Saddle Fitting

With our Society of Master Saddlers qualified Saddler and Saddle fitter Laura leading the team, we offer a professional service finding the best saddle for you and your horse and checking to maintain the best for you both

A saddle fitting can take around 2 hours. Laura will take your horse's template, check conformation and gait before doing a ridden assessment (please let us know if the normal rider and/ or suitable place to ride will not be available). If possible, she may be able to make the necessary adjustments to your current saddle (these adjustments are chargeable based on materials and labor). She will bring a selection of new and used saddles these range from £450 - £2000+. A fitting costs from £80 depending on distance.

HOW DO I BOOK A SADDLE FITTING? Please text your request, including your full name and the address and postcode of your yard to - 07968 720 998 and a member of staff will be in touch as soon as possible.

Please let us know if you have limited availability.

We can only accept requests via texts. If you unable to text please give us a ring.

IS SADDLE FITTING NECESSARY? Yes. A saddle that is the correct size,tree shape and width will help your horse have the freedom of movement and comfort needed to elevate both the horse's and your riding experience.

HOW OFTEN DOES A SADDLE NEED TO BE CHECKED? A new saddle will need to be checked after 3 months as flock can settle as horses develop muscle and their movement improves. A saddle check every 6 months is recommended as horses change with both the seasons and age. Also, a check is needed whenever a horse has a change of rider.

WHY SHOULD I USE A QUALIFIED SADDLE FITTER? Every SMS Qualified Saddle Fitter has done a minimum of 3 years in the field before being allowed to take the exam. Years of experience make all the difference when assessing the correct solution for both horse and rider. Laura is also a SMS Qualified Saddler meaning she has a deep understanding of saddle construction and how this affects the way a saddle fits. Amy has been training with Laura for a couple of years and is nearing qualification. She is now working independently as well as in tandem with Laura. She has taken her flocking exam and is currently working towards level 2 saddle.

WILL YOU BE ABLE TO MAKE MY CURRENT SADDLE FIT? Whenever possible a saddle will be adjusted to suit the needs of both horse and rider. This is not always possible and priority is given to finding the best solution to ensure horse comfort and rider security. Tree shape is the most important part of saddle fitting as it is what makes the difference between the saddle fitting or not. Our saddle fitters do extra training in tree shape suitability as it is so fundamental to the job to get it correct for the horse.

WHAT DOES A SADDLE FITTING INVOLVE? A first visit can take upwards of 2-3 hours. In this time the horse's conformation, gait and muscle condition are assessed a template is taken from 4 lines front, middle and thoracic 18 where the saddle will sit and a spinal profile to show the horses wither outline . A rider and saddle evaluation is done and finally a ridden assessment using a saddle supplied or your own, if deemed suitable.

Wait times

As we are booking clients from a very large area - most of central and southern Scotland, we have to plan appointments carefully to ensure an economical route and timings to suit needs. You may have to wait until we have sufficient requests in your area before we can offer appointments. We do our best to keep waiting times to a minimum but during busy periods there may be a wait time. If you don't hear from us please send a text again!

Laura Simpson/Nickel

Qualifications

Walsall College of Arts and Technology 2004-2006

Saddlery Training Centre, Salisbury

Saddler

  • Level 3 Saddle
  • Level 3 Bridle
  • Level 2 Harness

Saddle Fitter

  • Qualified Saddle Fitter registered with the Society of Master Saddlers Since 2010

Bit Fitting

  • Bit to Fit course, Holland, June, 2016

Flair Conversion

  • Wow and Flair Conversion Course Participant, Canterbury, May 2011

If you have a problem with a saddle you have bought, the Society of Master Saddlers has agreed the following proceedure - (this is a summary from Horse and Hounds)

  • Detail costs of ALL fitting services, including travel and consultancy, before starting.
  • Keep full records of the horse and saddle fitting.
  • Respond promptly and politely to complaints and in unresolved cases, provide details to the society so that the complaints procedure may be followed.
  • If a client asks for a second opinion on a saddle fitted by a member within the previous six months, he or she must first be referred back to the original fitter. If a second opinion is still required, it may only be given afterliaison with the original fitter and provision of original records.
  • The provider of the second opinion must have no other commercial involvement with the client immediately before, during or after the consultation.

    The code says that clients also have responsibilities. These include presenting the horse in suitable condition and in a suitable environment for the fitter to work and ensuring that any independent advisor such as a trainer is present at the fitting.

  • For full details go to https://www.mastersaddlers.co.uk/complaint