Farm calls / on-site Saddle Fitting
For distances over 50 miles from 53594 a group of 3 or more is preferred and for longer distances is required. Trip charges in addition to mileage will apply for fewer clients to keep the travel to fitting time balanced. If no group, the minimum initial assessment charge or additional mileage applies. * I make every effort to keep this very reasonable and am generous with my teaching approach and my time!
$135.00 Saddle Fitting assessment: (Rechecks of same horse and saddle within 6 months are $75)
$75.00/ hour Additional services - (assessing additional saddles - analysis of rider in additional saddles, 1st bodywork session or other further evaluation and rehab program discussion). *Body work / sports massage therapy is $60/hour after first session.
Flocking adjustments are dependent on complexity and time involved and range from $30 - $100 in addition to the fitting charge.
What's included in a saddle fitting?
I will suggest you ride prior to my arrival so that when I can see you on the horse in your saddle when I arrive. (if applicable) this way the horse is warmed and I can see you ride in current state of saddle fit.
I will do a markup of the landmarks for your horse’s saddle area, palpate for any painful areas and assess for uneven muscle development or high/low syndrome as this affect saddle fit.
I will then get on a stool and view your horse from behind looking at the markings which help define a larger or set forward or back shoulder and scapula. All horses have these asymmetries but when the shoulder it's not only larger but further back it will affect saddle fit notably. The health and size of the longissimus and latissimus muscles along the back will be noted, looking to see if there is any atrophy here, which commonly there is.When I mark up your horses back during a saddle fitting, I use these landmarks for analysis: The caudal edge of the scapula; · The top of the shoulder; · The last rib; · The horses optimal channel width, found by palpating for the supraspinous ligament. I am cognizant of the nerves along the back and the cranial (Accessory Nerve) that runs through the wither area as I mark these on your horse. In effect, I am outlining where the optimal weight bearing area for your saddle should be.
I will take pictures of your horse and do a basic wither tracing after for our records. I will do a full set of pictures and full tracings ($15.00 extra) if you feel you will be needing to look for a new saddle.
I will then measure the distance from around an inch behind the scapula to the last rib on each side. Sometimes this varies by as much as two inches. This asymmetry is explained to the client and some suggestions for body work or exercises that will have a straightening effect will be suggested. This will be noted on your tracing as LOB (length of back).
The fitting includes an evaluation of your saddle, including checking tree for soundness and evaluation of the panels (English) or bars and shearling (Western), stitching and billets. Tree length will be noted and any asymmetries in the saddle will be discussed for their effect on your horse.
We will then place the saddle on your horse and I will discuss with you the positive and negative attributes of the saddles fit to your horse. This includes shape front to back and side to side, billets/girth placement (English) and rigging (Western), length of saddle and suitability to your horses back.
We will also go over the pads and girths you use and I will comment or make recommendations. Please have your horse clean and ready and the pads, girths and saddles you use at the ready. It is helpful to remove your pads and girths and stirrup irons if you wish, to make it easier to view and discuss the saddle on your horse if you are not currently riding in it.
$75.00/ hour for additional services - (assessing saddles and riding in additional saddles, flocking adjustments, bodywork or rehab/exercise/stretch/strengthen program and instruction or other further evaluation and discussion)
Saddle Flocking and Repairs
English saddle billet replacement: $35 each
Billets will be ordered to best match your saddle and style desired!
To begin, we need to know how many, and where and how they are attached on your saddle. If the panels need to be unstitched to access the webbing/tree to attach them, there is an extra charge. (just dressage saddles shown as the H/J and AP are more standardized.)
Please provide pictures under your saddle flap showing where the leather portion of each billet (for one side) is located and we will get you a quick quote! You may email this these pictures to SportHorseTherapeutics@hotmail.com.
English saddle wool re-flocking (complete strip flock). $225 - $275
For your “new used” or well loved saddle… (be sure to see our video below on how to tell if your saddle needs to be reflocked) You will ship your saddle with a return label. Saddle will be done within a week and promptly and safely returned to you.
There are some details to be discussed so that there are no surprises and the saddle works for the intended horse.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN SENDING US OR DROPPING OFF A SADDLE TO BE REFLOCKED:
**We start by asking, does the saddle currently fit the horse? If it does, we can simply replace the wool and all is well.
If the saddle fits a bit tight at the withers- You may want to consider having the tree widened, if it is a saddle that has a malleable iron head plate. SHTS can do this service for you.
If the current flocking is very compressed and hard - New flocking will cause it to fit tighter, at least for a while. If your flocking is compressed and it just fits your horse, then the saddle does not “truly” fit, as the panels are not to spec.
It fits great, but my horse is more uphill now and I feel like I am sitting in the “back seat” - No problem here! As long as I know, and you have the panel room (gusseted or full rear panels) I can be sure to add enough wool in the rear of the panels, because it is hard for a fitter to get to the very back after the saddle is sewn up.
**What if you just bought the saddle and are not quite sure it fits, but you are sure the flocking is felted (compressed and degraded beyond it’s life expectancy)?
In this case, I would advise we do a fitting. I can look at pictures of your horse and saddle and determine if it is a good fit and if I can make it better! (See the long distance fitting Notes on fb page)
Reflocking includes looking at the tree, to be sure there are no twists, cracks, protruding screws or tacks. Cleaning all the dirt out from under the panels and flaps, replacing all the wool and of course sewing it all back together.
You (unless local) would send it to me, with a return label in a box that is strong enough to make the return trip, that's it!
Note: I will not “try” to MAKE a saddle fit if I don’t feel it is right for you or your horse.
I think you will find that the level of communication and time I will spend with you, besides having more reasonable rates, sets my reflocking service in it’s own category. A saddle shop will just “take your saddle” and flock to spec or a tracing. I find viewing pictures and talking to my customers imperative to success with this, it’s important, it is a valuable asset to your training program or just your horses comfort on a trail ride!
As an independent saddle fitter, I have taken apart every version of English saddle there is. They come apart in many ways, shapes and forms. I have the knowledge, experience and tools to work with all types.
Watch the video below to learn a bit about checking your saddles wool flocking condition.
Videos on English Saddle Flocking
The Video below is a 1/2 panel that is being re-flocked. The pictures to the left show the condition of the old flocking (balled up) and the start of the new!
Sport Horse Therapeutic Services is constantly adding ways to help with your fitting needs, so if it is not yet on the website, please ask!
Saddle Tree Evaluation
Saddle Adjustment Types