What to look for in your saddle

In this issue we talk to the Society of Master Saddlers about why your saddle is a sound investment and what to look for when buying a new saddle.

THANKS to education and improved knowledge, most horse and pony owners now recognise the importance of a correctly fitting saddle.

Everyone looks for a saddle that offers good value for money and that will stand the test of time and it is important that you recognise why some saddles cost £1,000 while others are twice as much.

The Society of Master Saddlers offer advice on what to look for in your saddle when making a new purchase and the best process to go through to ensure an exact fit for horse and rider.

It is vital that you have a thorough consultation with your saddle fitter.  This may take up to three hours but is time well spent to get the best end result.  If required have your trainer and physiotherapist on hand at the same time.

When your saddle is ready and finished, don’t simply allow it to be sent in the post, in the hope it will fit, make sure a return visit is part of the buying and fitting process.

We all know that old saying ‘You get what you pay for’ and in any walk of life you have to pay for expertise.  When buying a new saddle you should always get it fitted by a Society of Master Saddlers Registered Qualified Saddle Fitter, as you are guaranteed they are fully qualified, professional and have a minimum of three years’ experience.

Making sure the saddle is created from the highest quality leather from around the world and the craftsmanship behind the saddle is at the top of the skill level helps to result in a superior quality product.

When having your saddle made, go for a supplier who can make a saddle where all design features are interchangeable across the entire saddle to provide the highest degree of comfort and freedom for the horse and support and security for the rider.

Whatever your discipline, from dressage to showjumping, cross-country to showing or leisure riding, a bespoke saddle should be designed and fitted by highly trained experts who really understand your horses needs.
Your saddle should balance comfort, with style and performance, helping to maximise your partnership and ensuring neither horse or rider have to compromise.

Remember there is ‘leather’ and there is leather!  Cheaper quality leather can have a tendency to be slippery, not great when in the saddle, and not the best policy to scrimp on quality in this instance.
Remember saddles need to be checked regularly as the horse gains fitness or changes as it gets older.

By following the nine points above and with experts on hand to check your saddle on a regular basis, this will ensure your investment will hold high value if later resold or changed.
To find out more information on The Society of Master Saddlers visitwww.mastersaddlers.co.uk or contact on 01449 711642.

Author: The Editor

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