The Saddle Tree, LLC has an excellent track record for long-distance fittings! We have saddles in NH, VA, GA, NC, SC, WI, MN, IL, UT, TX, and MA in addition to the states we actually travel to!
We understand that not all areas have access to a saddle fitter. Even if you do have a fitter you are working with in person, not all carry demos to suit the wide range of horses that we can fit. We’re happy to work with you and your local fitter to find the best fit for your horse.
In order to make recommendations we need some information, starting with a template of your horse’s back, and pictures.
For the template/tracing, it’s best to use a flexi-curve or drafting curve which can be purchased from any office supply store. I like to mark locations with a piece of masking tape before I begin.
- The first one 2 fingers width behind the back edge of the scapula (you may have to palpate fairly deep to find that edge, depending on the type of horse you have),
- the second at the lowest point of the horse’s back,
- the third at the 18th thoracic vertebrae (T-18). T-18 can be found in 2 ways: one is by finding the last rib by palpating and then following the curve upward toward its attachment point, on chunky horses that make it difficult to palpate you can look for where the hair swirls together in front of the flank and go straight up
- The last line along the spine showing where it intersects with the others.
Often people use a manilla folder, I use 11 x 17 paper, or you can tape together two sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Be sure to run your marker along the bottom edge of the flexi-curve when transferring it to the paper so you get the most accurate representation of the horse’s shape.
Please take pictures of your horse with the tape still on his back. One full-body shot from the side and one picture of his back from behind. It’s important that he be standing square with his head in a normal position for both pictures. A picture of you on the horse is also helpful.
Tracings get distorted easily when e-mailed so they need to be folded in half and scanned to PDFs before being sent. PDF apps do not work because they convert photos. If you don’t have a scanner you’ll have to send your tracings via post. Please request our mailing address.
When you send these, spend a few minutes telling us what you are looking for in a saddle: seat size, seat depth, or anything else you prefer. The more information you share, the more likely we can match you up with something that you will love!
Once we receive all of the info, you will get a detailed e-mail from us with recommended saddles that we feel will fit your horse, and what we have in stock that may suit you that you can take on trial for a week.
Trial saddles are shipped with socks to put over your stirrup leathers and a return shipping label so it easy to send the saddle back when you are done. Saddles need to be paid for and a trial agreement signed and returned prior to shipping. Everything except the cost of shipping is refundable when the saddle is returned.
If the saddle you get isn’t perfect, don’t despair! Sometimes the first saddle we send doesn’t fit the bill in some way. If we can get detailed feedback from you, with pictures, we can do even better the second time around or in a custom order. Saddle shopping is a process but finding the right saddle makes it so worth the effort!