Problems with Saddler - what to do? Also in SY

Angelbones

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To cut a very long story shortish - I have had my saddles fitted by someone (qualified / registered etc) and am not happy. My own horse's saddle - supplied by him - has been sent back to have the tree narrowed, it has been restuffed at least once, poss twice, and is still not right. My groom took my horse hunting on Christmas Eve and today told me that the horse had lumps either side of his withers afterwards - this is where he already has some new grey hairs from presumably where the saddle sat too low and tight before it was sent back last time. I am mortified that he has an 'injury' due to bad saddle fitting after having spent so much time and money on saddles/ pads / visits etc.

My daughter's pony's saddle was also bought from the same saddler, and has been refitted once, padding fiddled with etc, and recently had a balancing strap put on which resulted after only a couple of outings in a big (size of half an avocado) sore on his saddle patch where the hair fell out and the skin was raised and swollen, hence two weeks unridded. The saddler has been out to fit yet another saddle but nothing he brought with him was any good so we decided he would go back and source a particular one for us and ring that day with an update. Well I haven't heard from him and have now left two messages.

Obviously I have lost all faith in this man, and want to see the back of him, but I do need the saddles sorting out and I think he should be made to do it - although once he had I would then go and get another opinion. He has said he will swap pony's saddle for a replacement without any cost to me (the current saddle is only a few months old, and that itself is the 2nd one I've had for the pony from this man) so i don't want to ball him out and be left with a saddle I can't use.

Another complication is that he has at least 4 excellent used saddles of mine to sell which obviously I want back before I send him packing.

So what to do? Are there people I can complain to? A sort of ombudsman for saddlers?

I know I've got to get tough, and I'm not very good at that, and I should have kept detailed notes in the diary as I went along but each time he came and supplied a saddle (I've spent a fortune) I had then proceeded with things assuming all was well until it obviously wasn't.

So any ideas / similar experiences that may help me? How should I proceed and how tough should I be? I'm a wimp when it comes down to it.

thanks guys x
 

Luci07

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there isnt an ombudsman - you might possibly have some recourse if he is meant to be a master saddler? I would get the saddles back first - you could always say a friend has offered to sell them on ebay/has someone interested. I also think you could check with citizens advice - my legal knowledge is basic but there could be something under the bill of goods? i.e goods must be sold as fit for purpose? However, as a warning, something similiar happened to someone I knew - it ended up in court and she lost as the judge didn't understand the importance of saddle fitting..
 
D

Donkeymad

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If he is a Qualified Saddle Fitter (not a Master Saddler, they are different) and still on their list, then you can complain to the SMS.
 

Angelbones

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Well I've just been on the SMS website and can find no trace of him so i guess I've been an idiot on that front. He is 'associated' with a tack shop who is listed as an approved retailer but I bet they would say he is independent etc and that would also leave me high and dry. I've managed to find someone on there is is local to me, a master saddler, and I'll ring to see if he can come out after i've gone as far as I can with the current man. Ho hum.
 

MrsMozart

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Write down everything you can remember (chq stubs/credit card receipts), then contact the Citizen Advice Bureau re. the current saddler.

Go and get your saddles back from him.

Contact a good saddler - go on recommendation. I use Bridlepath International, after many false starts with other saddlers (including two Master Saddlers).
 

Tiffany

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Still worth ringing Society of Master Saddlers whether he's registered or not. If nothing else, they may know him and probably offer you advice on how to proceed. I agree you should get your saddles back first.
Good luck
 

sare_bear

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Sorry to drag up an old thread. Has anyone complained about a saddler and how did you get on. I had a saddle fitted to a horse by a recommended saddler on HHO, who sold me a saddle MW for my horse. Who is MW by the way. Horse was stuffy and reared, had it rechecked told it fitted. Few months later horse retired for lameness problems. Used saddle on another horse coming back into work. Felt it was pinching his withers, so stupidly called same saddler back out to get another saddle. Had 2 saddlers from same company, say it did not pinch and fitted well. Horse starting bucking and ended up with muscle atrophy. Changed saddlers, got new saddle and the horse had a new lease of life.

Sorry this is long. Now tried to sell saddle no one will touch it saying it is too narrow for most horses. Phoned Barnsby, who say it is a narrow fitting not been altered!!! No wonder my poor ID was suffering in a narrow saddle sold as a MW!!! Can't now get rid of expensive saddle either and has wrecked both my horses. Any point in complaining. Have receipt of saddle saying MW on it. Feel that people like that should not get away with it. :(

Any help appreciated.
 
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