The Used Saddle Conundrum

I love the two brands I fit, but they're both rare, ErgoX2 especially, though as we grow in the UK that will shift a little.

Since the advent of the internet saddle fitters have been in a bind.  The web has allowed buyers and sellers much better access to each other, an ability to buy used saddles directly from private (and trade) sellers all over the country, or even the world, should have been transformative.

But saddles don't like to play nice like that....

Saddles are so individual, so complex.  There are thousands and thousands of model/seat/flap/width/colour combos out there, probably hundreds of thousands, so even the web has struggled to make this market function perfectly.  It's a market where a good deal of knowledge is needed, so although sellers get a little more money, and buyers pay a little less, than when most used saddles were sold through fitters,  it's done some (many?) horses and even riders a disservice, with many not realising their saddles don't truly fit.  At the worst end are those riding on broken trees, nasty unsafe Indian saddles and plenty with dodgy flocking.  Alternatively it might be okay for the pony but not at all right for the rider, or the discipline, which DOES affect the horse or pony.

I don't keep much used stock at all sadly.  Unless I take a trade-in I get very few used saddles cross my path, and I cannot afford the prices asked by private sellers to build up stock - like many solo saddle fitters I don't have the cash spare to be tied up in more stock, and I will make less selling a used saddle, inevitably, so it's hard to recoup all our costs and continue to make a living.

I carry a small number of "remedial" saddles; these mostly go on lease to customers who are doing groundwork and light ridden work, helping their horse with posture and compensatory movement patterns, and who would change shape so fast that a new saddle would be unwise until further down the line.  Most of these are AH models, but I will be looking to do the same with ErgoX2 as they become available and I can afford to do so, I am looking at one or two "off-brand" models as useful for this purpose too.

So how do I work with used saddles, as clearly it's by far the best option for many people's pockets, and for young horses and others that may change shape?

Used Saddles Advice Service

I'm afraid I can only advise on the two brands that I fit - AH Saddles for wider horses, and my new rider-focused brand, Ergox2 - as I'm not sufficiently familiar with other saddles.  I have access to very few used saddles but am happy to fit them where possible.  All come on a 14 day trial, see my Terms and Conditions.

AH Saddles

With years of experience fitting these saddles, and unable to adjust trees and flocking in person to fully prove that a saddle will fit, I have just as high a success rate advising from photos as I do in person.  I would always advise to buy at the right price but in the rare event the saddle isn't quite right for either horse or rider, in the vast majority of cases we can get it working well enough, and usually better than your own saddle, while we keep our eyes open for something even better.  They sell easily, and most saddles are bought and sold here, with a handful cropping up in the usual places such as ebay, Preloved and Horsequest.  Bear in mind with limited supply it may take some time (weeks or months rather than days) to find the right model, though sometimes you can be lucky and the right saddle is already for sale somewhere (and occasionally I even know about it!)


  • -The usual phone call to take all relevant information (horse, rider, location)
  • -Obtain the same photos I would ask for as if I was visiting in person - though I would additionally ask for a photo taken from the other side of the horse to show the whole body from both sides.  Please look carefully at the instructions and the photos as they are very specific and the photos we are sent often aren't helpful.  Please also send a photo or short video of you riding in your current saddle on this horse where possible.  Send photos to as it's easier for me to save them from here and small videos can be sent easily.
  • -I will invoice you as per my current price list to cover the time taken for this assessment
  • -Once I have received payment and had a chance to assess the photos I will email you with a list of the most likely saddles to work for both horse and rider and any other information that may help (which is often quite comprehensive eg feet, groundwork)
  • -You can send me (within reason, I am occasionally inundated with obviously unsuitable saddles) links to any saddles you see that seem to fit the bill
  • -I would refer you to the pictures of our range on the AH site as a guide, but also the AH Youtube channel where we have in-depth guides to most models, but the sub 2 minute versions are more digestible and are here
  • -Once you have the saddle please ask me to book you in, waiting times usually 2-4 weeks though you are also welcome to send me photos of the saddle girthed up (please ask which photos) to see if it might be an okay fit for me to give you the go ahead to try riding in it, checking in with me afterwards, and ideally sending a video of the ride (rising trot from the centre of a circle).

Emma Devey and her lovely stallion Bluecaps Midnight Mathew in an AH Symphony show saddle sourced with Steph's advice, the fit adjusted on the day of the photo.


These saddles are made to measure for the horse but especially for the rider. A full initial appointment of 2.5-3 hours will be required to carry out an assessment of both horse and rider before I can recommend the correct model. Bodywork and straightening work is likely to be recommended for both horse and rider but with a full saddle spec we can then wait for a trade-in to come in at the head office in Sweden and arrange for it to be sent over.

Please book in as normal, I will require detailed information and a few specific photos.

Prices are not a huge amount lower but you will save at least £500, and hopefully save on the 3 month or more wait for a new saddle. Again there could be a significant wait for the right model to come up; for a temporary fit a small amount of compromise may be acceptable for the fit for the rider, less so for a permanent saddle.

If you'd like to book in for a used saddle consultation please do complete my booking form to get the ball rolling 

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