Are Your Pony’s Cheekpieces In The Right Position?

Are Your Pony’s Cheekpieces In The Right Position?

Source: Laura Fiddaman Photography Next time you put your pony's bridle on, take a look at where the cheekpieces are lying. Do they sit alongside their eye? If not, then it is possible you may have the wrong size fitted. Every day, whilst scrolling social media, I see lots of our equine friends in bridles that are incorrectly fitted. This is mainly because owners and riders are just not clued up enough when it comes to correct bridle fitting. Off The Shelf Bridles Most people buy their bridles 'off the shelf'. What I mean by this is that they usually buy a standard-sized bridle from a saddlery shop, second-hand sales sites or word of mouth. The standard sizes are generally Pony, Cob and Full, but over the years Small Pony and Xtra Full started hitting the shop floors too. However, even with the extra couple of 'standard-sized' alternatives, a lot of owners and riders still have to either buy two different sized bridles to...
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What I can do for you.

What I can do for you.

Every day, I have messages from people asking me all kinds of questions regarding leatherwork. So, I thought it was about time I put it into a blog post of 'what I can do for you'. INDIVIDUAL SIZED BRIDLE PIECES The above image is of our 11hh Welsh Pony, called Jakey. Whom we once owned when the children were young and interested in riding. I can remember struggling to get him a bridle from a saddlery shop that actually fitted him correctly. In the end we had to buy two complete bridles. Two, in different 'off-the-shelf' sizes, just to make up one bridle that fitted correctly. Now that I'm a Saddler and I know what I'm looking at, I cannot stand seeing ponies in ill-fitting bridles. Mostly I see them with the cheek piece buckles sitting right up by their browbands. This is far too close to their temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Although it won't cause a lot of 'pain' it certainly cannot be comfortable having...
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Gaining The ‘SMS Qualified’ Status

Gaining The ‘SMS Qualified’ Status

Ever since I started my journey back in 2015, my desire has always been to become a Master Saddler. Not just any Master Saddler; one that makes a difference and contributes to the future of saddlery and leatherwork. Since then my goal has been to gain as much knowledge, experience and qualifications along the way. This has consequently led me to become a fully-fledged City and Guilds (Level 3) qualified Saddle and Bridle Maker. My Student Years During my student years, I was adamant to find the very best support, guidance and knowledge I could find. Being an adult trainee saddler without an apprenticeship or placement with a Master Saddler was always going to be a difficult road to follow. Nevertheless, I was determined to succeed. Becoming A Member Of The Society From the start I was determined to become a member of the Society of Master Saddlers (or the SMS as they are commonly known). They provide advice and guidance, support and...
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An Intro To Bridle Fitting

An Intro To Bridle Fitting

On Saturday 28th September, I attended the Society of Master Saddlers' Introductory Bridle Fitting course that was taking place at Moulton College in Northamptonshire. Theory Session At 9 am, we all went into the lecture room and sat down. The morning was to be our theory session. We had a workbook given to us which followed the schedule of the day. The Horse's Head - a Veterinarian's Perspective Photo: SMS Website The first presentation was by Dr Jane Nixon, the consultant veterinarian for the SMS who talked us through the horse's head and the consequence of bits and bridles. As a once aspiring vet myself, I find these sorts of lectures really interesting. The horse's anatomy never fails to amaze me. This presentation specifically touched on the skeleton, the circulatory and nerves systems of the horse head and how a bridle can affect these areas. Dr Jane Nixon also advised us on the best practices of biosecurity when visiting yards and potentially touching various horses. Most of it...
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