heather Blitz, Patrik Kittel, Juan Matute Jr., and Kathleen Raine. Custom Saddlery, the Official Saddle of the United States Dressage Team, sponsors top riders like Bredahl-Baker with professionally crafted, unique saddles that are designed to maximize the performance and comfort of each individual horse and rider.
Bredahl-Baker’s long history in dressage saddles led her to realize that Custom saddles make all the difference. “Custom Saddlery saddles are very comfortable and provide good support while allowing the freedom to move my legs,” she said. Her favorite Custom saddle model is the Icon Flight.
As a member of Team USA for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Bredahl-Baker piloted Monsieur to a Team Bronze medal. She was also part of the Silver medal-winning team at the 1997 North American Championships with Lugano. She has traveled the world as an FEI 4* judge and a USEF “S” judge. In 2014, she was awarded the USEF Gold Medal of Distinction and was appointed the U.S. Assistant Dressage Youth Coach to help young dressage riders move up the pipeline to achieve success. This year, Bredahl-Baker is also a Selector for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“Being the Assistant Youth Coach gives me the chance to influence the next generation, not only to become top riders but also to become great horsemen and sportsmen,” Bredahl-Baker said. “I want them to train their horses in a correct way and aim for a high level of harmony.”
Bredahl-Baker has always loved working with young people and has dedicated her time and talent toward mentoring them, calling that her number one priority. “Not just kids with horses but also kids in need,” she said, adding that she and her husband Joel Baker raised foster children. “Now, to be able to work with youth who are as horse crazy as I am and who are talented and motivated— I absolutely love it, love it, love it. It’s very rewarding. I want to do it as long as they’ll have me."
Bredahl-Baker recently returned from Australia and France, where she judged CDI competitions. She will be conducting a series of youth clinics as well as USDF regional clinics, including high intensity clinics in conjunction with George Williams, the U.S. Dressage Coach, throughout this summer. She will be also be coaching at the NAJYRC in Colorado this summer, and will be heading to Aachen, Germany, with four Young Riders in conjunction with The Dressage Foundation. “Every year they send four deserving Young Riders to Europe and we are going to Aachen again this year,” she said. “My job there is basically to help them meet some of the top riders, trainers, and judges— a fun job to have!” Then, Bredahl-Baker will be heading to the Lamplight Equestrian Center near Chicago for the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions.
Because of her full schedule, she has put her own competition schedule on hold, but she did find time to perform a pas de deux with Jan Ebeling at the 2015 World Cup in Las Vegas on her own Danish Warmblood mare, Chanel. She also owns another Danish Warmblood, Hamilton, aka “Leo,” and rides both of them in Custom Saddlery saddles.
Bredahl-Baker became familiar with Custom saddles when one of the horses she had in training came to her with a Custom Saddlery saddle. She was impressed with the saddle, and with the Custom saddle fitter in her local California area, Sarah Boothe. “That is another reason I was drawn to that saddle— for me, it’s very, very important to ride in a saddle where there is a saddle fitter who makes the saddle not only fit me but also fit the horse,” Bredahl-Baker explained. Custom Saddlery fitters are located across the United States and even in several European countries to ensure that all riders have saddles that are expertly tailored to their own specific needs.
The different Custom models offer a myriad of options to provide superior comfort, style, and craftsmanship. Named the Official Saddle of the U.S. Dressage Team, Custom Saddlery is devoted to supplying high-quality, customized saddles for professionals and amateurs alike. To see all the varieties of Custom saddles and to find an expert saddle fitter near you, go to www.mysaddle.com or call 1-800-235-3865.