EQ700: Horse, Saddle and Rider Interaction: The Principles of Saddle Fitting

Please note: If you are taking the course for personalize interest, you can sign up for the tuition fee without the externship. We cannot add it in later.

Presently being reformatted; returning soon

Dates Coming Soon!

If you are interested in being notified when this course is offered please click here and complete the request for updates.

As an equine health care professional, you can’t be at the mercy of the latest fad or analytical reports on saddle fit. You need to be able to look at the horse and assess whether or not the horse/rider combination is on the right track with their current gear. You need to be able to back up your findings to the owner or trainer for the welfare of the horse. Often you will be in the situation where a horse is recovering from an injury or has had time off. The horse may need you to offer a temporary solution using corrective pads or shims while the normal posture returns.

Our instructor for the first four days of the course is Dr. Anne Bondi, director of the Saddle Research Trust (SRT). The Saddle Research Trust, a charitable organization, has been established to lead and support research into the influence of saddles on the welfare, performance, and safety of horses and riders using scientific and objective methods. While Dr. Bondi concentrates on a variety of English saddles, many of these concepts can be applied to Western Saddle. On Day 5 in the USA course, we will have David Genadek, master saddle maker present a one day concentrating on Western Saddles only. Both instructors support their presentations with slides, examples of trees, pads, saddles, measuring devices, templates, demonstrations, and a variety of horses with saddle fitting issues with plenty of research to support the course information.

In addition to learning how to fit the saddle correctly for horse and rider, Dr. Bondi will also address common saddle fitting problems for the existing saddle by offering ideal, existing, and temporary solutions and when these solutions are applicable (or not!). Theory sessions using PowerPoint with a wide range of images and video that explain concepts are followed by practical sessions that demonstrate those concepts, test them and allow opportunities to gain hands-on practice.

Volunteer students are invited to make ridden assessments (exceptions: horse weight limit, rider injury or insufficient riding experience). Participants are welcome to bring their horses but this must be done well in advance.

Course Outline:

  • Saddle design: history, innovations & alternatives
  • Saddle assessment: design, safety & condition
  • Saddle fitting criteria
  • Assessing the horse
  • Back measurements
  • Assessing the rider
  • Horse, saddle and rider interaction
  • Clinical Reasoning: Saddle fitting assessment teams
  • Saddle testing demonstrations
  • Saddle testing teams
  • Saddle Fitting Interventions and Their Effects
  • Demo – effect of interventions
  • Clinical Reasoning: Intervention teams

Text and Materials Required: EQ700 Saddle Fit Course Manual by Dr. Anne Bondi: Free

Course Handouts: Free

Externship Grading and Certificate: Free to those who sign up for the externship

Prerequisite: Knowledge of veterinary vocabulary and some anatomy strongly suggested. Equinology offers a precourse equine anatomy study guide which is available as an online course. You can find those details by going to https://equinologyinstitute.com/product/eq50-equine-anatomy-precourse-distance-study/

Horse handling skills and a thorough understanding of equine safety is always a must!

Required Reading: None

Suggested Reading and Viewing:

Saddle Fitting A to Z: DVD by Dr. Kerry Ridgway

The Horse’s Pain-Free Back and Saddle-Fit Book by Joyce Harman, DVM

The Horse in Motion: The Anatomy and Physiology of Equine Locomotion by Pilliner, Elmhurst & Davies

Recognizing the Horse in Pain by Dr. Joanna Robson

   Price: AU$

You can register on this site directly for all Australia onsite courses and all worldwide online courses. External links for non-Australia onsite courses will take you to the appropriate website to continue your registration.

Registering via the Website:
You can click on the course number and scroll down to the bottom of the link to register for the particular Australia location and dates. The USA west coast office currently registers all online courses directly no matter where you live. Follow the “register now” link which will take you to the secure shopping cart. Here you can pay with a major credit card or Pay Pal. We do not accept wire transfers due to the processing fee.

Registering via Phone:
Please call the office during business hours 10 am-1 pm Pacific Time: 707.377.4313. You have the option to pay via credit card, Pay Pal or can arrange to send in a check.

Registering via Mail:
You can send your payment (checks, money orders or credit card numbers including the expiration date, CCV and billing zip code) to Equinology, Inc., 610 Noah Ct, Napa, CA 94558. Credit card registrations are also accepted over the phone.
Students are not registered until the non-refundable/non-transferable $500 deposit is received for the course. The $500 deposit is credited towards your course tuition. Courses $500 or less are paid in full at the time of registration. Please take note that all tuition balances are due 60 days prior to the beginning of the course.

