Why we believe not buying new is false economy in most cases:
There’s no denying that your saddle is possibly one of the most, if not the most expensive piece of equipment you will buy for your horse, therefore a very important decision at any level whether you are looking at pleasure riding or competing.
We wholeheartedly believe that the comfort and wellbeing of our equines is our responsibility, if we expect them to perform in whatever discipline we choose to do with them.
Over the 13 years of experience in this industry the amount of times I have heard “this saddle fits everything”, “it should fit it was made to measure” (how long ago?) or “he’s only hacking in it so it doesn’t need to fit”
The latter of these quotes pains me the most…… when a horse is “hacking”, generally not in good posture with an ill fitting saddle and the weight of a rider on board this amounts to us walking along with a bag of feed on one shoulder in ill fitting shoes!!! See my point?
Therefore having your Horses’ saddle fit regularly checked is as important as having his feet shod/trimmed, the dentist, and back therapist.
If it is a case of us working with your existing saddle in order to improve the fit we will try and do this.
Unfortunately in some cases this is just not possible and we will recommend replacing the saddle.
These reasons may include:
* the saddle has a fault or is beyond repair
- the saddle is not the correct width and does not have an adjustable tree.
- the tree or the panel or both are completely the wrong shape or style for the horse we are looking at
- the saddle is the wrong size for the rider and/or the horse/pony
Sometimes this can be a shock to the owner! The saddle they thought “fitted everything” or was “made to measure” (3 yrs ago!) actually doesn’t, they have just been informed this is not the case! Understandably some time may be needed to digest the fact that if they wish to continue riding their 4-legged friend and prevent any potential further complications, then they really should consider replacing their saddle.
So getting on to my title for this blog “Why buy a new Saddle”:
- A new saddle will be SYMMETRICAL which is regularly not the case with used saddles. Leather is a natural product and can settle and distort to whatever equine has been carrying it. In some cases beyond the point of no return! Would you expect a saddle used daily on this horse to be symmetrical
- A new saddle will have new, fresh flocking which will settle and bed in to the shape of your horse. This will then need to be maintained by your saddle fitter. Horses are not symmetrical and therefore in some instances we have to adjust to compensate for this within the panel or with the use of a shim pad.
- Some companies like Bliss of London offer the scope for us as fitters to select different tree profiles and panel options to suit your horse’s shape perfectly.
ie. short or regular panels
A new saddle whether “made to measure” or “off the peg” will have the most up to date design and patterns and will have been subjected to any improvements made in development.
- You can be assured that a new saddle is safe, having all new parts ie. webs, straps etc. A used saddle which is purchased privately, could potentially be unsafe or not fit for purpose and the seller may not even be aware.
- A new saddle will come with each manufacturer’s individual warranty.
- It is our responsibility as ‘The Society of Master Saddlers Saddle Fitters’ to ensure we select the best saddle possible, within budget, for the client and provide the aftercare and refitting of a new saddle.
- The Society of Master Saddlers Saddle Fitters have to have extensive experience in many different brands and we also have to stock at least 3 manufacturers’ saddles. We at RS Saddles are able to supply New Saddles from 8 different manufacturers. We are able to cater for budgets from £500 – £5000.
- The Society of Master Saddlers Saddle Fitters have strict guidelines to adhere to which offer our clients piece of mind
Clients should be aware that when advising on potential purchasing of used saddles online, we can offer suggestions of possible saddles that might work, but unless we have the used saddles there with the horse and rider it is impossible to really know.
I have seen in many cases clients going back and forth. Trying second hand saddles, them not being right and ending up either having to sell them on or paying carriage to return them.
All being said, sometimes a quality second hand saddle can work out to be a good bet, however without the advise of a Qualified Saddle Fitter this undoubtably is a bet and the odds are really not great that your horse and you will be comfortable in it!