Gillian Higgins – Horses Inside Out

Gillian Higgs Posture and Performance
Gillian Higgs – Posture and Performance

As a rider, anatomist and biomemechanist, saddle fit and design is really important to me. One of my main interests as an anatomist, and one of the main topics in my books, is assessing posture and movement. Having ridden up to advanced level eventing I know how important it is to have a saddle that allows freedom of movement of the horses back. After the neck and tail, and excluding the lumbosacral junction, the most flexible part of the spine is between the 13th thoracic and 1st lumbar vertebra, this is exactly beneath the saddle and the rider. It is easy to see how a badly designed or ill fitting saddle, together with the weight of the rider can hamper this movement.  I travel all over the world doing lecture demonstrations in anatomy and biomechanics seeing many horse and rider combinations with different saddles. I come home and love my wow dressage saddles, designed to allow maximum movement throughout the back.

Gillian riding First Edition III in a photoshoot for her latest book Posture and Performance

It is often under appreciated just how much a horses back changes shape. It changes shape with each stride the horse takes and on a daily basis. However it also changes shape over time with the seasons, with variations in workload, muscle development and tone and alterations in posture. Regular and frequent saddle checking and adjustment is vital to help maintain best performance. I advise saddles should be checked every four months. The flair system and the adjustability of the headplates and panels makes the wow saddle truly adjustable, able to fit the horse as it changes shape from season to season. It is well worth taking some time to look at all the concepts and design features elsewhere in the website.

Gillian competing at Aston le Walls Advanced’
Gillian competing at Aston le Walls Advanced’

I thoroughly recommend Wow saddles.