Riders are often surprised that they come along to try out our saddles at one of our many demos around the UK, that we aren't interested in looking at their existing saddle unless they are particularly keen for us to take a look.
There are two reasons for this;
1. Unless its one of ours we can't really comment on the style or make. Just as our saddles are unique to us and we know them inside and out, the same could be said for other brands such as Devoucoux Saddles, Albion Saddles, Voltaire Saddles and Antares Saddles to name just a few.
2. We like to look at both horse and rider with fresh eyes
At every opportunity – when we are with riders or grooms - we like to empower them with some basic saddle fitting checks. It’s the best way to prevent problems in the future.
It doesn’t matter what brand it is – these points are relevant to any saddle. With the horse on a flat level surface without a rider onboard you can ascertain whether it's a good start or not. Obviously, once you add a rider into the equation, this changes everything, but these basics should be assessed in the first instance...
1. Are the billets/girth straps pointing to the back of the pec’s? It should be from the middle of back to the back of the pec’s - this is your horses' girth line (on a split girth saddle look at the back girth) if the billets are not on this line they will move to it.
2. Is the saddle in balance? – Look at the middle of the seat – not all pommels line up with the cantle.
3. Is the saddle stable? Does it rock?
4. Is it bridging? If it's bridging, it won't rock.
5. Is there room between the shoulder and saddle for the horse to move freely?
It really concerns me when I agree to look at a riders’ other brand saddles which so obviously do not meet the above criteria.
How can it be acceptable to leave a saddle that fails at the first hurdle?
Its hard enough to work out why something isn’t working once the rider is on board and all the above are good!!
When we go to see a customer who believes that their saddle isn’t behaving, I am nearly relieved when it is one of the five reasons above – it's fixable.
So why would someone leave that saddle there that doesn’t?
When the problem is concerning how the horse is moving or ridden, the problem it is much harder to fix. It takes diplomacy and teamwork sometimes to solve these problems.
The more experienced the rider is or if they are professional riders, the fewer issues there will be from the saddle– well fitting or not I’m afraid. However, most riders do it in their free time to the best of their ability, and these fitting issues can have a more detrimental effect on the horse.
Nine years ago when I took the distributorship with Childéric, I wanted to make a difference.
I want choosing a saddle to be a good experience for horse and rider. I've always been obsessive about delivering satisfaction when it comes to every aspect of Childéric Saddles UK. That passion is what I hope sets Childéric Saddles UK apart from other brands.
We are never in it for the quick sale but the long-term commitment to the horse and rider. Our on-going customer service is a priority, and if you buy a saddle from us and are concerned about the fit, we will always return to investigate further any issues. We know we have a fantastic product, but no saddle is better than it's fitting and the support offered with it.
Our customers often comment about our customer service and on-going attention. The feedback from customers about how riding in a Childeric has improved their riding and performance is what we use to develop our product and service, and you can read on our Testimonials page just a few of the hundreds of comments and reviews we receive year on year.
It's also important to add that there is never any obligation to buy our saddles when we are invited to come and see your horse. We are always thrilled with the opportunity to show you the difference that our saddles make. We won't ever pull the wool over your eyes about the fit of the saddle and leave you unsupported in the future.
Our team are all trained extensively before they can start independently on appointments. This includes extensive training in-house and going to France to meet and work with Childéric Saddles founder, Luc Childéric. They then shadow me until I feel they are ready to ‘fly solo’. Regardless of any previous experience working as a saddle fitter, the procedure is the same for all of the team.
Just as other saddle brands are unique, so are Childéric Saddles.
To find out about our next Demo Day where you can book an appointment to come along and ride in one of our saddles (no charge) follow us on Facebook and keep an eye on our events. If you would prefer us to come out to your yard to introduce you and your horse to our saddles, again at no cost to you, do get in touch with either Michelle, Helen or me to arrange an appointment - you can find our phone numbers HERE.