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The Whole Horse Podcast with Alexa Linton

Feb 1, 2023

An archeologist turned saddle fitter? It's the recipe for a completely fascinating conversation, as I found out recently in this episode with Claire Marshall of Plateau Holistic Equine. She had me on the edge of my seat (pardon the saddle pun!) with her in-depth knowledge of saddles and tack through the age, sharing how tack has not come very far at it's essence, how saddles are still a ways off from that elusive "perfect" fit and what we can do to support our horses to find what works for them, why bridging might not be the terrible thing you once thought, what padding has to do with it, and her thoughts on treeless vs treed saddles. If saddles both fascinate and frustrate you, this is a must listen! 

Claire Marshall of Plateau Holstic Equine; Archaeologist turned saddle fitter and whole horse integration professional. Love of horses in the past and living history education led me to pursue an academic interest in combining, initially; history, archaeology and the role of horses in the past. From being around horses since the age of 11, to providing educational clinics and problem solving the trickiest of fitting horses. The work has evolved over the past 10 years to incorporate specific makers of saddles, from baroque to English, Iberian and historical examples for museums and living historians. Work has evolved from influences as diverse as Mary Wanless, centred riding by Sally Swift, Alexander technique and Science of Motion. This and the respect for how the saddle has developed over time has made for a unique approach to saddle fitting.  Working closely with other professionals has proved essential in signposting clients and their horses to other professionals prior to fitting saddles and also thinking more about the technical aspects of fitting the riders and their individual seats to saddles too.

Find more about Claire's work at