Equiphys saddle fitting service


A good saddle fit consultation starts with a clinical examination of your horse. This includes taking a template to assess the shape and symmetry of your horse’s back.

Joëlle combines her skills in physiotherapy and biomechanics to assess your horse, looking for signs of pain, asymmetry and muscle atrophy.

The movement pattern of you horse is analysed. A lame horse or a young horse that is not straight yet, will have an impact on your saddle fit. In this case it is important to address the physical issue prior to adjusting the saddle.

Joёlle Steyt is a MSFC saddle fitter as well as an equine physiotherapist. She is highly qualified to treat your horse and to advise you on the good fit of your saddle and saddle related performance issues.


Equiphys saddle fitting service

The importance of ...


Each horse has a unique shape. This shape is not constant. The conformation of your horse is affected by age, health, nutrition and training. It changes continuously. A saddle that fits today can be out of balance in 6 months. To avoid physical problems it is advisable to have your horse and saddle checked regularly. Horses with orthopaedic problems or kissing spines need a constant professional follow up. Good saddle care is critical for the welfare of your horse. Joëlle is an equine physiotherapist, member of ACPAT, as well as a MSFC saddle fitter. She combines her knowledge and experience in a unique and specialised saddle fit service.



Your saddle...


An ill-fitting saddle causes pain and injury. Sore backs due to ill-fitting saddles are a common and usually underrated problem in all levels of equestrian sport. The saddle must fit the horse correctly. However minor a misfit, it can still be restrictive enough to alter the horse`s performance. Excessive or uneven pressure prevents muscles from receiving adequate blood circulation during exercise. Muscle development and build-up of a top line cannot occur when blood supply is reduced. Pressure and lack of blood supply causes muscle spasm and as a result the function of the nervous system is impaired. The horse will try to avoid the pressure by altering his gait pattern; this has an effect on the biomechanics of the horse and can cause misalignments and lameness.

Book a consultation to prevent any problems


Investing in a sounder future



Horses are ever-changing, be it from varying weather, diet or training. And with these changes, the saddle fit will continue to vary, or degrade, depending on how the flocking settles. It is only fair to your horse to make sure his saddle fits as comfortably as it can, given what he is asked to do in training. If you have a child that is growing, you wouldn’t expect to stuff her feet into shoes she’s outgrown, and the same is the case for your horse. It makes sense that your saddle needs a regular check-up, just the same as your car needs servicing.

A regular saddle fit assessment, once or twice a year, especially for young horses, is definitely not a luxury. It will improve the welfare and performance of your horse.

Novel saddlepressure analysis


You just bought a new saddle but your horse still has a sore back? Your saddle has just been adjusted but your horse is still bucking?

Equiphys provides an objective saddle fit assessment by measuring the pressure under your saddle by using the Novel pliance saddle pressure mat and software. This is a unique method with an evidence based approach to assess your saddle.

The Novel pliance system marks the beginning of a new era in the assessment of the dynamic interaction between the horse, the saddle and the rider. Pliance measures the dynamic pressure distribution between the saddle and the horse using a thin elastic sensor mat. The pressure distribution under the saddle during dynamic movement of the horse is measured in order to assess the fit. Harmful pressure points that arise from poor saddle fit can be recognized directly. Using Pliance® recorder software; the dynamic pressure distribution can be directly compared to synchronized video pictures.

Equiphys, your partner for a saddle made to measure



Equestrian sport is becoming more technically demanding, therefore the well-coordinated and balanced horse & rider pairs will always have an advantage. Poor performance is often related to poor saddle fit.

Saving money by buying cheap tack will only cause you more problems in the long run, increasing your vet bills.

Invest in a sounder future for your horse with Equiphys by investing in a quality saddle with a high quality after care service.

" Your horse changes shape throughout his working life.
Have your saddle assessed regularly to keep it in balance! "

Continuous Professional development is a must


Joëlle Steyt, Master Saddle Fitting Consultant, pursued her professional education for seven years in the UK and in The Netherlands:

  • Reflocking saddles at the Saddlery School of Cumbria, UK
  • Attending Saddle Research Trust seminars in Cambridge, UK
  • Precision saddle fitting with Sherry Belton ‘saddle fitter to the stars’ and owner of Albion saddle makers
  • Lectures and training with members of the Society of Master Saddlers (Mike Norton and Laurence Pearmen)
  • Lectures and training with teachers and veterinarians affiliated to the Veterinary University of Utrecht (Dr. Wim Back, Dr. Patricia de Cocq, Dr. Gerry Van Oossanen, MSFC)
  • Novel saddle pressure analysis with Mark Fisher, Master Saddler British Team
  • More than 10 years of experience working closely together with saddle fitters from the Society of Master Saddlers during her work as a physiotherapist in the UK
  • 5 years of working closely together with Albion saddle makers, precision saddle fitting
  • " Joёlle`s treatments have had a significant and positive impact on my horses in competition. I have used a lot of physical therapists over the years but I have never seen such a remarkable change in my horses as when Joёlle works on them. Cadillac loves her! "

