Perhaps like me you’re aware of people who work under the profession of saddle fitter. It wasn’t until recently that I became aware of the phrase equine ergonomist. As it turns out, there are actually three professions relating to saddles and horses that I had thought were one.
With a bit of help from Saddlefit4Life, here are some definitions. This can be especially helpful to those considering a career relating to saddle fit and horse function.
The Equine Ergonomist is not trained to actually adjust a saddle at this stage. They however are acting as advocates of the horse with an unbiased analysis of the situation to supervise the proper adjustments made.
Saddle Fitters have traditionally been trained either through ‘ad hoc’ apprenticeships working with professional fitters. Or at various ‘schools’ in North America, certification through the Society of Master Saddlers in England or through the Qualified Saddle Fitter process in the US. For most saddle fitters, saddle fitting consists of reflocking. Or in cases where the flocking has been changed to air panels, they will be able to adjust the air levels to change the fit. There is usually no requirement for ongoing professional development and re-certification.
Saddle Ergonomists have been highly trained in all subjects in the philosophy of Saddlefit 4 Life ® global network of equine professionals working together. This is to protect horse and rider from long term back damage resulting from poor saddle fit. Certified Saddle Ergonomists have studied human and equine anatomy and biomechanics in depth. They are skilled in both static and dynamic fit for onsite adjustments. Also, they are able to measure both horse and rider and offer solutions in saddles that will work for both.They will be able to diagnose and evaluate fit issues and make suggestions for solutions.
Saddle ergonomists are unbiased, not working with any one company. They have the ability to make decisions to determine the best solution for horse and rider knowing what the market offers. Certified Saddle Ergonomists are to be considered the pinnacle of holistic saddle fit experts. Working with a Certified Saddle Ergonomist will ensure that you have a highly trained, well-connected individual. Their education is based on current scientific findings. They aim to care for you as well as your horse’s comfort and well-being.
Equine Ergonomsts, Saddle Fitters and Saddle Ergonomists
Feeling better informed? If you have an interest in saddle fit and horse performance now you know of three possibilities. This can help you to better decide on where you would like to focus your energy.