Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I, for one, am excited to move forward into 2016! I eagerly await new learning opportunities, to further expand my business, and to help as many horses and owners as possible.
I have begun furthering my education on saddle fit, which is something that has grown to be a true passion of mine over the last few years. I feel like there is a true lack of knowledge in the industry, and the more professionals with this expertise, the better! Saddle fit is something every horse owner encounters at one point or another. This is very much a modality that is constantly undergoing research, and new technology for saddle fit, pads, etc is always being released. Of course, like many things in this life, marketing is hugely influential in the saddle industry. This combined with the trends that arise, and many riders that want to be wearing and using the “pretty” new tack that everybody else has, can negatively affect their horse and riding if improperly fitted. I personally have noticed this trend, and although many riders and owners do everything in their power to do best by their horses, how are we supposed to do better until we know better? It is easy to be swayed by flashy marketing campaigns, and saddle pads are the #1 most purchased item in the tack world. Without proper education about horse structure and movement, many saddles and accessories may look nice, and fit ourselves great, but could be potentially detrimental to our equine partners.

After much research and consideration, I am pleased to be partnering with two companies that are truly in the business of keeping horses healthy and comfortable: Thinline Global and Schleese Saddlery (Saddlefit 4 Life). I will be selling Thinline pads to clients to help improve saddle fit and comfort for horse and rider (blog post to come for this). I will be continuing to learn from Jochen Schleese and associates in the coming months to be able to offer even more in depth saddle-fitting services. I am beyond excited to share new information with you all and to be working alongside passionate individuals like Jochen, who has been creating better saddle fit for over 30 years!

Hope everyone’s New Year is off to a great start! Now go outside and play in that beautiful fresh new snow with your horse! 🙂


Saddle Fit – it’s more important than you think!

Did you know that more than half of the riding horses out there are ridden with an ill-fitting saddle?

There is a lot to consider when trying to find a saddle that fits correctly. Among other things, you must consider what job it is intended for, how it contours to the horse’s back, whether or not there is enough spinal clearance, etc.

Also ask yourself, does it fit the rider who will be using it? Does it sit level and balanced with and without a saddle pad? Is there enough ‘rock’ along the panels or too much?

It may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but that’s where I come in! As your  saddle fitter, I will go through all of the steps to ensure a correct fit for you and your horse.

I will mention two of what are some of most common issues found in saddles.

First, the use of saddle pads. Too much padding, as well as the use of ‘fixers’ such as keyhole pads and risers, usually cause bridging and/or put the balance of the saddle too far back and situates the rider leaning back and putting more pressure over the kidneys. Bridging occurs when there are pressure points at the front and back of the saddle but no or little contact through the middle.
Remember, if your saddle fits well without any pads, the addition of anything other than a normal, thin pad will change the fit of the saddle! Compare it to a pair of your own shoes. Would they still fit as well with a huge, thick pair of winter wooley socks? Probably not! The same goes for your horse and what he feels when unnecessary bulk is added underneath the saddle.

Secondly, we must remember to assess the actual soundness and structure of the saddle itself. Has it been made/manufactured with attention to detail? It is more common then you may think, saddles being made with crooked trees! An easy way to assess is to sit it on flat ground, with the pommel/horn down, and stare striaght down over the panels. Does the saddle itself look even? Are the panels stuffed evenly, or is it lumpy or obviously more worn on one side?
You can also test for a broken tree by sitting the saddle against your leg and pushing  the cantle towards the pommel, as if you were trying to fold it in half. You shouldn’t feel any give in pressure – if there is, the tree may be broken and should be taken to a saddle maker for further assessment and to see if fixing it is an option.


Below is an easy to read article for more handy tips!

The Perfect Fit
Finding the right saddle for your horse is a mix of high-tech and hands-on approaches.