To be eligible for our courses, a student must possess these skill sets:
    High School English equivalency reading skills*
    High School Graduate** or over 18 years of age
    Clearly understand the English Language***

* Those who are not high school graduates need to take an “Ability to Benefit” (ATB) test. We now have our own approved alternative ATB exam specific to equine or canine. Please contact the office at equinologyoffice@gmail.com for the link, password and state whether this is for a horse or dog course. The exam is at no charge and you have 3 attempts to pass.
** Those who are under 18 years of age need permission from their parents or guardians. If the student is not a high school graduate, they will need to take and document the Ability to Benefit Test as described above with a minimum score demonstrating that they have the ability to benefit from Equinology’s instruction.
*** Equinology Inc. does not offer English as a Second Language instruction. It does not offer English language services of any kind.

If you have any questions, please call!


The deadline to enroll for onsite courses offered by Equinology, Inc® is eight weeks prior to the first day of class. Tuitions which are $500 and over will require a registration fee of $500 to enroll and these are nonrefundable and nontransferable. This $500 registration fee is credited to the total tuition of the particular course. There is no registration fee for the few courses that cost less than $500. Those courses which are less than $500 will require payment in full upon registration.

Any student that notifies Equinology, Inc. to cancel a course must do so in writing and has the right to registration and obtain a refund of charges paid towards the tuition prior to 60 days of the course commencement less the $500 non-refundable registration fee. Refunds must be requested in writing to Equinology, Inc., attention Mr. Paul Hougard, COO/CFO, at 610 Noah Court, Napa, CA 94558 or the Equinology email at equinologyoffice@gmail.com.

Confirmation letters as well as the course outline, things to bring, required study before the course (if applicable), directions and lodging will be sent when the deposit has been paid. The balance of the tuition is collected eight weeks prior to the start of the course date.

Our instructor’s contract policy allows us sixty (60) days cancellation after which we are locked into our agreement. If you are unable to attend this course you may sell your spot to another individual providing that person has met the course prerequisites. Please notify the office for the data correction.

Our refund policies are stated on the factsheet, confirmation letters and on the website. As a reminder, registration fees which are used as deposits for courses are nonrefundable and nontransferable . In the event that Equinology cancels a course due to low enrollment we will refund your registration fee and any monies paid towards the remainder of the tuition. We will not “roll” the registration fee (deposit) over to another course for you should you not be able to attend.


If a course should not run due to low enrollment or other circumstances, Equinology will notify the students 28 days prior to the course commencement and return all tuitions collected including the deposit. Although students may wish to make travel arrangement before this time, Equinology cannot be held responsible for travel arrangements made before the 28 days. Equinology also cannot be responsible for student travel expenses should the class need to be canceled due natural disasters, or sociopolitical conflicts or an instructor emergency (death or severe illness or injury of self or immediate family member). In the case of instructor emergency, we will substitute an appropriate instructor if available before canceling the course. We suggest you purchase travel insurance for travel arrangements in case of one of these rare incidents.

Please note:

  • You cannot be confirmed on a class list until the registration fee (deposit) is received and the appropriate documentation has been returned (enrollment form etc)
  • You will not remain on the classlist and will forfeit your deposit if you do not pay the balance of your tuition by the designated date. We will attempt to contact you at least three times via email, text and phone.
  • Please prepare yourself for the course if precourse study is required
  • If a course has required texts, you should purchase these prior to the course
  • Please read the list of things to bring
  • In accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin
  • If you have any questions, please call us, that’s what we are here for!
  • Equinology reserves the right to cancel workshops due to circumstances beyond our control, including but not limited to, low enrollment, at which time all fees (including the registration fee/deposit) collected for the purpose of enrollment will be refunded.

Please note:

  • Equinology cannot be responsible for any losses incurred by registrants resulting from canceled or postponed workshops
  • Equinology recommends that registrants secure travel insurance
  • Registration fees (deposits) are non-refundable and non-transferable; no exceptions
  • Tuition is due 60 days prior to course commencement
  • A $25 fee is charged for any returned checks
  • Any students with outstanding accounts are not allowed to register for any Equinology or Caninology course worldwide until their debt has been addressed and paid.

For distance educational courses where the instruction is not offered in real-time, Equinology must transmit the first lesson and any materials to any student within seven days after Equinology accepts the student for admission. The student has the right to cancel the agreement and receive a full refund before the first lesson and materials are received. Cancellation is effective on the date written notice of cancellation is sent (see above contact information). If Equinology has sent the first lesson then the student is not eligible for a refund; Equinology shall not be obligated to pay any refund after the lessons and material are transmitted.