‘Exciting’ saddlery project aims to improve horse welfare, comfort and performance

  • An “exciting” industry-wide saddlery survey has been launched, with the aim of improving horse welfare, comfort and performance.

    Hartpury University’s equestrian performance research centre is aiming to investigate equestrian professionals’ experiences and opinions on saddlery fit for horse and rider.

    The Hartpury research team comprises equestrian performance research centre lead Kathryn Nankervis, Russell Mackechnie-Guire of Centaur Biomechanics and Hartpury head of research Jane Williams, working with colleagues from the Society of Master Saddlers. The team is inviting professionals from a wide variety of areas, including vets, physiotherapists, coaches, saddle-fitters, equine dental technicians and farriers, to take part in the survey.

    Take the survey online

    Dr Nankervis said: “This research is hugely important as part of a wider goal in improving horse welfare, comfort and performance through better fitting saddlery. The results will be used by the Society of Master Saddlers, and we’d encourage everyone who is working in the field to take part in the survey.”

    The team said the aim of the three-part questionnaire is to investigate how saddlery fit issues feature in an individual’s role as an equestrian professional supporting horse-rider partnerships, looking at factors that influence referrals to other professionals, and some common issues encountered when fitting tack.

    “The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete, depending on the profession of the person completing it and all responses are totally anonymous,” Dr Nankervis said.

    “By taking part, you’ll be contributing to an essential piece of research, helping to improve communications and working practice within the industry.”

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