During the initial assessment, I will ask you a number of questions to get a better understanding of your horse’s health and soundness history, as well as age, the type of riding you do, recent Vet/Chiro/Massage work, etc. I want to know as much as possible about your horse and your struggles under saddle. This can include behavioural or training issues, general tension, inconsistencies from Left to Right Rein, trouble in transitions/ changes, etc. as these can often be caused by or exacerbated by poor saddle fit.
I will assess your horse’s body condition and discuss any soreness I find while palpating your horses back, including any potential internal, skeletal or soft tissue components that may need to be addressed outside of your fitting appointment (Chiro, Massage, Ferrier, Vet, etc). I want to see how fluidly your horse moves through various parts of their body and whether your current saddle is causing any postural adaptations that may need to be addressed. I will do a variety of stretches/ exercises to see how well they are moving without a saddle, assess their conformation and check whatever saddles they have been going in. This helps me formulate a clear understanding of your horse’s saddle fitting needs, but also to develop a well rounded plan to address any other issues your horse is experiencing.
I will then begin taking some measurements/tracings of your horses back to accurately assess their width, symmetry, and top line shape. These will also be used to track their progress/ changes during future visits. For this, I will need your horse to stand square and still for a few minutes on level ground and I require a flat surface to lay the tracing paper and tools.
We will then begin assessing the static fit of the saddle(s) in question and discuss how the saddle sits on your horse- does it slide back, rock, shift from side to side, etc. We can then explore how a properly fitted saddle vs a poorly fitted saddle behaves on your horse and why. It is important to note that a horses resting posture is quite different than their working posture, so we must assess both to get the clearest picture of saddle fit.
Finally, we move on to assess your horses working posture. I understand that lunging isn’t always an option, depending on the facility or horse, but it gives me a better understanding of your horses movement and demeanour, which is information I can use for comparison once they are going under saddle.
If we are adjusting your saddle, I will move on to make the necessary changes and repeat the static assessment before having you hop on board.
If trying saddles, we will now check the fit of any potential options in motion to see how they work for both you and your horse. The feel a particular rider is looking for is often quite specific to them, so I encourage you to tell me how each saddle feels for you.
*I will not be offended by any feedback you provide, so don’t be shy! A new or new to you saddle might feel different, foreign, or strange, but I never want you to feel uncomfortable or like you are fighting the tack. We will discuss your overall comfort, balance, effectiveness in each saddle and figure out the best option to suit your needs.
- The Fitting Cost is $100+tax and usually takes approximately 2 hours.
- Travel fees may apply for longer distances, but typically range between $15-$35.
- *Saddle Fitting is an integral part of your horses health and wellbeing! As such, I support riders seeking to help their equine partners through proper saddle fit and gladly waive the fitting fee with any new or used saddle purchase*