Kay Hastilow

Master Saddler, Qualified Saddle Fitter, Master Saddle Fitting Consultant

 United Kingdom   

Kay has been a saddler since 1967, when she commenced her training with Bliss & Co., a quality saddlery manufacturer based in the City of London.  She started her own business in 1970, mainly manufacturing bridles, saddlery accessories, and also selling saddles.  At this time she was regularly competing in show jumping competitions up to grade A level, and also competing in dressage and horse trials.  She became interested in the influence of the fit of the saddle on the performance of horses and began concentrating on saddle fitting, which in the ‘70s was a ‘new’ (recycled) idea.  There was no training available so by practice and experimentation she learned what works, and what does not.  She also developed some modifications, such as the ‘Thoroughbred Panel’, which today are in general use.  When the English Society of Master Saddlers perceived that there was a great demand for training of saddle fitters they introduced the ‘Qualified Fitters Course’, and Kay was invited to be one of the lecturers on it.  She also wrote the Society of Master Saddler’s course notes on saddle fitting.

Kay has taught on these courses since their inception, currently as lead lecturer.  She has regularly updated the notes and seen the course develop into an internationally recognised qualification.  She also regularly teaches internationally, including the USA and Holland.  Because of her teaching involvement, Kay has many visitors from overseas who come to spend some time working with her to gain practical experience in this field.

When not teaching, she runs her own business in Scotland, exclusively fitting saddles for professional and amateur riders across a wide range of disciplines.

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