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This IRVAP accredited course addresses the need to improve the horse, saddle and rider as a combination. Completion of this course will provide learners with the knowledge required to apply a firm foundation of theory, saddle & bridle fit checking, equine mobilisation, ground schooling and rider stabilisation techniques to identify and make practical changes to the horse, saddle and rider as a combination in order to prepare all three elements for ethical and potentially greater ethical equitation performance.

Accessible to international learners, in this course, the horses have their postures prepared for saddle fitting for more efficient carrying of a rider and their riders will be prepared for being a more stable and balanced load for the horse to carry.

Successful completion of this award grants learners with the option to apply for voluntary professional registration with the Institute of Registered Animal and Veterinary Physiotherapists (IRVAP) in the Manual Techniques category. Successful completion of the foundation Applied Kinetic Anatomy, Biomechanics and Evaluation of the Horse Saddle Rider Combination, is a prerequisite for this award.

Having covered the foundation theory of evaluating the horse, saddle and rider as a combination in an earlier course, this programme focuses on a hands-on approach to improve all three elements of that combination. Manual techniques and ground schooling methods are applied to the horse to help supple and strengthen their backs, riders are stabilised both on and off the horse applying suggestions as to how they might improve their equitation postures by addressing their rotational asymmetry and their saddles are assessed for fit both for the rider and the horse.

The finer details

This 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. It is held over a series of three 2-day practical teaching sessions at monthly intervals and is assessed by assignment and case study portfolio, a longitudinal case study and a short online presentation of the case study.

Delivery method

Classroom and practical observation and assessment

Recognised by

Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists

Who should attend?

Therapists, trainers, coaches, horse dealers and behaviourists.

What will be covered?

  • 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.
  • Saddle and bridle fit checking.
  • Preparing a horse for carrying a rider.
  • Equine manual techniques and groundschooling methods to optimise range of motion in the relation to basic equitation in the sport horse or pony.
  • Rider stabilisation methods on the moving horse in walk, trot and canter in a riding arena.

Other areas of interest

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