Communication ahead of your saddle fitting is so important to finding the perfect fit. If it’s your first time seeing a saddle fitter and you haven’t got a clue, that’s ok too, we’ll ask you questions to try and get the information we need - we’re here to help. Be honest about any horse health concerns, and consider bringing your instructor or physio along to get the best solution and investment for you and your horse. 

We want all our customers to feel comfortable and confident when they come to their saddle fitting appointment, so we've put together this quick blog that details what happens during a saddle fitting, so you know exactly what to expect.

Before your fitting

Before your fitting your saddle fitter will give you a call to discuss you and your horses’ requirements to ensure that the best and most suitable selection of new and used saddles are brought to your saddle fitting.

1. Back Templates

At your fitting your saddle fitter will first assess your horse stood square with no tack on and will take a template of your horses back.  If they have seen the horse before they will compare the template with previous templates to see if there have been any changes since the last fitting.

2. Check your current saddle

They will then check your current saddle if you are wanting it checking, if any alterations are needed these will be done.  Usual alterations that are needed are a gullet change for adjustable saddles, flocking adjustments (small alterations can be done whilst at the fitting) or adding and removing shims.  You will then need to ride in your saddle so the fitter can check the adjustments and make sure your saddle is now fitting correctly.  

3. Try any new saddles

If your current saddle can’t be altered to fit our you are wanting a different saddle, they will get suitable saddles out and place them on your horses back and assess the fit.  Your fitter will check that the saddle is sitting balanced on the horses back, not bridging, and is a suitable width and length.

4. Ridden Fitting

All saddles deemed suitable will then need to be ridden in as the fit can change with the weight of a rider and the horse’s movement can cause saddles to move and slip.  Also, it is important for the rider to ride in the saddles to make sure that they like the feel of the saddle and that it fits the rider.  It Is common that rider fit is overlooked when saddle fitting as a saddle might be perfect for the horse but in some cases, they are not suitable for the rider.

Fitting Follow Up

Once both horse and rider are happy the fitter will leave you with the chosen saddle and a copy of your horse’s template for your own records.  At the end of your fitting your saddle fitter will advise when your next check needs to be.  With for a new saddle, a younger horse, or a horse likely to change muscle tone with work a 3-month check will be advised, for a mature horse a 6-month check will be recommended.  

We hope this blog makes you feel more comfortable when booking your saddle fitting, it really is all about you and your horse. We've also put together an article on how to prep for your saddle fitting.

If you are looking for a new or used saddle, we'd love to help.  You can either bring your horse to us at Crow Wood Equestrian Centre, Burnley, Lancashire or one of our fitters can come out to you.  For mobile saddle fittings we cover the following areas Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, and Cumbria.  We also work closely with independent fitters in The Scottish Highlands, Morayshire and Aberdeenshire.

To book a saddle fitting or check with Saddles Direct, call the office on 01282 471911 or start a live chat to arrange a suitable day and time for your fitting.