Why every rider should pay attention as soon as they’re mounted.
When our CSE’s or CEE’s (Certified Equine Ergonomists) conduct a saddle fit evaluation, they always assess the horse and rider in movement to get the full picture.
Oftentimes, the rider will state that they need about 20 min to warm up the horse for him to start behaving.
What many don’t know is that within those 20 minutes is when the most important observations will be made. When a saddle is bothering a horse by rubbing or pinching nerves, it takes roughly 20 minutes for it to numb the area enough to dampen the reaction (obviously there are horses who don’t follow this rule).
Within those 20 minutes is when our experts see what is really going on. They watch every moment from grooming, tacking up, mounting, riding, dismounting, untacking and so much more to fully understand how the saddle may be helping or hindering both horse and rider.
So the next time you go to get on, pay close attention to your horse within those first few laps, what are they trying to tell you? Is it bad behaviour or simply a reaction to pain or discomfort.
Your horse trusts you to care for and protect them, that includes using tack that fits and doesn’t harm them (or you) in any way.
Are you listening?