Sarah Linton

Introduction

I believe the saddles that we use influence the shape our young horses’ backs for the future. I see so many high sharkfin-withered, sway backed, muscle wasted horses and believe that most of that shape is caused by ill fitting saddles. If a saddle is pinching or causing pain to the horse is it any wonder that we have behavioural problems?

It is our responsibility to make sure our horses have the best fitting saddle you can possibly find. Saddle fitting is the biggest nightmare I have ever come across but it is also one of the most important issues when wanting performance from our horses.

If the saddle is causing problems, no amount of body work or therapies will help.

It doesn't matter how much body work, equine massage or therapies your horse receives - if the saddle is causing problems, then the horse will continue to under-perform, and more problems will develop. Everyone should learn the basics of saddle fitting and this is something that should be checked on a regular basis.

Horses change shape and saddles change too.

I do saddle fitting checks with every horse that I work on and full saddle fitting assessments can also be arranged if owners want to buy a new saddle–or if they are having particular problems with their saddle.

Finding the right saddle for what the rider and horse want to do is a major factor. Looking at the whole picture is the only way to do a thorough and correct saddle fit.

With a full saddle fitting assessment I look at the horse, the saddle, and the rider as individuals. I then look at the saddle on the horse and finally the rider on the saddle on the horse.

I give an independent opinion on a saddle and saddle blankets - I'm not trying to sell anything – it is a totally independent point of view from years of studying horse’s backs and common areas of soreness. I will also make suggestions on adjustments that may be able to be made to an existing saddle.