Laterality, Posture and Saddle-Fit

What you need to know and why you need to know it…

Laterality (by definition) is the dominance or superior development of one side of the body or brain. ‘Handedness’ is a tendency to use one hand more than the other. Humans are bipeds and tend to be left or right handed while equids are diagonal quadrupeds. It is a bit of an apple to pineapple comparison but it gets us on the same page. Both horses and riders have unilateral tendencies and when left unaddressed can lead to numerous struggles under saddle. Working with a fitter who specializes in laterality, posture, equine therapy and balanced fit is the best way to solve these issues.

How does Laterality affect the fit of my saddle?

Laterality can be linked to several symptoms under saddle. If you are experiencing any of the following (especially if it has ALWAYS been that way) you are likely dealing with an unaddressed laterality problem.

• Horse moves well in one direction and struggles with the other, especially when turning and bending
• Drifts out when turning in one direction
• Rider tends to consistently loose same stirrup or one leg swings
• Difficulty with straightness down the centerline of coming to a line of jumps
• Difficulty picking up a lead or holding a canter
• Rider struggles with a collapsed hip and/or uneven shoulders, difficulty sitting straight in the saddle
• Horse has asymmetry in shoulders (have a look over their back)
• High heel/low heel syndrome
• Tail carriage to one side
• Struggling to advance to the next level in training

Aside form these symptoms and more, unaddressed laterality issues cause serious pain and damage to the horse. Often riders assume they themselves are crooked and spend countless lessons attempting to fix these issues only to have them remain. Your horse’s posture and how it relates to saddle-fit is usually the root of the problem. Once we have the saddle fitted and balanced we can then address the riders body and position.

August Equine offers highly specialized fitting services that go well beyond the fit of the saddle to the horse’s current condition. Years of experience combined with expertise on equine posture, biomenchanics and muscle development had given way to a new evolution of saddle-fit. We have a profound understanding of the relationship between horse, saddle and rider and the interaction between them during movement. Contact us to discover your best performance.