Basic overview: why saddle fitting is being noticed, why it’s important. Two schools of thought: UK/SMS vs. “Continental”/Forward Balance. Why each works … or doesn’t.
1) What we try to accomplish when fitting a saddle.
2) Identify types and subtypes of English saddles: cc (equitation, jump, xc), dressage, ap, trail/endurance
Uses and focus of each
Fit for the rider; how seat depth, blocks, flap length/set affect fit and purpose.
3) Identify parts of the saddles
4) Identify types of panels
5) Identify types of trees (synthetic, spring, hoop/freedom head); purpose of the tree
6) Identify types of flocking, pros and cons of each.
7) Parts of the horse; identify major muscle groups
8) Why correct fit is important. See #1.How conformation effects fit. Different conformation challenges (big withers, croup-high, broad back, etc.) and which fitting options work best for each.
9) Where the saddle should sit, why proper placement is important.
10) Discuss how to check for back soreness; basics of how to evaluate movement.
11) Checking static saddle fit – 7 Points including billet placement. Cover finding rear edge of scapula and T18.
12) Checking active fit
A) Cantle pop
B) Lateral roll
C) Pad slip
D) Watch horse and rider – ultimately, it’s up to them.
13) Taking a template
14) Taking a conformation photo
15) Gadgets: Port Lewis impression pad, casts, correction pads, pressure pads, etc.
Q&A sessions at lunch and end of each day.