I just wanted to thank you for the recent article you wrote on saddle fit and hyper-flexion. In fact, I want to thank you for ALL the publications and electronic clips you have created. Your dedication to improving the welfare of horses through education is inspiring and a principle we try to live by here.
We work hard every day to make sure our horses are healthy and happy and that their needs as horses are always met, before ever considering what we need from them.
I am always eager to devour your articles and webinars because of the emphasis on the horse as a living being whose physical structures have specific functions, and how to tailor our own desires/wants to work WITH these structures instead of against them.
When I first learned principles of saddle fitting, I learned only about the line of the panel following the horse’s back to ensure there was full contact and no bridging, about 2-3 fingers of space between top of wither and bottom of pommel, and the classic idea (at the time) that the pommel and cantle should sit level if the saddle was in balance on the horse’s back. Thinking back on that makes me sad that I may have made horses uncomfortable because of what I didn’t know…
Through my own education endeavors, and with a strong assist from your seminars, I now understand about the saddle support area, not having a saddle riding the scapula (or causing it to jam against it with every step), not having a saddle too far back, and the importance of aligning the seat of the saddle with the optimal carrying spot at the base of the horse’s withers. I understand that a saddle can ‘fit’ but the horse may not like the feel of it, and to look first at fit and comfort when a horse starts developing ‘attitude’. I’ve learned that a saddle can ‘fit’ in the barn but you have to confirm the fit with a person in the tack- because weight in the saddle changes things.
Given we are all animal lovers, we want what’s best for the horses, even if that means they need a different job in order to be happy. We are proud that our herd looks healthy and happy and that not one horse is ring sour.
Reading your recent article, I was struck with a need to express my gratitude for the horse person you have helped me to become. I wanted you to know about the profound impact your words and philosophy has had, not just on me, but the horses, clients and trainers I have worked with, numbering collectively in the hundreds.
Thank you again, I look forward to future articles.
— Seana Waldon - Ontario