Feel free to send us a request for information on anything covered in this website. We are here to give you and your horse the best saddle fit possible.

If you can’t find an answer below – contact us by clicking on the chat bubble or the “Click here to contact us”

We also have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which I try to answer some of the questions I frequently get asked.

Book a Saddlefit

We charge a saddlefitting rate of $50 per horse then a travel charge.  This depends on how far away you are.

Generally if you are:
within 50km travel charge is $15 ($50 + $15)
50-99km then total fee is $75 ($50 + $25)
100km – 149km total fee is $85 ($50 + $35)
150-199km total fee is $95 ($50 + $45)
200-250km total fee is $105 ($50 + $55)
Over 250km – please contact.
Note: if there is more than one horse on the place to be done then the travel fee is only charged once.
So if you live 130km away and have 2 horses the call out fee is $135 ($85 + $50).

As with everything paying more doesn’t necessarily mean all your issues will be solved.

Firstly, check when your saddlefitter got their qualifications? Most organisations – especially Society of Master Saddlers UK (SMS) are constantly reviewing and updating their syllabus and qualification criteria. A now outdated fitting thought was that there needed to be at least 3-4 fingers clearance at the wither. Your saddlefitter might not have kept up with the latest research and thoughts on saddlefitting.

Secondly, I hardly ever fit for NOW – I fit for the future. I assess the whole of the horse. The conformation, the muscles, the hooves – everything – both standing and moving. I then decide what is happening now AND what should happen in the future. I’ve had horses change four (yes, four) gullet sizes in 2 weeks once we found a saddle solution that works.

I’m constantly working with my saddlemakers to offer saddles that suit the Australian environment and horse type. My years of experience has developed a heap of knowledge on things such as:

  • That WB bloodline that has the deceptive quirk to catch out a successful saddlefit.
  • That breed that is likely to be croup high
  • The breed that needs a deceptively wider saddle.

I’ve often been there and done that – both with my own horses or seen it with others.

I can adjust flocking on the spot – I’ve listened to saddlemakers on what flock works.

Whoa right there! Chances are your horse has muscle atrophy and really just needs a rehab program to correct this. We can work out a programme for you.

[more information to come]

Also see here

The key to this is to work out WHY the saddle slips and it can be for several reasons including (and not limited to)

  • Saddle Tree wrong shape
  • Saddle panel incorrect
  • Rider crooked
  • Horse has muscular issues.
  • Horse has hoof issues
  • Horse conformation.

We do a full assessment of what is happening and why. Thoroughly checking the Horse, Saddle and Rider.  We are very hesitant to recommend using ‘sticky’ pads or expensive girths with no guarantee of a solution.

No horse has defeated me yet and often the solution has been to strip all those extra pads off and simplify things.

At a Saddlefitting we generally start with a few questions and looking at the horse – from the anatomy, muscling and topline to hooves.  We are very hands on as this gives a better idea of what is happening with the horse.

Then we’ll look at the current saddle and decide if it can be made to fit. We are happy to point out why a saddle doesn’t work.

Assessments normally take 1.5 hours and involves measurements, photos and seeing the horse move and work under saddle – be prepared to ride the horse as a horse static (standing still) can be a very different saddle fit to a horse moving.

We are happy to change saddles, back to original saddle etc to find the best solution for you and your horse.

Whilst we are fitting to the horse today – we are also mindful of changes that might take place over the next few months.  Often once a fitting saddle is used there will be muscular changes in your horse.

If we have a demo saddle that works then there is the option to leave the saddle for a week trial (or book in a trial period if it isn’t possible to leave that saddle).

If you live beyond the saddle fit region or need something urgently we are happy to courier saddles for trial. Please note that shipping costs are entirely the responsibility of the customer. We have access to competitive courier rates (generally around $50, but will quote first) so please contact us. Obviously the more information you can provide the better chance of finding a saddle that works.

Contact us via the booking form for a phone consult to see if we are able to help you!Booking Form

Trial Tips
Provide a daytime address (like work) for courier so you receive the saddle as soon as possible and aren’t delayed by no one to receive delivery.

Take Photos! – Your saddle, my saddle, prior to ride, after ride.
Look at sweat patterns – are there dry patches, ruffled patches (photograph if not sure)
FEEL what is happening – do you feel tipped forward or backward? Can you easily get your legs on the horse. Does your horse feel invigorated or sloth like?

