The Flow of the Journey

Riding on and off as a child and teen in India, the Middle East and the UK, I thought I knew how to ride. However, after moving to the US as an adult and having the opportunity to ride with Classical Master Charles de Kunffy in riding clinics and then eventually in many instructor’s clinics, I realised that though I knew how to stay on a horse, to ride, well, that was a science and art I needed to learn. And thus began the lifelong journey…

 

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The journey took me to understanding what true balance on a horse means. To be able to communicate with the seat, the legs and the hands individually, while in motion, is the goal. Only a balanced horse can learn to lift its back to carry a rider. And only a pain free horse, with a saddle that fits both rider and horse, can help the rider sit easily in balance. And thus, in balance, with a balanced rider, a horse can become a true and joyous partner with his rider.

 

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Along the way I have learned from superb clinicians, master farriers and highly knowledgeable animal health practitioners. Each and every one of them have emphasized that we, as horse people, are ultimately responsible for the many pieces in the balance puzzle for the good of our horses.

“Sell your dreams of cleverness and purchase bewilderment” -RUMI – 13th century Persian poet.

“That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wildflowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold and they ran he and the horses out along the high mesas where the ground resounded under their running hooves and they flowed and changed and ran and their manes and tails blew off of them like spume and there was nothing else at all in that high world and they moved all of them in a resonance that was like a music among them and they were none of them afraid neither horse nor colt nor mare and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised.”
— CORMAC MCCARTHY

Zsuzsu Illes ReBalance Expert

About Zsuzsu

Zsuzsu has been teaching and training since 1990 while all the time remaining a student herself. She has become a certified CHA and ARIA instructor as well as earning USDF university credits and participating in many Charles de Kunffy Classical Riding Instructor’s clinics. Zsuzsu’s excellence has led her to be recommended by Charles de Kunffy as an instructor, trainer and clinician.

 

The 20+ years of study in Classical Horsemanship, which focuses very specifically on the biomechanics of the horse’s movement and the rider’s seat, is an important factor in Zsuzsu’s knowledge and ability to understand saddle fit in motion. Zsuzsu’s experience and knowledge as an effective rider and trainer brings to saddle fitting a much needed skill and asset.

 

While managing her own boarding, training and lesson facility, Zsuzsu became interested in saddle fitting and began to learn this specialized skill which is both an art and a science. In addition to learning from the many riders and horses that she has helped over the years Zsuzsu has also studied under Andy Sankey of Scotland who is a Certified Master Saddler in the Trade (the highest level achievable in the Society of Master Saddlers, Ltd. UK).

Master Saddle Fitting Consultant MSFC Accredited Certification

Master Saddle Fitting Consultant MSFC Accredited

Zsuzsu is an MSFC qualified saddle fitter. The MSFC qualification is an international saddle fitting diploma, based on current research and approved by the University of Utrecht Veterinary School. This qualification has the broadest scope and deepest reach of any course offered. Informed by the current and growing body of academic research, the course enables practitioners to apply the newest validated learning to saddle fitting, to improve the comfort of the horse and support a more rewarding horse-rider partnership.

MSFC Saddle Fitters are qualified to work with other equine professionals including vets, chiropractors and farriers.

The science of saddle fitting.