Practical Anatomy and Biomechanics Course
for Saddlery Professionals
The course is open to all fully qualified, practising and trainee saddlers, saddle fitters, saddle designers and saddle makers. It will look at the practical aspects of applied biomechanics and anatomical principles of movement related to the horse’s back and head.
It will take an in-depth look at the structure and function and relate it to way of going and saddle and bridle fit.
The course is illustrated with slow-motion video of painted horses showing exactly what is happening under the skin. There will be plenty of discussion and hands-on participation.
The course is a mix of theory and practical observation. It will look at common back problems experienced by horses and provide a great opportunity for discussion with like-minded saddle fitters.
There will also be a number of anatomical models and specimens available to study and we will discuss a range of saddle and bridle styles and designs.
08.30: Registration and Coffee
09.15: Anatomy of the Head: Bridle related skeletal
and soft tissue structures
11.00: Head Palpation and Bridle Fit Demonstration
and Practical Session
13.30: Understanding the Back
- Skeletal anatomy
- Movement of the spine
15.00: Muscular Misconceptions: Saddle related
muscular anatomy - Classroom
09.00: Posture, Movement, Asymmetry
and Compensation Patterns
11.00: Practical Session in the yard to include:
- Principles of palpation
- Skeletal palpation points
- Muscular palpation points
- Anatomical painting
13.30: Practical Session in the Arena:
- Scapula movement and the tree
- Assessing movement
- Assessing posture (4 Point System)
- Detecting pain
- Maintaining a healthy back
15.00: Rider Position and Balance Assessment:
Demonstration with a rider in a skeleton
Tea, coffee and cake will be available throughout the day.
A light lunch of sandwiches, crisps, fruit and chocolate is included.
Course notes will be provided.
Certificates of Participation (CPD) will be available on the day.
Gillian is an equine anatomist, biomechanist, BHS Senior Coach, professional Sports and Remedial Therapist and author with a first class honours degree in Equine Science and Business Management. She is an engaging knowledgeable presenter.
Gillian has performed extensive dissection studies, photographs and footage from which are included in this course. She has also developed a number of anatomical models including one illustrating the anatomy of the head pertinent to bridle fit and design.
As well as conventional training, Gillian has studied both traditional and holistic Equine Therapies in America, France, Germany and Sweden.
She works with horses from all disciplines and levels from leisure to Olympic, gives lectures, runs courses both nationally and internationally, delivers online courses and webinars and is committed to giving our equine partners the best possible levels of care and consideration.
She rides regularly, owns two horses and has evented up to advanced level.
I thoroughly enjoyed your course - both from a saddle fitter's viewpoint and as a horse owner and rider. You are a very inspiring and enthusiastic teacher! Your depth of knowledge for the subject shines through. You explained the biomechanics-like systems in such a clear understandable way - clearer than any other explanation I've been given or shown.
The main underlying theme for me was that if we want to ride horses we need to be proactive about strengthening their bodies to enable them to carry us and stay healthy into old age. This is our duty of care to them. And just riding them isn't enough - we need to exercise their bodies from the ground.
Things I found useful:
Clear explanations of skeletal and muscle form and function
Your paintings on the horses and the associated videos showing how the movement is linked to skeletal and muscle form
Palpating exercises to understand better when there is an abnormality or pain
Looking at and interpreting gait abnormalities.
All the practical sessions were very useful.
Thank you so much for your teaching and inspiration