The purpose of Sam's Saddle Solutions: Saddle fitting and educating riders about the importance of proper saddle fit in Colorado.
Sam believes that if riders understand the anatomy and why a saddle needs to fit properly, she can prevent suffering and long term damage to our horses.
After graduating from CSU and spending nearly 3 years at Vista Verde Guest Ranch, she left the ranch temporarily to study saddle fitting with Saddlefit 4 Life, a network of equine professionals dedicated to protecting horse and rider from long-term damage caused by poor fitting saddles.
She is also a representative for TW Saddlery and Specialized Saddles - who make fully adjustable western and endurance saddles. They have the patented 3-D Fitting system to fit the width, arc and angle of the horses back, for complete freedom of movement.
Here is what Sam says about herself:
I grew up in a little town called Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. I started riding at about 6 years old, and never looked back. I started with English lessons (also while hanging out with and riding my mom's horse), and eventually decided to make the change to western to pursue a love for barrel racing. Before I started barrel racing, I did show in western pleasure and trail classes for a summer. I learned a lot and my only blue ribbon was in the trail class! But what a learning experience!
Further down the road, after countless lessons with my mentor, Terry Peiper, I purchased my first horse, Charlie at the age of 16 and took lessons with him and trained him for barrel racing. We won 2 buckles in the 3D, but he took care of me and I wouldn't have it any other way.
One day, I decided I wanted to pursue horses as a full time career, so I took a BIG leap of faith and moved to Colorado in 2009 to attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins. I had already completed 2 years at a community college in Pennsylvania, so I was able to graduate from CSU with a degree in Equine Science in December of 2011. I worked at a local ranching/hardware store, then a small animal hospital for a couple of years and then decided to pursue my dream of being a wrangler at a guest ranch for a summer. I happened upon Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Clark, Colorado (about 40 minutes north of Steamboat Springs). The rest is history! What was originally planned out as one summer season turned out to be almost 3 years. I was able to teach clinics, take trail rides, and care for a herd of over 100 horses. It is an amazing place and really opened my eyes to the importance of proper saddle fit. Those horses work incredibly hard during the summer and we were always battling sore backs, wither sores, etc., so I decided to start diving more into saddle fitting and how to help those horses (and horses everywhere), because let's be honest, they deserve it!
With that background, the more I learned from Terry, the more I had to know and help the horses. I'm doing this to help as many horses be comfortable and educate their people. My favorite saying - you can't argue anatomy! The horse is built the way it's built, and we need to accommodate that to keep them comfortable, performing well (whether at a high level or just a weekend trail rider), preventing long term damage, and keeping their people comfy too!
Let me come help you and your horse and learn about the "Why"! It is fascinating! Beware - once you know its hard to go back to pretending that you don't! It can also help you learn how to communicate better with your horse, learning their cues and signals to them being uncomfortable.
Thanks for reading!