The Saddle Check Process

Saddle problems can often be the cause of

  • bucking, especially through transitions
  • a ‘cold-backed’ horse
  • reluctance to step through or shuffling paces
  • difficulty in bending
  • asymmetric muscle development across the back
  • heaviness in the hand
  • biting, fidgeting and tenseness when tacking up
  • nervousness and spooking
  • and much more…

Clients have often seen remarkable improvements and rapid changes in behaviour in their horses from a correctly fitted saddle.

Correct saddle fitting extends beyond being able to take a few key measurements to achieve a correct technical fit. The shape and profile of back and shoulders, the type of riding, the rider and their level of skill and not least the construction and quality of the saddle are all part of the equation in finding the best saddle.

The following guide will help you understand what happens during a Better Saddles saddle check appointment.

A Better Saddles saddle check gives you an independent assessment of your saddle fit and suitability for you and the type of riding you do.

On arrival we will ask for some history of the horse and way of going to give us some background to your riding.

The saddle will then be checked for basic alignments and symmetry. A surprising number of saddles we see have significant twists and alignment issues that directly affect your horse’s way of going from difficulty in bending one way to tension and napping.

The panels will be looked at for bumps and holes in the flocking as well as the symmetry of the left and right sides.

Stirrup bar angles and girth strap placements can also have significant effects on the horse.

Very often we can tell you what problems you have with your horse in the school before you tell us by problems we may find with the saddle.

During all these assessments we will show you what we are looking for and how to see it for yourself.

We will then look at the saddle on the horse’s back and check the front/back balance of the saddle and the basic width fitting.

Panel contact along the horses back will be looked at along with the suitability of the current gussets.

At the end of all these checks we will give our opinion of the saddle and where necessary suggestions on work that may be needed such as a widening or reflocking of the panels.

We have direct access to some of Walsall ‘s best-known manufacturers where all types of repairs on all makes of saddles can be arranged at competitive prices.

Our standard charge for a saddle check is £40.

Mileage is usually charged from our Hampshire base at the rate of 40p per mile each way for each visit made.  However, visits in The New Forest area are free from travel charges.

There is only one travel charge per location so you might like to consider sharing the travel costs amongst some friends.