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SMS Events 2017

We have a full and varied diary of events running in 2017 to appeal to all areas of our membership
Book early to avoid disappointment as numbers are limited.   

Date                    Event                                                       Venue   

11th & 12th April, Intro Saddle Fitting Course,                    Moulton College.  

3rd May,              Rider Biomechanics for Saddle Fitters,  Overdale Equestrian Centre, Oxfordshire.  

5th May,              Tool sharpening & maintenance,            Saddlery Training Centre, Salisbury. 

8th June,             Saddle Adjustment Day,                          Pittern Hill Stables,  Kineton, Warks.  

25th June,           Restoration techniques for Case Making, Tandy Factory, Manchester.

10th – 13th July, Qualified Saddle Fitters Course,              Moulton College.   

25th July,            Saddle Adjustment Day,                          Brinsbury College, Pulborough, Sussex. 
10th August,       QSF Refresher Day,                                Moulton College.  
18th August,       Sewing Machine Maintenance,                Vale Brothers, Walsall. 

14th Sept,           Annual General Meeting,                         York Racecourse.   

26th Sept.          Competition winning tips and techniques, Household Cavalry Mounted Reg. Hyde Park. 

16th Oct,            Saddle Adjustment Day,                           Preston, Lancs..  

21st November, ‘Be Business Savvy’                                  Walsall Leather Museum.


Introductory Saddle Fitting Course

The Pitsford Centre, Moulton College

11th & 12th April

A two day course covering the basic principles of saddle fitting.

• Theory and practical sessions.
• Mandatory for those wishing to progress to the SMS Qualified Saddle Fitters’ Course.
• A pre-requisite for going onto the SMS Mentor Scheme.

Cost to members £350 plus VAT.  Includes tuition, meals and refreshments. 
Accommodation not included but available on site.

Payment to be made on booking. (limited availability)


Rider Biomechanics for Saddle Fitters

Overdale Equestrian Centre, Nether Westcote, Chipping Norton, OX7 6SD

Wednesday 3rd May, 10.00am

Presented by Dorothy Marks

• What is rider Biomechanics?
• Basic fundamentals
• Human asymmetry
• What does a rider want from a saddle?
• Rider biomechanical faults that may affect the fit and positioning of the saddle
• Practical application

The day will be mainly workshop based with a practical session in the afternoon.

Cost to members:   £100 plus VAT.   Bring a packed lunch.

Payment to be made on booking. (limited availability)

Saddlers’ one-day CPD modules


Tool Sharpening and Maintenance

The Saddlery Training Centre, 3H Stanley Court, Salisbury, SP2 7GH

Friday 5th May, 10.30

The day will cover:

• different types of knives and how to sharpen and restore
• setting up:
• new stitching awls
• skirt shaves
• backing awls
• plough gauge knives etc

Lecturers:  Mark Romain and Laurence Pearman

Cost:  £55 + VAT     Bring a packed lunch.  Light refreshments provided

Payment to be made on booking. (limited availability)


Restoration Techniques for Case Making

Tandy Workshop, Unit 20, Lime Square, Ashton Old Road, Openshaw, Manchester, M11 1DA

Sunday 25th June, 10.30

The day will focus on restoration techniques for case making, including:

• making and fitting new leather corners
• corner stitching
• recovering handles.

Lecturer:  Chris Taylor
Cost:  £55 + VAT     Bring a packed lunch.  Light refreshments provided

Payment to be made on booking. (limited availability)


Sewing Machine Maintenance

Vale Brothers Ltd, Unit 2 Midland Road, Walsall, WS1 3QQ

Friday 18th August, 10.30

Kenton Barrett of Midlands Industrial Sewing Machines Ltd will give various tips on maintaining and using your sewing machine including:

• Cleaning
• Setting tension
• Timing issues
• Different types of needles and threads and where they can be used.
• Accessories including different types of feet and attachments.

You will be able to practice some of these techniques on the machines at Vale Brothers.

