Independent Saddle Fitter
Shantel is a fully qualified and insured saddle-fitter that travels the state of Tasmania on a daily basis. She mainly offers refits of used saddles, however she has access to a brand new range which has been kindly offered to her by Saddleworld. Saddleworld's range allows access to a wide variety of brands and styles including Bates, PDS, Prestige, Pessoa, Wintec, Arena, Stubben, Status, Tawoomba Saddlery, Syd Hill, Ezy Ride and Ammo. She believes that the more use you can get out of your current saddle, the better! Being an Independent Saddle Fitter, Shantel's number one goal is to give you a saddle you LOVE and she will keep it suitable to situation and preferences.
How a saddle-fit works:
A saddle fit requires a close eye, a lot of muscle sense (to recognise the changes you’re making and what it will do to the horse), as well as being OCD with what you’re doing! Saddle fitting isn’t just about the panel, but the position and textures you use to correct it. To get the maximum quality fit, this is a process that needs to be done in person. There are SO many things that could go wrong when fitting blind!
So, here is what a standard saddle fit appointment looks like:
1. Ask about the horse for name, age, injures, etc and what problems they are having.
2. I feel the horses muscles to gain understanding of what their bodies are doing and how to create a better feel and comfort of them and the rider.
3. I check the health of the saddle and make sure the tree and flocking is healthy and no damage is done. This way I we know what to touch and what to put back on the shelf.
4. “Dry assessments”. This involves me assessing the horse without being girthed, and feeling around the panel to check for inconsistencies from front to back, side to side, balance, and matching of the horses muscles. I may sometimes watch the horses move without the saddle during this time also.
5. “Ridden assessments”. This involves watching the rider and horse move as one with how they currently use their saddle - after this we make a variety of SMALL changes to the saddle and work our way through the issues. The ridden assessment is the most important part of the saddle fit, because we determine how the rider makes the saddle move and how the saddle moves to the horse.
During the Ridden assessments we use a scale from 1-10 where the rider can be picky and brutal on how they feel and what they want improved. This scoring system is what I live by - if you give me a 9, then let’s find where 10 is!
The assessments can take anywhere from 20mins through to 2hours. It’s important that when you book your appointment that you leave a lot of time aside so we can gently change things and keep our brains and eyes focused on the task at hand.
I push to give you and your horse the best feeling possible, so this process cannot be rushed! As a saddle fitter it’s important to feel and watch the saddle in action to confirm a fit.
I’m 100% open to any form of saddle conversations as they are so important to have! So please never be afraid to talk no matter how "silly" the question sounds -message me and lets start the discussion.
Let’s talk about it and create a plan on how to fix it for you.