Visa or Mastercard must be given for freight. This will also be held as security (but not charged) until a decision is made about the saddle.

Please note: by trialling a saddle you are agreeing to our Trial Saddle Policy – It can be read here

Buy a Saddle

These are saddles that we recommend trying for your horse…

Keep checking back as I’ll add photos as I come across the saddles

Please note:
-We do not guarantee fit as all horses are different but it provides a direction.
-Not all models of the make will be suitable.
-The width of the saddle is only a small part of the fit equation.
-Remember not to buy a saddle without being able to ride in it several times

Look for a saddle with a pommel shaped like this.

Syd Hill

These photos are saddles that I’ve come across that do not fit into my saddle fitting philosophy for a variety of reasons….

Keep checking back as I’ll add photos as I come across the saddles

[Brands not listed deliberately so do not ask as refusal may offend 🙂 ]

Not at all – follow the instructions here and enclose the photos.  Provide as much information as possible, what saddles you have tried etc as often this helps decide what tree shape suits your horse.

You have 7 days. This maybe extended in special circumstances like bad weather etc.
But you must contact us prior to the 7 days being up.

Yes, sometimes it will. But not to the extent that purchasing an incorrect saddle and subsequently having to on sell at a loss.

Fully understandable. We offer a 7 day assessment period with our saddle sales. This means you can ride in the saddle several times as a test drive – especially important as horses often take a few rides before deciding the saddle isn’t really working for them.

If we have one in the demo pool – that may already be out with someone else – we can courier (at your cost) or bring out next time. Revisits within 6 months are subject to travel call out fees only, not the $50 assessment fee.

If we have nothing in the demo pool but believe we know what will fit your horse then we may recommend ordering a saddle for you.  Remember that you have a 7 day assessment period if we take this route so you are not buying and praying.

We don’t recommend you buy a saddle without trying it.  Horses are their own entity and often will move a lot differently than what the ‘standing’ horse suggests.

Unlikely. Our pricing is based on RRP plus freight and import fees. (plus you get to ‘try’ a saddle) You maybe able to import a secondhand saddle but there are tales of saddles being held up in customs and ‘irradiated’ prior to release. Irradiation is very destructive to synthetic – things like the webbing that holds the girths to the saddle tree. Depending on the quality of the webbing this can be a quick or slow disintegration process. None of my saddles are irradiated. I’m not having it on my conscience.

We try to give you the best possible prices – all our saddles come from overseas and the foreign currency rate is constantly changing. We guarantee to give you the best price possible. As we offer a saddle fit guarantee we maybe able to sharpen our prices further if you know what you want and don’t need the guarantee.

‘Fat’ Pony Saddles (cos we know they are just big boned)

Anyone who has looked for a decent pony saddle will reluctantly remember the frustration caused by the exercise.. Especially if after a specialised saddle.

Firstly, there are very few deep seated saddles out there. Watching our 3 year old bounce around on the end of a leadrein in a slippery, virtual flatseat saddle has the hearts in the mouth of many parents. In fact, the old 1980’s Bates Esperance (made in Australia) probably sells for more now secondhand than it did new nearly 40 years ago!

Secondly, we have cute ‘fat’ ponies!  Blame the Welsh/Shetland influence on this.  My widest saddle fit has been a pony!  Who would have thunk it????

Thirdly, our cute fat ponies are often croup high (or at least level) and no one appears to have told the saddlemakers that big gussets aren’t required.

Last(ly), even if we achieve one, two or all of the above there is often an issue with the saddle looks!  Clumpy seems to be in rather than fine.  No one told the saddlemakers that our mini Ferraris need a finer saddle so the saddle ‘sits with’ rather than on the horse.

What is the Solution?

We have 4 saddlemakers working on this for us.
Also – a 15″ AH Native Pony Saddle is ready for shipment so should arrive in the next few weeks. This has a size 6 gullet.

If you live beyond the saddle fit region or need something urgently we are happy to courier saddles for trial. Please note that shipping costs are entirely the responsibility of the customer. We have access to competitive courier rates (generally around $50, but will quote first) so please contact us. Obviously the more information you can provide the better chance of finding a saddle that works.

Contact us via the booking form for a phone consult to see if we are able to help you!Booking Form

Trial Tips
Provide a daytime address (like work) for courier so you receive the saddle as soon as possible and aren’t delayed by no one to receive delivery.

