New Saddle Fitting Steering Group meets to discuss challenges ahead

The newly formed Saddle Fitting Steering Group – developed by leading organisations in the equestrian industry to look at education, training and qualifications for saddle fitters – had its first meeting on 23 September, chaired by the clerk to the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, Philip Napier, OBE.

Delegates from the group’s member bodies, the British Equestrian Trade Association, British Horse Society, Society of Master Saddlers, Master Saddle Fittings Consultants Society and the Saddle Research Trust, gathered at Saddlers' Hall, in London, to discuss the challenges ahead, set out a broad plan of action and agree a way forward with an open mind to potential opportunities. The group was completed by Walsall saddle manufacturing representatives James Hitchen and Frank Baines, and vet Dr Jane Nixon.
Five working groups – each under the chairmanship of a selected member body – were formed to tackle specific issues:

Research, Evidence and Communication – Saddle Research Trust.
User and Customer Education – British Horse Society.
Competency Framework, Skills and Standards – British Equestrian Trade Association.
Current Training Gap Analysis – Society of Master Saddlers.
Assurance, Validation and Registration – Worshipful Company of Saddlers.
The next meeting of the Saddle Fitting Steering Group will take place in March 2017.