THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE SADDLE FITTING COURSE AVAILABLE & IS TRUSTED BY BODY WORKERS & VETERINARIANS WORLDWIDE

EVIDENCE-BASED FITTING

With so many schools of thought within the world of saddle fitting, it can be difficult to determine what and who to trust. When it comes to evidence-based saddle fit that protects both horse and rider from preventable pain and injury, our courses are the pinnacle of saddle fit education. We have partnered with physicians, veterinarians, researchers, and all manner of equine and human professional to bring you the most comprehensive training. 

Our step-by-step process distilled from thousands of hours of hands-on experience, coupled with decades worth of knowledge from a collective group of experts and professionals means we’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to! 

Trusted around the world by professionals from every facet of the equine industry, even already practicing saddle-fitters! 

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Horses Evaluated
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CEE Lessons
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+ Hours of Videos

SOME OF OUR PARTNERS

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

The MOST COMPREHENSIVE Saddle Fitting Course Available!

No other course goes into this much detail about the importance of anatomically and biomechanically correct fit for both horse and rider. See why we’re top of the list for all equine professionals, even practicing saddle fitters! 

HERE'S WHY MANY PEOPLE STILL STRUGGLE WITH SADDLE FIT

At Saddlefit 4 Life we’ve worked with thousands of riders around the world and understand the struggle in finding a qualified fitter or a saddle that works for both you and your horse. 

Saddle fitting shouldn’t be confusing or frustrating. 

#1: CONFLICTING INFORMATION:

You can bring out 5 different saddle fitters and get 10 different opinions on what is "right". Sometimes it's based on fitter-bias, sometimes it's what they say just to make a sale, while other times it's just due to lack of knowledge on what CORRECT saddle fitting is. With so much misinformation floating around, it's no wonder people are constantly frustrated and confused.

#2: SALES DRIVEN 'ADVICE'

In many cases a saddle fitter is out to do more than check a saddle, they typically want to sell you a new solution to your existing problem, or a service that might not actually be needed, or be helpful. When service is driven by a need to meet a sales quota or service quota, the welfare of the horse may no longer be top priority.

#3: NO REGULATION

Saddle fitting as a whole is unregulated, meaning anyone, regardless of education or lack thereof can call themselves a saddle fitter and provide fitting services. What's worse is that there is typically nothing the owner can do if the fitter ends up causing saddle-related injuries or lameness.

#4: IF, OR, BUT NEVER TOGETHER

Saddle fitting is about fitting BOTH the horse and rider together, with rider fit a hugely important piece of the puzzle that shouldn't be ignored. Unfortunately many fitters focus solely on fit to the horse, with very little consideration on fit to the rider despite the fact that improper rider fit can negatively impact fit to the horse.

ALL TOO OFTEN PEOPLE GET STUCK IN AN ENDLESS CYCLE OF BUYING/SELLING SADDLES WITHOUT EVER GETTING TO THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM: PROPER EVALUATION OF THE HORSE & RIDER TO FIND THE CORRECT SADDLE SOLUTION

WHY COMMON SADDLE FIT 'QUICK-FIXES' NEVER ACTUALLY FIX THE PROBLEM

Walk into any tack shop and you’ll see that there is no shortage of specialty pad, girth, riser or other auxiliary aid to fix some sort of saddle fit issue. The biggest problem with these quick-fixes is that most people use them without understanding the sometimes severe and lasting consequences. 

Worse still, people don’t actually know WHY their saddle doesn’t fit, or what specific areas are a concern. Without an accurate, detailed and evidence-based assessment, it’s just money down the drain. 

Too often we see people spend hundreds on specialty this and that, when in reality their saddle just doesn’t fit, and no gimmick can change that. 

Now, more than ever, with the modern breeding of horses with shorter and shorter backs, do we need people who will speak up for the horse, protect their well-being and provide PROPER saddle fitting expertise and service. 

Saddle Fitting for ALL
makes, models & styles!

Regardless of the style of saddle you’re fitting, a horse is still a horse, and the structures and the biomechanics need to be protected and supported. 

It’s that core understanding and our fundamental principles that will help you prevent unnecessary and avoidable pain, injury and lameness in the horse and rider. 

HOW IT WORKS

1
Online Theory
Learn the fundamentals of evidence-based saddle fitting for horse and rider, with a focus on anatomy, biomechanics and overall equine health.
2
Online Practicum
Practice assignments on horses and riders in local barns and submit them online review. Connect one-on-one with instructors who will guide you every step of the way.
3
Externship
Complete 30 full student evaluations on local horses and riders, including static and dynamic fit to horse and rider, saddle assessment and solutions.
4
Certification
Upon completion of your externship, you will earn you CEE certification. You will then be able to provide the 80+ point saddle fit evaluation to your list of services.
Certified Equine Ergonomist
It's NOT about brand-specific fitting, selling saddles or promoting a singular brand.
It's NOT about overcomplicating saddle fitting and leaving the rider/owner more confused than when they started.
It's NOT about being a brand representative or forgoing equine welfare for profit.

