Deana Tarr – Witherslack Hall Equestrian Centre

Deana Tarr runs a riding school at Witherslack Hall.

Witherslack Hall Farm forms part of Witherslack Hall Estate which sits on the edge of the Winster Valley in Southern Lakeland between Kendal and Grange Over Sands.

This 2,500 acre estate comprises the largest area of semi natural woodland in Cumbria and some of the best hacking in the Lake District.

Deana is the instructor, manager and owner of the busy equine business.

It is a popular riding school which offers riding lessons, hacking and trekking, important to Cumbria’s growing visitor economy. It offers Riding for the Disabled and horse holidays as well as having its own pony club.

Deana, 41, felt she needed to undertake some saddle fitting awareness training to make sure her horses and ponies were comfortable before adding the weight of a rider.  An important safety requirement as horses and ponies are used for a variety of riders at her centre.

The welfare of the horses and ponies is of upmost importance so knowing how to check that the saddle is fitted correctly – and ensuring there is no damage or discomfort being caused – is vital for trainers and coaches.

The training provider for Deana’s course was Equestrian Training Limited based at Warwick Bridge Business Village, near Carlisle. 

Deana, 41, said: “I’ve been into horses all my life and now run my own riding school.

“I felt I could so with some training for saddle fitting awareness so I went on a course in 2018.

“I travelled to do the course and it was so worthwhile. It saved having to get people in to do it.”

The course, funded by the Edge, aimed to give learners a basic understanding of saddles and to understand the static points of saddle fitting.

“It was definitely so worthwhile and I would recommend it to others. It has really helped me.

“I now feel confident doing saddle fitting myself and my clients and horses are a lot more comfortable.

“The course, for me, was hugely beneficial to my business.”