This month, I decided to take annual break from work to go skiing. Unfortunately, it resulted in a broken rotator cuff on the second day and the remaining five days of the holiday spent in pain and participating in après ski only!! Now back in the UK, I have been back on the road and been busy fitting saddles for the season ahead admittedly with a very sore shoulder and neck but, thankfully I'm tough!!
While a large percentage of our customers buy new, there are a few who join us as customers of pre-loved or second-hand Childéric Saddles. It's important to me that anyone riding in a Childéric Saddle has a saddle that fits both horse and rider. There are of course limitations with second-hand bespoke saddles when compared to creating the perfect fit for both horse and rider with our bespoke new saddles, however, there is lots of opportunity for us to get a pre-loved saddle to feel as good as new for horse and rider.
Anyone who is thinking about buying a pre-loved Childéric Saddle has the same option as anyone looking to get a custom-made saddle. You just book a saddle demo with us, and we can determine what style, size etc. would work for you and your horse. Most of the time we will have the saddle in our stock but sometimes we can give you the information you need to go and search out your own.
The beauty of Childéric Saddles is that they all have a saddle number so we can track these saddles, check what size/type of horse they were initially made for and even its alteration history. Knowing this information gives us considerable insight into whether the saddle you have found on the second-hand market could be the right one for you and your horse. So when you find a saddle you can ask us if it’s what you are looking for. If the rider part of the saddle is correct the horse part can be refitted for your horse.
I am hugely passionate about retaining our brand name's excellent reputation and also about making our saddles accessible to all riders. I want our pre-loved saddles to be success stories too.
One story I'd love to share on a successful second-hand saddle story is that of customer Victoria Newitt and Buddy, her 10-year-old, bay, 17.1 TB ex-point to pointer gelding. We first met Victoria at one of our demo's. Buddy was just back in work after surgery for a severe case of kissing spine. We'll let Victoria tell you the rest;
"In September 2018 I was given the go-ahead to start ridden work, and I was keen to source the very best saddle for him that would make him as comfortable as possible. I hated the fact that previous ill-fitting saddles had contributed to his pain. Buddy has very high withers but they are sloping, and he has a big shoulder. All of the saddlers I had used in the past had supplied high withered saddles but as Tricia later explained to me this only caused further impingement due to his shape. I was introduced to Childéric saddles by my trainer Antonia Brown who held a taster day at her yard, and I thought I would take the opportunity to try the saddles and get another opinion. I was blown away by Tricia and her knowledge; she explained everything in such detail. I tried a dressage saddle and had a lesson in it with Antonia and the difference in his range of movement was incredible. He was so free through his shoulder, and I bought the saddle that day. The saddle had to be altered for Buddy and was gone a couple of weeks and returned direct to me. The follow up has been brilliant. Tricia is always there to discuss any problems. She also helped me source a suitable jump saddle for him. I found a saddle for sale on Facebook, sent Tricia the details, she said it was the perfect one for me and the girthing was right for Buddy, I would just need to get the panels altered. Guess what – the bonus is that they also fit my other TB."
And the success story continues;
"Since switching to Childéric, Buddy’s performances have gone up another level, and he recently scored 71.6% at Prelim BD. We are currently sitting 11th out of 802 Prelim Bronze competitors and am aiming for the Bronze Championship in August 2019 if we can stay in the top 30 on the leader board! I have just started jumping him again and am so pleased with his progress. We have entered Aston unaffiliated 80 ODE in April as our starting point and the aim for eventing either this year or next is to try and qualify for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup at Badminton! I cannot recommend Childéric highly enough."
Good feedback is fantastic – and in this case our customer has two pre-loved saddles both refitted to fit her very precious Buddy and his stable mate. This is why we love our job.
For us, it's about being part of your journey and part of your team.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, Tricia shares her thoughts on the power of social media in another thought provoking journal HERE.