Buena Vista, VA (July 14, 2011) – Professional trainers, amateur riders, Pony Club members, veterinarians, farriers, massage therapists and a variety of other equine enthusiasts recently had the chance to learn about leg protection and therapy practices, as well as the influence tack has on the biomechanics of the horse in sport, during seminars presented by World Equestrian Brands, LLC. The US distributor of Amerigo saddles and strap goods, Amerigo Vega saddles, Vespucci, E. A. Mattes and Equilibrium products, World Equestrian Brands is a strong believer in educating horse enthusiasts of all disciplines.
“Jen Wright, owner of Happy Horse Tack Shop, organized two great seminars, one held at CSU in Fort Collins and the other at Laura Backus’ Pendragon Stud Equestrian Center near Larkspur. The participants were able to listen to lectures and then go into the barn where we used ‘live models’ to demonstrate the basics of saddle fitting. We also had demo riders that were able to show that the right saddle does make a difference to both the horse and rider,” said Robin Moore, President of World Equestrian Brands. “None of the demo riders were pre-fit, so it was totally random and really proved the point. Also, we demoed the Equilibrium Massage Pad on the horses, and hands down, the equine response was a favorable horse smile!”
Alison Sherwood Bruce, Sales Director of Equilibrium Products, spoke about the latest technology in leg protection. “Equilibrium is serious about studying the effects of heat and weight on the horse, so there was in-depth discussion of having the right materials and the right boots for the different needs and levels of protection,” Moore said. “For example, you wouldn’t use a cross-country boot to school in dressage and vice versa. She also talked about the key points that should be met in boot design: light weight, flexibility, heat management, protection from penetration and concussion, and of course dealing with water on cross-country. It was a great presentation and Alison demonstrated the different materials and functions.”
Moore added that the seminar participants also learned about the benefits of massage and magnetic therapy. “Equilibrium has a great massage pad, as well as a massage mitt. Alison detailed the benefits as a result of studies they have done at Myerscough College in the UK, and the benefits in relaxation and recovery, as well as an increase in stride length and flexibility of the back were measurable and considerable. She also talked about magnetic therapy and the need to have the right magnets. Alison encouraged everyone to consider these treatments as maintenance for proper management of the well-being of the horse, not just something to use when there is a problem.”
Peter Menet, the creator and designer of Amerigo Saddles, spoke about the influence of tack on the horse in sport. “World Equestrian Brands sells Amerigo Saddles and we respect Peter’s knowledge and ability. He proved during his presentation that he is gifted when it comes to understanding the need for properly fitting tack, and designing and delivering the right equipment,” Moore said. “Over the years, saddle fitting has been driven by what riders like and frequently what we like works against the horse, such as a seat that allows the rider to sit back and drive rather than having the rider sitting up which allows for the horse’s back to come up and the hind legs under, for a true stretch over the back into the neck.”
“Peter’s years of experience in saddles has taught us that the shape of the tree has to be consistent with the shape of the horse’s topline and that we need the tree to follow the shape of the topline. The saddle needs to put the rider in the deep spot of the back, at the base of the withers where the back flattens out, not farther back where the horse’s back is weaker. Riders tend to like to sit so they can lean back and drive. Kyra Kyrklund, who rides in Amerigo saddles, frequently brings this up in her clinics: sit up and ride the horse up into the bridle so the horse can get the hind legs under and lift the back, don’t lean back and drive. The same premise carries through all disciplines — the rider should essentially be in the same shoulder, hip, heel alignment regardless. Peter is keen to point out that horses don’t lie and that they are the best judge of the saddle. One thing Amerigo is very proud of globally is the amount of top riders in all disciplines — dressage, jumpers and eventers – who are winning every weekend in our tack.”
To learn more about World Equestrian Brands visit their website at www.worldequestrianbrands.com or call 1-888-637-8463.