Sophie is a modern saddle fitter and combines knowledge from her previous career as a human physio (BSc), later a horse physio and now a saddle fitter qualified with MSFC in the Netherlands. She rides herself and has ridden since the age of 4 years old and has represented her country at Young Rider level. Through her passion for horses, interest for the well-being of the horse and rider and the drive for performance, Sophie has developed her saddle business. It started with selling second hand saddles and then developed into selling new saddles as well, when she was approached by Prestige Italia
In 2020 she took on Amerigo as a brand and find these two brands work really well together and there really is a saddle out there for every horse and rider combination. Sophie has a competition yard with her husband international rider, commentator and trainer Andy Austin. They produce, compete and sell quality young horses for show jumping and eventing and sell horses worldwide.
All Sophie and Andy's horses are equipped with Prestige and Amerigo saddles and Sophie has an in depth knowledge of how all the saddles feel to ride in, how they fit different horses, how they can be adjusted. She will assess you as a rider, assess the horse and your partnership and will be able to recommend a great saddle.
Life isn't always textbook especially when it comes to horses. We have to be open minded, accept new ideas and move forward with saddles and saddle fitting. My aim is to fit the saddle so the horse and rider are happy and they can perform in unison and achieve their goals.'
Sophie feels very well placed to understand the needs of the horses and riders and knows how small changes can help.
''Having and riding horses myself I know horses are growing, changing shape through the year, stepping up/down in level, coming back from injury and all these things affect saddles and saddle fit. I'm used to tweaking saddles and set ups with my own horses all year round so I understand this with customers saddles. Putting together 2 dynamic things (horse and rider) adding 3 completely different gaits not to mention jumps and needing the saddle to be stable yet allow movement (in all planes) and flexibility can be tricky.
However I thrive on working together with people and finding solutions.'
Sophie ultimately has a passion for horses, saddles and riding. She is always increasing her knowledge base in all areas of horsemanship and saddle fitting. She likes spending time in the Prestige factory in Italy and learning from their wealth of knowledge and experience.