The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

14.12.2021 Fit For Welfare

Fit For Welfare: An International Conference from The Society Of Master Saddlers

On 6th November 2021, I was delighted to be part of the innovative virtual event, ‘Fit For Welfare’, hosted by the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS). Today I’m sharing with you some of my learning from the day.

In a twist that I haven’t seen at other online conferences, the day began with an address from HRH The Princess Royal. To me, this was a reminder of just how important tack is in terms of the welfare of the horse.

Catherine Baker, SMS QSF, SMS QBF, MS

Video case study: measuring, designing, making and fitting a bespoke bridle

Probably my favourite presentation of the day was the video on bridle fitting and making by Catherine Baker. As someone who is not naturally artistic, it blows my mind watching talented crafts people. Catherine estimated that it takes around 2 full days to make a handmade bridle, and watching the video, it’s clear why. Without a doubt, a handmade bridle from a SMS Master Bridle Maker is on my wish list for my next horse, and having seen what goes into the making of the bridle, I will treasure it! Catherine made an important point that if you can’t manage the expense of a fully handmade bridle, your SMS practitioner will be able to make adjustments to the bridle you already have, for example to shorten the cheek pieces so that the buckles are in line with the corner of the eye (which is believed to be more comfortable for your horse, since there is less impact on the temporomandibular joint).

Take home message: The bridle should be fitted to your horse as an individual.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion

December 14, 2021
Sue Palmer