I’ve had an action-packed week this week, all starting with a trip to Northampton to attend The Society of Master Saddlers Introductory Saddle Fitting Course. It was a fascinating course, starting with us looking at types of tree and saddle. We were all horrified to be passed some of the worst examples of saddle I have ever seen. Made from totally unsafe materials or just made into shapes that couldn’t possibly fit any living horse!
We then started to look at actually fitting the saddle to horse. The key principles and difficulties you may run into. We started this in a lecture room and then went out to look at some saddles on horses.
We covered a lot from basic saddle fitting, to templating horses and even looked at some basic rider imbalances and how they can affect saddle fitting. There was far too much to cover in just 2 days but it was definitely a good introduction to the principles, and also to make you realise just home many variables there can be. Honestly I found it a little overwhelming and I do a lot of saddle fitting with my apprenticeship but perhaps that is just proof of the importance of properly trained saddle fitters.