WHAT TO EXPECT

DURING YOUR SADDLE FITTING

This should be an enjoyable and enlightening experience where I share as much information as I can about saddle fit to help you understand the various elements involved in the fitting process. It’s my goal to not only help you during your appointment, but also provide you with tools to help gauge whether your saddle is fitting down the road.

Horses are constantly changing, so it’s important to have your saddle checked approximately twice/year, or more frequently if you are noticing changes in your horse over a shorter period of time. This can occur due to time off/injury, a young horse maturing, change of barn/program/ownership, change in feed or weather, etc. If you are noticing changes in the way your horse behaves during tack up or riding (girthiness, grouchiness or biting when saddle goes on, fidgeting or moving away when saddle is being put on, refusal to stand at mounting block, head tossing, lead swapping, bucking, spooking, bolting, rearing, refusing jumps, etc.) Then it’s a good idea to have your saddle checked!

What We Will Be Looking At:

During the initial assessment, I will ask you a number of questions to get a better understanding of your horse’s health and soundness history, as well as age, the type of riding you do, recent Vet/Chiro/Massage work, etc.  I want to know as much as possible about your horse and your struggles under saddle. This can include behavioural or training issues, general tension, inconsistencies from Left to Right Rein, trouble in transitions/ changes, etc. as these can often be caused by or exacerbated by poor saddle fit. I will assess your horse’s body condition and discuss any soreness I find while palpating your horses back, including any potential internal, skeletal or soft tissue components that may need to be addressed outside of your fitting appointment (Chiro, Massage, Ferrier, Vet, etc). I want to see how fluidly your horse moves through various parts of their body and whether your current saddle is causing any postural adaptations that may need to be addressed. I often do some stretches/ exercises to see how well they are moving without a saddle, assess their conformation and check whatever saddles they have been going in. This helps me formulate a clear understanding of your horse’s saddle fitting needs, but also to develop a well rounded plan to address any other issues your horse is experiencing. I will then begin taking some measurements/tracings of your horses back to accurately assess their width, symmetry, and top line shape. These will also be used to track their progress/ changes during future visits. For this, I will need your horse to stand square and still for a few minutes on level ground and I require a flat surface to lay the tracing paper and tools. We will then begin assessing the static fit of the saddle(s) in question and discuss how the saddle sits on your horse- does it slide back, rock, shift from side to side, etc. We can then explore how a properly fitted saddle vs a poorly fitted saddle behaves on your horse and why. It is important to note that a horses resting posture is quite different than their working posture, so we must assess both to get the clearest picture of saddle fit. Finally, we move on to assess your horses working posture. I understand that lunging isn’t always an option, depending on the facility or horse, but it gives me a better understanding of your horses movement and demeanor, which is information I can use for comparison once they are going under saddle. If we are adjusting your saddle, I will move on to make the necessary changes and repeat the static assessment before having you hop on board. If trying saddles, we will now check the fit of any potential options in motion to see how they work for both you and your horse. The feel a particular rider is looking for is often quite specific to them, so I encourage you to tell me how each saddle feels for you.*I will not be offended by any feedback you provide, so don’t be shy! A new or new to you saddle might feel different, foreign, or strange, but I never want you to feel uncomfortable or like you are fighting the tack. We will discuss your overall comfort, balance, effectiveness in each saddle and figure out the best option to suit your needs.

  • The Fitting Cost is $115+tax and usually takes approximately 2 hours.
  • Travel fees may apply for longer distances, but typically range between $30-$50.
  • *Saddle Fitting is an integral part of your horses well being and so look forward to helping you and your horse be as comfortable as you can be*

How To Prepare for Your Appointment:

During your fitting, I’ll be asking you all kinds of questions about you and your horse to help me get a clear picture of the situation. It is important for me to understand your horse’s health and soundness history, along with any other information that might be relevant. This can include recent time off, injuries, ulcers or ulcer treatment, Ferrier issues, change in barn, program, or feed, etc. Having this information handy prior to my arrival is really helpful, and allows me to develop a better understanding of your equine partner.

  • Please ensure I have the barn address as well as any additional instructions to locate you and your horse.
  • Please let me know when I arrive if your horse is prone to any behavioural issues in the crossties or stall (biting, kicking, etc).
  • I ask that you have your horse groomed and dry in preparation for their fitting and all of your riding gear at the ready.
  • We will need a flat, dry, level area for the appointment, ideally clear from tripping hazards and with room to place saddles.
  • You will need your riding gear! Girth, stirrups/leathers, bridle, helmet, boots, etc, so you are ready to rock and roll when it comes time to ride.
  • Feel Free to ask questions about anything you see or hear during your appointment. I am happy to share any information I can to help you gain a more thorough understanding of saddle fit.
  • If your coach/trainer is available during the fitting, it can be very helpful in understanding what you and your horse are working towards and some of the pain points we hope to address for you both.

It is my passion and goal to help you and your horse enjoy the most comfortable riding experience possible. I carry a wide variety of new and used options and will always do my best to accommodate your needs, your horse, and your budget. I don’t have any brand exclusivities and will never push for you to purchase a particular brand of saddle. I will honestly outline your options and provide any assistance I can to get you in the right saddle for you and your horse! There are many great options out there, but what’s good for one is not always good for another. If we cannot find a saddle for you after the initial assessment, we may need to schedule a follow up to try some other options now that I have a clear picture of what you and your horse need. If a second consult is required to find a used saddle, there will be a follow up fee of $85+ tax and this usually takes approximately 2 hours as well.

Cancellations:

If you have to cancel your appointment for any reason, please give us at least 24 hours notice. This ensures we are able to help others during that time slot. If you cancel with less than 24 hours notice, you will be charged a $75 Cancellation Fee!

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SIZING

As Saddle fits are specific to your horse we encourage customers to reach out to us directly for sizing questions and we would gladly walk you through the sizing.