Recently I had the opportunity to send a variety of horse industry professionals’ questions to be profiled on Equus Education. One such person indicated they could provide answers for any of four professions. One of the professions listed was an equine ergonomist.
Perhaps you’re familiar with this term already! I wasn’t, so hopped onto trusty Google to do a search! As it turns out:
“Equine ergonomics is the applied science of equipment design, to maximise performance by reducing horse and rider fatigue and discomfort. It is the study of the relationship between horses and the environment in which they work, and the application of physiological, psychological and engineering knowledge to the problems involved. ” – From Ergon Equine
Saddle fit is important. Especially in a time when horses are ridden for recreational use, competition and even for work. It’s not just about how a saddle fits a horse. It’s also about how it functions and therefore affects the horse and rider. This is where the equine ergonomist comes in.
The Equine Ergonomist
Through considering the horse, the rider and the saddle, they are able to assess the whole picture. Utilising proper ergonomic design should help to prevent injuries that could develop over time. This in turn could result in an equine eventually becoming unusable as a riding horse. Have you dealt with a horse that has issues with being saddled? Or has been sore because of a poor saddle fit?
This is where the equine ergonomist should be utilised. A vet or an equine massage therapist may be able to indicate where a horse is sore. They can also determine that a poor fitting saddle is the culprit. An equine ergonomist however, can help to address this issue and find a solution.
It’s exciting to think that further studies are being done on varying equine fields. I love too that gaining a qualification to work with these incredible animals is becoming an increasing possibility. If your passion is saddle fitting and function, then why not a career as an equine ergonomist?