Q. Why choose a Master Saddler?

The Society of Master Saddlers quotes...

"Using a Society of Master Saddlers' qualified saddle fitter assures knowledgeable and professional services of the highest standard. The Society instituted and continues to operate and monitor the only professional saddle fitting qualification available worldwide. Your Society of Master Saddlers' qualified saddle fitter wants to provide a professional service based on knowledge and integrity. Purchasing a saddle involves considerable expenditure and some important decisions. The saddle fitter is there to provide expertise, advice, help and information."

Q. How often should I have my saddle checked?

A. Horses are constantly changing shape, so we advise saddle checks every 6 months. Checks may be required more often if your horse has had a long period of rest or an intense workload where they might have significantly built up or lost top line muscle.

Q. What's involved in saddle fitting?

A. The process of saddle fitting is:

1. We will take some basic information about you and your horse when you make your booking.

2. Janet will make an initial assessment of your horse and examine the saddle area.

3. Templates will be taken of the horses back. These are kept and referred to on subsequent visits so we can form a picture of how your horse develops and changes shape.

4. Janet will fit the saddle and then see the horse ridden at all paces. It is essential that the Jockey is present!

5. Janet will then discuss the fit of the saddle and make her recommendations.

6. The majority of reflocking is performed on site.

7. Complete reflocks take longer and Janet will advise you of this at the time.

If you require a new saddle the following guidelines can help Janet bring a selection which are both suitable to yourself and your horse:

1. The Style and size of your old saddle.

2. Discipline that saddle will be used for (i.e. dressage/ jumping / GP).

3. General confirmation of your horse including any points of interest i.e. high withers, large shoulder.

4. Rider confirmation!! (height and weight allow Janet to asses what size seat may be required).

5. Preferred colour.

6. Price Range.

Q. What facilities will Janet need?

A. The following conditions will need to be met on the day of the visit:

1. A flat hard surface where the horse can be examined standing and an area for it to be trotted up in hand.

2. An area where the horse can be ridden, a manage is preferable.

3. If you are opting for a jumping style saddle, it is essential to be able to ride over a few fences.

4. Riders presence - although this appears very obvious to the vast majority of riders, it is a fact that some believe that there presence is not a necessary factor!!

5. Please wear the correct clothing, The Society of Master Saddlers always advocates that riders wear a correctly adjusted & well fitting riding hat.

6. Have your own stirrup leathers and girth available. If it is a new horse and has no tack please inform us at the initial booking and we can provide these essential items for you.

7. We do not want the visit to be onerous but presenting a well groomed horse allows Janet to identify any marks left on the horses back after removing the saddle. When the horse has not been recently groomed the marks left by the saddle may be blurred or indistinguishable and not be a true indication of bearing surface.

Q. How far does Janet travel?

A. Janet will visit you wherever you live within Devon, Dorset, Cornwall or Somerset. Travel charges are applied according to distance so the more people Janet sees in an area the lower the travel charge per client.

Q. My equine physiotherapist has recommended I have my saddle checked, will Janet work alongside other qualified professionals?

A. Equine physiotherapists, vets and trainers often refer their horses to Janet. She is more than happy to discuss cases and meet other professionals to obtain the best possible outcome for both horse and rider.