Cost:  £55 + VAT     Bring a packed lunch.  Light refreshments provided

Payment to be made on booking. (limited availability)


Competition Winning Tips and Techniques for bridle & harness

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, Hyde Park Barracks, Knightsbridge, LONDON, S7 1SE

Tues 26th  September

The day will include tips on:

• how the judging is done and what the judges are looking for
• getting stitching straight
• edge finishing
• how to make your piece stand out and get noticed
• leathers and fittings

Lecturer:  Frances Kelly

Cost:  £55 + VAT     Bring a packed lunch.  Light refreshments provided

Limited availability


Saddle Adjustment Days

Suitable for Saddle Fitters and Saddlers
Beginners or experienced

Various dates and venues.  Start time 9.30am

A  one-day module which will cover recognising and achieving a good fit in regard to recommended alterations and adjustments. 

The day will be spent looking at saddles that almost fit and delegates will discuss what can be done to make them fit.  Delegates will not be doing their own adjustments but will be recommending what is needed. These

recommended adjustments will then be made by Master Saddlers and the outcome evaluated.

Date    Venue

Thursday 8th June  Pittern Hill Riding Stables, Kineton, Warwickshire, CV35 0JF

Tuesday 25th July  Brinsbury College, Chichester University, North Heath, Pulborough, RH20 1DL

Monday 16th October    Preston, Lancashire

Cost:   £120 plus VAT including lunch and refreshments.



Thursday 14th September

York Race Course, Tadcaster Road, York YO23 1EX

The day will include a guided tour around the facilities.


"Be Business Savvy"

Walsall Leather Museum, Littleton Street West, Walsall WS2 8EQ

Tuesday 21st November

A business seminar covering a variety of topics:

• Setting up, running and developing a business
• Effective marketing
• Dealing with complaints and consumer regulations
• Contracts & employment law
• Accounting issues / VAT thresholds / Ltd or Sole Trader

Cost:   £55 plus VAT


Qualified Saddle Fitters’ Course

A few places are available on the course which runs

10th to 13th July at Moulton College

Open to those with three years’ experience in saddle fitting and who hold the Society’s saddle flocking qualification.

Email the office or see the webs site for full criteria and details. 

See the SMS website for candidate handbooks for both the Flocking qualification and Saddle Fitting qualification.


Qualified Saddle Fitters’ Refresher Day

Thursday 10th August at Moulton College

We also plan to hold a Manufacturers’ Showcase during the day.

Other courses which attract SMS CPD points arranged by outside bodies


Horses Inside Out
Practical Anatomy and Biomechanics Course for Saddlers and Saddle Fitters

Broomfield Hall Equestrian Centre, Derby College, Morley, DE7 6DN

Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd June

This course will look at practical aspects of applied biomechanics and anatomical principles of movement related to the horse’s back and head. It will take an in-depth look at the structure and function and relate it to way of

going and saddle and bridle fit with a mix of theory and practical observation. It will look at common back problems experienced by horses and provide a great opportunity for discussion with like-minded saddle fitters.
The course is open to all fully qualified, practising and trainee saddlers, saddle fitters, saddle designers and saddle makers.

Course Leaders:  Gillian Higgins, Laurence Pearman and Andy Wheals

Cost: £300 including VAT.  Book direct with Horses Inside Out:

Tel:  01159 212648 or email: Shirley@horsesinsideout.com

Two-day Equine Biomechanics Course
Back Biomechanics and Horse & Rider Interaction

Centaur Biomechanics

15th & 16th July, Warwickshire   or 5th & 6th August, Woolcroft Saddlery, Wisbech

Using state of the art technology and bringing together some of the latest research into horse and rider interaction, our biomechanics courses are interactive, delivered in small groups. We combine both theory and practical

sessions, all of which are supported by high speed videos taken from major events such as London 2012, Badminton, World Equestrian Games, and Europeans along with images from dissections.

Course Leaders:  Russell Guire and Mark Fisher

Cost £300 inv VAT.  Book direct with Centaur Biomechanics. 

Tel: 07788 978627 or email: info@centaurbiomechanics.co.uk


All SMS and outside courses attract CPD points

Don’t forget to inform the office of any outside event you have attended so that we can record your points.

SMS courses:  5 points
Outside courses:  4 points


Please note numbers are limited for most courses so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.
Places will be filled on a ‘first come first served’ basis.
Payment must be made when booking.