SRT Referral Scheme

SRT scheme to help horse owners combat saddle related problems


In observing a growing need for an independent, expert advice service, the SRT has launched a referral scheme to support and assist horse owners in reaching a definitive reason for saddle related problems.


The case will be assessed by the SRT and, if deemed suitable, referred to the SRT Veterinary Advisor who will carry out an independent examination of the horse, saddle and rider. A written report will be provided for the owner and their associated professional practitioners (veterinary surgeon, physiotherapist, saddle fitter etc).


Click here for more details on the scheme and how to apply.

saddle slip



"Despite having passed a pre-purchase vetting with flying colours I had been having issues with my recently acquired 8 year old mare since purchase; primarily napping, grumpiness and showing signs of discomfort being groomed and tacked up, and then progressively difficulty picking up canter in the school. My local equine vet, instructor, and equine physio were not overly concerned with my mare’s behaviour because she looked sound when trotted up, and doing flexion tests etc.


Although my vet thought the horse’s behaviour was most likely her just being a ‘chestnut mare’, he agreed that if I was still concerned the next step would be a full lameness work-up at a likely minimum cost of c£1,500. I knew that my mare was not right but unfortunately she was not insured and so I was reluctant to spend £1,500 with a vet that didn’t seem to be acknowledging there was a problem. So, I made an application for my mare to be seen by Sue Dyson through the SRT referral scheme.


Sue assessed my mare in the stable, and then in-hand, lunged, and ridden. Following the assessment Sue discussed with me the potential diagnosis based on what she had seen that day and the horse’s clinical history. Based on this we discussed the cost of undertaking further diagnostic tests and the likely long-term prognosis for the horse to return to being a happy ridden horse.


Sue was confident that there were several significant health problems suffered by my mare that meant she was in pain when worked (both under-saddle and on the lunge), and I regret not trusting my own instincts on this earlier. However, it was a relief for me to have my horse seen by a vet that has such extensive experience identifying and diagnosing performance related issues, and that acknowledged the signs of discomfort my mare was giving.


Sue gave a very honest and clear (as is possible without undertaking further diagnostic tests) prognosis for my mare which allowed me to make a sensible decision about her future that was in the best interests of the horse."


Emma Murphy      Follow SaddleResearch on Twitter      View Saddle Research Trust's profile on LinkedIn