I was lucky enough to be sitting on a horse before I was even born! Despite an allergy to horse dust I was determined to follow my mother and sister and learn to ride, so I underwent months of injections and treatment. Not only did I continue to ride, I also decided to pursue a career working with horses. I currently look after 6 horses at home, so there aren’t many spare minutes in the day!
Initially I started training as a McTimoney chiropractor to become an equine chiropractor. I attended various courses in equine body work, meanwhile developing my knowledge of the way a horse works or should work. I have also had an excellent riding instructor from a young age, who never uses ‘gadgets’ and is always able to help improve a horse’s way of going.
My experience of riding different horses from racehorses to dressage horses along with an understanding of the way a horse should move, how the horse’s muscles work and how imbalances affect performance, led me to looking at saddle fit as more than simply fitting a saddle to a back.
My journey into saddle fitting started at the Cumbria School of Saddlery in 2001 where I learned to hand stitch and reflock saddles. My interest in saddles grew and after much research and deciding the Society of Master Saddlers was not the route for me, I went to Florida on a course with Blake Kral MSF., learning mainly about English saddles but also Western. I continued to research and read whilst taking apart as many saddles as possible. It became apparent to me that many saddles were not well finished inside and frequently asymetric. The ability to open a saddle and put it back together opens up a whole new meaning to saddles and saddle fitting! Putting a saddle tree directly on to a horses back is the most simple way of seeing how a saddle fits.
My most recent training was with Kay Humphries, remedial saddle fitter.