Advice on buying a saddle please!

Hutchlou

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Hi,
I'm new to the forum having posted only once before about whether to buy my horse or not - I am now pretty certain that I'll be buying her as I have been lucky enough to be able to try her out several times this week and she has been ideal!
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So, I was not lucky enough to get any tack with her and am now looking for some help.
I have tried a few saddles from the riding school and have come to the conclusion that you get what you pay for! My favourite has been an Albion GP which was incredibly comfortable and seemed to help my position loads! Unfortunately, I don't think I can persuade my OH to spend £1100 on a new one!!
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Would you recommend buying a second-hand saddle and from a saddle shop / fitters rather than privately? Are all the top brands of similar quality to Albion? I will probably only ever be a happy hacker and was thinking to spend £500 or so.
Thanks in advance!! Louise
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Abbeygale

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Welcome to the mad house!

I would definitely get a saddle fitter out to fit your saddle. Although you might lovely the albion gp - it doesn't mean that it will fit your horse. Most saddle fitters carry some second hand stock with them if you don't want to run to a new saddle

YOu can find a qualified saddle fitter on here: http://www.mastersaddlers.co.uk/

Otherwise tell us where abouts you are and I am sure someone on here can recommend someone.
 

Cliqmo

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Hi there, you have given this lots of thought!
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I was (we've moved!
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) always fortunate enough to have a good local saddler who was happy to come out and try on various makes and models of saddle for my horse and I without being pushy for a sale.

I'd take his recommendations then search for a second hand version of the same make, model and size saddle (either privately or online - wherever I could find one!) Once found I would take it to my saddler (for him to check the tree etc- especially important if bought online!!) Then organise for him to come out and adjust/reflock it as necessary for my horse
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My saddler never seemed to mind as he always got my custom for adjusting the saddles I bought
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Hutchlou

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Hi Flo_Bell, Thanks for your advice. I'm near Wansford, Cambs and looking at your link the closest retailers/fitters are Robinsons in Stamford or Milners at Melton Mowbray. This probably sounds very naive but do I need to go and look at what 2nd hand saddles they have in stock first or if I call them would they bring a selection out to the stables and try them?!!!
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What sort of basic details would they need to know in advance ie size and build of horse, size of me?!!! I only intend to ever buy one saddle and I want it to be right! Am I likely to get a reasonable quality one for £500?
 

Cliqmo

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I would have them out first as you going to see them wont really help until you know what you're looking for
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They will ask the necessary questions but they are likely to want to know size, breed and age of horse, what types of riding you plan to do, the type of saddle you currently ride in (and whether you like it!) the types of saddle you like and your budget. They may also want to know your height, age and weight (to determine whether you're likely to grow and whether they need to facilitate a large bum I assume!!)

In the current climate (people needing cash!) I would have thought £500 would go a long way in terms of getting a nice used saddle
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Out of interest what breed/type/height is your new horse and how tall are you? Also do you prefer black or brown tack? I will have a look online for some saddles
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AmyMay

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The first thing you really need to do is to get a master saddler out to look at your horse - once you've bought her.

Different saddles suit different horses. So for instance I had a Bates on my horse, which wasn't great - however the Albion that I've just purchased is perfect for him.

The saddler will (should) bring several types and sizes out to try on her - and then you'll go from there.

Incidently - my saddler measured my horse up for an Albion - I then bought one second hand via ebay based on his recommendations - he then came back to fit it to him. (He didn't have any second hand ones at the time)
 

Hutchlou

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Hi ali_m, Everyone is so friendly on here!!
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Firstly my lovely new (almost mine!!) horse is probably really a pony! She is 14.2, 8 yrs, chestnut and a bit of a mix (according to her passport!) and nicely built (but what do I know
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I think she is lovely!!) She has a nice temperment for a mare, is quiet and safe in the school but more forward when out on hacks - perfect for my ability (and nerves!!!)
I'm 5 ft 4 and 9st.
I would post a picture of her but am struggling - couldn't even get my profile picture to upload lol!!
Oh and I also prefer black tack!!
 

Cliqmo

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Is she a chunky mix or a skinny mix? She sounds lovely
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To upload pics add them to www.photobucket.com (you will need to register but it only takes a minute) then copy and paste the image code (IMG Code) into the comment box on HHO
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You will find the IMG code on photobucket when you scroll over the newly uploaded photo- it is the bottom code that pops up
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Slinkyunicorn

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Hi and welcome to the forum!!

I live not far from you - I would call Bridlepath Saddlery - they are based in Bury St Edmunds but come up to our part of the world on a weekly basis and have a good range of saddles both second hand and new. Give them a call (have a website) and talk through your pony and what you are looking for so they can bring a selection of potential saddles to try.

I would call the others in the following order

Robinsons
Milners.
 

Cliqmo

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Ah the code you have used is for the whole album, if you just want to add a particular photo, scroll over it (the grey box will pop up beneath it) and copy and post the bottom link (keeping the section of the link at the beginning and the end)
[img]http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
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Slinkyunicorn

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Yes it is. As I said Bridlepath have some great 'brand' name saddles secondhand. They are well priced and will fit and alter as needed. The last saddle we had from them was a 2nd hand hardly used Bransby - I think it was about 4/500 pounds.
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I'm sure they will have something for you.

Let us know how you get on
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By the way she is a very nice looking mare - hope you have lots of fun with her.
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AmyMay

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Sorry, yes Fieldhouse is a make of saddle. I had one for a previous horse who was a very similar stamp to your mare. They do suite the more 'native' type of breed. And I found mine very comfy.

However, as said earlier. A good saddler will help you out.

Good luck with her, I think she's lovely.
 

Cliqmo

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You may also find a brand called Ideal will fit her well, their saddles are very comfortable although tend to have small knee rolls than Albion
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f_s_

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Hi and welcome!
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She looks lovely
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I'd say a nice middleweight type.

I have GFS saddle for my mare, a VSD cut one, which may suit your type too, as it doesn't restrict the shoulder.

Very comfortable saddle btw, but I have flair added to mine Maany moons ago!!) and it's been great. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's worked well for me and her
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kit279

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The best saddler by far that I've ever had is Mark Fisher at Wisbech, Cambs. You can go to him or he can come out to you but he has a good 2nd hand selection and is unquestionably the best saddle fitter in the area (does the GB team amongst many others!). He's also a really genuine guy and won't sell you a saddle that doesn't fit - plus he has a good stock.
 
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