Take Photos! – Your saddle, my saddle, prior to ride, after ride.
Look at sweat patterns – are there dry patches, ruffled patches (photograph if not sure)
FEEL what is happening – do you feel tipped forward or backward? Can you easily get your legs on the horse. Does your horse feel invigorated or sloth like?

Visa or Mastercard must be given for freight. This will also be held as security (but not charged) until a decision is made about the saddle.

Please note: by trialling a saddle you are agreeing to our Trial Saddle Policy – It can be read here

Photo Guide

These are saddles that we recommend trying for your horse…

Keep checking back as I’ll add photos as I come across the saddles

Please note:
-We do not guarantee fit as all horses are different but it provides a direction.
-Not all models of the make will be suitable.
-The width of the saddle is only a small part of the fit equation.
-Remember not to buy a saddle without being able to ride in it several times

Look for a saddle with a pommel shaped like this.

Syd Hill

These photos are saddles that I’ve come across that do not fit into my saddle fitting philosophy for a variety of reasons….

Keep checking back as I’ll add photos as I come across the saddles

[Brands not listed deliberately so do not ask as refusal may offend 🙂 ]

Sell a Saddle

Yes!  We are currently working on all the details now.

We are doing this as we understand that not all people can afford to buy a new saddle.  We also know that there are options out there that are often forgotten gems.

For more information see here…

Things you don't ask but should

Here is a photo that shows the difference in trees from the ‘normal’ tree to a saddle with a Hoop, Freedom or U tree.  (I’ll keep posting photos of saddles as I come across them)

Both saddles measure the same distance at the end of the tree points but as you can see the shape of the pommel is very different.U vs V shaped tree

 

Different brands call their saddle trees different things.  A majority of saddles are made on a V shaped tree.  Fortunately there are more and more saddle makers (back) building on a Hoop, U, open head or Freedom tree.

The thing is that these aren’t a new design.  If your horse requires this type of tree there are old types of saddles that could well fit your horse. Yes, some of those dust collectors sitting in your tackroom could well be more appropriate for your horse than the spiffy, modern saddle you are using.

It is important to note that a Cob tree does not necessarily mean the tree is a U, Hoop, Open head or Freedom tree.  Adjustable trees are mainly V shaped or semi-hoop at best.

To add to the confusion there are Semi-Hoop Trees. These are a cross over between the V-shape and the U shape tree.  We often recommend (and rent) a semi-hoop tree for those ponies and horses that have been in a V shape tree and subject to muscle atrophy.  This is often needed for several weeks to rebuild muscle without compromising saddle fit.

WITHER CLEARANCE

Myth One: The old school of thought was that you needed to have 3-4 fingers clearance over the wither. ***EWWWW Back up the bus please***
Your saddle should be sitting BEHIND the shoulder. (read that FAQ for more information)

Myth Two: Clearance at the front needs to be 3-4 fingers.

Don’t believe me?  Check this – The SMS (Society of Master Saddlers) have now changed their teaching to ‘clearance’ at the front of the saddle.

Why?

For those with ‘high withered’ horses – to achieve 3-4 fingers clearance the seat of the saddle would be like a ski ramp with the mid point/balance point of saddle being too far back in the saddle.

(A good indication that the saddle isn’t balanced correctly is the rider having a sore lower back after a ride)

This leads to what is wither height.  Wither height is the distance from the top of the shoulder to the top of the wither.  There are those that have no wither above the shoulder.  Wither height is not defined by the hollows behind the shoulder – this is muscle atrophy

Wither Height is the distance above the shoulder. The Circle shows a ‘hollow’ behind the shoulder that indicates Muscle Atrophy

Wither Drop?

This definitely plays a part in Saddle fit.  It is also a variable factor.  Some swaybacks or ‘huge’ withers are caused by muscle atrophy and the horse can learn to strengthen his back to correct.  The sway is caused by the horse being in pain and ‘ducking’ away from the pain.

Whilst the horse below will always have a defined wither strengthening the back will have a huge impact on wither drop and subsequently Saddle Fit.

Whilst the above horse will never be a ‘hippopotamus’ fit he could well be exceeding an X-Wide gullet, with improved movement and less lameness and shying.

How do I know this?  From hands on experience of horses I’ve retrained.

I’ll do a blurb on Muscle Atrophy soon.

Meanwhile – feel free to contact me for more information.

Surprisingly this is one of the most common issues I find when I go out saddle fitting… I even get callouts as people are having the issue of the saddle slipping back.

