Why I Care About Every Horse’s Saddle

I became interested in saddles out of necessity. Until we got our Paint mare, I had very little understanding of how saddle fit can affect a horse's ability to move and even her temperament. Sometimes throughout my years of riding I noticed a saddle didn't fit me and was quite uncomfortable, but I truly never realized how painful a poorly fitted saddle can be for a horse. Coming toward my horse with her saddle in my arms, I noticed she would pin her ears. Girthing her was even worse. I've learned that horses cannot speak for themselves, and this was the only way she could tell me she was uncomfortable.

It was at an Art2Ride clinic that I first heard Will Faerber explaining how some tree points actually dig into a horse's shoulder and cause permanent damage. He explained how horses can't move the forelegs freely unless they can slide their shoulder back underneath the saddle. I knew instantly that my saddle did not fit. This began my journey.

When I started training my horse correctly and she began to develop her topline, her back changed. In the first year of this training, I went through buying and then having to sell three saddles as she developed. Then I heard there were actually saddles that could be adjusted in every way, and now my mare will never need to change saddles again. I want to let the world know this wonderful news.

Will told me about his wife Karen Loshbaugh and her mission to help horses be comfortable under their saddles. My first messaging "conversation" with her told me she cared about horses much more than selling saddles. I knew immediately I wanted to work with her. Karen generously spent the next year and a half teaching me the art of saddle fitting and why it is so important for every horse, even allowing me to shadow her as she visited her own clients. I'm forever grateful to her for believing in me and patiently bringing me along, as she continues to do to this day.

It is my goal to educate humans about saddle fit so they can then spread this knowledge far and wide  and help horses who are suffering under ill-fitting and even harmful saddles because their riders, like me, just don't know.

I'm thrilled to represent Art2Ride Saddlery and Peter Horobin saddles. A Peter Horobin saddle can change with your horse, as it can be adjusted as often as needed when your horse develops or changes for various reasons. How I wish I'd known about them when I first started training my mare! A Peter Horobin saddle may be the last saddle you will ever need, as it can even be adjusted to fit future horses as long as the length is okay. I'm so excited to share these saddles with people and to see their faces as they ride in them for the first time and experience the freedom of movement their horses enjoy immediately.

Being an associate trainer for Art2Ride allows me to see time and time again that horses change! Either in training or just natural aging, a saddle that fit your horse a year ago may need adjusting now. A horse in active training may even need a saddle adjustment after six months. You may not notice if you're riding regularly, so a saddle fit evaluation with a fresh set of trained eyes is always beneficial for you and your horse.

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