SEE WHAT OUR STUDENTS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE CEE COURSE!

Lara van den Berge

Doing the Saddlefit 4 Life CEE course was eye opening to the vast amount of detail that goes into fitting a saddle correctly to both horse and rider. There are so many important details that get overlooked so easily. At first, before I did the course, I thought I was passionate about helping horse and rider and I signed up, but now I have become obsessed and driven to help find solutions to the problems that we face in the saddle and on the horse. I learn through my own past mistakes every day by reminiscing about my life and riding career with my retired mare and how I could not help her due to lack of knowledge so many years ago, now that I know what I did not know back then... What really has become clear to me is the amount of pain and discomfort these dear horses endure, simply because we don't realize that they are are suffering. Behavior changes and bad behavior patterns, clear or subtle, are a result of us not listening to the horse. We are not educated and informed enough, so we don't hear what they say to us or how they say it to us. I focus on listening.... I intend to help and educate and learn together with my clients as much as I possibly can, both horse and rider, and to ensure that they are happier and more comfortable in and under saddle so that quality of life and life expectancy can be extended and ensured through education and guidance to each and every client and horse that I meet on my journey. I am very excited about this path that I have chosen.

Tammy Donaldson

Tammy McCormick Donaldson, M.S., Ph.D., CAAB, CHBC began her career with horses as an assistant trainer while attending university and as a barn manager before returning to graduate school. She earned a M.S. and Ph.D. in Animal Behavior at Washington State University (WSU). She completed her training in Clinical Animal Behavior at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital Behavior Clinic. She has been a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist since 2003. Tammy has also received additional certification from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) as a Horse Behavior Consultant. Tammy’s passion is improving horse welfare through behavior modification, environmental enrichment, and proper saddle fit. She offers behavior consultation and saddle fit evolution through her practice, Evolved Equine Consulting In her downtime, Tammy enjoys competing in competitive trail riding (NATRC) and studying classical dressage.

Tammy writes: "My journey through the CEE (Certified Equine Ergonomist Course) & externship was enlightening in many ways and challenging at times. I decided to take the CEE course because I had been on a four-year journey to understand why, after purchasing five saddles, was my horse still showing pain and lack of muscle development. I saw Jochen’s presentation at the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES) meeting and was encouraged that this program would provide that understanding. As a Certified Equine Behavior Consultant and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, I also thought that this course could help provide insight into many of the behavior issues that I was seeing and suspected were due or exacerbated by poor saddle fit. I was amazed at the quantity and quality information that I gained in the course. After completing the course I became more aware of how the pain from poor saddle fit was impacting the behavior of the horses I was seeing. One of the greatest challenges in working with horse owners and horse professionals is that there is such a persistent belief that the issues that the horse is showing is due to poor temperament or learned behavior, rather than the communication of pain. It is my goal to instruct and demonstrate to these individuals how saddle fit can impact the health, performance, and behavior of horses and in doing so, improve the welfare of the horses in their care."

Pavlina Plevkova

The Certified Equine Ergonomist course exceeded my expectations. Over the last few years, I have become more interested in saddle fitting, mainly because of my pony mare. I wanted to find a comprehensive educational program where I would learn what to focus on when choosing a saddle and what to look out for. After a coincidence, I enrolled in the Saddlefit4life educational program and I am glad that I decided to do so. The course was very comprehensive, information based on knowledge of horse anatomy and biomechanics. I gained a lot of new information, skills and I began to understand the context. At the same time, I was thrilled by the saddle fit, so I will definitely be educating and improving in this direction.

Sarah-Joy Cottingham

The CEE course has been incredibly comprehensive and insightful. The knowledge I have gained has already significantly helped me in my Equine Body Therapy and horse training work which is the main reason I undertook this course. I never intended to train in saddlefitting, I had other courses I wanted to do! However if I was to get to the source of why so many of my clients horses were experiencing reoccuring pain, behavioural issues and ongoing pathologies especially when many had saddles professionally fitted! I had to further my education about saddles. And there began my search for the holy grail of saddlefitting - The Equine Ergonomy training. This training has answered the questions I had and will continue to have. I have not only embarked on a journey of learning I have had to “unlearn” many theories and concepts about saddlefitting and saddle design that I never questioned in my 45 years of riding. I dedicate this qualification to my amazing horses throughout my life that suffered in silence from my ignorance and lack of knowledge and information. I pledge to continue knowing better so I can continue doing better. I am very excited to offer this as a vital component to my equine services and contribute further to the welfare and longevity of our most deserving equines. I am forever grateful to Jochen and his team at saddlefit4life!

