How much of your day/week is related to horses?
I am happy to be able to say that the vast majority of my week, both professional and personal, is related to horses. When I’m not traveling to barns for my job as a Regional Client Services Manager for Schleese Saddlery, I am working from home and spending most of my free time riding my own horse.
What is it exactly that you do?
I am a Regional Client Services Manager for Schleese Saddlery. I travel to different territories on regularly scheduled Saddle Fit Clinics. We provide saddle fitting services to new clients seeking an optimally fitting saddle for horse and rider and to our existing clients in need of routine saddle fitting adjustments.
My primary role is to create and maintain lasting relationships with our new and existing clients and with equine professionals to promote Schleese Saddlery and our saddle fit philosophy of pain free riding for horse and rider. I travel with a teammate who is a Certified Saddle Fit Technician, and together we provide thorough assessment, education, and offer solutions to saddle fit needs.
In this field of work, is it possible to be a full time professional and earning a liveable income?
Yes! We work hard and love what we do, and we are fortunate to be able to make a sustainable income doing something that is really a lot of fun.
What are the general steps taken to be employed in such a role?
Saddlefit4Life is a non-profit organization that provides education and certification in the assessment of saddle fit for horse and rider. I encourage anyone interested in assessing and fitting saddles to research Saddlefit4Life, the fitting philosophy, and upcoming courses and events. Saddlefit4Life offers a range of educational opportunities from introductory seminars to intensive courses for those interested in learning more about pain free saddle fit.
Favourite horse memory?
It’s safe to say that most of my favorite memories are horse related! Personally, my favorite memory with my own horse was showing our fourth level freestyle test that we prepared. The whole process of choreographing the test and arranging the music with a wonderful clinician, to schooling the test and finally culminating the experience in showing the test was a wonderful goal that we achieved together.
I also have many wonderful work related horse memories. One that particularly sticks out in my mind is when we were consulted on a horse that refused to move forward in his current saddle. The saddle was restricting his shoulder movement and literally blocking him from moving forward. We identified the problems and provided him with a well-fitting saddle. The immediate, drastic difference in the horse under saddle was incredible. He became a completely different animal; moving forward freely, happily and relaxed. I am lucky to have many other memories just like this in my job.
My goals focus on continuing to promote pain free saddle fit for horse and rider. I look forward to continuing to provide educational opportunities to Equine Universities, groups and events to reach those in the equestrian community that are in search of safe and comfortable saddle fit.
Best thing about your sport/profession?
The best thing about my profession is that it allows me to spend every day in the barn with horses. I can’t imagine a better place to spend my time! We get to provide helpful, integral, important information and solutions to riders who want their horses to be happy, healthy and also comfortable in their saddles. We have the opportunity to watch our clients and their horses grow and progress in their training together and to be a witness to their journeys.