The Saddle Fitting Process

The following guide will help you understand the process of a saddle fitting by Better Saddles.  We fit both treeless and traditional treed saddles and cover Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Surrey (multiple bookings only).

We are the only company in the UK offering a large selection of various makes of treeless saddles and you will get an unbiased opinion of the fit and suitability of each treeless saddle to your horse.  We also fit traditional saddles, so you will get an open minded and honest assessment of which type of saddle is best for you and your horse.

Our first visit is to assess the horse and rider and discuss requirements. During this time we will…

  • ask about your horse’s history and the type of riding you do
  • show you examples of the types of saddles you are interested in
  • discuss the merits of panel design and whether a full or half panel will suit your horse
  • talk about stirrup bar placement and the preferences for your riding style
  • look at the horse’s muscle tone along the back and shoulder and advise where temporary padding may be of benefit to allow muscles to build back up
  • advise on the best saddle options for your horse and riding
  • take a template of your horse’s back along with other key measurements and digital pictures
  • on accepting an order, a deposit is taken
  • arrange a second visit when your new saddle will be delivered (with most treeless saddles, this is not necessary)

On the second visit, we bring out your finished saddle and check the fit to the horse. We will…

  • ask you to ride in it to check that you are happy with the riders’ balance and comfort
  • at the same time we carefully watch your horse’s way of going
  • advise about where to place the saddle on your horse’s back
  • if we have recommended temporary padding show you how to use it and when to know to take it out
  • the importance of the bedding in process will be explained and how the customer can ensure that the saddle sits level and balanced
  • girthing and stirrup issues will also be considered and other options to help your riding and saddle fit will be discussed
  • explain how to care for your saddle
  • the remaining balance owing on the saddle is paid on this visit

Horses’ backs can change shape according to season, management, work, health and this will directly affect how the saddle fits to your horse and whether or not it is comfortable. Your saddle may need subsequent adjustments to cater for these changes.

At Better Saddles, we believe that the carer should be informed on how to check their own saddle, so we will give you simple tips on how to check your saddle and look for signs that adjustments may need to be made.

Our standard charge for a treeless saddle consultation involving fitting and trialling several treeless saddles is £50, and for one treeless saddle or treed saddles £40. This covers both the initial fitting and in the case of treed saddles, the second visit. Subsequent visits will be charged at our standard rate for any adjustments or changes to the saddle as the horse may be a very different shape to that we originally fitted for.

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 mileage charges.

There is only one travel charge per location which can be split between more than one client should they so wish.

Note on Custom Saddles: Custom saddles made to your specifications are time consuming and expensive to make. To protect both parties any deposit paid is non-refundable in the case of cancellation, once the saddle has gone into production.

There is, however, a ‘cooling-off period’ of 7 days from the date of placing the order for a custom saddle within which a full refund may be requested and the order cancelled.

Please contact us to enquire further or to arrange a fitting: Contact Better Saddles