Alison Thomas

Becoming a CEE was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my horse career. I have been riding and competing in various western events my whole life, but I never understood the impact a saddle had on a horse and rider's performance and quality of life. Through the CEE course, I now have a thorough grasp on the multitude of variables that contribute to a well-fitted saddle all backed by science. With this skill, I plan to help other people who, like me, are looking for a way to remove the barriers of communication and improve their riding partnership.

Fay Hatch

I undertook the SF4L Equine Ergonomist Externship/Course to learn more about saddle fitting both for my horse & for other horses in the Northern Territory (Australia) community. The Externship is very detailed with assessments of riders ,horses & saddles & written assessments. Lots of reading - especially Jochen's book "Suffering in Silence" & his video clips. I have been able to assess the fit of my saddles on my Warmblood horse, & appreciate the positive changes that occur with a saddle that fits both horse & rider. I have developed knowledge, skills & confidence in saddle fitting, so that I can help local riders understand saddle fit for their horses & to know the basics of what the ideal saddle should look like. I will continue to offer my CEE services to the local Northern Territory (Australia) community so that horses & riders can benefit. By riders knowing more about saddle fit, more saddle manufacturers will be pressured to develop better fitting fully adjustable saddles. The Saddlefit 4 Life course and externship has given me many answers as to why my performance horses over the years have had discomfort, pain & injury from ill fitting saddles(despite consulting with saddlers & other learned people - who did not know! ) I encourage all riders to do this course.

Lesley Taylor

I love learning and I love teaching. I am a Rider Biomechanics coach and live in Denmark, WA on a one hundred acre farm with my amazingly supportive husband Will, 6 beautiful horses, 2 dogs, a cat and 40 sheep. I am very fortunate in that I get to spend every morning with my horses - riding, training and trimming hooves. My horses get to live as a herd in large paddocks with dams for splashing, rolling or drinking. I believe that problems with horses indicate that we have more to learn. They are my most valued teachers - wise and patient - and have taught me many things. Their most important lesson I think is “listen”. I believe that Education is the solution to all problems relating to horses. My personal motto is “You can never have too much knowledge”. This makes me highly self-motivated and any qualifications I may have are only stepping stones to further my studies. The best motto for riding and training is “Less is more”. Rider Biomechanics has taught me how little we need to do, and the importance of body awareness. Horses are so sensitive. They can feel a fly on their coat. Strong aids are unnecessary, but education is imperative. Even with the most perfect position and riding skills, you are causing your horse pain or discomfort if you use an ill-fitting saddle. This can be a very bitter pill to swallow. Most people I know love their horses, but without knowledge of husbandry, riding and saddle fitting, their horses suffer. It is therefore my goal to educate as many horse owners as possible.

THE SADDLEFIT 4 LIFE DIFFERENCE

TRUSTED SADDLE FITTING EDUCATION BUILT
BY A NETWORK OF WORLD CLASS EXPERTS

Our Certified Equine Ergonomist course is truly unlike any other saddle fitting course you’ve ever seen.

Because it’s NOT about sales, making exceptions or blindly following damaging traditions, but instead it focuses entirely on RESPECTING the anatomy of the horse and rider, and fitting to the unique and specific needs based on our trusted and often poorly mimicked 80+ point evaluation. 

Instead of focusing on a single facet of saddle fitting, we have developed a course that brings all the pieces of the puzzle together, answering your burning questions not just of HOW, but also WHY. 

It’s a process that is trusted by veterinarians, bodyworkers and other equine professionals globally, and for good reason. It works, it makes sense and is repeatable. No other saddle fitting system is as comprehensive or accurate. 

SIMPLE, ACTIONABLE & PROVEN
SADDLE FITTING THAT DOES NO HARM

JUST SOME OF WHAT'S INSIDE

Understanding the unique needs of each individual horse and rider utilizing our 80+ point evaluation.
Identifying saddle fit issues of horse and rider both together and as a unit in the static and dynamic assessments.
Provide in-depth measurements and analysis on both horse and rider, and how to translate that into finding a suitable saddle.
Educate riders, owners and other horse enthusiasts on how to protect their horse from preventable injuries and lameness caused by improperly fitted saddles.
Orthopedic saddle fit and equine asymmetry - how to identify and fit the asymmetrical horse to promote straightness and proper posture.
The overuse and often misunderstood specialty pads, what they're for, what damage they can cause and when/how they should be utilized.
The male vs female rider, and what each needs in a saddle to ride comfortably and without pain.

