The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

16.12.2021 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.

Dr Russell MacKechnie-Guire

The latest research on evidence based saddle fit, including pad use

Dr Russell MacKechnie Guire presented some of his research around saddle fit and the use of saddle pads. I knew that saddle slip was generally caused by the horse and not by the rider, but I didn’t realise that’s the case in 98% of cases of saddle slip. Russell’s point was that if your saddle is slipping, first look at finding and fixing the asymmetry in your horse. Only look elsewhere (such as at the rider) once you’re sure there’s no lameness or discomfort. The saddle fitter can help by adjusting the saddle to create changes in the way the horse moves. This, as with so much else, is a team effort.

Take home message: If your saddle is slipping, get your horse seen by vet and physical therapist as well as getting the saddle fit checked.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion

December 16, 2021
Sue Palmer