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Purchasing A New Saddle

 

Qualified Saddle Fitter

We supply saddles personally fitted and altered to your horse as necessary by Karen Ligthelm our Master Saddler and Society of Master Saddlers (U.K) Ltd qualified saddle fitter. Karen has over 30 years experience of saddle fitting.

society of master saddlers

At Leonard Coombe Master Saddlers we stock 100's of saddles from a selection of manufacturers to suit all budgets and disciplines in a huge range of sizes and styles.

It was not that long ago that many horse owners had little interest in saddle fitting and only when something went wrong would a saddle fitter be called. Today things have changed and horse owners have a greater awareness of how important a well fitting saddle can be to a horses welfare. How a well fitted good quality saddle can improve a horses performance compared to a bad one that at worst can cause a horse a great deal of pain.   

qualified saddle fitter

All horses will change shape, our saddle fitter will try to fit a saddle with as much flexibility as possible to accommodate any potential changes but the saddle fitters first priority will remain the horses welfare and fitting the horse with the best possible fitting saddle  ON THE DAY OF THE FITTING.

A horse may change shape significantly enough that changes can not be accommodated and a new saddle may need to be purchased. 

How often you have your saddle checked depends on many factors including the fitness and condition of the horse. Some horses remain quite consistent whereas others can lose or gain a whole size in a matter of weeks. We will advise on how to monitor your horse's fit and condition so that you will be able to observe any changes that might require your saddle to be adjusted or refitted before problems occur.

 

BOOKING YOUR SADDLE FITTING

Our SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS U.K LTD qualified saddle fitter is available for call outs within our local area. If you would like to arrange a fitting please call in or telephone the shop a member of staff will be able to advise you if she visits your area and the availability of a appointment (please remember that at peak times of the year there may be a wait.)

CALL OUT CHARGES

Please telephone the shop to find out what the call out to your area would be. The call out fee is payable on the day and is charged even if no alteration is required or no saddle is purchased.

Remember some horse's may change shape within a short amount of time. If the saddler needs to be called out again due to a horse changing shall be charged at standard call out charge.

INFORMATION NEEDED BY A SADDLE FITTER

When booking your saddle fitting please allow a small amount of time for us to fill in a booking form. If you are booking a fit for a new saddle there will be some extra questions about the horse and rider this is so the saddle fitter can bring a selection of saddles that are likely to be suitable.

-Horses; Name, Age, Breeding/Type, Age and Height

-Wither Type

-Main Discipline

-Riding Level

-Fitness Level

-The Riders; Height, Weight and Age.

-Other Riders (compromise may be required)

OUR SADDLE FITTER WILL ENDEAVOUR TO BRING THE BEST POSSIBLE SELECTION OF SADDLES ACCORDING TO THE INORMATION SUPPLIED. WE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR INCORRECT INFORMATION GIVEN WHEN BOOKING THE APPOINTMENT

THE FACILITIES THAT WILL BE NEEDED FOR A FITTING

The horse should to be fitted should be clean and groomed but please don't apply show sheen or coat conditioner as these may cause the saddle to slip.

A FLAT SUITABLE SURFACE WHERE A HORSE CAN BE EXAMINED AND RUN-UP IN HAND

The saddle fitter needs to be able to identify (not diagnose) problems that may effect the fit of the saddle. The saddle fitter will examine the horses back and see the horse run up and down in hand. For this she will need a hard flat surface.

ARENA, SCHOOL OR AREA WHERE THE HORSE CAN BE RIDDEN

Our saddle fitter will need to see the horse ridden in each of the saddles being checked or short listed for purchase. This is a very important part of the fitting, if you need to arrange to use an arena or school please bear this in mind and make sure you book a good amount of time as you may need to try several saddles,

SHOW JUMPS AND CROSS COUNTRY FENCES

When the saddle is to be used sole or in part for jumping the saddle fitter will want to see the horse ridden over a few jumps. Please make certain these are ready and placed in position.

MAKE SURE THE PERSON WHO WILL BE RIDING IN THE SADDLE IS PRESENT

This may seem very obvious but it isn't unknown for the rider to have to go off to school or work thinking they are not needed! When a horse is 'shared' it is best if both riders can be present. (The saddlers priorities will be the horse followed by the larger rider.)

BE SUITABLY DRESSED AND READY ON TIME

Riding in jeans and trainers isn't either comfortable or safe. The rider should be correctly dressed in jodhpurs, boots and a BSI riding hat (done up).

NUMNAH OR PAD

The Society Of Master generally advises that a well fitting saddle does not require a addition of a numnah or pad though most riders prefer to use a thin correctly fitting one to protect the saddle. There will of course always be exceptions that demand the use of a more padded numnah. If you intend to use anything more than a thin numnah it is important to have a example to hand because the saddle fitter must make an allowance for it under the saddle. Adding it after or changing the type could cause problems. (Please make sure numnahs and saddle pads are clean.)

STIRRUP LEATHERS, IRONS AND GIRTH

Although the saddle fitter carries a selection of the above for use when fitting, it is a good idea for you to have yours clean and available. Make sure all are well cleaned as we do not want to mark or dirty the new saddle. If you would like to purchase any of the above please let us know at time before the fitting as the saddle fitter will then bring a selection from the shop.

THE HORSE

Please make sure the horse is ready for the saddler to access, it has occasionally happened that a horse difficult to catch is still in the field!

SADDLE TRIAL

We allow a generous trial period of 7 days in this time make sure you "Test Ride" the saddle properly using only clean breeches or jods, boots, numnahs, stirrup leathers, irons and girths in good condition (no rusty buckles) and follow these recommendations:

Do try the saddle in the way it is intended for i.e.

Make sure you have access to jumps for a jumping saddle.

Work the horse/pony in a suitable area or arena if intended for dressage.

Please inform us if you are not entirely happy with your choice within this time. If you return the saddle in an as new supplied condition during this period we will refund the saddle less the normal mileage and call out charges for your area. Excessive soiling or damage will affect the refund amount we are able to give.

How often you have your saddle checked depends on many factors including the fitness and condition of your horse. Some horses remain quite consistent whereas others can lose or gain a whole tree width size in a matter of weeks.

We will advise on how to monitor your horse's size and condition so that you will be able to observe any changes that might require your saddle to be adjusted or refitted before problems occur.

 

LOOKING AFTER YOUR NEW SADDLE

Looked after carefully good quality leather saddles will for years. Every time you saddle is used you should check for damage and wear and tear. Particular attention should be given to girth straps. Leather is a living material which needs feeding even the body heat from the horses back can dry out some of the natural fat in the leather and needs to be replaced. There are many excellent products to do this. Manufactures instructions should be followed. Members of staff will also be happy to assist you with buying and using the correct product. Care needs to be taken not to over feed as this can cause as many problems as not feeding!

Leather suffers from excessive wet and heat. If you ride out in bad weather mud should be wiped away immediately and the leather should be dried out slowly. Do not place next to radiators or fires etc. In hot summers the leather may start to dry out this can be over come by feeding the leather more frequently.

 

Leather Saddles:

When you are happy with the saddle you have purchased and before giving it any wear it will require treatment of the leather. Our staff will be pleased to advise on a good leather dressing and saddle soap or balsam to protect your purchase.

 

Synthetic Saddles:

These are easy to care for and we stock special products for keeping them clean.

We are happy to advise on the correct products to use with each type of saddle.