specializing in "Helping Horses With Their People" for over 30 years.
First, I would like to thank Vikki Erb again for hosting a saddle fit lecture at her farm in Halifax, PA and allowing me to spread the word about proper saddle fit. I enjoyed meeting new people and seeing a lot of familiar faces from the past. Thank you all for coming out!
And a special thank you to Betsy Ayers for allowing me to be a part of her Open House in Sharpsburg, MD a few weeks ago. Again I really enjoyed meeting new people and answering questions about saddles and training principals. I am especially proud of Betsy and her accomplishments as an Instructor/Trainer. Betsy was a student of mine and a good friend years ago. Thank you Betsy for helping me help horses with their people through you. Good job!! Anyone looking for helping in that area contact Betsy at http://www.tombetsthefarm.com/
Lynn Palm Clinic
I had a fantastic weekend with Lynn Palm & her husband, Cyril at Clonmel Farm with Fancy. Lynn, Cyril & I strongly believe in following the rules of Classical Horsemanship which allows our horses to develop mentally and physically gradually so that they can be happy and last a very long time. I can't wait to spend more time with them in the very near future and I strongly recommend the Ride Well Clinics to anyone that wants to improve their relationship with their horse. Thanks to Holly Pfanders for telling me about the clinic!
Does Proper Saddle Fit Really Make a Difference?
At a recent saddle fit evaluation the horse started out a little bit nervous, trying to trot when asked to walk, stiff while turning but basically pretty obedient and responsive. After we changed the saddle to a wider tree with a wider angle, the horse walked off freely almost immediately. Everyone could easily see the rider's improved position. The horse started to bob his head naturally at the walk and turned easier. The rider commented that he felt like he had new shock absorbers.
The horse felt smoother because he was relaxing his back since he no longer had to protect himself and was able to use his joints to absorb shock or concussion. The fragile little bones in the horse's front feet can easily be damaged if the horse is not allowed to stride out and break over his foot fall naturally and absorb the shock in the joints. The condition is sometimes called navicular or soft tissue damage. Restriction at the shoulders caused by too narrow a saddle tree or too narrow an angle at the top of the tree can cause lameness in the front feet according to Dr. Joanna Robson in her book Recognizing the Horse in Pain and What You Can Do About It!
At the Lynn Palm & Cyril Pittion-Rossillon clinic, Cyril explained that the #1 responsibility of the rider is to stay in a balanced position so that the horse can be balanced. In order for the rider to be balanced, the saddle between the horse and rider must also be balanced. Proper saddle fit in general is essential for a balanced rider position not only to enhance performance but quite simply out of respect for our horses.
One author who is not a saddle sales person, reports that riding in a poorly fitting saddle for 1 time for 20 minutes can cause long term permanent damage. Lynn & Cyril say be the rider your horse deserves. Dr. Robson pleads with her readers to pay attention to what your horse is trying to tell you. I am here to tell you and I am going to keep telling anyone that listens, proper saddle fit makes a big difference!
Favorite Link of the Month Lynn Palm & Rugged Lark Performance 1997
This performance still brings tears to my eyes as it did that night in Columbus.
As always, thank you for reading our e-newsletter and for all the responses. Call, text or email me and if I don't respond, please try again. I don't think cell phones and computers are always dependable. I always try to respond within 2 days. Happy riding everyone!
TTYS & God Bless
Certified Saddle Ergonomist and Instructor
FIT RIGHT SADDLE SOLUTIONS
Saddle Fit Evaluations and Lectures
Independent Saddle Fitter
Authorized Schleese, Specialized Saddles & TW Saddlery Representative
BUCK N HORSE HOLLOW
6 Buck Dr. Carlisle PA 17015
Specializing in "Helping Horses With Their People" for 30 years.