In the year 2001 I started teaching an application I termed" BACK MAPPING".
This application evolved from another application used in the saddle fitting world being
" BACK TRACING" in which I learned from David Genadek from the company "About the Horse" which was a means of recording a horses back shape for saddle fitting. The method of 'BACK TRACING", not wither tracing was developed in 2001 by David Genadek and Frank Woll to capture the 3 dimensional shape of a horses back, to properly define a horses back to create correct fitting saddle tree bars in the manufacturing process of building saddle trees.
From the application of back tracing I realized with added steps in recording the shape of a horses back not needed for saddle fit but needed to see and help horse owners see the shape of their horses functioning back. With my added steps I could show an owner how their horsemanship was influencing their horses back shape, the good and/or the bad.
It also revealed if a horse had any physical problems that may be needed to be addressed in straightness and corrected through applying proper horsemanship applications, or
misalignment's or injuries that may need to be addressed by a vet, chiropractor,acupuncture or massage therapist.
I started teaching horses owners all over the world through my clinics how to do these "Back Mappings" and the proper means of interpreting them on their horses as a tool of continued evaluation of their horses progress in rebuilding the body correctly. Also as a tool to help the horse owner know when changes not clear to the naked eye may be occurring over time in working with their horses and can correct as quickly as possible.
It has now come to my attention that this term "Back Mapping " instead of" Back Tracing" is now being used by saddle fitter/manufacturer as a means to change their game with no understanding or respect for what it's original meaning or intent was . Purely to impress the public and sell product in very competitive times ,while still not fitting properly.
There are some great saddle fitters out there and many others that are just simply good talking salesman/women that can't actually apply the proper science, just make a good sell.
Granted one tries to get used to our work being plagiarized, copied, misunderstood or redefined from it's original intent. But when it's pure and simply used with no benefit to the horse or the horse owner and is no different in it's application by the new users and just the same back or wither tracing it is very bothersome.
It's time for those that work so hard to do things for the right reasons and defend against those using our work for the wrong reasons.
A wonderful Quote I recently heard and agree with is: If the practice of responsible and good horsemanship was actually being practiced as a majority in the horse industry today, most of the saddle and bit manufactures would no longer exist.
Liz Graves Copyright 2011
Added note: In my experience a wither tracing is an absolutely worthless
means of fitting any saddle. This experience comes from a life time of fitting saddles myself, while actually taking part in building the designing some saddles even before knowing Dave and having a very successful business at one time restoring side saddles. I have also learned so much more along the way about the entire science.