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Leonard Coombe Equestrian Saddle Fitting

Leonard Coombe Saddle Fitting
Karen Ligthelm our Master Saddler with over 40 years experience offers a local saddle fitting service. If you are interested in booking a saddle fit, please call the shop on 01626 204099

qualified saddle fitter

We supply saddles personally fitted by Karen Ligthelm a Partner in the business who is a qualified Master Saddler and Saddle Fitter with over 40 years’ experience. At Leonard Coombe Master Saddlers, we stock a vast selection of saddles from carefully chosen manufacturers to suit most budgets and disciplines in a range of styles and sizes. When Karen started in her career many horse owners had little interest in saddle fitting and only when something was wrong was a saddle fitter called. Today things have changed and we are pleased to say owners now have a greater awareness of how important a well-fitting saddle is to a horse’s welfare. A good quality correctly fitted saddle can improve a horse’s performance and you will have the knowledge that your horse is comfortable. Please note that as Karen is in high demand to supply saddles and provide follow-up checks we are unable to offer to fit saddles purchased from other retailers. All horses will change shape and Karen will try to fit a saddle with as much flexibility as possible to accommodate potential changes. Her priority will be the horse’s welfare and providing the horse with the best possible fitting saddle ON THE DAY OF THE CONSULTATION. Sometimes a horse may change shape significantly enough that those changes cannot be accommodated, and another saddle may need to be purchased. 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 size in a matter of weeks. It is important for you to monitor your horse’s fitness 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 A Saddle Fitting

Please call us on 01626 204099 or enquire in-store and a member of staff will be able to advise if you are in an area that Karen visits and give a guide on the cost. When book your saddle fitting please allow a small amount of time for us to fill in a booking form. If you are purchasing a saddle, there will be some extra questions regarding the horse and rider in order that Karen can bring the correct selection of saddles that are likely to be suitable.
- Breed/Type of Horse/Pony
- Wither Type and other conformation details
- Fitness Level - Main Discipline
- Riders Height, Weight, Age, and Level of Riding
- Details of any saddles recently used
- Budget available
If required Karen will endeavor to bring the best possible selection of saddles according to the information supplied. We cannot be held responsible for incorrect information given when booking.

Saddle Fitting/ And Call Out Charges

Before the visit you will be informed of the call out and consultation charges which are payable at the time of the visit. They will apply even if there is no alteration required or if a saddle is not purchased. Any further costs for adjustments will be advised according to the results of the assessment. Please not that if follow up checks are needed, they will be subject to standard charges.

Facilities Needed For A Saddle Assessment

-The horse should be clean and groomed but please do not apply show sheen or coat conditioner as these may cause the saddle to slip.
- A clean flat surface for the horse/pony to be held or tied up.
- An Arena, School or other suitable similar area where the horse/pony can be ridden.
Karen 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 allow a good amount of time as you may wish to try several saddles.
If the saddle is to be used for jumping it will be necessary to see the horse ridden over a few jumps. Please make sure these are ready and in position. The main rider will need to be present and if possible, any other riders, as the priority will need to be for the horse and the largest rider. All riders should be suitably dressed in clean riding wear and hat. Numnahs Or Pads Please have clean numnahs or saddle cloths ready to use. Usually, it is preferable to use a thing correctly fitting one to protect the saddle.
There will, of course, always be exceptions that require the use of something more. If you intend to use anything more than a thin numnah it is important to have an example to hand because it will be necessary to make an allowance for it under the saddle. Using something different after fitting the saddle could cause problems. Stirrups, Leathers And Girths Although Karen carries a selection of these items to use when fitting it is a good idea to have your own available.
Please make sure they are clean and in good condition as it is important that the saddles are not damaged or marked. If you would like to purchase any accessories at the time of the saddle fitting, please let us know if you would like us to bring a selection.

Purchasing A Saddle

If you wish to purchase a saddle at the time of the visit you have 14 days in which to change your mind. Please inform us within this time. It you return the saddle we will refund you the cost of the saddle only and not any other charges. Excessive soiling or damage will affect the refund amount.

Looking After Your New Saddle

Looked after a good quality leather saddle with last for years. Each time it is used you check for damage or wear. Particular attention should be given to girth straps. Leather is a natural material that needs maintenance. Heat and sweat from the horse can dry out the fats in the leather and these need to be replaced. There are many excellent products to do this. Manufacturers instructions should be followed and members of staff will also be happy to assist you with buying the correct product (They all have their favorites!). Leather suffers from exposure to excessive wet and heat. If you ride out in bad weather, mud should be wiped away immediately and the item should be dried naturally. Do not place it near to radiators or fires etc. Also, in hot weather, the leather will also dry. This can be overcome by feeding the leather more frequently to replace the oils.