Physical therapy for horse AND rider, why this should be your priority.

Recently, I attended the Equinenergy saddle fitting for equine therapists course, my externship was to assess the fit of a saddle to a horse and rider combination and make improvements to compliment both horse and rider.

Well, what a revelation! After assessing the fit using various techniques I used a low tech way to assess the fit while the horse was being ridden. After 15 minutes of riding the results were revealed, both myself and the horse owner in question were shocked!

The darker the colour, the higher the pressure that was placed into the horses back, not only was this rider sitting with more weight to the left (we’re looking at the underside of the saddle cloth) but the rider was pushing the saddle cross the horses spine. The higher pressure under the front of the saddle on the left side of the picture is being caused by the rider rocking the saddle across the diagonal as the horse moves. Most of the pressure is at the back of the saddle, this is being caused by the saddle tipping the rider backwards towards the cantle. Making the saddle wider at the front should alleviate this.

I went back to refit the saddle a week later to allow the rider time to get themselves treated. What makes this case study even more special for me is that I have been training as a human therapist over the last year! I treated the rider and couldn’t wait to see what the results were.

A week later, the pressure mapping looked like this.

The riders weight is being distributed much more evenly, however the saddle is still tipping them back. So after adjusting the width of the saddle and adjusting the shims that were being used with this saddle, the pressure map looks like this.

Much more even. The rider clearly still requires some work and I advised them to have regular treatments to overcome the long standing injury and compensation patterns within their body that would be transferred to the horse. It would be wise for this rider to have some riding lessons to help them to sit more evenly and in balance with the horse.

What would your pressure map look like? Do you think you may be in need of a treatment for yourself to help your horse carry you with ease?

Coming soon! Human treatment and saddle fitting.

If you need your horse treating in the meantime, don’t hesitate to call me 07931 523606 or message me on Facebook www.facebook.com/annablundenanimalpractitioner

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