What should you expect from your saddle fitter?

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    Your qualified saddle fitter should:

    • Display the SMS badge (if approved by the society)
    • Obtain as many details as possible before the fitting
    • Stand the horse up square to assess his conformation and back before watching him walk and trot in-hand
    • Refuse to fit the horse if he appears lame
    • Watch the horse in action, including over jumps if necessary
    • Take detailed notes of your horse and his conformation to see how his shape and requirements change over time
    • Complete a fitting form before selling you a saddle

    What your saddle fitter should expect from you:

    • To know as many details about your horse as possible before the fitting. These include body type, workload, fitness and any problems he has had
    • To know as many details about the rider(s) as possible
    • To see your horse on a flat, hard surface where he can be assessed and shown in-hand
    • To watch your horse work, over jumps if necessary, in a level and well-lit school
    • To have the main rider present and wearing jodhpurs, boots and an approved riding hat
    • For you to have brought along your own numnah, pad, stirrup leathers, irons and girths
    • For your horse to be all ready for the assessment and not evading capture in the field!

    For the full feature on saddle fitting, see the current issue of Horse & hound (20 January, 2011)

    Read more about saddle fitting

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