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Karen Withstandley, Professional Saddle Fitter

Horses are my passion! Their nutrition, comfort, fitness, and mechanics all affect their overall well-being.  So when I fit a saddle, I take all of this into consideration. 

Starting with horses at a very young age allowed me to experience many different roles in the industry. After receiving certifications and getting experience with Equine Bodywork and Riding Instruction,  I finally embraced the field of Saddle Fit (approx 20 years ago),  at which time I got trained and certified in that as well.  Since then I have expanded my professional education to include bitting, nutrition, biomechanics, Kinesiology Taping and more...

All of this education and experience help me to confidently assist my clients in keeping their horses comfortable in their tack and performing at their best.

Karen M Withstandley, Professional Saddle Fitter

Karen Withstandley, Professional Saddle Fitter, childhood years
Karen Withstandley, Professional Saddle Fitter
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My life as a Saddle Fitter

Karen's motorhome, used for overnight saddle fitting trips

Class A Motorhomes are approx 13' tall and 9' wide. We require all of our stops to be accessible. This means no low hanging or encroaching wires or branches. We also need a flat area to park (as RV needs to be leveled when setting up). An area big enough to turn around is also a must. We do have a generator. So, power is not neccessarily a requirement. On longer stays, power and water are greatly appreciated though!!

 My life as a Saddle Fitter is very unique.  When I began my business, we serviced a small area in the state of Connecticut.  We now cover areas of Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and occasionally a few others (AR, SC, FL).  In order to cover this much territory, while taking into account my compromised immune system, I travel in a Class A Motorhome. This also allows me to travel with my cats and my Diabetic Alert Dog(Bonnie)..  My motorhome allows me to work the long hours I need to and also be able to take care of myself.  It does, however, require much more planning.

Bonnie, Blood Sugar Alert Service Dog

Bonnie is a 2 year old Irish Cream Retriever. She is in training to be my Diabetic Alert Dog. She travels with me on the road and must have access to the areas that I do in order to be able to do her job. For documentation ojn Service Dog Accesibility Laws please contact my Office Manager.

My Team

Tina Torizzo, Secretary/Office Manager @ The Refined Equine

In order to keep up with approx 2000 clients, plan my travel, and clinics and keep my business running smoothly I do need help.  My sister, Tina Torizzo, is my Secretary / Office Manager.  And just because she is "my sister" doesn't mean she doesn't have the qualifications and experience to do the job.  Tina has worked, professionally, in the horse industry for years.  She has been an instructor, Equine Vet Tech, horse owner, tack shop owner, and then went on to manage an active vineyard for many years.  You will find Tina behind communications, invoices, and appointment invites being sent from our office.  You may also see her out on the road, with or without me, taking templates or doing other duties within her skill set.

I do have other assistants that occasionally travel and work with me.  They are all well-qualified and very much appreciated for their many talents and skills.

Tina Torizzo, Secretary/Office Manager @ The Refined Equine

Behind the scenes..

Image by Lola Delabays

There are many other people that keep this business up and running.  I have a wonderful bookkeeper, accountant, driver, saddle fitting assistants all of which I depend on for their amazing skill and talents..

on the open road with The Refined Equine
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