The saddle tree point needs to sit behind the shoulder.

Where is the Shoulder?
Feel it – some horses are more defined than others.

If it is difficult then get someone to lift front leg and move it back and forward.

What is the Tree Point?

Where is the Tree Point?

It is near the front of the saddle – lift the flap and take a peek.
It isn’t necessarily the front of the saddle – look at jumping saddles that have all that flap compared to a dressage saddle.

Why is the Tree Point placement so important?
The tree point is a solid part of the tree. It’s length can vary according to the type of saddle and the horse it is to fit. Some trees have flexible tree points. Some trees have rear angled tree points.
Without going into a Muscular-Skeletal and Body Dynamics lesson (that’s what you pay me to know right?) Solid, immovable parts of a saddle must connect with less movable parts of the horse. Therefore a tree point sitting on the shoulder (which moves every stride) doesn’t work.

Book a Saddlefit

If you live beyond the saddle fit region or need something urgently we are happy to courier saddles for trial. Please note that shipping costs are entirely the responsibility of the customer. We have access to competitive courier rates (generally around $50, but will quote first) so please contact us. Obviously the more information you can provide the better chance of finding a saddle that works.

Contact us via the booking form for a phone consult to see if we are able to help you!Booking Form

Trial Tips
Provide a daytime address (like work) for courier so you receive the saddle as soon as possible and aren’t delayed by no one to receive delivery.

Take Photos! – Your saddle, my saddle, prior to ride, after ride.
Look at sweat patterns – are there dry patches, ruffled patches (photograph if not sure)
FEEL what is happening – do you feel tipped forward or backward? Can you easily get your legs on the horse. Does your horse feel invigorated or sloth like?

Visa or Mastercard must be given for freight. This will also be held as security (but not charged) until a decision is made about the saddle.

Please note: by trialling a saddle you are agreeing to our Trial Saddle Policy – It can be read here

Book a Saddlefit

At a Saddlefitting we generally start with a few questions and looking at the horse – from the anatomy, muscling and topline to hooves.  We are very hands on as this gives a better idea of what is happening with the horse.

Then we’ll look at the current saddle and decide if it can be made to fit. We are happy to point out why a saddle doesn’t work.

Assessments normally take 1.5 hours and involves measurements, photos and seeing the horse move and work under saddle – be prepared to ride the horse as a horse static (standing still) can be a very different saddle fit to a horse moving.

We are happy to change saddles, back to original saddle etc to find the best solution for you and your horse.

Whilst we are fitting to the horse today – we are also mindful of changes that might take place over the next few months.  Often once a fitting saddle is used there will be muscular changes in your horse.

If we have a demo saddle that works then there is the option to leave the saddle for a week trial (or book in a trial period if it isn’t possible to leave that saddle).

Book a Saddlefit

The key to this is to work out WHY the saddle slips and it can be for several reasons including (and not limited to)

  • Saddle Tree wrong shape
  • Saddle panel incorrect
  • Rider crooked
  • Horse has muscular issues.
  • Horse has hoof issues
  • Horse conformation.

We do a full assessment of what is happening and why. Thoroughly checking the Horse, Saddle and Rider.  We are very hesitant to recommend using ‘sticky’ pads or expensive girths with no guarantee of a solution.

No horse has defeated me yet and often the solution has been to strip all those extra pads off and simplify things.

Buy a Saddle

‘Fat’ Pony Saddles (cos we know they are just big boned)

Anyone who has looked for a decent pony saddle will reluctantly remember the frustration caused by the exercise.. Especially if after a specialised saddle.

Firstly, there are very few deep seated saddles out there. Watching our 3 year old bounce around on the end of a leadrein in a slippery, virtual flatseat saddle has the hearts in the mouth of many parents. In fact, the old 1980’s Bates Esperance (made in Australia) probably sells for more now secondhand than it did new nearly 40 years ago!

Secondly, we have cute ‘fat’ ponies!  Blame the Welsh/Shetland influence on this.  My widest saddle fit has been a pony!  Who would have thunk it????

Thirdly, our cute fat ponies are often croup high (or at least level) and no one appears to have told the saddlemakers that big gussets aren’t required.

Last(ly), even if we achieve one, two or all of the above there is often an issue with the saddle looks!  Clumpy seems to be in rather than fine.  No one told the saddlemakers that our mini Ferraris need a finer saddle so the saddle ‘sits with’ rather than on the horse.

