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 email@example.com.