Jocelyn is currently working towards setting up a recognised saddle fitting course and qualification
within Poland. This came about following Kieran and Jocelyn making visits to work with the Polish
If you have any old British made saddles that are still sound in the tree, but need more work done to
them than they are worth to make them usable, please consider donating them for students to work
on. It is very difficult and off putting for beginners to work on some of the old saddles that we can
find in Poland as the designs are often poor. Therefore we are looking for old British made saddles
for students to start on, before moving on to the more difficult types.
Jocelyn says: Having visited Poland many times now and having seen horses and riders in many and various locations, I am aware that the standard of equitation is excellent, there are some very talented riders and well bred
and correctly schooled horses, but saddle fitting is not a subject that Polish horsemen and women
are very knowledgeable about. There is hardly anyone doing any proper professional saddle fitting in
Poland, though there are a few saddle sellers. A lot of the saddles fit very badly and because of this there are many horses who are uncomfortable or even very sore, and in most cases they are suffering needlessly, and not
performing at their best as with the right knowledge a more suitable saddle could be chosen and
with the right skills it could be fitted correctly.
Why is the situation in Poland like this? Many crimes were committed against Poland during WW2,
and the long years of Soviet rule that followed. Poland fought so hard and bravely for us under such
terrible circumstances. Many died or lost everything and suffered a fate worse than death. I wish
there could have been more done for Poland at the end of the war, Western betrayal was a poor return for her bravery. Sadly the resources were all used up, (the UK only finished paying America back after WW2 in 2006) and poor Poland was sacrificed to Stalin at Yalta. But the Polish people are resilient and resourceful; after many years of
Communist oppression, happily they have found a way out of the darkness themselves. I am in awe
of their passion to reclaim their history and traditions which is so evident in the work of the
honorary cavalry squadrons among whom there are some that I am proud to call my friends.
I believe it is because of the privations of the time spent under Communism that some aspects of
equestrian skills such as saddlery were partly lost, and in some ways they still have not yet caught up
again. I feel it is important to rectify this and bring Polish saddle fitting into line with what we have
here in the UK.
For Polish candidates to repeatedly travel to the UK to complete the UK Society of Master Saddlers
saddle fitting courses and examinations would be extremely expensive. Prohibitively so, since wages
and the cost of living are so much lower in Poland than they are here. It would also be very difficult for candidates to fulfil the entry requirements for the qualifying course.
By training others to fit saddles rather than merely visiting to fit saddles myself I can help a much
greater number of horses to have a more comfortable life and also help many more riders to get a
far better result from their horses.
After starting training saddle fitters in 2018, and Covid pandemic not with standing, I'm delighted to say that we now have 6 Certified Saddle Fitters with Polski Zwiazek Siodlarski, 5 in various places within Poland and one in Slovakia. We also have another group of students progressing through the training including several from the Czech Republic. I visit Poland on a regular basis, about 3 times a year in order to run courses and exams for Polski Zwiazek Siodlarski, and we also have other members of The Society of Master Saddlers visiting as lecturers and examiners.
Follow the link at the bottom of the page to find out more about courses in Poland.
Kim jest Jocelyn Danby? Jocelyn laczy w sobie ogromne doswiadczenie i specjalistyczna wiedze z
cieplem i otwartoscia, które sprawiaja, ze uczestnicy czesto maja wrazenie, jakby znali ja od dawna.
Joce zaraza pomyslowoscia, jest zawsze gotowa odpowiedziec na kazde pytanie, co wiecej, zacheca
do poszukiwan na wlasna reke i podazania za swoim wyczuciem. Jest certyfikowana Master Saddler i
Master Saddle Fitter oraz czlonkinia brytyjskiego Society of Master Saddlers. Znajomosc siodlarstwa
uzupelnia praktyka w jezdziectwie - jako instruktorka, zawodniczka, wlascicielka i opiekunka koni.
Wiedze praktyczna i wyczyn dopelnia jej praktyka zdobyta w charakterze asystentki weterynaryjnej.
Dla niej siodlo ma byc zawsze przede wszystkim dla konia, a w drugiej kolejnosci dla jezdzca.
Niestrudzona w tropieniu trudnych przypadków zarówno w postaci niedopasowanych siodel
wymagajacych korekty, jak i koni wymagajacych specjalnego rzedu. Monika Gawlinska 2018.