Sunday, January 31, 2010

Saddle Fit Clinic

Pumpkin Ridge Equestrian Center hosted a free saddle fitting clinic the afternoon with Ilene Nessenson. Ilene owns Holistic Horse Bodyworks.

About twenty five clinic attendees showed up, saddles in hand to learn more about how these things should look on our horses. Ilene had us flip our saddles over and check the flocking and really feel every inch of the saddle. One of the saddles brought actually had a broken Next we learned how to find the last rib and saddle placement on the sweet spot. Also, a reminder to pull out that mounting block and look down on your horse. Look for symmetry and straightness and note sides that may need work or shimming. Finally we tried all our saddles on three different demo horses, applying information we had just learned to assess how well the saddles fit. Sadly, one or two saddles worked out of the whole bunch. It was very informative and it was a reminder to really feel your tack. We passed around a bunch of cinches, that look acceptable, but upon feeling them, had serious issues.

A fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon with girlfriends, each of us dreaming of our next perfect fitting saddle.


Donna said...

Wow, I would love to attend a seminar like this! I have sooooo much to learn.

Unknown said...

Saddle fit should be done in proper manner because this only provides security to the rider and comfort to both.
Western Saddle

Lori Skoog said...

It is so good to see that riders are learning more about saddle fitting. Too many have no clue. Such damage can be done to the horse when they are not right. Think of having size 10 feet and trying to fit them into size 6 shoes...being made to walk, trot and canter and disciplined if you don't do it! These clinics are the best thing you can do for your horses.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I wish more people would put on such seminars. I could see how trying a bunch of random saddles on a handful of horses with different conformations would be really educational. It's just not the same reading descriptions on how a saddle should fit.

Jean said...

That's why I love my Ansurs. Minimizes the saddle fitting issues. I know they are not perfect for all horses, but eliminating the tree is a wonderful option.

Years ago, we never even thought of whether the saddle fitted the horse. It was all about rider comfort. I am so happy times have changed for our horses.

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

thanks for sharing the info! I had a saddle fitter out a year ago and I think it's time to do it again. Their backs changes so much and so does the tack.

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Grey Horse Matters said...

This sounds like a great clinic. I wish more people would get involved in this sort of educational clinic. Saddle fit is one of the most important things you can do for your horse and yourself. I've seen a lot of damage done to horses over the years and I'm glad that people seem to be getting better information on how to fit a saddle nowadays.

Rising Rainbow said...

Unfortunately saddles that don't fit seem to be way more common than those that do. Makes me feel sorry for the horses.

Good for you, learning about this.

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Ilenehhbw said...

Hi-- I am Ilene Nessenson of Holistic Horse Bodyworks, the clinic presenter. I am so glad to hear you found the clinic valuable and informative. Naturally, I could not agree more with all of the posts about the criticality of saddle fit in terms of both the horse and rider's overall health and safety. I do these mini-clinics for barns, clubs, riding associations etc. Feel free to conatct me at 503/867-1023 or I am also in the process of adding a saddle fitting page to my website. It will be up within a week. Feel free to conact me any time with questions or to set up a saddle fitting or bodywork appt.

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