Southdown Saddlery

Welcome to the website of Southdown Saddlery, based in Chillerton, on the Isle of Wight.

I am a Society of Master Saddlers qualified saddler and saddle fitter, offering quality repairs, adjustments and bespoke work for all kinds of items ; even those non saddlery related! I also run a saddle fitting service , with meetings by appointment on the following number : 07741404837.

Stockist of the following brands of saddles and accessories: Fairfax, Kent and Masters, Thorowgood, Prolite, The saddle Company, Bates, Wintec, Albion and Kieffer.

Having a correctly fitting saddle is vital to enable the horse to perform to the best of its ability and to have a long working life . No matter what activities you are doing, from olympic dressage, down to pleasure riding, the principles are same. 

A saddle should be the right size and shape for the horse, and enable it to carry the riders weight evenly and freely.  For the riders perspective, it should help them in whatever disciplines they are doing ( from a specialist jump, dressage etc to a general purpose saddle ) to ride in an effective position and feel safe and secure.

There are a lot of factors that can affect saddle fit! Horses age, breed characteristics, fitness/workload, management, feeding, time of year, injurys etc.  Rider is always a factor too, and age, experience, old injurys etc also play a part in current and future saddle fit.      For this reason it is reccommended that saddles are checed regularly, to keep on top of fluctuations in any of these factors and stop problems before they arise. 6 - 12 monthly checks are advisable unless otherwise advised. 

What to Expect from a saddle fitting appointment

I will need some information to get a clear picture of the situation before i see you - please be open and honest!

Name of client, phone number, address, who is main rider, and a height and weight for them, as well as a description of their experience. 

Address of where horse is kept and directions. Description of facilities, is there a level, safe and enclosed space for me to do initial assessment and measurements, as well as somewhere to see horse walked and trotted up in hand.  Unless there are special circumstances, I will need to see horse ridden by normal rider, so is there a school, or flat level and enclosed field where i can see some riding. 

Details of horse, age, breed, size, sex, workload, experience, any injury's, is it fit , well and in work? 

Once at the yard, I will perform an initial assessment of the horses overall condition, conformation and movement, take templates and asses your saddle/accessories from the ground, or try on new saddles and come up with a shortlist. I will then see horse ridden, by normal rider.  Some adjustments can be made on site, if this is the case, i will then see horse ridden again after adjusting. If the saddle needs to come back to the workshop, this will be discussed separately.