Posted on 27th April 2019
Clients often contact me after numerous saddle reflocks and checks by different saddlers, yet they still have problems when it comes to muscle development and movement, and often asymmetry.
We all know how much a simple saddle call out check can cost, add that to repeatedly buying new saddles and re-flocking.
Horses change shape, normally far more often than we realise, by planning ahead these costs can be reduced.
My ethos is to fit for the future, a balanced saddle that will allow your horse to build the muscle that their current saddle is blocking. If the horse can’t move, the muscle cannot develop. The brands I stock allow for development!
I now regularly have vets and physios refer horses to me for a saddle assessment when lameness is intermittent. A slight twist in the tree, too narrow a gullet, narrow panels and/or an incorrect tree can all cause mild lameness. Continual minor impingement can stop the skeleton moving correctly and aggravate any potential problem. Clients always insist that their fitter has checked their horse, but a second opinion never hurts and a change can help re-balance the horse and improve recovery.
Remember if you haven’t ridden your horse for a minimum of 20 minutes during a saddle check, your saddle has not been checked properly!
What to expect from a saddle assessment
A full saddle assessment includes a check of the muscles and asymmetry, often using a variety of saddles, shims or girths to assess and check combination that allows optimum movement. This is usually a ridden assessment unless a horse is returning to work.
Having found the best movement, its then easy to assess if your own saddle allows the same movement.
Issues can often be rider led, my experience of teaching biomechanics and extensive CPD means that I can help see if your body is sitting in balance, and make positive suggestions. This is especially useful if you are uncomfortable, your saddle slips, you have had an injury, or an instructor has commented on an issue.
If you have any doubts in your mind regarding the progress of your horses development under saddle, muscle development, or ongoing rider issues please don’t hesitate to contact me, I will be pleased to help!