Firstly, check when your saddlefitter got their qualifications? Most organisations – especially Society of Master Saddlers UK (SMS) are constantly reviewing and updating their syllabus and qualification criteria. A now outdated fitting thought was that there needed to be at least 3-4 fingers clearance at the wither. Your saddlefitter might not have kept up with the latest research and thoughts on saddlefitting.
Secondly, I hardly ever fit for NOW – I fit for the future. I assess the whole of the horse. The conformation, the muscles, the hooves – everything – both standing and moving. I then decide what is happening now AND what should happen in the future. I’ve had horses change four (yes, four) gullet sizes in 2 weeks once we found a saddle solution that works.
I’m constantly working with my saddlemakers to offer saddles that suit the Australian environment and horse type. My years of experience has developed a heap of knowledge on things such as:
- That WB bloodline that has the deceptive quirk to catch out a successful saddlefit.
- That breed that is likely to be croup high
- The breed that needs a deceptively wider saddle.
I’ve often been there and done that – both with my own horses or seen it with others.
I can adjust flocking on the spot – I’ve listened to saddlemakers on what flock works.