The word lorinery refers to all the metal used on a horse, including bits, stirrups, spurs, saddle-trees, harness and buckles.

The Worshipful Company of Loriners, which was established in 1261, offers a two-year saddlery course, including weekly lorinery lectures, for people working within the horse industry, as well as tailor-made courses for societies and members of the public, such as talks and demonstrations to riding clubs.

The course syllabus includes:

  • the history of lorinery
  • the principles of bitting
  • the various families of bit
  • metallurgy (the types of metals which can be used for bits, stirrups, etc)
  • the anatomy of the horse’s mouth
  • equine dentistry from a bitting perspective
  • the mechanics of the horse’s body

Students have to pass an exam and complete an assignment at the end of the first year to be awarded the Worshipful Company of Loriners Intermediate Certificate. After successfully completing the second year, including the final exam and assignment, students receive the Senior Certificate of Lorinery.

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) runs one-day courses specifically for people working in the retail sector. It briefly covers the same areas as the two-year course, as well as teaching how to obtain the right information from customers to help them make an informed choice when buying a bit.

Although it is difficult to advise on a purchase without seeing the horse and rider together, appropriate information can help avoid costly mistakes – although a new bit should not be viewed as a quick fix. In most cases there is no substitute for sound training for horse and rider with a qualified instructor.

For more information about lorinery courses and training contact the Worshipful Company of Loriners (tel: 01386 751695).