Remote Saddle Checks

For horses that are changing shape rapidly eg remedial fits, young horses, horses progressing fast through their training, this can be really useful to do in between hands-on fittings.  If you have a saddle with a choice of girth straps, and a selection of thicknesses of pads, or even better a shim pad, then there is a certain amount we can do with you making the adjustments under my guidance.

If a saddle gets slightly out of balance, or otherwise has pressure points, it's highly likely that they will get worse over time causing issues with your horse's musculature and way of going, and even causing discomfort for you.  All of this can lead to expense and lost opportunities eg shows and training.

Having regular remote fits can help tackle apparent issues immediately ensuring we don't let them get worse, and sometimes the changes we make can reverse the situation, and then we can go back to the set up we had before (ie girthing and choice of pad).

The cost is £30 which I will invoice for immediate payment before giving advice in most cases.

How it works

I will work with you to assess what padding or girth strap choice changes might improve the saddle fit.  Sometimes changes in the horse are temporary, especially if we can nip associated saddle fit issues in the bud very quickly and stop them escalating, which they usually do.

If it is apparent that you need a hands-on saddle check for whatever reason then the cost of this service will be discounted from your bill (though forgive me, you might need to remind me) if you book in immediately.

Your own role in the saddle fitting process

Being aware of key elements of your saddle fit is an important part of horse owning and riding, but most riders are scared or for other reasons don't get involved.  When I am with you I can show you key elements of the fit that you can check regularly, then you are even more likely to tackle issues before they become significant.  This saves money on therapists for both the horse, and you in some instances, and saves loss of fitness, competitions etc.

What To Send

Photos from BOTH sides, showing the saddle firmly girthed, with the pad you are currently using.  Stand the horse up on level ground, and include feet, head and neck, which should be in "neutral".

Photos from the front, ideally both sides again, the example photo in the link below isn't 100%, if you can get the camera even closer to the neck, looking backwards along the horse's back, and include from above the pommel to at least half way down the flap, we should be able to then see how the saddle, tree and flap, wraps around the horse's ribcage.  I am not trying to see clearance ie the gap under the pommel, as this is usually in the normal range, even if it's not normal for your horse.

It's also much easier to get a full picture of what's going on if you can also send a 20-30 second video showing you in rising trot, taken from the centre of a 20 metre circle, or thereabouts, with a slight zoom so that I can clearly see the whole horse, you and the saddle.  Again if you can show both reins that may be extra helpful.

Please send everything to where I can most easily save them to your customer file, videos generally under 30 seconds will send fine, I don't have Whatsapp I'm afraid!.

Side shots

Set the saddle behind the shoulder blade as shown, camera level with the girth groove, include the whole body from BOTH sides, with the pad you're using (optional if a thin cotton pad, necessary for anything else).

Front shots

This is the trickier shot, even the above isn't quite right but it shows what I'm looking for, comparing the two angles, though the tree point angle doesn't always match the red line, the welting.  The ideal photo is taken even closer into the neck and would show this much of the saddle, from pommel to at least half way down the flap.  It's not a photo of the pommel area.

NO pad, and decent lighting so I can see everything clearly.

Ridden photo

If you can get one then this is helpful, though not as helpful as a video.  Again square onto the girth line with the whole horse included, both sides where possible.  Halt, walk or trot, well lit so I can see both pommel and cantle.

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