About

Who I Am

Before opening my business in 2003, I was fortunate to train with some of the best in saddle fitting in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Designated as a Qualified Saddle Fitter by the Society of Master Saddlers (UK) Ltd. in 2006, I originally trained in New England under internationally known saddle fitter Gary Severson, aka “The Saddle Doctor,” who worked with the U.S. and Canadian Eventing Teams. I also attended and sponsored saddle fitting clinics with saddle-fit expert Dr. Joyce Harman, a Virginia-based veterninarian who wrote the “Pain-Free Back and Saddle-fit Book.”

To deepen my saddle fitting skills, I learned equine massage, a skill that helped me better understand the way tack influences performance and how muscle therapies alleviate pain and stress. I received certification from the Equine Center for Integrative Therapies in South Carolina and studied myofascial release with Ruth Mitchell of Equinlogy, Inc.

In my previous life – before I began saddle fitting full time – I worked as a government executive and was a devotee of total quality management and customer-focused delivery. Today, I try to carry over the best in these customer service practices to my saddle clients.

I live in Barboursville, VA. My wife is Elisa, and my children are Lyndie and Spencer.

My first equine teacher was my mother, who was a devoted rider in Pennsylvania. My latest teacher was the last horse that I saw.

Email me at wgateswood@gmail.com or call 434-227-4395.