BuckYou started entirely by accident in 2017.
Previously, I was a punk rock bassist, a part time riding instructor at a normal riding school, and owner and manufacturer of a filthy-dirty t-shirt company!
Then, in late 2014, everything changed with the arrival of Cato, a Connemara ‘pony’ (he’s about 15.2/3!) with a LOT of issues.
Cato (the grey horse who features heavily in pictures!) was not happy with anything that looked, felt or smelled like a saddle.
When Cato first came to me, he was physically and emotionally damaged.
He’d been hunted as a 3 year old in badly fitting tack.
I took my time building his confidence, his trust and fixing the muscular damage to his back. You could see indentations where the muscle had been damaged!
We tried a few treeless saddles, but Cato was very clear that he wasn’t happy with them. They made him worried that they would hurt him.
We tried some other brands of bareback pads, some were too basic; others were nice but not quite right…
I spent months and months trying to find the PERFECT solution.
Eventually, my search led me to a pad very close to what I had in mind, JACKPOT!
Only problem was, it was a product made by a factory in quantities. I couldn’t just buy one.
By this point, I was part of a growing online community of people who used alternative tack and training methods, positive reinforcement, force free and LIMA.
Many of these people were also interested in the pads I’d found, so I took the plunge.
I got in touch with the factory, we made some changes, I placed the order, I was very, very scared….
Then, the pads arrived… and they were AMAZING!
Everyone was very pleased, but most importantly, Cato was very happy.
He had and has had, zero issues with his bareback pad.
It doesn’t cause him any worry, stress, anxiety, pain or discomfort. The pommel in particular is excellent as Cato’s muscle damage was over his shoulders and he still worries about the pommel digging in. He will sometimes even flinch in anticipation of pain when you dismount bareback!
(He has been checked many times, he has no pain, it is purely a memory).
That said, he doesn’t do it in his bareback pad!
The ‘floating’ design on the pommel prevents it pressing down on his shoulders at all, as the full weight of the rider is distributed through the seat and legs of the rider- and none is transmitted to the pommel, which is exactly what Cato needs.
Anyway, enough about the design and function, more info on that can be found in the FAQ section.
The first batch was a great success, and pretty soon, other people got in touch wanting to know if I would be getting any more…
I hadn’t initially been planning to, after all, I’d wanted a pad for Cato, that was it, but people kept asking…
So I compiled a list of requests, and ordered more.
And I started to make it known that I would order more, and the more people bought, the more they shared pictures and told their friends, and people at their yards saw them, and I was getting more and more messages and ordering more and more pads- and even with a long wait time- up to two months on occasion! People STILL wanted a BuckYou pad!
I started an etsy shop, I added bitless bridles, and now I am switching from having the pads made to order to attempting to hold them in stock… this is no mean feat as they do rather tend to sell as fast as I can get them made, but I’m giving it a go! I will also be adding more bitless bridles and I have ideas for new pads and products too, so watch this space!
I have sold pads to people all over the world, and it’s been amazing as I find the kind of people who buy BuckYou products are the kid of people who genuinely love their horses and constantly strive to maximise the comfort and well-being of their horses
They are the kind of people who ask questions, want to learn and are kind. It’s been really great to talk to these people and make new friends.
I truly feel that BuckYou is more than just a brand name, it’s become an ethos, a way of life for the horse carer who sees their horse as an equal, a companion, a sentient, intelligent, emotional being. Not just a piece of sports equipment!
Cato was a life changing horse in so many ways, he made me seek force-free, alternative ways to work with horses, he taught me to listen, he got me coaching other people how to do this (check out horse-charming.com) and he created an entire company to help other horses and humans all over the planet feel happy, confident and comfortable too.
You can read more about Cato and the other BuckYou ponies Jango and Spartacus in my blog posts, but for now, here is the Legendary beast!