About Catherine Purrett-Smith
Catherine is a biomechanical saddle fitter who has a life times worth of experience riding, managing, working with and rehabilitating horses . Read her story below.
I began riding at the age of 2 ½ . Whilst growing up my passions were horses and dancing, so my interest in biomechanics started at an early age. I followed the pony club route on loaned ponies until I had my first horse Guinness at the age of 15. Little did I know just how much he would teach me, especially about saddles! Short, flat backed, with no wither, enormous shoulders and tons of power. Nothing stayed in place!! He was the 1st of many quirky horses that began my journey. I took Guinness with me to Merristwood where I completed my ND in Equine Studies and spent my weekends showjumping. After living and breathing horses for 2 years, it left me feeling rather jaded, leading me to a change of direction. I spent 10 years in sales and marketing for a human chiropractor. I trained as a technical chiropractic assistant, spent my days x-raying patients spines and educating people about chiropractic. This lead onto me beginning my training as a neuroesteomyologist (muscle, nerve and bone specialist) , before this was cut short by a riding accident, leading to me breaking my leg into many pieces. At which point my interest in human biomechanics and locomotion was peaked. I work a huge amount with people that have lost their nerve, lost their confidence, have mobility , weakness or imbalance issues. Please never feel embarrassed to discuss your needs or worries with me, as you can be sure I will understand.
Once I was back on my feet, to build up my strength I became a professional freelance groom. Caring for a variety of performance horses from classical dressage to sj, eventing and driving. Always working to high standards, I quickly built up a great reputation. Then the opportunity to run my own successful livery yards presented itself. Running yards in both West Sussex and Kent. I found myself working with the ‘problem, quirky, misunderstood ‘ horses, the ones that owners had no where left to turn to, and no idea what to do with. I was doing a large amount of rehabilitation, restarting of horses using my years of horse and chiropractic knowledge to help.
During this time many horses with saddle fitting issues crossed my path, 1 of which never left!! Ash is my Connemara dancing partner, we attend a variety of equestrian events, doing the things we love. Each of these ‘problem ‘horses pointing me in the direction of where I find myself today fitting saddles to horses and ponies all over the south east.
I strive hard to always be up-to-date with the latest research and technology, as the world of Saddle fitting is constantly evolving. I pride myself on education and I am looking forward to the next steps on my journey, watch this space for more information!!!
Thank you for taking the time to read my website and if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch. I look forward to make many horses and riders happier and healthier with a saddle that fits.