Two-Day Saddle Fitting Clinics

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Have you ever wanted to learn more about saddle fitting, or maybe get started on the path to becoming a fitter yourself?  I can help.  My two-day saddle fitting intensive will give you a good handle on the basics of saddle fitting, and is a great preliminary class for furthering your education through Mike Scott’s fitting course (http://www.saddleguy.com/classes.php) or the Society of Master Saddlers’ Intro course (http://www.mastersaddlers.co.uk/ – click on the “Training” link in the upper right corner).  Please note that my course is not intended to give you the intensive training needed to “go pro” – this is designed to give you a good grasp of the basics for your own use or so you can, if you wish, continue the learning path.

In the course, we will cover:

  • Why saddle fit is important, and why it’s becoming a bigger issue now than in the past.
  • Two Schools of Thought:  UK school vs. Forward-balance school.
  • Saddle “anatomy.”  Discovering the parts and pieces.
  • Basic types of saddles and their uses.  How to determine what saddle will best meet your needs.
  • Saddle fit for the rider, and how saddle construction influences this.
  • Tree types: standard spring trees, hoop trees, synthetic trees.  What type works best for each horse.
  • Why tree width isn’t the only consideration in fitting.
  • Panel configuration and its role in saddle fit.
  • Flocking – foam vs. wool vs. synthetic
  • How to do a used saddle safety check.
  • Equine anatomy and physiology.
  • Assessing soundness and gait.
  • How to check for back soreness.
  • How conformation effects saddle fit.
  • Conformation-specific fitting options, tree and panels.
  • How to take a wither tracing.
  • How to take a conformation photo.
  • Saddle fitting “gadgets” – shim pads, impression pads, etc.
  • Checking static fit – the Seven Points of Saddle Fitting.
  • Checking active fit.
  • Individual assessment of the fit of each participant’s horse/saddle.
  • Question and Answer session at the end of each day.

Each day will start at 10:00 and run until about 4:30 or 5 (depending on the length of the Q&A session), with a 1/2 hr. break for lunch.  There will be hands-on work as well lectures, so please wear horse-friendly attire!

Cost of the clinic is $1600 plus travel and expenses.  All fees will be split between the attendees, with a maximum of 10 people (with a maximum of 2 saddles/horses per person for evaluation).  There is a $600 non-refundable deposit required to reserve the days.  For further information, please e-mail me at kitt@pantherrunsaddlery.com.

 

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