Stages of buying a brand new saddle

Some people may not know the process of buying a new saddle. You might be intimidated by the process or feel worried that you won’t know where to start. Here at Sophysio saddles the process is easy.


The very first thing is to raid the piggy bank. Prestige saddles are very good value compared to other high line saddle brands and they offer different ranges saddle to suit different budgets. New saddles start at £1800 and go up to £3,300 so it’s always good to know that you have an adequate budget before the process starts.


Something will have triggered you to get to the point where you are thinking of a new saddle. It might be on recommendation from your coach, physio or vet. You might feel uncomfortable in your position. Your horse might have grown or you might feel your horse isn’t performing as well as they could. All The reasons will be discussed prior to the appointment and then again during the consultation.


During the appointment we will look at the horse‘s conformation, your current saddle, how the horse moves, the style you ride in (non judgementally) and what is not currently working for you and your old saddle.


Looking at the horse’s shape will narrow down the choice of saddles in the Prestige range. There are several different types and shapes of tree that will suit different shaped horses. The next step is to try the saddles we have narrowed down on the horse. We are looking for balance of the saddle, bridging, tightness and assessing width, looking how the panel sits etc. If that looks acceptable, we girth her up, and then check the same things. I would try a few saddles on and I would assess which ones look good in a static position.


Next comes the riding phase. As I was saying earlier, I look at your style of riding. This is very important as all the saddles are slightly different in the way they sit you in the saddle. For example the Meredith, sits you slightly further back in the saddle and your legs come slightly further forward (in the style of Meredith Michaels Beerbaum). If you like riding in a slight anchor position, you will love this saddle. The X-Perience has a centre of gravity that’s slightly further forward so slightly tips your pelvis forward and if you like riding in light seat, this saddle will suit you. So in the riding phase you will feel how each saddle sits you. Interestingly enough, it’s not always the saddle you anticipate you will like, that you will get on with the most.


At this point you can feel how the horse is moving and I can see how the horse is responding to the different saddles. Horses aren’t so good at choosing trends but they are good at telling us if they feel comfortable or not. At this point if you are feeling happy in a saddle you can try it over a few jumps. Normally I would suggest trialling all the suitable saddles and then go back to your favourite one to see if this could be the one for you.


If you feel tou you want to go ahead and purchase a new saddle, I will measure and template the horse and my job is to get the saddle perfectly made to fit the horse. Did you know, Prestige make all saddles to order. They are all bespoke and are all made to measure and they only take 4 weeks to make! And it doesn’t cost any more to have your exact requirements, it’s all part of the price.


We will discuss next the flap size, they go from XS to XL and standard is medium (which is normally the choice). The flap projection is chosen so if are blessed In the leg length department, that can be accommodated for w