This Blog is not for the faint of heart, it’s about to get truthful, be warned!
We live in a brand orientated world today, fashion and fads overcome common sense or education on a daily basis,. “The scouse brow” in the UK is an example, honestly, why!?
Marketing and advertising are an everyday part of life, it’s on the radio, the TV etc. Even our social media platforms allow our data to be collected, providing advertisers a way of knowing exactly what we are looking at. Marketing is unavoidable.
Companies employ tactics to make you want to buy their products, they sponsor influencers, as well as inundating our lives with constant flurry of advertising. This is of course true in the equestrian world as well as any other.
“Welfare needs to be our number one priority where the horse comes first”
Brands sponsor or support riders so that they will promote their products. This is a normal/accepted part of society. I am used to this, as I said before, it is the world we live in.
Sponsoring professional competitors may be normal. However encouraging trainers to sell their products directly to their students, whilst receiving a commission, is not quite the same.
In Europe it is standard for our saddle fitters to have a range of brands, some of those brands will have riders they sponsor some won’t. A saddle fitter is a saddle fitter not a sales rep.
In the US I am seeing an overwhelming amount of trainers, who are not trained saddle fitters, recommending products based on who they are sponsored or supported by.
“Saddles have become a fashion accessory with people wanting them rather than it being what their horse needs.”
If your trainer recommends a saddle, this is fine, but please get it checked by a professional independent saddle fitter before handing over your hard earned cash.
As much as we all want to believe that all horse associated brands will have horse welfare on the fore front of their company, unfortunately, the turnover of that company is often a higher priority. Try to remember there is a reason a reputable saddle fitters will have a choice of brands. Not all brands fit all horses!
So please, please, please, check that the purchase you are about to make actually does the job it is intended. Make sure it allows your horse to move freely, in balance and you’re balanced with that horse.