srt2018 Passion and Positivity


Thank you to everyone who supported the 3rd International Conference at Nottingham University’s DeVere East Midlands Conference Centre.

We’ve had amazing positive feedback from our delegates, presenters, special guests and sponsors,  All of the presentations were deeply interesting and we were filled with enthusiasm and renewed purpose after the conference, ready to take the welfare of the ridden horse another step further forward.

For  conference proceedings please click here to view as an Adobe document for everyone who hasn’t already downloaded them.

Delegates and Attendees– Please take a minute to fill in this short survey to help us take your views and feedback into account when we plan future events.

This conference website will keep giving you more so please bookmark it for reference. We’ll add selected edits of the presentations, links to the full versions, reports from the Research Workshops plus interviews with our special guests, celebrity riders and trainers, researchers and sponsors who were in attendance. A full report on the Gala Awards Dinner coming soon!

You’ll be able to find out more about why the Saddle Research Trust continues to grow, and bring science and saddlemakers, practitioners and riders together in understanding how best to influence and understand the ridden horses they encounter every day. We’d like to make the welfare, performance, and safety of horse and rider the best it can possibly be.

The tv quality live stream was a great success watched in 23 countries and we have already asked Jamie and the team at Wave FX to put #srt2021 in their diary. They promised us tv quality and did not disappoint.

A date has been set! for the next Saddle Research Trust Conference! Save the date:  11th December 2021 in your diary and look out for #srt2021 on Twitter.

Finally a huge thank you to our sponsors, especially World Horse Welfare, Wow Saddles, Albion Saddlery, and DIPO. Without their support, the work of the Saddle Research Trust, the Conference and Research Workshops and the Gala Awards Dinner would not take place. All of our sponsors were in attendance – they really do want their designs, organizations, and practice to be informed by the latest scientific research so please check them out in our sponsor tab if you didn’t manage to visit their stands on the day.

Pictured above are Simon Grieve, who we kept busy all day (and all evening too), with special guests Lucinda Green and Richard Davison.





Saddle Research Trust 3rd International Conference update

We are almost ready, with 3 weeks to go and are busy putting the finishing touches to the conference plans. Very exciting!

We are thrilled to be able to offer a tv quality live stream of the Conference, to everyone, wherever in the world you may be, so if you aren’t able to attend in person don’t miss out on hearing the latest influential research.

Click here to attend via Livestream and please check the programme tab for details.

Our amazing sponsors will be in attendance and delegates will have the opportunity to visit their display stands and find out more about what they do and why they support the Saddle Research Trust, with its aims of improving the welfare of the ridden horse.

Our list of speakers is absolutely fabulous. Their presentations are for everyone: riders, saddle fitters, designers and makers, equine practitioners, vets, and trainers. We are sure everyone will benefit and enjoy the day.

The Research Poster submissions will be displayed in the main concourse with the authors present to discuss their research during the intervals.

The Gala Awards Dinner is a great way to round off proceedings with like-minded people, and to celebrate our amazing shortlist of deserving Welfare and Performance Awards candidates at the perfect pre-Christmas party. There is still time to buy tickets for this, just click this link.

The Saddle Research Trust cordially invite you to join us in the Banqueting Suite at 7pm. Dress code is smart/casual and you don’t need to be a conference delegate to be able to attend!

Looking forward to meeting you there!



Can we apply science to the equine industry?

       At the Saddle Research Trust 2nd International Conference In 2014, Professor Rene van Weeren introduced this question to the delegates and made this observation:

” Although progress in this area is slow and hampered for reasons outlined. there is no reason why progress could not be made and even be as fast as in other (human) sports that have embraced modern technology. Examples are manifold and include bike development in professional cycling, shoes used in running, the klapskate used in speed skating and the introduction of novel athletic techniques such as the “Fosbury Flop” in jumping which was introduced by Dick Fosbury during the 1968 Olympics. The last example is of special interest. While heavily criticised by the leading coaches of the day, who stated that the technique would “wipe out an entire generation of high jumpers because they would all have broken necks” the reality is that since 1980, nobody who did not use the technique has held the world record. Fortunately, also, progress is made in the equestrian world, albeit still modest and at a relatively slow pace. Good examples of scientific studies with practical impact are the work on footing(among others Cravier-Denoix et al.2013, Hernlund et al. 2013 and many saddle pressure studies (among others Ramseier et al. 2013, Clayton et al. 2014). However, the impact on the industry is still relatively limited.

The question is not whether or not we can apply science in the equine industry (van Weeren and Back 2014) but whether we want it and to what extent we allow it to influence our current practice. It is still an open question as to whether the equine industry is far-sighted enough to embrace novel technology that can be of great value in making the sport better and safer for both people and horses on its own initiative, or will have to be forced to do so by external pressure.”

It is only a few weeks now until the 2018  Saddle Research Trust 3rd International Conference and it will be fascinating to hear if we have advanced in this area of welfare and performance in the ridden horse and rider.

Although the conference has sold out, you can watch via live stream, tv quality with a ‘watch again’ feature. The link is on our homepage.


Voting for the Welfare and Performance Awards is open until 11th November, 22.00hrs

These prestigious awards celebrating the very best in equine welfare and performance will be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner following the 3rd Saddle Research Trust international conference on the 8th December 2018.

In the equine category, we have a diverse shortlist, Teddy, Rio, and Valegro. Key to all three is “absolute joy“: for the children in a hospice, who experience a gentle and confident little pony, for the dedicated owner who has ensured  her rescue cob is safe and comfortable  riding out in the Welsh hills, and for the thousands who have been enthralled watching a superstar.

It is almost an impossible choice as all three are equally deserving.

You can read more about all the shortlisted candidates in each category by using this link:

Join us and our celebrity guests on the 8th December and celebrate these outstanding practitioners, achievements, horses, people, saddlery/equipment and organisations who lead the way, inspire and inform all equestrians.

Discounts are available for block bookings – contact admin@saddleresearchtrust for details.

You can buy your Gala awards Dinner tickets using this link:

Announcing the Shortlist for the Saddle Research Trust Welfare and Performance Awards!

The Saddle Research Trust is delighted to announce the shortlisted nominations for the 2018 Welfare and Performance Awards, to be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner, sponsored by the Deutches Institut für Pferdeosteopathie.
There are amazingly diverse candidates, including the latest high tech, life-improving equipment, and dedicated and outstanding professionals. Some are horsey household names, some may be less familiar, all are resoundingly deserving of recognition.

                The SRT Welfare and Performance Person Award
sponsored by

John McEwan FEI       Hayley Moore         Mary Wanless

                 The SRT Welfare and Performance Practitioner sponsored by The Animal Production, Welfare & Veterinary Sciences Department, Harper Adams University

Sue Dyson     Sonya Nightingale    Thilo Pfau

                      The  SRT Welfare and Performance Equine
Teddy the Shetland       World Horse Welfare Rio      Valegro

                      The SRT Welfare and Performance App sponsored by 21st Century Rider

Equibuddy             Equla Vert            Horsemonkey

                      The SRT Welfare and Performance Achievement
sponsored by The Horse Trust 

Christopher Bartle     Carl Hester   Claire Lomas

               The SRT Welfare and Performance Saddlery/Equipment
sponsored by Novel GMBH

                       Equiband       Micklem Bridle     SaddleAid Saddle

                    The SRT Welfare and Performance Organisation

sponsored by HorseGent-Horseback, University College of Ghent

The Brooke      Equitopia       ISES

Breaking news…  special Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner.

Buy your tickets for this perfect pre-Christmas party using this link:


Sponsorship packages available now.

Please contact the Saddle Research Trust at for details