Performance Saddle and Bridle Fitting

At a Glance

1 Year with credit for Recognition of Prior Learning

There are two routes to entry on this course: one for experienced saddle fitters and one for those who have successfully completed the Horse Saddle Rider Lab Applied Kinetic Anatomy, Biomechanics and Evaluation of the Horse Saddle and Rider Combination and Preparing the Horse, Saddle and Rider Combination for Performance courses. The other for experienced saddle fitters who are required to complete the foundation Applied Kinetic Anatomy, Biomechanics and Evaluation of the Horse Saddle and Rider Combination course and receive training credit for their prior learning, only completing the modules that add to their individual skill sets.

Overview in brief

On this programme, saddle fitting begins with a working knowledge of how horse back muscle development and posture affects optimal saddle fit and how rider core strength, balance and stability relates to equitation performance. Assessment of bridle fit for further optimisation is also considered to play an important role in harmonising the partnership.

Learners will gain a range of saddle and bridle construction, design and fitting perspectives to enable them to develop a wide range of professional reasoning skills to apply to the professional fitting process. Emphasis is on providing the most appropriate solution for the horse and rider as a biomechanical combination.

The finer details

This unique course has been developed by an equine veterinary physiotherapist for equestrian professionals and established competition riders that recognise the importance of addressing the horse, saddle and rider as a combination in the saddle fitting process.

It is envisaged that with an approach which comprehensively encompasses the horse saddle and rider combination with a deeper understanding of the needs of the horse and rider in equitation, the saddle and bridle fitting service will nurture loyal long term fitter and client professional relationships. Improvement of the horse and rider combination to ensure that they are the best they can be for their permanent saddle fit, reducing the need for frequent replacement saddles in the process, is the essence of this course.

Who should attend?

Experienced saddle fitters who have completed the foundation Evaluation of the Horse Saddle and Rider Combination course. Equine therapists, trainers, coaches, horse dealers and behaviourists who have successfully completed both the foundation Evaluation course and the Preparation of the Horse Saddle and Rider Combination course.

What will be covered?

Topics covered include:

  • Postural assessment of the unmounted rider.
  • The effects of good and poor saddle fit on the horse and rider combination.
  • Equine gait evaluation.
  • How individual horse structure relates to saddle and bridle fit and equitation.
  • Professional saddle and bridle fitting.
  • Preparing a horse for carrying a rider.
  • Rider stabilisation methods on the moving horse in walk, trot and canter in a riding arena.
  • Effective communication with members of the public, professional colleagues and responsible authorities.
  • Selection of appropriate saddles and bridles for the horse and rider combination.
  • Optimisation of saddle balance.
  • Minor saddle and bridle repairs.
  • Optimal tack care and storage.
  • Creating and maintaining a public relations, marketing and selling social media account and policy.
  • Keeping records.
Other areas of interest?

Professional Top Up courses:

  • Performance Saddle Fit Checking
  • Rider Evaluation & Stabilisation Methods
  • Equine Back & Postural Strengthening Methods for Saddle Fitting
  • Saddle Flocking & Adjustment
  • Minor saddlery repairs