Fitting Process

The fitting process’ encompasses the discussion of problems, history, illness, assessment and matching these to the goals and expectations of the owner. This approach differs from the norm in that we are attempting to analyse the current and ongoing relationship between Horse, Owner and/or Rider such that today’s solution will be useable even after the horse and rider have become accustomed to the new saddle.

On occasion we will recognise the possibility of change and advise an intermediary step or the use of pads to achieve a temporary solution whilst a horse develops into its new surroundings. The fitting process is further complicated by the fact that when we provide a properly fitting saddle to an animal that has been constricted by a previous saddle. We can often see muscle freedom and therefore growth that we may not have anticipated. Thus a saddle which fits fine one month, may be completely wrong within 6 to 8 weeks. It is the recognition and forewarning of these possibilities which makes a ‘Fitted Saddles’ fitting special.

Obviously the accuracy of any estimated growth is tempered by the knowledge of the owner and an honest appraisal of the changes that the horse will experience between its old surroundings and its new home. At Fitted Saddles we pride ourselves on seeing the job through and providing the owner with a fair and cost effective path to the perfect fit and a long term solution which will benefit both the horse and the rider.

On some occasions it is fairer on the horse to utilise a fit which includes the use of pads or specialist numnahs. As long as the overall solution (the rig) is stable and in balance and enables the horse to extend and meet its full potential, the use of these tools should be embraced. Too often we hear the old adage that a new saddle should not need a saddle pad, but if the horse is one sided, ‘cold backed’, swayed or perhaps just old, why shouldn’t we provide the equivalent of an insole, or a heel lift.

We offer a Saddle Assessment or a Saddle Fitting service which is subdivided into 'New' or 'Existing' Saddle Fitting.

A Saddle Assessment is an on-yard service provided to other members at a yard after we have attended a saddle fit. The saddle assessment is a static verification of the current state of a previously fitted saddle. It involves the saddle fitter checking the saddle for damage, then reviewing the fit on a static horse. It is not a substitute for a full saddle fitting but is offered as a half way house to indicate whether a full saddle fitting may be required in the near future.

An 'Existing saddle' fitting will involve the fitter first assessing the saddle, then reviewing the fit in motion and finally suggesting or undertaking modifications to the saddle where these are deemed viable.

A 'New Saddle' Fitting is where our fitter will bring a selection of saddles to check against the horse and the rider and provide a selection of one or more saddles which would appear to be fit for purpose. The rider will then be invited to mount each of the selected saddles in turn whilst the fitter validates the fit at different paces. Once the fitter is happy with the 'in motion' fit and the balance of one or a selection of saddles, the rider is invited to select a preferred saddle from those available.

Alternatively the rider may be shown a saddle which the fitter recognises as a likely fit. The rider is then invited to select colour, style etc before the fitter takes full measurements so that a saddle can be ordered specifically for that horse. On arrival the specially made saddle will be ‘fitted’ to the horse for which it was made and final adjustments undertaken at that time.