Happy Spring Everyone!
Today is Easy's 20th Birthday. I have been blessed to have a couple of really special horses in my life and Easy is definitely one of them. Our relationship can be described as "love at first ride." Larry and I bought him at the Jennings Sale in Lexington as a coming 3 year old, over 17 years ago. He has given me many years of riding and competing pleasure in addition to being a lesson horse and leadline horse for the kids and grandkids. This horse has always made me feel warm and fuzzy inside and I don't think there is anything that Easy wouldn't try to do for me.
When Easy was 12 and no longer sound enough to do lessons and show without drugs or injections, he was semi-retired. He had already more than earned his keep and was without a doubt a great horse for a beginner rider. So, Easy basically did little to nothing for 5 years.
Then one cold winter day a couple of friends invited me to attend a Saddlefit 4 Life training session with them in Florida for a week. I thought about it for about 5 minutes. Yes! I knew that the saddle had a lot to do with the rider's position but oh my gosh, I had no idea what I didn't know.
One of the most memorable things I learned on that trip is how a saddle pinching at the withers effects the lumbar, hocks and stifles. I couldn't wait to get home to have Easy's back checked. What I suspected turned out to be true. None of my saddles fit Easy and he has significant kissing spines. I still get choked up thinking about it. Here he is one of my favorite horses of all time, would do anything he could for me, never a mean bone in his body and I put saddles on him that caused him pain and permanent painful damage to his back.
Sometimes something bad has to happen so something good can happen. With some special care and a saddle that fits, Easy has been back in light work for over 3 years now. Easy was the motivation that started FIT RIGHT SADDLE SOLUTIONS. Spreading the word about proper saddle fit and how it effects our horses behavior, performance and ultimately the health of horse and rider has become my passion. Happy Birthday Easy!
Here are a couple of reminders to help you keep your horse healthy and sound this year.
April showers bring May founder so, go gradual, feed hay before grass, monitor the weight gain and use dirt paddocks if necessary to keep your horse a healthy weight.
Tired horses are more prone to injury so, gradually increase the exercise. 3-4 times a week for 4-6 weeks is a good rule for getting a horse back into shape.
Feet grow quicker in the spring so don't wait until you have lost a shoe to call the farrier. They are extremely busy this time of year so schedule 2-3 appointments ahead and shorten the time in between. Horses that went 8 weeks between trims in the winter will probably need their shoes reset at least 6 weeks in the spring and summer.
Saddle fitting DVD's and Books Available
I have Beyond the 9 Points of Saddle Fitting DVD's and Jochen's Suffering in Silence Book available for sale for $25. Both are an excellent source of saddle fitting information.
As always, thank you for reading our little enewsletter and for all the referrals. I sincerely appreciate each and every one.
Have a happy spring everyone!
TTYS & God Bless
FIT RIGHT SADDLE SOLUTIONS
Saddlefit 4 Life Certified Saddle Ergonomist
Authorized Schleese Saddlery, Thin Line, Specialized Saddles & TW Saddlery Representative
ARIA, ISRB & Richard Shrake Certified Instructor
Specializing in "Helping Horses with Their People" for over 30 years.
BUCK N HORSE HOLLOW
6 Buck Dr. Carlisle PA 17015
717-240-0723 cell 717-609-2822
Terry Peiper has been "Helping Horses With Their People" in south central PA for over 30 years as an accredited Richard Shrake Resistance Free ® Trainer/Instructor and certified American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA) Instructor. She has more than 45 years horse showing experience in several different disciplines ranging from hunt seat, halter, stock seat, barrel racing, dressage and side-saddle, as well as several years of fox hunting, hunter paces and open show judging experience. You could say she has been there and done that.
Studying saddle ergonomics started out as just another way for Terry to help her students however, it quickly took over her life when she discovered that her own horse, Easy had a condition called kissing spine which was likely caused by many years of riding in poor fitting saddles. “I can’t go back and undo what I have done but I can spread the word about proper saddle fit to prevent other horses from needless suffering” says Terry.
Recognizing the huge need for proper saddle fit, Terry joined the Saddlefit 4 Life professionals and started the FIT RIGHT SADDLE SOLUTIONS. She passionately pursues her mission to educate as many riders as possible of the importance of proper saddle fit, how it affects the horse’s performance, behavior and ultimately horse and rider health through lectures and saddle fit evaluation/consultations in the south central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland area.