THE COST OF INACTION

Where will you and your horse be 30, 60 or 90 days from now?

By following the simple blueprint laid out on how to properly evaluate saddle fit to the specific needs of the horse and rider, you could be helping to prevent saddle related injury and lameness within your horse community.

Will it take hard work and dedicated focus? Of course it will. Will it challenge you? Absolutely. Will we be there with you every step of the way to make sure you succeed? Yes, 100% yes. 
You should run from any course that promises you’ll be a full fledged saddle fitter in a few months time, or doesn’t focus on the anatomy or biomechanics of the horse and rider. 

It’s worth every minute of your time you put into it, and you will come out the other side with a renewed understanding of the science behind proper saddle fitting, its far-reaching effects and how much it can support or hinder both the horse and rider. Consequences people never even think are from an ill-fitting saddle are discussed as we answer your burning questions and equip  you with the knowledge and skills to make a positive change in the equine community. 

Instead of wasting money playing musical saddles, or calling out every saddle fitter under the sun to only find yourself more confused and frustrated than before, all without any knowledge of how to protect yourself or your horse from the consequences of poor fit….

You could simply invest in the Certified Equine Ergonomist course, and for less than most people spend each day on coffee, gas and lunch, get access to education that can protect you, protect your horse, protect your clients. 

         Plus, the Certified Equine Ergonomist course qualifies as a tax-deductible expense under the                     continuous education category. 

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FAQ

Do I need to take any other course first?

No! You can jump right into the Certified Equine Ergonomist course without any pre-requisites. We only ask that students have a firm understanding of general equine care such as how to properly tack up their horse, and be able to identify basic lameness.

There are a lot of saddle fitting courses, what makes this one the best?

We have spent over 30 years developing and perfecting this course with the collaboration of professionals ranging from OB/GYNs to physicians, researchers, veterinarians and so many more. Our focus has always been evidence-based, anatomy and biomechanics focused with the mission to prevent injury and pain, full stop. Our course is considered the most comprehensive saddle fitting course in the world, and is also trusted by universities, veterinarians, bodyworkers and organizations the world over.

What if I'm not very technical or a more tactile learner?

Our instructors will be with your every step of the way, and help you in a way that speaks to your learning style. No other online course offers this level of support and guidance, with customized assistance for each student to ensure their success. We fully support students who schedule Virtual Sessions and bring us along with them to the barn.

Do I need saddle fitting experience?

No! You do not need any prior saddle fitting experience to take the CEE course. If you're already an active saddle fitter, you will still learn A LOT and we routinely have students who were certified elsewhere take the CEE course, who wish to expand their knowledge and better serve their clients.

How long does the course take?

The course is entirely self-paced so how quickly you get through is dependent on how much time you're able to dedicate to your studies. With the online theory, practicum, virtual sessions and externship, you can expect course completion in no less than 3 months if you work on it daily. For all students, you are given 12 months from the date of registration to complete the course.

What is the Virtual Session and Virtual Case Study?

The virtual sessions are scheduled by the student (with the exception of a mandatory session in the course) if they ever need additional support throughout their studies. Students are also encouraged to bring us along with them to the barn via Zoom and we will guide you as you practice on the horse. The Virtual Case Study is with Jochen himself, and students complete a full evaluation which they go through with Jochen.

Is there a limit to how much support I can receive?

No! You have access to unlimited support in various channels so you will always find one that works for you.

Does the course cover English & Western saddles?

Yes! The course covers both English and Western, as well as other styles. Students are also able to complete the assignments and externship in their preferred saddle style. For example, if you're wanting to focus only on evaluating Western saddles, you can complete your externship with just Western saddles. The course itself is applicable to all saddle makes, models and styles.

Do I need to travel anywhere?

No! You can complete the entire course in the comfort of your own home and barn. The only travel you would need to do is to your barn to practice the methods and complete your assignments and externship.

What is the externship?

The externship consists of students completing 30 full evaluations (as a student) and submitting them online for review and feedback. The reason the externship is required is to ensure students are accurately applying the learned methods and completing the evaluation correctly before being certified and allowed to offer the saddle fit evaluations as a paid service.

What if I get busy and fall behind?

No problem at all! You can go as fast or slow as you like, and if you need, can contact us for an extension should you need it.

What is included in the course fee?

You get access to the course, plus all the bonus content, lifetime support, certification and the CEE Toolkit which includes everything you need to become certified.

Do I need to buy anything extra for the course?

The course fee includes everything you need to complete the course and become certified.

When will I receive the toolkit?

The CEE Toolkit is shipped out immediately with a single payment option, or upon receipt of the second payment if you select the payment plan option.