Saddle Fit Consulting & Education..My Story
…specializing in simple saddling solutions for the hard to fit horse & rider.
Because of many new materials and technologies, the world of saddles and saddle fit is constantly changing. This is a great thing as it offers horses and their riders far more choice. But it also presents new challenges. Fitting a saddle well is a complex art that takes a lot of experience, a good eye and a certain amount of sensitivity. This holds true whether the saddle you are fitting is a traditional treed model or one of the newer alternative (treeless, half tree, flexible panels, reinforced flexible base) styles.
My aim here is to help you and your horse navigate this complex process in whatever way I can. This may mean exploring all of your options in either a treed or alternative treeless saddle, or it may take the form of working with your existing saddle and researching padding alternatives.
Over the period of 1995-2003, I have spent over $40,000 trying out a wide range of treed and treeless saddles in an effort to fit my very difficult to fit Icelandic horses. This ‘study’ ranged from beautiful custom saddles ($3600 each) all the way to bareback pads I made up myself (out of desperation because nothing seemed to fit at the time). In an effort to understand why the saddles I purchased were not working I spent as much time as possible observing and asking questions of the fitters who flocked my saddles. When possible I traveled with them to learn more. I also imported many saddle fit experts and sponsored clinics. And when all else failed I spent many afternoons with the local saddle maker lamenting about my travails and brainstorming for answers.
I also have an extensive 20+ year experience in various fields of human biomechanics, including Feldenkrais, Pilate’s and Yoga. Finally I have practiced traditional Asian healing arts since 1986. Currently I specialize in Jin Shin Jyutsu® for humans & their animal friends, offering both individualized sessions & teaching Jin Shin Jyutsu® self care.
This wide range of experience and education has shown me that no two people, horses or situations are exactly like. Everyone is unique and therefore a little different. While of course noting the general categories of breed, back shape, riding style and rider build will get you in the ballpark, there are still many other significant variables (sometimes subtle) in the saddle fit equation.
This is where I can possibly be of value to you. By making use of my experience and knowledge you can get some feedback that will help you make an informed choice. I also will not hesitate to refer you to professionals in your area who can best serve and assist you.
I offer the following telephone consultations which are payable by credit card through Paypal.
- An in depth suitability study or assessment of either treed or treeless saddles with padding and accessory choices appropriate for your situation.
- Troubleshooting for existing saddles / pads
Initial Consultation Includes:
- 1 hour consultation
- Saddle Savvy ebook
Subsequent Consultations Offered:
- 30 min $40.00
- 60 min $80.00
**PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY**
As follows is an explanation of my process so you will better understand why it is necessary to send me the specific information and photos described below.
Each photo requested yields vital information on conformation levelness, girth groove placement, back shape & ribcage shape, in relation to various anatomical landmarks that are key in making accurate recommendations on viable possibilities for saddles that will work for your situation. It is essential to have the horse squared up, on level ground with weight on all 4 feet, and neck in a natural position (ie not grazing or tied up high) against a not too busy backround to determine padding, shims, girths, and additional equipment as well as saddle choice. Please do not send more/different shots than are requested. If I need more information, I will instruct you on what’s needed after I see the initial series.
It is very important the photos are sized in the manner requested because we need to easily scroll between photos during our consultation to educate you on how to determine overall viability during your trial period as well as how to position shims and any bolsters for your comfort. I also print out your entire history with the photos and my consultation notes to have on hand should you need help in the future or have additional questions after our session.
After I receive the history, photos and information requested below, it takes me 30-40 minutes to review and do research.
At that time additional information, measurements, photos, and maybe videos may be needed from you which requires more time on my end to instruct you how proceed. This all happens BEFORE your 1 hour phone or video SKYPE consultation. All the above time on my end is of course is included in the consultation fee.
If you do not have the ability to size the photos to the requested specifications, this takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes on my end to do so. My webmaster charges $10.00 for this service which is added to the consultation fee payable through Paypal if requested.
Prior to your appointment, I will need you to email me your pictures and information in the order as follows:
Please send me your information and photos in 1 email, with the information written in the body of the email (no attached text files). The photos should attached to the email in JPG format and each photo should be sized so it can be viewed easily within the body of the email.
Jpeg Size Approximately 550k, Pixel Dimensions 500W x 375H
First Photo, The side view topline of your horse(s) without saddle or rider; please make sure the horse is standing still, on level ground with head up and all four feet showing against a good contrasting background.
Second Photo, I need to see an overhead picture from the rear that clearly shows the side to side contour of the back.
Third Photo, I need a front quarter angle shot looking toward the rear.
Fourth Photo, I need a side view picture of the rider in the current saddle that is being used on the horse standing still (please specify make, model and seat size of the current saddle).
- A list of all the saddles and padding you have tried so far and the reasons why they did not work out.
- The rider’s height, weight and inseam measurements. In addition please specify the saddle seat size & model type you are most comfortable with.
- Any special rider needs, ie. narrow twist/knee, hip, low back problems, etc.
- Type of riding done, the length and frequency of the rides, the climate ridden in and the terrain and footing.
- The horse breed along with age, height, weight, injury history and any special needs of the horse. Briefly describe how your horse lives, ie. at home vs boarding stable, stabled vs pasture, how large the living area is, turnout time, frequency & size . Also specify what your horse is fed and how often as well as any supplements used. Additionally please note if your horse is shod or barefoot. If barefoot what if any protective boots are needed.
- Your telephone number, with time zone, and the best times to reach you.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU HAVE MULTIPLE HORSES UNLESS THEY ARE OF SIMILAR BACK TYPE, ONLY ONE HORSE CAN BE ADDRESSED IN EACH CONSULTATION.
TO SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION:
Consultation Payment Information – Consultations can be paid using your credit card via PayPal (My Paypal account is firstname.lastname@example.org) by personal check or money order. Since I have a great calling plan if you live in the US I can call you for the consultation. I also offer audio and video consultations via SKYPE for those with SKYPE accounts.
Once payment is verified & we have received all the requested information about both you and your horse, I will call you to schedule an appointment.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (805) 245-9908, 11am-6pm / 7 days a week/ PST, or email:email@example.com.
THERE IS A 24 HOUR CANCELLATION POLICY ON ALL APPOINTMENTS.
ALL MISSED OR SAME DAY CANCELLATIONS WILL BE CHARGED IN FULL.