Saddle Fitting

Saddle Fit Shopping Worksheet
English Saddle Fit Review Worksheet
Western Saddle Fit Review Worksheet
Click on images above for bigger printable picture. 
Email your horse photos to: horseyhabit@yahoo.com

Horsey Habit offers two levels of saddle fitting services: 
 
  • Shop for a saddle via in-person live horse fittings at our retail store.  This is our most comprehensive service, and offers the best possible outcome for both horse and rider.  You make an appointment in advance, and you are welcome to bring multiple horses to be fit simultaneously.  A saddle fitting specialist with an area of expertise that matches your needs will be paired with you for your session. This fitter will stay with you for the duration of your fit, and follow up with you after the sale. If you bring multiple horses you will have a fitter assigned to each horse so the fittings can happen simultaneously.  There is a fee of $75 for each horse you bring.   Often you will have two or three fitters come together to collaborate on tougher horses, and to answer questions. It is an amazing learning experience that you won't soon forget. 
 
  • In Store saddle fitting working from a wither tracing and photos.  The service is offered at no charge to the customer, and is still a personalized in house fitting session for the rider. We typically have 2 saddle fitters working daily, more for special sale dates. We will choose the best fitter available for your particular discipline, and you will work with your sales person for the duration of the session. 

Both of our fitting opportunities come with follow up support after the sale. We recommended that you send us a specific battery of photos for us to review and comment on including photos of the new saddle on your horse's back and dirty saddle pad photos for evaluation. Often we can fine tune the fit remotely, and help you with ways to improve the foundation we have started from.  Occasionally we have requests to travel to farms to fit horses at their home barns. We recognize that some customers don't have the means to travel with their horses, and others need more help than what our in-store saddle fitting offers them. At this time we are unable to travel to barns, but are considering these services as an area for growth in the future.  We also get requests to check saddles that you already own on your horses.  Saddle fits are only available for people shopping for saddles.  We don't offer fitting services to check saddles you currently own.  

SADDLE FITTING PROCESS.
How it works:

We always use the following rules.  Buy for the intended purpose first. Buy for the horse second. Buy for the rider third. Don't spend more than you can afford, and don't go out of order. It's that simple. 

Intended purpose. 

If you are trail riding you need a trail saddle, not a roper. Why would I sell you a bulldozer if you asked for an economical car? Saddles are designed to do a particular job well, and we really need to consider that if we are going to get you a practically priced option with all the features you want. 

Fit for the horse.

We can only evaluate YOUR horse if we know a little about him.  We will need some basic information to work with to do our job right. If you bring us accurate information, we will be able to give you an accurate fit. If you bring us sketchy information, or just verbally share a description, we are not going to be able to be as accurate with our options. Two things help us more than anything else. 
  • A tracing of the withers. Bend a wire two inches behind the shoulder blade, and trace it on a piece of paper. Try to make left or right on the tracing. It will help us to know which half of the wire was on a specific shoulder of the horse for later.  We recommend you use copper electrical wire, or lead solder wire, or an art flexi-curve. Coat hangers don't bend well, and are not accurate. Try to find something more soft and flexible. Bring a marker and a paper bag to the barn with you. When you bend the wire over his back, trace it right away on the bag. If you bring the wire to the store, they are almost always distorted to the point we can't use them. To save time, and avoid doing the tracing again please trace your wire when you take the measurement. 
 
  • Bring a few good photos of your horse. We need two or three good photos of your horse from the side. We would like to see both sides of your horse. We need his head up, and he must be standing on a reasonably level surface. He has to be naked; we can't see thorough blankets or saddles. We also like to have one good shot from behind. If you stand on a mounting block or stool about three feet behind your horse, look down and take a shot focusing on his wither. 
You are welcome to bring as much information as you like. We will evaluate everything you bring for us. Photos can be emailed in advance. Some customers want to bring us saddles that fit their horse well, and ask us to use that as a reference. Another saddle can offer us some clues, bit is it no substitute for a good withers tracing and photo group. 

Fit for the rider. 

When we have a good idea of what you want to do, and what shapes will work for your horse, we will then spend some time getting it right for you. Although you are last on the list, it is a hobby and you have to be comfortable with your purchase.  We know that women don't always speak up on their own behalf as often as they should, and we really need to know that you are totally happy with what we have found for you. We also know that a lot of women are not all that confident in their horsemanship skills, and what we put you in will help or hinder your efforts. We will spend some time on your strengths and weaknesses as well as the basics of "comfort" to see that you get a well-rounded package that will assist your goals and build your confidence levels. 

We will help you find two or three options to choose from. You will pick one that you want to purchase. After payment we send you home for a 7 day test fit and test ride. Normally customers will follow up with photos of the saddles on their horse so we can help evaluate the fit. *insert some photos here

Sometimes we will see things that need to change for the horse, and sometimes the rider has requests for improvements as well. Often we will go back, add the new information learned, and choose a second saddle to test fit/test ride. Sometimes fine-tuning the fit is as simple as adjusting the pads or girth location, but in some cases a second saddle is necessary. We do allow horses to come to the store for personalized fitting. We require an appointment in advance and there is a charge for this service. If you know your horse is a difficult fit or an unusually sensitive animal, or you know that you want a higher level of accuracy for your horse, we invite you to take advantage of our personalized fitting.