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Solutions, evaluations, and information with Rhonda Martin

Rhonda Martin is a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist (CESMT) and holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology (Anatomy-Physiology Emphasis).

Rhonda owns and operates Equine Mechanix near Kansas City, Missouri. A horse owner, competitor, trainer and massage therapist, she has competed in endurance, competitive trail, reining, western Dressage and Dressage winning circuit, state, regional and world championships.

Rhonda’s company provides massage-based integrated body work for horses as well as saddle fitting assessments, custom western and English pads, custom western saddles, lessons and clinics.

She has over 28 years of experience as a professional equine body worker, competitor, coach, clinician and speaker.

Rhonda is a dear friend, MANE CIRCLE clinician and confidant.

Why saddle fit is so important.

Good saddle fit is essential to performance, soundness and attitude. Saying that most saddles will fit most horses is like saying that most shoes will fit most people! Saddles are the same as shoes – some fit and some don’t. Training and behavioral issues are usually blamed on the horse, but I believe that you have to look at things like saddle fit first. For example, a saddle that doesn’t fit right can create shoulder stiffness and soreness, making it harder for the horse to perform properly. If they are in pain, they won’t have a good attitude either. You have to look at the shape and quality of the saddle, and how it interacts with the horse. I got started in saddle fitting because I used to do endurance riding, and that is when you can really see the effects of poor fitting tack. For example, going on a 50-mile ride for three hours is a much more intense work out compared to a 30 or 60-minute ride that most people do.

 

 

Example below: This Saddle is too Narrow for this Horse’s Withers

Good saddle fit is essential to performance, soundness and attitude. Saying that most saddles will fit most horses is like saying that most shoes will fit most people! Saddles are the same as shoes – some fit and some don’t. Training and behavioral issues are usually blamed on the horse, but I believe that you have to look at things like saddle fit first. For example, a saddle that doesn’t fit right can create shoulder stiffness and soreness, making it harder for the horse to perform properly. If they are in pain, they won’t have a good attitude either. You have to look at the shape and quality of the saddle, and how it interacts with the horse. I got started in saddle fitting because I used to do endurance riding, and that is when you can really see the effects of poor fitting tack. For example, going on a 50-mile ride for three hours is a much more intense work out compared to a 30 or 60-minute ride that most people do.

Example below: This Saddle is too Narrow for this Horse’s Withers

This Saddle is too Narrow for this Horse’s Withers
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