Hasker Entreprise - English Master Saddlers in France

Expert Information
You may find the following information of interest.
Checking the fit of your saddle - appointments
Top tips when looking for a secondhand saddle
How might I know if my saddle has a broken tree?
Hat fitting & safety - more to follow
Tack cleaning  - more to follow
Storage of tack  - more to follow
Rug maintenance - more to follow
A rough guide to bits - more to follow
Principles of saddle fitting - more to follow
How to measure a horses's back - more to follow
Size conversion charts- more to follow
 
Checking the fit of your saddle  - appointments
Our aim is to ensure that a saddle is a good fit for the horse/pony and each and every rider who may ride on the same saddle
Why would I want the fit of my saddle checked by an experienced saddler?
To ensure the comfort and welfare of your horse/pony. If a horse/pony is comfortable with a well-fitting saddle, it can perform to its full potential, whilst also being treated kindly. A properly fitting saddle can also help a rider to correct their position and balance. It can also prevent damage and alteration to the structure of the saddle, ie: in the case of a saddle being too narrow on a wide horse, the saddle can be stretched and in some cases this can even cause the saddle tree to fracture. Stitching and materials can be checked for wear and tear for safety and appearance - preventative work can be less costly than a more "serious" repair that could have been avoided!
Some behaviourial actions may sometimes be your horse indicating to his rider that he is experiencing discomfort - this can be discussed with a saddler to ensure there is not a problem with the fit of the saddle. Sometimes expensive and long-term veterinary, physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment can be avoided  just with the simple re-flocking of your saddle or with the saddler's consultation to the saddle's fit and size and the details of each rider. Your saddler will discuss the whole picture with you - your numnahs and pads can sometimes be a problem rather than a solution, ie; they could cause a problem with how your saddle fits...even if your saddle fits well.
Symptoms that may suggest your saddle needs checking by a saddler...
  1. high head carriage
  2. arching of neck
  3. tenderness
  4. discomfort along the back, parallel with the spine
  5. white hair
  6. lowering of head (stretching)
  7. bucking
  8. shortening of pace
  9. reluctance to go into trot or canter
10. reluctance to be saddled or mounted
What happens during a saddle-fitting appointment?
Before arriving it is important for us to know this information - brief history of horse and saddle; breed/type/age/ height of horse or pony; height and build of rider(s). The size of the saddle seat may differ for riders of differing heights and genders so information on all potential riders is vitally important.
What is included in the appointment....
  • examination of back
  • examination of saddle(s)/numnahs/pads/girths
  • templates taken of back - including 3-dimensional which enables a future reference for finite degrees of change in back shape and condition, advising what a rider can keep an eye on to in order maintain the fit of their saddle
  • Confirm fit of saddle(s)
  • Advise reference fit of new or secondhand styles in stock
  • Advise reference specific saddle brands and models that may be suitable for "problem" backs (egs: high withers, broad or sway backs)
  • 1:1 consultation with a saddlery expert
  • Copy of templates/records so that a rider can monitor any changes in their horse's confirmation
Top tips when looking for a secondhand saddle .
These tips are recommended by a Master Saddler and are in no particular order.
  1. Do not be tempted to buy a saddle if you think it may have a broken tree. If you are able to see the saddle test for symptoms of a broken tree.
  2. Ask for all the history of the saddle (how old it is, size marked on the stirrup bar, has it been serviced or re-flocked etc.)
  3. Be aware that the saddle seat size may be marketed at smaller than it is....sometimes people think that potential buyers maybe may be more attracted to a smaller seat size so list it as smaller than is the reality
How might I know if my saddle has a broken tree?
You may find one or a combination of these symptoms if your saddle tree is fractured.
  • Movement at front arch
  • Movement at the waist of the saddle
  • Noises, such as creaking or clicking
  • Creasing in the seat area
  • Sharp edges in the front arch of the gullet
  • A saddle may seem wider than it should be (often you can see the correct size marked on the stirrup bar)
  • If a saddle can be folded in half (and we have been told before that has been used as a selling feature of a saddle.......!)
 
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