We are often asked by owners what they need to do to prepare for the saddle fitting appointment so we thought we would write a ‘top ten’ of things that really help out your saddle fitter!
- We need your details
We are happy to receive enquiries in whichever way suits you best – phone, email, website messages and Facebook messenger all work well. We usually need to speak to you directly to get you booked in and to have a chat through your requirements.
When we book you in we will ask for your full yard address, including postcode if possible. At this stage we will take some basic details about the breed, age and size of your horse as well as any recent problems and rider’s details.
We regularly work with vets, physios and other equine professionals. If you would like us to talk to them about your saddle fit let us have their details and we will do that ahead of your appointment.
- Take photos
If you are able to take them, photos of your horse (similar to those shown below) can be very useful to give us an idea of what stock to bring out. If its not possible don’t worry.
- Have everybody there
We always like to see the saddle ridden in if this is possible, and the saddle has to fit and be comfortable for the rider as well as the horse. If there is more than one rider, ideally have them all present at the fitting.
- Allow up to 2 hours for your appointment
The amount of time needed to fit your saddle varies depending on many factors but please allow yourself plenty of time so that you don’t feel rushed.
- Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you need.
Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you need, or what style of saddle you want. We are here to help guide you through the process every step of the way. Our website contains examples of our different styles of saddle, which may give you some ideas, but is by no means an exhaustive list.
- Have your horse ready to ride
Please don’t feel under pressure to have your horse perfectly turned out for a saddle fitting appointment, we don’t notice muddy legs and tangled tails! We will be assessing your horse’s general conformation and back in detail and we will want to try trees and saddles on. We just ask that he is dry and clean in his saddle area when we arrive so we can get straight on with the assessment. Please bring your riding equipment, bridle and any boots etc which your horse would normally wear.
- Stay in your comfort zone
This is a really important point. We would never want any rider (or horse) to feel pushed into doing more than they feel comfortable with.
Initially we will assess your horse standing without a saddle. We will look and feel for any pain, weakness or asymmetry which needs to be taken into consideration and take templates of your horse’s back as a starting point for our tree selection.
Once we have selected any suitable saddles and discussed them with you we will move on to assess the saddle fit ‘statically’ with your horse at rest.
The next stage is to then watch your horse in work. However you know your limits and we want you to stay comfortably within them! Often horses are only recently broken or are just coming back into work. We can base our assessment around what you are both able to do.
All of our new saddles come with a two week trial, so you should have plenty of opportunity to put your saddle through it’s paces in your own time.
- Let us know what you think
First and foremost we want to provide you and your horse with a comfortable and well fitting saddle. We understand that a saddle is an investment and we want it to be absolutely right. Take your time and make sure you are happy, we are not in a rush. If you would like something a little different let us know – we can probably make it for you.
- Keep in touch
After your saddle fit we welcome any feedback. We love to hear when your horse is going well. In the unlikely event that you have any problems we want to help you sort them out.
- Don’t forget your recheck!
We always advise that new saddles are checked after 3 months, once they have had time to ‘settle in’. We often find that horses can change shape quite dramatically after being ridden in a well fitting saddle. This is especially true of our remedial work. We do not charge for adjustments within the first 3 months of buying your new saddle, subject to the fitter’s call out fee.
Thereafter the recommended frequency of checking is every 6 months although this varies somewhat between horses depending on how much work they are doing and how easily they gain or lose condition.