Saddles and equine osteopathy

As featured in our article entitled, “3 tips to prevent your horse from getting back pain“, having the right tack and consulting an osteopath will help you protect your horse’s back. As a horse’s well-being is our overriding concern, we have been working closely with the EOS Animal Osteopathy School. As such, an inaugural training course was held so that our Antarès specialists could improve their knowledge about equine conformation. Recap of the morning training session.

Equine osteopathy dovetails with saddle fitting

While both professions are different, they are actually complementary. Osteopathy identifies the source of an disorder in a horse to regain its mobility as far as possible. Treatment soothes the horse’s discomfort and improves its performance. Saddle fitting adjusts the saddle to the horse’s physical characteristics and the way it moves, the goal being to give the horse as much freedom of movement as possible.

Enzo Polizzi, a member of the EOS Animal team, conducted a study of horses’ backs, joints and muscles. Jérémy Lacheau tells us that this research helped him “better understand how the horse’s musculoskeletal system works beneath the saddle”. We reviewed the entire muscular system in the forequarters”.

As our Antarès second-hand saddle specialist, Vanessa Hamme emphasises, this insight into osteopathy helped her, “understand muscle insertions and anatomy to better pinpoint necessary saddle adjustments (panels, gullet angle, length, etc.)“.

Theory-based learning was supplemented by observational checks and hands-on training so that Antarès specialists could feel for specific signs of discomfort that might be present while patting down the horse. Based on the location and level of discomfort, it is strongly recommended to speak to an equine health therapist before changing saddles.

The training session also introduced our specialists to even more technical terms used in osteopathy as well as the chance to share their various experiences. Horses’ bodies and sporting demands are constantly changing, so this osteopathy training course provided our specialists with a recap of good practice and the necessity to place a horse’s needs front and centre.

We can never say it enough, but tack, or more precisely saddles, must be tailored to your horse’s physical characteristics. This capacity building exercise for our Antarès specialists will help them provide you with even better tailor-made solutions for your horses.