Christine Peart

Christine Peart

Horse Health

Christine is a Society of Master Saddlers Registered Qualified Saddle Fitter having trained with Josephine Dancy (founder of NSC) and travelled to England for training and examinations in saddle fitting and reflocking.

To become a Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddle Fitter requires a 3 year apprenticeship working with a Qualified Saddle Fitter (I was accepted after 2 years) and then headed to the UK for assessment’s in both flocking & flocking adjustment & then the actual saddle fitters exam. Once qualified to remain registered you must be undertaking regular CPD.

I was asked to become a saddle fitter by my mentor, Josephine Dancy, a highly respected SMS Master Saddle fitter. With over 30 years in the industry, her knowledge of all things saddle related, from Tree’s to working with the needs of Olympic riders was an education of its own. I’ve spent time working on the saddle benches in the UK to further my understanding. And, having a back ground as a rider & pony club coach, alongside an Equine Science degree & Diploma in Equine Acupuncture, helps with an overview of all of the dynamics that relate to saddle fitting. Part of the appeal of becoming a saddle fitter was the fact that it was a rather specific job (the assessment of the saddle fit and how to adjust the saddle to make it fit better) surrounded by the need to have an brief insight into other fields.

As a person who thrives on learning, I could see that I would always be able to learn and grow in this industry and never get bored. While most people see a saddle fitter as a person who solely works with the saddle, what they don’t see is the overview we have to give to the horse/ saddle/ rider combination to see which factors are influencing the fit, and how much of what we see, are we able to change? Ongoing research in this field is impressive with annual conferences providing insights into the latest welfare findings such as pain expressions in the horse and the importance of the twist in the context for horse and rider in saddle fit. This is important to me, as I have a strong interest in the education side of saddle fitting, to prevent pain and discomfort for both horse and rider.

Education Sessions

Saddle fitting overview and discussion of gullets and signs of a poor fitting saddle

10.45am - 11.30am Thursday, 21st November | Small Demo Arena - Hall 2

Covering the 7 points of basic saddle fit. Fit of the tree (in the saddle), width and shape. Saddle length Saddle design Panel Pressure Clearance of the spine and withers Balance of the saddle Position of the girth straps in relation to conformation. Quick discussion of the saddle on chosen horse in relation to conformation - what features make that saddle appropriate for the horse and why. Discussion: What actually is a medium Wide gullet? Discuss what a gullet width actually is and why they vary between saddles Interchangable gullets versus traditional gullets, the gullet role and limitations. When do you need your saddle checked by a saddle fitter - signs of discomfort in the horse

Saddle fitting quick review

4.15pm - 5.00pm Saturday, 23rd November | Small Demo Arena - Hall 2

Brief refresh of the 7 points of basic saddle fit. Fit of the tree (in the saddle), width and shape. Saddle length Saddle design Panel Pressure Clearance of the spine and withers Balance of the saddle Position of the girth straps in relation to conformation. Rider needs versus horses needs. The rider- what type of saddle is right for you, what are the influences of the saddle on you. What happens when the rider needs a bigger saddle than the horses back can take The influence of twist sizes, seat sizes, flap size, cantle styles, knee blocks, stirrup bars, Rider and horse asymmetry Discussion - Children and saddles, understanding the effects that an unbalanced saddle has on a growing body.
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