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Redwings is delighted to have collaborated with The Horse Trust on new online training for The Society of Master Saddlers looking at emerging welfare issues.
The course provides saddlery fitters with guidance and understanding of the current government legislation and will assist them in clarifying actions or decisions taken in the course of their professional duties.
Lynn Cutress, Chief Executive of Redwings, said: "We're delighted to be working with The Society of Master Saddlers on this training course, in association with our friends at The Horse Trust.
"The SMS got in touch with us following our collaborative work on a similar course for farriers which has been shown to broaden their understanding of equine welfare and the role of welfare organisations.
"It's so important to work with equine professionals, such as saddlery fitters, who have regular contact with horses and their owners and really have the opportunity to influence horse welfare in a positive way."
Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust, said: "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 within their roles.
"By collaborating with Redwings 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."
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.
Ted said: "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 forthe most egregious cases.
"I am delighted that the collaboration between the Horse Trust, Redwings and The Society of Master Saddlers has produced a course that completely fits the SMS ethos of 'horse welfare first'.
The training is available on The Horse Trust website here.