Replay 2.5 hours – Saddle Fitting Summit Topic #4 – Methods and Perspectives of Equine Back Templating


Essential viewing for all equine and equestrian professionals.  12 month replay access.

Continuing our popular Saddle Fitting Summit Series where we place 3 distinguished industry experts together in the same virtual ‘room’ for insightful perspectives and scientific myth-busting on an important, often contentious, saddle fitting topic.

Dr David Marlin from ERGON EQUINE joins saddle innovators, Jochen Schleese from SADDLEFIT4LIFE and Bradley Whale, Human and Equine Osteopath and engineer from IPOTANE, to debate the science of accurately templating the horse’s back.  What is the significance of thoracic sling function?  How and why does it change? Why and when is it important to take measurements?  How applicable are those measurement records for saddle fitting and for validating the opinion of the saddle fitter?  How can we protect the saddle fitter from controversy?

Our presenters once again bring the application of science, functional anatomy and biophysics of saddle fitting to the whiteboard for translation to the everyday world of saddle fitting.

Essential viewing for saddle fitters, veterinarians, coaches, therapists, riders and horse owners.

Replay access available for one year.

More information about the content below.


30 minute taster clip here:     This very special session was an exceptionally deep dive with frank discussion on the topic of how to evaluate the equine back using imaging technology and what it can and cannot offer to the saddle design, construction and fitting industry.  Our 3 distinguished presenters from the fields of saddle design and construction research gave 2 presentations each on this particularly challenging and often controversial theme.

Dr David Marlin opened with a variety of research projects on the very best of what we have available to us in terms of imaging and scanning.   Jochen Schleese continued with the concept that the measuring process is easy but interpreting and applying the findings is much more complex.  Bradley Whale approached the topic from a different angle whereby finding mathematical solutions to defining the available area on the horse’s back for saddle fitting was in his view the most reliable method.  He continued with results of a pilot study that he had carried out which showed that differences in surface angle of only one degree can substantially alter the back morphology by as much as 3cm width at the withers.

For the second phase, Dr David Marlin showed an impressive dynamic imaging technique which could track muscle movement and, in turn, strain regions which impact on saddle design and fitting.  Jochen followed this with how horse’s can be helped when a knowledge of the horse’s dynamic anatomy is applied to saddle fitting and why, if the saddle does not fit the rider, it cannot fit the horse.  Bradley Whale then presented the psychological aspects of how we either accept or reject facts, together with rider expectation and perceived skill level versus actual skill level and how their saddle might perform, impacting on the role of the fitter.

These intriguing presentations were interspersed with many pertinent and often candid discussions about the challenges faced by the saddlery industry.


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