As owner of the British custom manufacturing firm, County Saddlery Inc. (saddles.com), Gene Freeze has, for over 30 years, designed saddles for many of the world’s leading riders in all three Olympic disciplines including triple Gold Medalist, Edward Gal of the Netherlands, U.S. Olympic team multiple Bronze Medalist, Robert Dover, U.S. Olympic team Bronze Medalist, Lisa Wilcox, U.S. Olympic team Gold Medalist, Will Simpson, U.S Olympian Margie Engle, ten-time American Grand Prix Association Rider of the Year, and many more. Gene is a member of the British Society of Master Saddlers and is the current President and Chief Instructor of the Master Saddlers Association in the U.S.
Gene contributes to leading magazines and lectures on saddle design and fitting worldwide and was invited by the University of Zurich to lecture at the Swiss Veterinary Conference to over 300 veterinarians and riders from all over Europe.
He has also lectured at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Wisconsin Veterinarian Center, and throughout Europe. Gene is a former contributing editor for Equus magazine as an expert on horseshoeing and the proper balance of horses hooves. His research, funded by Equus magazine on wild horses, provided ground breaking information on the subject of natural balance in horses which was recently featured in the book; Farriery: The whole horse concept by British author David W. Gill. Gene shod horses competing in the Olympics, World Championships, Pan Am Games, and many other international events.
Gene’s overall design perspective has been influenced by his involvement in many aspects of sport horse competition. He grew up breeding show ponies with his father, and also rode at the Selection Trials in the U.S. as a three day event rider. After a serious fall, Gene decided to devote all of his time to the business of designing top quality saddles that significantly improve the horse’s performance and rider position.
He is also the owner of First Choice Farm (firstchoicefarms.com) in Maryland, a world class dressage sales and training facility.
“Veterinarians actually do not have a special education in saddlery and therefore could profit from Gene’s outstanding knowledge. He gave an excellent presentation… to horse owners and veterinarians… informative and easy to understand. I recommend Gene Freeze without hesitation.” Dr. K Feige, University of Zurich, Switzerland
”Horses that are back sore due to poor saddle design and saddle fit will benefit immediately from Gene Freeze’s expertise. His presentation is a must attend lecture for all equine veterinarians and equestrians… an extremely practical presentation on saddle design and fitting that will enlighten even the most experienced horseman.” Dr. Betsy Boulten, DMV, University of New Hampshire
“Gene Freeze is regarded by many in Europe as the world’s leading saddle designer.” Renowned German Author Isabel Nebe
“More than anyone I have ever met, Gene’s background and experience gives him a truly unique understanding of how to achieve balance, from the top of the horse to the bottom of the horse.” Susanne von Dietze, German Co-author of the book Rucksicht auf den Reiterrucken (Back to Back)
“It’s really astounding to think about how saddle design and fit either “makes” or “breaks” a horse’s performance. After your (Gene Freeze) presentation, however, it truly makes sense.” Director Elaine Baily, University Maryland Equine