What is the Solution?

We have 4 saddlemakers working on this for us.
Also – a 15″ AH Native Pony Saddle is ready for shipment so should arrive in the next few weeks. This has a size 6 gullet.

Book a Saddlefit

Whoa right there! Chances are your horse has muscle atrophy and really just needs a rehab program to correct this. We can work out a programme for you.

[more information to come]

Also see here

Book a Saddlefit

Firstly, check when your saddlefitter got their qualifications? Most organisations – especially Society of Master Saddlers UK (SMS) are constantly reviewing and updating their syllabus and qualification criteria. A now outdated fitting thought was that there needed to be at least 3-4 fingers clearance at the wither. Your saddlefitter might not have kept up with the latest research and thoughts on saddlefitting.

Secondly, I hardly ever fit for NOW – I fit for the future. I assess the whole of the horse. The conformation, the muscles, the hooves – everything – both standing and moving. I then decide what is happening now AND what should happen in the future. I’ve had horses change four (yes, four) gullet sizes in 2 weeks once we found a saddle solution that works.

I’m constantly working with my saddlemakers to offer saddles that suit the Australian environment and horse type. My years of experience has developed a heap of knowledge on things such as:

  • That WB bloodline that has the deceptive quirk to catch out a successful saddlefit.
  • That breed that is likely to be croup high
  • The breed that needs a deceptively wider saddle.

I’ve often been there and done that – both with my own horses or seen it with others.

I can adjust flocking on the spot – I’ve listened to saddlemakers on what flock works.

Book a Saddlefit

As with everything paying more doesn’t necessarily mean all your issues will be solved.

Buy a Saddle

We try to give you the best possible prices – all our saddles come from overseas and the foreign currency rate is constantly changing. We guarantee to give you the best price possible. As we offer a saddle fit guarantee we maybe able to sharpen our prices further if you know what you want and don’t need the guarantee.

Buy a Saddle

Unlikely. Our pricing is based on RRP plus freight and import fees. (plus you get to ‘try’ a saddle) You maybe able to import a secondhand saddle but there are tales of saddles being held up in customs and ‘irradiated’ prior to release. Irradiation is very destructive to synthetic – things like the webbing that holds the girths to the saddle tree. Depending on the quality of the webbing this can be a quick or slow disintegration process. None of my saddles are irradiated. I’m not having it on my conscience.

Book a Saddlefit

We charge a saddlefitting rate of $50 per horse then a travel charge.  This depends on how far away you are.

Generally if you are:
within 50km travel charge is $15 ($50 + $15)
50-99km then total fee is $75 ($50 + $25)
100km – 149km total fee is $85 ($50 + $35)
150-199km total fee is $95 ($50 + $45)
200-250km total fee is $105 ($50 + $55)
Over 250km – please contact.
Note: if there is more than one horse on the place to be done then the travel fee is only charged once.
So if you live 130km away and have 2 horses the call out fee is $135 ($85 + $50).

Buy a Saddle

If we have one in the demo pool – that may already be out with someone else – we can courier (at your cost) or bring out next time. Revisits within 6 months are subject to travel call out fees only, not the $50 assessment fee.

If we have nothing in the demo pool but believe we know what will fit your horse then we may recommend ordering a saddle for you.  Remember that you have a 7 day assessment period if we take this route so you are not buying and praying.

We don’t recommend you buy a saddle without trying it.  Horses are their own entity and often will move a lot differently than what the ‘standing’ horse suggests.

Buy a Saddle

Fully understandable. We offer a 7 day assessment period with our saddle sales. This means you can ride in the saddle several times as a test drive – especially important as horses often take a few rides before deciding the saddle isn’t really working for them.

Buy a Saddle

Yes, sometimes it will. But not to the extent that purchasing an incorrect saddle and subsequently having to on sell at a loss.

Buy a Saddle

You have 7 days. This maybe extended in special circumstances like bad weather etc.
But you must contact us prior to the 7 days being up.

Sell a Saddle

Yes!  We are currently working on all the details now.

We are doing this as we understand that not all people can afford to buy a new saddle.  We also know that there are options out there that are often forgotten gems.

For more information see here…

Buy a Saddle

Not at all – follow the instructions here and enclose the photos.  Provide as much information as possible, what saddles you have tried etc as often this helps decide what tree shape suits your horse.