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    Catherine Haddad-Staller

    International Dressage rider, Team US
  • " Joёlle is integral to the training and well being of our horses and sees them regularly to keep them fit and healthy athletes. Joёlle is a highly qualified physiotherapist and also a fully trained saddle fitter. With these skills and her general enthusiasm for the sport we feel she would be a great asset to any competition yard. "

    Maisie Scruton

    International dressage rider of team GB
  • " Joëlle is highly talented in her job and she knows what she's doing. She already made some big difference with horses at our yard. We are very happy. "

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    Stefan Van Ingelgem

    International dressage rider Belgium team
  • " I am a Belgian dressage rider and member of the Belgian Young Riders dressage team. My trainer is the Belgian top dressage rider Jeroen Devroe. Joёlle is regularly taking care of our successful horses. For the last few years I have been selected for the European Youth Championships together with Noémi Goris and Mieke Mommen also stabled at Jeroen Devroe`s yard. We all have had top results winning gold, silver and bronze medals at the Belgian Championships. Dressage is about the complete picture. Joёlle has been an important part of that team helping our horses to compete at top level. The horses benefit from her treatments. At the Europeans in Broholm I even received the `Classical Style award` among other things because of my horse looking like a happy athlete. "

    Tahnée Waelkens

    International dressage rider, young riders team Belgium
  • " Ms Steyt is a credentialed Physiotherapist with a Masters Degree from the Royal Veterinary College in London. She is also a Certified Saddle Fitter. In such capacity Ms Steyt treats high level competition horses of many disciplines in the UK and Europe. The services she provides are unique and valuable to the Sport Horse Industry. "

    Dr Gregory Staller

    DVM, Diplomate ACVS
  • " Reeds van kindsaf ben ik getroffen door het paardenvirus. Vooral de discipline dressuur is een echte passie geworden. Vandaag de dag rijden we op nationaal niveau richting Prix Saint-Georges en willen we telkens beter en bewuster gaan rijden. Een paar jaar geleden hadden we heel wat strubbelingen naar het zoeken van een passend zadel voor mijn toen 7-jarige merrie. Veel zadelpassers zijn over de vloer geweest maar elke keer opnieuw hadden we terug problemen. Paardenfysiotherapeute en MSFC zadlepasser Joëlle Steyt kwam toen op mijn pad en heeft mij enorm geholpen naar het zoeken van een passend zadel. Niet alleen het paard werd bekeken onder de man, maar ook de ruiter. Joëlle helpt mee zoeken naar een oplossing op alle vlakken, wat haar uniek maakt in haar job! We kunnen alleen maar positief zijn over de resultaten want nu, twee jaar later, loopt mijn merrie beter dan ooit. Ze heeft veel meer souplesse, rechtgerichtheid en werklust. Dat resulteert dan ook naar schitterende resultaten op concours! "

    Caroline Op de Beeck

  • " I almost gave up on finding a devoted, highly skilled professional with the welfare of my horses at heart, and not handling only in the pursuit of money like a lot of so called ‘therapists’. But then, some years ago, I was introduced to Joёlle and since our first conversation Joёlle has made me more conscious about teaching and training in a way that I could never have hoped for. The hard labour she sometimes does on the horses and riders is priceless. She's the no-nonsense type! Listen to her advice and accept your own and your horses' weaknesses and you will be gratefully rewarded! "

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    Natasja Van Den Bogaert

    Dressage trainer and rider
  • " Wij zijn bij Stal Vink altijd heel blij als Joëlle onze stal bezoekt!! Na een zoektocht gezien mijn paard onstabiel op de trailer stond, en ik me zadel ook niet optimaal vond liggen, ben ik in contact gekomen met Joëlle Steyt. Na één behandeling en een nieuw passend zadel was het trailer probleem snel verholpen. We zijn van de klasse Z2 nu een Lichte Tour combinatie en startgerechtigd in de intermediaire. En is me paard rechter, sterker en fijner dan ooit. Ik en me topper We’ll See, maar ook zeker mijn leerlingen, zijn dan ook zeer tevreden over Joëlle der hulp, der luistert oor en al haar advies. Om zo nog beter te presteren, maar zeker ook om onze paarden gezond te houden. Zowel voor de professionele maar zeker ook voor de amateur ruiter-paard een grote aanrader!! "

    Margretha Vink

    Stal Vink, Groede, Nederland

Price is what you pay