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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Hicks

About Us 2: Introducing Clare Molyneux, Saddle Fitter for the north of Scotland

Qualifications: BHSII (British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor)

NVQ Assessor & Internal Verifier

Skills: BHS stages 1,2,3 & PTT senior assessor (retired)

Industry trainer

BHS R&RS (riding& road safety) trainer & assessor

Pony Club instructor & ‘B’ test assessor

Coach/Instructor to many individuals and groups – dressage & Jumping

Saddle fitter and agent for AH Saddles Ltd.

Officer on BHS Highland region BHS committee (voluntary)

Mentor (voluntary) for The Back-Up Trust.

British Dressage (BD) Para Dressage Rep for Scotland (voluntary)

Clare Molyneux AH Saddles Saddle Fitter north of Scotland

I have 50 years of employment in the equestrian industry, both as an employee and self-employed. Coaching and training all ages and levels of competency. Dressage now being my preferred subject. I have 15 years of experience as a saddle fitter, 10 years of which was fitting with Saddle Exchange Ltd (incorporating native pony saddles) and now I wholly saddle fit with AH Saddles Ltd. The small native ponies through their confirmation can be quite a challenge to fit correctly with the security required for their little riders.

My working location covers the entire north of Scotland, based in Nairn I travel all points of the compass and as far south as Edinburgh and west to Glasgow. This is a massive area so it's just as well I enjoy driving!

My commitment and passion to the equestrian industry has led me into the many elements and disciplines of the horse world. My enthusiasm for my work as an instructor, assessor and saddle fitter is still high and I hope to continue for many years to come! Who said anything about retirement?

If you require an experienced person to give you the expertise required to progress your riding ability or the training of your horse/pony then I will be happy to support you so please contact me!

One of the many challenges riders' have in gaining improvement is an ill fitting saddle! This was one of my main reasons for becoming a saddle fitter. It is a pointless exercise to try and improve a rider’s position or the horse’s way of going if the most important item of saddlery is incorrect for the purpose (or worse it causes harm to the horse’s back). Once the saddle fit is corrected then both the horse and the rider benefit immensely! I then find that the coaching has a rewarding effect and it is a pleasure to watch the improvement and enjoyment from the rider.

My riding career has covered all disciplines, but especially showing – having bred, produced and ridden Highland Ponies to many Championships including the Ridden Highland Pony Champion at Royal Highland Show going on to be placed 9th at Olympia.

In 2011 I was riding a wonderful horse called Wellington Teresa from Wellington Riding in Hampshire, together we competed successfully in para-dressage grade 2 and won the BD winter championship in March held at Vale View in Leicestershire. After that we competed in the Hickstead Championship gaining 2nd. We were then selected to ride for GB as an individual in the FEI International 2* para dressage held at Bishop Burton in June 2011 gaining a creditable 4th in the Kur against riders who would be representing their country in London 2012 Olympics !

Now in 2015 – My new challenge is carriage driving and finding it harder than riding by a country mile! I have a lovely young cob through the charity ‘Horses4Homes’ presently being trained to go in harness, so with a bit of luck, I can look forward to a few years of pleasure, driving along the country roads in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Highlands of Scotland.

For more information about Clare Molyneux you can read the feature about her in ‘Horse and Hound’ online:

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