Saddle Fitting Services
All of our Saddle Fitters are Society of Master Saddlers Registered Qualified Saddle Fitters with a Minimum of three years experience. We are Independent Fitters and are able to fit and supply a wide range of saddles from various Manufacturers including, Kent & Masters, Thorowgood, EJeffries, Ideal Saddles, Whitaker, Pessoa, GFS, Regent Saddles, Harry Dabbs & Fairfax.
Charges start from 40.00 for our On-Site Service based in Crook. We are able to provide overnight parking and/or accommodation, stabling for your horse, and use of our on-site Arena/Jumps. We have lots to do nearby for both you and your horse if you choose to extend your stay including the historical City of Durham and its fabulous castle and cathedral, West Park Arena, The Gallops at Stonechester, Hamsterley Forest, Clinics/Lessons with 4* Event Rider Sara Burdess, as well as being only a few minutes away from Weardale and Kynren.
For visits to your own premises Call Out Charges start from £55.00 (20 miles radius of DL15 9AB) which includes full consultation and assessment for one horse. Additional horses on the same yard, on the same day are charged at an additional £40.00 each.
Additional Mileage over 20 miles radius is calculated at £1.00 per mile and added to the call out charge up to approximately 40 miles from DL15 9AB.
Evening and Weekend Visits are in high demand and carry an additional surcharge of £10.00.
Adjustments and flocking alterations start from £25.00. Some adjustments are able to be carried out on-site whilst more technical repairs/alterations will be required to be undertaken in the workshop or by the Manufacturer.
We are able to part exchange saddles previously purchased from ourselves. We are generally not able to part exchange other saddles. Any part exchange will be at the Saddle Fitter's discretion subject to age, wear & tear and proof of purchase at the time of visit.
You will need to provide the right facilities for the best service. Please ensure when you are booking your fitting that you plan in advance and ensure:
- You have a flat hard surface where the horse can be stood up and and trotted up to be assessed in hand.
- You have a suitable area free from obstacles (e.g. jumps) where the horse can be ridden i.e. menage, arena or suitable paddock where the surface is flat & safe (Don't forget to book the arena allowing plenty of time in advance if required).
- You have Show Jumps and/or XC Fences set up ready if your saddle is required for jumping.
- The Rider/s is/are present at the fitting.
- Riders are suitably attired with a hard hat that conforms to current British Standards. Please note Jeans, denim jods and trainers are inadequate. Jods/Breeches with diamantes/motifs/rear pockets or anything on the seat that potentially may mark the seat of new saddles will not be acceptable. Riders will not be able to try saddles if not correctly dressed.
- You have your own stirrup leathers and girth available which are clean and dry.
- You make available any saddle cloths, numnahs or pads you may use.
- Your horse is clean, groomed and well presented.
- There is a mounting block available.
If you are unable to provide any of the facilities, please discuss this at the time of booking or note it on your booking form as it may limit the service we are able to provide.
Adverse Weather Conditions
In the event of adverse weather conditions, unless you have appropriate indoor facilities, your Fitter will be unable to complete a comprehensive assessment. In these circumstances your appointment may have to be re-scheduled or concluded over a 2nd visit.
What to expect from your visit
There are several stages to fully assess your horse. Your Fitter will undertake an examination of your horse's back. While it is emphasised that the Fitter is not a vet, they are able to recognise (but not diagnose) the existence of problems that might adversely influence the saddle and the way in which it fits. This includes recognition of asymmetrical development, the existence of white hairs (indicative of earlier pressure points), sores, ‘tightness’, tenderness, scabs etc. Occasionally the Saddle Fitter may decide that the degree of tenderness / soreness exhibited by the horse necessitates delaying the fitting until the horses’ back has improved. They may suggest that, in the meantime, exercise is restricted to lunging. In some cases they may recommend the owner to seek veterinary advice.
The Fitter will also assess your horse's conformation and bio-mechanical movement and ask you to run the horse up to assess his gait and look for any signs of lameness. The Saddle Fitter will assess a number of factors in relation to conformation and movement to establish the impact they may have on the balance, fit, stability and performance of your saddle as well as any influence they may have on the balance and posture of the rider.
Whilst the priority will be to put your horse's needs first, the Fitter will also discuss your requirements and budget at the visit. If we are checking your current saddle, the Fitter will assess the health, fit and suitability of your current saddle. Where a new saddle is required, the Fitter will discuss a number of options available for you to be able to make an informed choice. They will try on and assess a range of saddles within budget and short list the most suitable. Short listed saddles will then be tried and ridden in by the rider/s for further assessment.
The Fitter will make any necessary adjustments to the preferred saddle/s and ask the rider to perform a number of transitions and exercises in walk, trot and canter on both reins to assess the saddle fit and balance, as well as impact from the horse's movement, the rider's posture, balance and comfort . Exercises will vary according to the horse and rider's ability and the facilities provided. Where the saddle is required for Jumping and/or Cross Country the rider will be asked to ride a number of fences. This will depend on ability and level of competition.
The visit will usually take approximately one to one and half hours. The Fitter will complete a written record of the visit as well as complete templates of your horse's measurements and provide you with a copy.
All saddle sales are bound by the Consumer Regulations 2013, terms and conditions will be provided at the time of sale.
If you need cancel or amend your appointment, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible to allow us to re-allocate your appointment to someone else. The following cancellation charges will apply for last minute cancellations.
More than 48 hours notice - no charge
24 to 48 hours notice - £20 Cancellation Fee
Within 24 hours - £40 Cancellation Fee
No Show at Yard - Full Call Out Charge
If you have to amend or post-pone your appointment, there will be no charge on the first occasion. Subsequent changes are discretionary and may incur cancellation charges as above.