Your saddle fitting experience should always be a good one so I like you to know what to expect. Please don’t worry if you are nervous, I’m going to be watching the saddle and the horse much more than you, but equally you must be happy in the saddle so I am flexible in my approach and always let you take your time. I’m also more than happy to answer any questions you may have as we go along. At most fittings you’ll get the chance to ride in at least two saddles that fulfil the requirements for you and your horse and get to choose from them, having a saddle fitted for you on the day, not having to wait. The saddles all come on a 14 day trial so plenty of time to ride in front of your instructor, test it on hacks etc and be sure you both like it.
We endeavour to fit all horses and ponies from stock with you having a saddle on the day as a bit of a “unique selling point”; please note that we only carry brown saddles in stock in most models with black being to order, except with dressage saddles where the reverse is true. Because our cost structure is built around this I do usually charge a partial second call out for delivering a customised saddle, this does not include where a regular item is out of stock on the day, where a second visit is free.
My days out fitting can get very busy so I ask you to have your horse ready for the saddle fitting at the time we agreed – I will call or text if I will be more than 15 minutes late, sometimes I’m even early☺. An area under cover is needed for the initial fitting, and then a level rideable area – an arena or dry field – will be needed to fully test the saddle. Ideally I would like to see the saddle in all paces, on turns and circles and, if relevant, over jumps but understand this is not always possible for whatever reason. If the fitting is going to be in the dark good lighting will be needed both under cover and for riding unless otherwise agreed.
I will need to protect the flaps of the saddle while you try each one – I usually just put the leathers under the flaps, but if you would like a more natural feel please feel free to snip the toes from an old pair of thick socks, they can be slid over your leathers, with the buckle sticking out of the top, and held there with elastic bands (plaiting bands are usually fine).
AH Saddles Ltd takes credit or debit card payments (or cash by arrangement) only for the saddle, deposits for custom made and any other accessories. I try to carry all sizes of our double ended elastic Atherstone girths as well as a selection of regular and non-stretch stirrup leathers (all in brown leather, black usually to order) – please do let me know if you would like me to bring along anything specific.