Equine veterinarian Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, has collaborated with master saddlers and saddle fitters Mark Fisher and Sue Carson to produce a practical, illustrated tutorial to help veterinarians understand the significance of saddle fit on the health and welfare of horse and rider.
The article has been published in Equine Veterinary Education, the official education journal of the British Equine Veterinary Association, and is free to view until April 2016.
The paper, “Saddle fitting, recognising an ill-fitting saddle and the consequences of an ill-fitting saddle to horse and rider,” was produced as a direct result from the discussions at the Saddle Research Trust (SRT) 2nd International Research Workshop, which was held after the SRT International Conference in November 2015. The paper encourages veterinarians to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team with saddle fitters, trainers, and physiotherapists to help educate horse owners about the multiple problems that can be caused by ill-fitting saddles.
Key advice from the paper includes:
- The saddle should be assessed off and on the horse, without and with a rider.
- The fit of the saddle for both the horse and rider must be evaluated.
- A well-fitted saddle should distribute weight evenly via the panels to the horse’s thoracic region, with complete clearance of the spinous processes by the gullet.
- The saddle should remai