New Online Training for Saddlery Fitters Looks at Equine Welfare Issues
Thanks to an innovative collaboration between the Society of Master Saddlers, The Horse Trust and Redwings Horse Sanctuary, new online training has been made available for saddlery fitters looking at emerging welfare issues.
The training provides saddlery fitters with guidance and understanding of the current government legislation in this thought-provoking area of the industry.
The advice has been developed to help provide fitters with the latest developments and information on welfare issues and will assist them in clarifying actions or decisions taken in the course of their professional duties.
Past President of the Society of Master Saddlers, Ted Boggis, was the leading driver in inspiring the new training, thanks to his vision and focus on equine welfare along with his determination to do something practical.
The Society of Master Saddlers approached Redwings and The Horse Trust to develop the training which would build on the central role saddle fitters already play in upholding horse welfare.
The severity of animal neglect ranges from mistakes by inexperienced owners to gross mistreatment. In these straited times horse welfare will undoubtedly suffer as owners struggle to balance the needs of their families against the well-being of their horses.
This course, arriving at the most opportune time, provides a new dimension to the skills of those professional SMS members who fit saddles and bridles, allowing them to address welfare issues non-confrontationally through improved communication skills and understanding of their clients’ circumstances, as well as defining confidential reporting channels for the most egregious cases.
I am delighted that the collaboration between The Horse Trust, Redwings Horse Sanctuary and the Society of Master Saddlers has produced a course that completely fits the SMS ethos of ‘horse welfare first’.
Added Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust:
The Horse Trust has been involved in training equine professionals for many years and recognises the importance of a team approach to equine care and welfare.
During our extensive experience dealing with cases of equine neglect, paraprofessionals with an understanding of welfare, such as saddlery fitters, have been invaluable in supporting the rehabilitation and backing of our horses. This course shows our commitment to supporting saddlery fitters and aims to give them more confidence within their roles.
By collaborating with Redwings Horse Sanctuary and The Society of Master Saddlers we have been able to share a wealth of expertise both from professional fitters and those within the equine welfare sector to create a customised and role relevant resource that all saddlery fitters can access and benefit from.”
The training is available on The Horse Trust website at: https://horsetrust.org.uk/training-courses/saddlery-fitters/