Hello everyone it is a pleasure to meet you.
My name is Georgie and Elite saddle fit is my baby, I mean business. I started this journey because I am, first and foremost, the most horse crazy person you will ever meet. With 7 of them, you’d think I’d have my fill, nope! I would happily take on more and I do find myself wanting to rehome and help on a daily basis, alas, I do think my husband would divorce me, probably rightly so, however, I do kinda like him so I’d like to keep him around. 😉
“silently chants no more horses, no more horses. You have a man who you kinda like to keep around plus he fixes things so that makes him handy to have”
I was that nutty child that bored everyone she met to tears about ponies and horses and yes there is a difference you know! I’ve probably not really grown out of that habit TBH, truthfully though I just made a career where it was normal for me to talk “horsie” all day long. 😊😊
I first started getting interested in saddles around 16 years ago, man that makes me feel old. It’s a bit of a long story but if you’ve read this far maybe you’re interested? If not you can skip through pics of pretty ponies and I’ll see you soon.
I grew up on a farm surrounded by fields that I wasn’t allowed to put a pony on, yes I know, cruelty to its highest form. I didn’t understand at the time but my parents couldn’t afford a horse. Roll forwards a few years I was 17 and of course, I spent the savings my parents had put aside for my first car on… you guessed it, a horse, I mean isn’t that what all horse mad teenagers would do!?
Well technically he wasn’t a horse yet but he will be in about 4 years time, yes you read that right I bought my first horse as a foal hilarious I know. Of course, I had no idea what I had let myself in for, there is a saying green on green make black and blue, yes it’s true but man what a trip it was.
Hugo and I were together for 20 years and he taught me so much, he led me on a path of knowledge and experiences from the horse’s point of view, I would not swap that for anything.
Hugo led me down the path of Applied learning theory, Natural horsemanship, clicker training, bodywork, barefoot rehabilitation and of course the reason we’re all here today, saddle fitting, amongst many other subjects all horse-related. With all of the subjects above, I have dived in head first having spent time in the states learning from some prominent cowboys. To attending clinics with the most prevalent R+ trainers there are, reading utterly fascinating but complex books on neuroscience and biology of behavior, all in an attempt to understand the things that Hugo was showing me in his behavior. Once I understood those trainers then came the need to find out how to help. I have studied biomechanics both for the horse and rider, bodywork, groundwork, nutrition etc.
Of course, once I went down this educational route it became a game-changer I wanted to know more and more. So therefore I wanted to help more and more horses, I think that’s maybe where my obsession with collecting ponies came from, maybe? I came across a pony who had been misbehaving with his mummy who I ended up taking home with me, then there was another and another and so on it goes. 😂
“As forest said life is like a box of chocolates, you can never have just one. well that applies to horses too, you know.”
This all meant more learning and more collecting of horses and information. After a little while, I discovered that there was a pattern of issues with saddles. Add to that the changes horses were going through with corrective body work, farriery, nutritional changes, let alone training changes the horses changed rapidly and I could never get a saddle fitter to come regularly enough or to even make the changes I thought needed to allow more development I had to go and learn myself.
“All horses are individuals. One thing I learnt very quickly is that what may work for one horse, won’t necessarily work for another. It’s all about figuring out what will work for the horse in front of me.”
I learnt by reading and watching as much on the internet as I could which believe me back then there was not that much available! Saddle fitting gets discussed much more now than it did 17 years ago. Then I got really involved and went on several Saddlery training courses learning about how saddles are made. I spent days in factories learning how saddles could be designed to develop horses muscles, I designed my own for a bit. I then journeyed to The Netherlands to carry out my first saddle fitting Certificate. This course was written by a Dr in Equine Physiotherapy so developed deeply into what the horses needed from a saddle fit. The second course I carried out was in Germany this course leaned very more to the fit for the rider and a smaller amount to the horse. The third was here in the UK this one is very much based around the design and maintenance of saddles and the fitting. The fourth course was again based in the UK but heavily influenced by a lady from Sweden who developed saddles for the rider but also a program for trainers/owners to follow which helped rehabilitate, straighten and strengthen horses in preparation for a saddle to be fitted. All of these courses and experiences have developed an in-depth knowledge on all things horsey and saddle related.
