Although she has been involved in saddle design and research since 2009, our Co-founder & CEO Trace Ward felt that she wanted to gain a more traditional saddlery qualification to help ensure that she is able to provide a comprehensive fitting solution, not only with saddles designed by Ergon Equine, but also with those designed by other manufacturers.
We're happy to announce that she is now a fully-fledged Master Saddle Fitting Consultant (MSFC)!
Endorsed by the Utrecht University School of Veterinary Science, this international saddle fitting qualification has the broadest scope and deepest reach of any course offered. It is informed by the current and growing body of academic research, and enables practitioners to apply the newest validated learning to saddle fitting, in order to improve the comfort of horses and enable a more rewarding horse-rider partnership.
The course covers the following areas:
Anatomy, physiology and biomechanics of equine and human; training, nutrition and other management influences on welfare, performance and saddle fit; conformation and how it relates to riders chosen discipline and saddle fit; pathology, including back and lameness checks and saddle / rider influences on pathology; correct back templating.
Tree and saddle construction, materials and fault finding – in a variety of saddle types including english, western, baroque, treeless and flexible treed; assessment of saddle fit and balance; girthing for balance, freedom of movement and horse comfort; use of therapeutic pads and remedial saddle fitting; bit and bridle assessment and fitting.
The course involves both distance learning and an intensive seven days of study in the Netherlands. Examination is three-part, including one full day of practical assessment, a two hour theory exam and submission of a detailed case study. The Saddle Fitting diploma takes about a year to complete.