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​Just like without a saddle

News   •   Aug 05, 2017 10:00 GMT

Vessi Jalkanen, the inventor of Salli Riding Pad on his Arabian horse, enjoying the fresh spring morning.

Vessi Jalkanen fell in love with riding more than four decades ago. On this sunny morning he is heading for the stables in his Sahala Manor with Mimmi the dog. The Icelandic horses already stretch their legs in the adjacent enclosure, but Vessi is on his way to say hello to Carida, his Arabian thoroughbred with whom he is going for an early ride in the woods.

Vessi starts saddling Carida briskly, but not with an ordinary saddle. The task is finished in no time and he mounts his horse nimbly.

- I'm sitting now on Salli Riding Pad and I am very proud of the product we developed here. It is really worth trying, especially if you want to sit in a healthier way on horseback and ride just like without a saddle.

Souvenirs from Icelanc

Salli Riding Pad is the result of many years of development and has found its shape in Sahala Manor in Rautalampi, one of Finland's largest trail riding stables. Vessi tells that the Riding Pad is perfect for horses of all sizes and for all kinds of riding – also in cold weather and in demanding cross country conditions.

- This product originally came to Finland from Iceland with the horses we brought from there. We bought the prototype of the Riding Pad, and have strongly developed it here.

Circle closes

In a way the circle closed when Salli Riding Pad was launched: Vessi also developed Salli Saddle Chair years ago and they were modelled after a real saddle and aimed at curing his back pains. He started to develop a seat that would put the back in the same position as when riding. Salli Saddle Chair was first introduced at the Geneva Invention Expo in 1990.

- I noticed that sitting in a regular office chair made my back hurt, and that never happened when I was riding. So I put my saddle on a stool and sat on it. However, it was not comfortable to sit like that for long, and I started picking my brain for a better solution. Salli is the result of those contemplations.

A comprehensive health concept

Salli Systems, founded by Vessi in 1990, has always invested heavily in product development. In recent years, a product development manager has been strengthening the team. The company employs about 40 people both in Rautalampi and elsewhere in Finland and abroad. The chairs are exported to some 60 countries and there are hundreds of dealers. Salli does not only provide seats but a whole health concept for those who want a healthier life.

- We encourage everyone to move as much as possible during the work day. Move around while talking on the phone, have walking meetings and exercise breaks, place things so that you must get off the chair to get them, perform muscle and stretching exercises when sitting on the chair. Use clothes that do not disturb blood and lymphatic circulation, eat healthy, and sleep sufficiently.

For all horses. For all riders. For all conditions.

Ergonomically important middle gap

Now the same sitting ergonomics and the most important feature of Salli Saddle Chairs - the gap in the middle of the seat - has been brought on the horse's back. There is a groove in the middle of the Salli Riding Pad to reduce pressure on the genital area and pelvic floor. Vessi emphasizes that this makes riding much more comfortable and healthier for both men and women.

- The riding experience is remarkably different and the rider is well aware of the horse's movements. The pad is soft and comfortable for both the horse and the rider. Almost everyone who has tried this has liked it. In winter it is particularly wonderful that the horse's heat is transmitted to the rider. It has a relaxing effect in cold weather.

Result of vigorous product development

Salli Riding Pad was developed for all kinds of riding and also jumping, up to 120 cm. Vessi emphasizes that the pad is easy to put on the horse and that it is also suitable for teaching saddling for independent children. Salli Riding Pad Duo, in turn, is suitable for people with special needs, and for rehabilitation. Vessi recommends using the Riding Pad in addition to other saddles, as a means, for example, to develop one’s balance.

- I have 43 years’ experience in horse racing and 21 years in competing. As much as 89 horses were trained at my stables. I really believe that this product will become popular. It has so many benefits for different kinds of riders and riding. Especially in cross country riding this is unbeatable. It was also important for me that the product should be cheaper than the traditional saddle.

Rautalammi's own Gyro Gearloose – an inventor and recently also a biohacker, Vessi Jalkanen seems to be bursting with health-promoting ideas, many of which have become true and found their active users.

Where do all these ideas come from, Vessi?

- From my own experience, and from that of others, from open mind, eagerness for development and my own wide-ranging expertise. I was also an imaginative child. I was ten when I already had a Viking boat with a sail and crank propeller.

This healthy and enthusiastic superman turned 66 this year, but the age does not show in his steps, or in the amount of pull-ups or ideas. The chairman of the board of Salli Systems, he withdrew from the CEO's position a couple of years ago, but continues to catapult ideas for the company's use.

- I have been told that I was born a few decades too early, I think my ideas are sometimes a bit too advanced. I think they are largely born out of my desire to make the world a better place.

You can buy Salli Riding Pad from our Webshop.

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