So fast-forward a few years and now I have completed 4 certificates in saddle fitting giving me several letters I could use after my name, I guess, but don’t really feel the need. I am passionate about helping horses and their riders I honestly feel utter joy when I see horses change shape. Horses are meant to change shape, they do regularly. When you see the correct work for that horse being carried out allowing them to develop the correct musculature to the point where the saddle needs to be adjusted and their personalities and confidence grow with that muscle I just love it!
“Saddle fitting is a little like driving; you learn when you are qualifying and then hone your skill set with experience over the years.”
I have learnt in recent years that I really enjoy teaching and lecturing. I love my roles as a lecturer at 1 equine college and 1 university. I am hoping to find more lecturing opportunities as and when they arrive.
I have a natural passion for educating and sharing knowledge and I will help in any way I can if I see/hear something that I can help that horse or yourself I will indeed offer some advice all of which has come from experience not what I read in a book or on Facebook. Having owned horses for 20 years and not easy ones at that, you learn a few things, not to mention, the time I have spent with Vets, farriers, bodyworkers, dentists, trainers, bio-mechanists, nutritionists and many more. So basically if I can help you or your horse I will I can’t help it I am passionate about all areas of equine welfare, helping you find that missing piece is a bit of a geeky enjoyment for me, after all, we all know how proper horse care is, after all, one big puzzle, if we can get the pieces to slot it all looks stunning.
“There is not one horse I visit that I don’t learn from as much as I do on all of the CPD and events I attend annually.”
Meet My Herd
Erin WBxID 18hh 2006 is my big momma bird the babies all love her she is soft and loving and a little simple shes like a gentle giant with the nick name Big Bird
Ivy is 17hh RID 2016 gorgeous girly joined our heard in 2021 when my daughter Charlotte turned into Kermit the frog with her ridiculously long legs. She couldn’t just go to a bigger pony she needed a horse and well Ivys personality trumped all others.
Arna 2019 AES currently standing at 16.1hh our home bred British WB shes bold, cute, fun and such a sweet girl. Man is she gonna be a cross country machine, which is the aim.
Manou 2017 currently 17hh KWPN a true dressage horse at heart shes a pain in the bum, if there is a bolt shes undone it, a bucket she has to tip it over, anywhere she shouldn’t be is where you will find her but again shes cute and loving.
Raffi WelshxArab 2005 14.1hh pretty coloured lass was another of my freebies that needed rehabbing at a younger age her and Charlotte bonded from a young age and so she ended up staying. Charlie has out grown her now but she will stay with us as she is just the best pony she has free rein of the whole property she has EMS so has to keep moving and find her own food rummaging rather than all that fresh grass in the paddock.
Cydney ISHxHan Dame Suffolk Punch dad 2021 hes ginger stunning and big even at 7 months old he measures 15.2hh built like a brick out house yet somehow still sporty I bred him to be a heavy weight hunter I think I got what I wanted.
Chloe ISHxHan Arna and Cyds mum she is everyones mumma keeping them all in check but never mean she just makes sure that babies behave she can usually be foind sunbathing with Erin as the 2 adults stick together lol
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s the one that fits you and your horse.
There is no one brand that can fit every horse. There are hundreds of saddle brands in the world the fact is non of them can fit all horses. What suits one horse will not suit every horse.
More of a statement, we know! Something we hear often anyway. The fact is that a saddle that does not fit horse and rider equally, will effect the horse. It may not show up straight away, but, as with most saddle fit issues, the problems are chronic and can take years to become apparent.
Unfortunately there is no world standard in fits and settings to saddles. This is part of the reason saddle fitting is so difficult. No different than our own clothes, go to one clothing store and buy a size 10, purchase the same size in another store, I am certain both of them will not fit as well as the other. If a saddle rep is to tell you that your horse is a N or M for example what they mean by that is that is what they would put on the horse, in that brand. Not what the horse needs in every brand.
Again another statement. I am hearing it so much it is scary. The truth is that again not every brand has equal sizes in length as well as width and they tend to make 2 maybe 3 sizes for ease of manufacture. If someone tells you that you require an 18″ seat and you are only 5’6″ tall (unless you’re kermit the frog) then that may well be what they have in their stock. I rarely see horses that are long enough in the back to fit an 18″ seat, let alone have a rider who needs one.