Saddle Fitting FAQ

Saddle Fitting FAQ


Appointment Bookings


The best way to get an appointment is by emailing us direct as we are out all day, every day saddle fitting and its not always easy to return calls. When you do make contact, please make sure to tell us your location so we can adjust our travel schedules, and know which of us is best placed to visit you.

Alene Telfer covers The Lothians, Borders, Lanarkshire and Northern England -

Louise Smith-Kibaris covers Stirlingshire, Perthshire, Fife, The North, Glasgow and Ayrshire -

Please note that due to our own family and animal commitments, we regret that we cannot offer evening or weekend saddle fitting appointments unless it is at a BE Event that we are already attending.

For General Enquiries, please contact us or the shop via the details found on the right hand panel of this page.




Considering a New Saddle?

A new saddle will almost certainly be the single most expensive item you buy for your horse, and will probably have more effect on your riding and the comfort of your horse than any other item of saddlery. This is because a badly fitting saddle can prevent you from sitting in a balanced position, and restrict your horse's action, preventing it from performing as you wish. It will also interfere with your horse's muscles, and in extreme cases cause physical damage. Your saddle must fit your horse, and it must fit you. We will do our best to accommodate all our customers, but please be aware that if you have very low budget restrictions, it can be very difficult to get the perfect fit for both horse and rider - if we can help we will!


Why pay for a fitting?

Provided you are confident you know how a saddle should fit, there is nothing wrong in fitting one yourself, and in fact some of our customers do just this; taking a saddle from us out on appro, trying it, and if necessary, coming back and exchanging it until they are happy with the fit. Today however, most riders are not confident in fitting their own saddle and want peace of mind from a Qualified Saddle Fitter that they have the correct fit - most perform at higher levels than previously and want the best as they understand the damage that can be caused by an ill fitting saddle, and need to be certain their saddle is secure and fits at all paces of movement. They also want to be given advice and a choice of saddles suitable for the discipline(s) they wish to pursue.

As with all professional outfits, this all costs money and we need to charge to cover the running costs of the vehicles, on going training, staff and indeed the stockholding.

Why Choose Stirlingshire Saddle Fitters?

Both Alene and Louise are Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Saddle Fitters and have over 22 years experience, with a stock of nearly 200 saddles, they cover the whole of Scotland and Northern England and are supported by a qualified saddler who is experienced in adjusting and repairing saddles. Whats more, many of the saddles we sell carry our own label and have been developed over the years for different disciplines, these saddles are made for us in Walsall by the Ideal Saddle Company but we also stock Albion and Fairfax saddles.   Our close working relationship with our manufacturers enables us to continually update and refine our designs to cater for the changing requirements of our customers and enables us to offer custom made saddles if necessary.

Please feel free to browse the 'About Us' and 'Texas Business' pages for more information about the company and to read testimonials from previous and existing customers.


What is Involved in Professional Fitting?

First the fitter needs to know some basic facts: what sort of riding is proposed, how experienced the rider is, will more than one person be using the saddle, the height and weight of the principal rider, the type of horse, its breeding, age, height, level of fitness and how long it has been in the present ownership – all this helps in making a selection of saddles which could meet the different requirements of the horse and rider.

The actual fitting can take over an hour – the Fitter will check the horses’ back for problems, note any blemishes or difficultback shapes which may affect the fit of a saddle.   A template will be taken of the horse’s back to show what shape and weight it was on the day of the fitting.   A selection of saddles will then be tried on ungirthed to eliminate any which are obviously unsuitable. Those left will be put back on with stirrup leathers and girthed up, the rider will then be able to try each saddle in all paces and even over jumps if required.   The Fitter will watch for any slipping or tipping of the saddle, the horses’ freedom of movement and overall expression, the rider’s position and balance and look for any adjustments which may be necessary.

Although the horse’s comfort is priority, if the rider is not comfortable also, it will do nothing to improve their position so we aim for a happy balance for both – please accept however, in some cases horses with difficult conformation problems may not be able to wear the rider’s first choice of saddle and may require regular adjustments.


After Purchasing your Saddle

Horses do change shape, some more than others – a change of owner, stable, work or diet can trigger quite marked alterations to a horse’s condition.   The Society of Master Saddlers recommends the fit of a saddle should be checked twice a year.   We understand the need to ensure that a saddle fits the horse and rider correctly and do our utmost to fulfil our customer’s needs – it is impossible to get it right every single time as each horse is an individual just like people but, we would like to assure you that we will endeavour to resolve any problems which may occur

When you have purchased your new saddle, don't neglect it!

As with all saddlery, clean off any grease and dirt as soon as possible (its easier straight after riding) and keep the leather supple by using a good quality soap or leather food.   Saddle oil should be used sparingly every so often but don’t overdo it – we have seen as many items of saddlery spoilt by over oiling as under oiling!   Always use buckle guards to protect the saddle flaps and check your girth straps regularly to see that the holes have not stretched and the stitching is secure.



Saddle Fitting Preparation Checklist

When Booking an appointment there are lots of facts we reccommend that you have ready which will help the saddle fitter choose the correct saddles to bring for your appointment.

The following information is helpful:

1. Height, age, breeding of the horse and its level of fitness

2. If the horse has low, normal, high, or high and hollow withers

3. Height and weight of the rider

4. Availability of the rider for the appointment

5. Approximate budget for the type of saddle required

6. Your location



We hope this information has helped you and please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further help.



For any enquiries please call

01786 475 033 or email