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Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career

Today there is a vast majority of horses that are utilised for sport, recreation and competition.  Because of their value to humans, a lot of money is invested in keeping them fit and healthy.  This could be in the form of professionals who tend to their needs: physical and nutritional, for example.  It is also in the form of tools to ride and care for them.  Consider saddles, bridles, blankets, leg protection – the list goes on.  A saddle is a necessity for most forms of riding horses.  So too is being able to fit a saddle appropriately to individual horses.  Because of this, saddle fitting as a horse career I believe is a viable avenue for interested people to consider exploring.

For people who are wanting to make a career of horse riding, knowing that a saddle fits their horse well is imperative.  Many horse owners who ride recreationally also understand the importance of correct saddle fit.  And so a saddle fitter – often provided through the local saddlery – is utilised to make sure a saddle correctly fits the horse it is to be bought for.

Correct saddle fit helps to ascertain that the saddle is going to be comfortable on the horse.  It needs to not hinder any movement – shoulders are a big one!  It also needs to be balanced on the horse.  When a person is in the saddle, it is important too that there are no pressure points and that the rider is able to achieve a correct position.

As a horse develops in its riding career/training, its muscle tone will change.  Because of this, the need to have a saddle adjusted over time will be imperative.  In fact, Jochen Schleese of Saddlefit4life, states in his book Suffering in Silence that saddle fit should be assessed 2-3 times a year for young, developing horses.  He goes on to suggest an annual check for horses that are around 7 years of age.  Once horses reach 16 and beyond, checking 2-3 times a year again is recommended.

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career | Equus Education

Saddle Fitting as a Horse Career | Equus Education

If horse owners adhere to these guidelines of a certified master saddler, then there is definitely scope for saddle fitters to develop this skill as a career.  They would need to know how to assess a saddle’s fit to the horse and rider.  They would also need to be able to make adjustments.  Often this can be done on sight.  It may involve adjusting the angle of a gullet or altering flocking/padding in a saddle.

As horse owners and riders work to make themselves better educated, saddle fitting as a horse career becomes a viable option to consistently work and bring in money.  Interested in this option?  Be sure to check out the Saddlefit4life website and do some research on the term saddle ergonomist.

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