My name is Maria Owens and am based in Ringwood, Hampshire. I have been riding since childhood and now care for two Quarter Horses, a young Lusitano, an over-sized New Forest pony and an Icelandic Horse.
A number of years ago I started looking into other areas of horsemanship - mainly the health and well-being of the horse, along with saddle fitting since trying to get a western saddle to fit my own horse - without success. So the only option left to me was to learn how to fit a western saddle myself... and that is just what happened.
My search for knowledge took me to France & Germany to learn how to fit western saddles properly. I attended seminars run by Joachim & Drinsinger in Germany. Which included lectures run by Dr Rittman, German equine physiotherapist, and other eminent horse professionals in Germany. It was made very clear by using computerised sensor pads - that it is VITAL that the saddle fits properly. It is also very important to use the correct pad underneath the saddle. English saddles have their shock absorbancy built-in in the form of flocking (be that wool, latex, gel or air), western saddles do not. The pad provides balancing (like the flocking in an english saddle), shock absorption, protection for saddle and back, horse comfort and takes the sweat away from the horses back to help keep the horse cool.
In my dealings with horses, I have come across numerous horses with muscle wastage and pain. Much of this suffering was caused by poorly fitting saddles and consequently the horse would start to carry him/herself differently which would then compound the problem. My search for further understanding led me to attended lectures in the UK, several run by Dr Gerd Heuschmann, Jim Masterson, various physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths, and will continue to do so, to further my knowledge. I will assess your horse for discomfort as part of the saddlefitting consultation but do not treat, as treating your horse is best left to the correct professionals. If you are local to me, you will be left with the contact details of recommended professionals who will be able to help you with your horses' particular problem(s).
If you have any questions at all or require some advice please do not hesitate to contact me email@example.com