For this blog, I wanted to discuss the importance of these three elements. These elements are critical for our Team to have the best possible opportunity to fit you and your horse with a saddle that you will be both love and enjoy for many years to come.
It might sound odd saying we need the horse and the rider for a demo, but with many riders juggling busy lives, sometimes we can turn up to yards with no rider (because something came up) and the kind offer a groom to take their place. When you ask us to create a bespoke saddle for you and your horse, it’s a saddle crafted and built especially for you, not your groom. And just because you are the same size and build, it doesn't mean you are exactly the same rider or have the same feel!
What is perfect for your groom or trainer, isn't necessarily ideal for you!
An initial saddle demo appointment is booked with plenty of time on our side to allow for traffic delays, an in-depth discussion with you about your horse, his or her ridden career and history and then of course time spent trying on saddles.
There is nothing worse for all when the customer is checking their watch and needing to dash off. As far as we are concerned, your saddle is a huge investment, and with our name and reputation at stake, we need to get it right, even if this takes longer than anticipated.
We don't rush, because the time invested in you and your horse now means that we have an excellent understanding of not only your horse's conformation, paces and history but also your expectations, your horse's way of going and your future plans under saddle. We don't just look at the horse in front of us; we look at the WHOLE picture.
(If we are unavoidably detained – we can always come again another day).
The same situation can also happen with an existing customer. They might call us out for their regular saddle check or contact us because they feel that their saddle or horse is feeling different, but when we arrive, they are not at the appointment, which invariably means someone else getting the horse out and us looking at it in a stable. How can we help in this situation? Tell if you are riding symmetrically or if placing your weight slightly more in your right stirrup is causing the saddle to be pulled somewhat over or out of balance or if the saddle is not sitting straight to the rider’s position ?
We can't! We can only see what’s going on in the stable.
So, when we go to the saddle check appointment, we really need to see you in the saddle to determine if there are any changes to be made. We also need time to review the saddle, determine why the saddle might not be in balance and work with you to find a solution that works, and this doesn't always happen within minutes! We pride ourselves on our saddle fitting skills and experience and aim to deliver perfection at every stage of your bespoke saddle build and maintenance - And that begins with your first appointment and onwards.
Another expectation from some customers is that we will have your perfectly bespoke saddle for horse and rider in the car. As you are buying a bespoke saddle created for you and your horse, it is highly unlikely we have the perfect saddle in the boot of our cars! So, when you are trying a demo saddle, we will be making notes and building your saddle on paper during the appointment.
There are several reasons we can’t always leave a saddle with you, here’s the main ones:
Those lucky customers who we have left saddles with for trials or while they wait (only around 7 weeks for a new saddle) were just that – lucky!
So, to finish this blog, here are a few of the other things I also need (with a good pinch of humour, of course!)
Discover why Childéric Saddles UK is a Business Built On A Passion or contact the team for an informal chat HERE.