BA(Hons), ACIB, CeMAP, SMS master saddle fitter, M.S.F.C Diploma, UKCC level 3 DR Coach, BHS accredited Professional Coach
Steph is the owner of Freedom Saddlery which is an independent saddle fitting business since 2001. She is also the owner of Whitegate Farm Livery and Training Centre, set up in 2017. Steph is currently sitting on the Executive Committee of the Society of Master Saddlers, and on a number of sub committees including saddle research.
Steph has recently embarked on a Masters programme in Performance Coaching via Gloucester University and British Equestrian.
Steph came to saddle fitting later in her life, after a career in banking and financial services working for Halifax Building Society, and Latterly GMAC Residential Funding Corporation. Initially she studied saddle fitting in Holland and was the first UK saddle fitter to pass the M.S.F.C. Diploma. She then took the SMS QSF qualification as she felt it would be useful to hold both qualifications, and as promoted to Master Saddle Fitter a number of years ago.
Steph saddle fits from her base near Chester, but also routinely visits the Channel Islands and Ireland, with clinics in the North and Republic. She enjoys presenting to groups in person and more recently via webinars, increasing the awareness of riders and coaches as to the importance of correct saddle fit.
Steph's passion is in saddle research. In 2014 she jointly initiated a project with Hartpury University, investigating saddle length. Saddles sitting beyond T18 has become an issue she was anecdotally observing in the field. The project metamorphosised and became the basis for her daughter's undergraduate honours dissertation in 2017, ultimately becoming part of a published paper on "locating T18". There is still so much to do!
Alongside saddle fitting, Steph is a dressage rider and coach, competing up to Inter II. Her philosophy in all her equine pursuits is to ensure happy athletes - human and equine!