History of The Perfect Fit Saddle Fitting Kit
HORSES ALL OVER THE WORLD are being helped by Cheshire ladies
Four years ago Lyndsey and Clare were living a quiet life, deep in the leafy lanes of Cheshire. Even though they had always been busy and thoroughly immersed in the world of horses, neither had a clue what was lurking round the corner. Clare had already written a couple of books on horses and Lyndsey, after a high flying career in Human Resources, was now training dressage horses to Olympic level. They had been planning to write a book together about problem horses and how to help them. In the process, they went out to visit many of these 'problem horses'. Their behaviour was bad in all sorts of ways, like bucking and running away and being tense. But all of these horses did have something in common -"their saddles didn't fit and because their saddles didn't fit them properly the horses were in pain, so no surprise that they were having all these awful problems." Says Lyndsey.
"The final catalyst though" says Clare, "was when I had my saddle restuffed and the saddler overstuffed it. It was so hard it was like a brick and because I knew so little then about saddle fitting I didn't know there was anything wrong with it. My horse developed awful emotional and physical problems which it has taken him years to get over. Physically, after a lot of professional help, he's recovered, but he still isn't completely better emotionally."
It was then that they realised that something had to be done to help. "It's thought that more than 65% of horses are being ridden in saddles that don't fit them. That was such a surprise. We had no idea the problem was so huge." They wondered why there was such a big problem and came to the conclusion that it was because riders knew nothing about it and, more to the point, didn't realise how important it was. They resolved to put that right and, very soon, began designing this kit for riders so that they could check that their saddles fitted their horses. It took them ages to get it right and then check it out, but after they'd done all the work, were very happy to hear what the professionals were saying about it. It seemed they all loved their kit. A lot of people use saddle fitters and, if you can find a good one, that's wonderful, but even if you use a good saddle fitter, to be sure that your horse is comfortable all the time, you need to know how the process works and you need to keep tabs on the shape of your horse and the shape of the saddle because both can change quite quickly. "The beauty of this kit" says Clare "is that it not only gives you loads of information about saddle fitting and gives you the tools to do it, but it also gives you the tools to check if either your horse or your saddle has changed shape. The check takes only seconds to do. The horse can change shape almost overnight and sometimes a new saddle or a newly stuffed saddle can change shape very quickly too. The kit allows you to monitor this easily meaning that you can get out a professional quickly before any harm is done."
They both went to the British Equestrian Trade Fair at the NEC this February and found that they were getting many enquiries from saddlers, saddle fitters and tack shops the length and breadth of Britain and from many places overseas, such as Australia, India, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany and Holland. The whole world seems to love the idea of it.
Now life has become very hectic while they work hard to fulfill all the orders. They're making plans, too, to go to overseas trade fairs.