"Numpty" definition: a raw beginner with no experience whatsoever. (Thank you, Kay Hastilow, for introducing me to this wonderfully descriptive word.)
Numpty ... that would be me in the blogosphere, and - honestly - with technology in general. I mean, I don't have a PDA, BlackBerry or iPhone; my computer monitor is one of those big honkin' dinosaurs that takes up three-fourths of my desk, my cell phone doesn't take photos (at least, I don't think it does) and my 12 yr. old son is my in-house IT guy. You get the picture. But in spite of being somewhat techno-phobic, I thought it might be nice to have a blog to record my saddle fitting experiences, not only to "think out loud", but also to share my experiences in the hope that someone may learn something from my journey.
Just to pad my profile a little, I'll let you know that my name is Kitt Hazelton, and I've been a saddle fitter at Trumbull Mtn. Tack Shop, Inc. for the last 8 years. I've been very lucky to have been taught by some wonderful and knowledgeable people, including Mike Scott, Nancy Shedrick and my present mentor and hero, Patty Barnett. I also attended the Society of Master Saddlers Intro course in Oct. of 2007. I do fitting, flocking and some repairs. I'm the shop's dressage specialist; I consult with customers in-house, and travel to barns for fitting adjustments and to take templates and photos for folks who are saddle shopping. I'm also lucky to work with a great bunch of women: Edie Tschorn, the shop's owner; Nancy Okun, our endurance and competitive trail specialist, and Sara Ineson, our hunter/jumper and eventing specialist. We all have our specialities, but we all pinch hit for each other on vacations and days off.
Saddle fitting is at best an inexact "science" - just when you think you finally have it all figured out, along comes a horse who breaks all the known laws of physics, gravity and saddle fitting. But that's one of the things that makes this job so interesting - it's never the same twice, and there's always something new to learn.
UPDATE: Though I know that those of you who've been following my blog for a while are aware, I want to let any newcomers know that I left the shop in 2013 when its physical location moved, and am no longer affiliated or associated with it in any way.