Are you looking for a saddle that fits both you and your horse perfectly? We understand that finding the right saddle can be a long and sometimes frustrating journey, filled with both disappointment and joy. You may find a saddle that fits your horse well, but after an hour of riding, you’re in so much pain that you can hardly dismount. This is a common struggle I hear about when new clients are looking for a new saddle for both their horses and themselves. So I’d like to share my process of helping you design your saddle.
Things to Think About
What was your favorite saddle to ride in?
For the purpose of this question it doesn’t matter if it fit your horse. What matters is whether or not it fit you and what you loved and/or hated about it. The System X panels are designed to provide fit and comfort for the horse. So here is where I concentrate on helping the rider be as comfortable as their horse will be.
What saddle did you hate to ride in but it fit that horse?
As people we tend to dwell on the things we didn’t like better than we can recall what we really liked about saddle. Which is why one of the first questions I ask you when helping you design your saddle is what you couldn’t stand about some of the saddles you have ridden in over the years.
What style saddle are you looking for?
Something with a horn? No horn? An English style saddle? Flapless? Extra Blocking for security?
Some of this is cosmetic and some is functional, while some is just personal preference. For the different disciplines there are also requirements for the equipment used. Dressage is a perfect example of specific requirements for the saddles used in competition.
These are things to keep in mind, such as what will you be using the saddle for? Will it suit all those needs?
What seat and size is suitable for you?
Like clothing and shoes, saddles will vary in comfort even if they are the same seat size. The rise, waist and twist need to be considered along with the size of the seat. As these things allow a rider to sit centered and balanced.
Considering the size of seat there are thee things to consider, shape, weight and physical limitations of the rider. Other factors include the build of the rider, their experience level when riding and the discipline that they have chosen. These factors and others help determine for each individual rider what seat and size is best for them.
How would you like the cantle finished?
In western saddles there are a variety of ways you can finish a cantle. Although the most common are either a Cheyenne roll or a pencil roll. There are some variations that are based off of those two styles, but most fall one way or the other. Some have a cantle where the seat leather just sweeps over and nestles under the seat jockey in the rear. English and endurance saddles are often this style.
Weight, is it a factor for you?
None of us are getting any younger, so the weight of the saddle we lift up to our horse’s backs can be a growing factor. I know many that love their 50 lb saddles but can’t lift them anymore. While I can’t make my saddle under 16.5lbs because of the solid wood tree and the System X panels.
The weight of the saddle is a factor for many riders, and we’ll work with you to reduce the weight while still maintaining the quality and comfort of the saddle. Working closely with you throughout designing your saddle, ensuring that your vision comes to life in the way you imagined. We want to make sure that you’re not only happy with the saddle we build for you but also supported as you learn to use it and make all the necessary adjustments as you ride multiple horses.
When you choose to design your forever saddle with us, it’ll be more than just the color of leather, style of saddle, and choice of tree. Discussing any physical limitations you have and any future plans you may have in your riding career. Let’s talk about your new saddle and start the process of building your custom forever saddle.