WHY OUR SADDLE DESIGNS ARE SPECIALIST

How we breed, manage and develop horses has changed hugely over the years, and as a result, horses have got wider, and we are riding naturally wider types of horses too! The classic muscle wasted high withered horse is, thankfully becoming a little rarer, but wide horses have their own issues with saddle fitting as we all know. Andrea realised this early in her career, riding mainly cobs, natives and other wider horses and ponies, and started to design saddles for these shapes nearly 25 years ago.

 

SO HOW ARE WE DIFFERENT?

 

Design

Andrea has decades of experience with saddles. She took apart her first one at the age of ten and has always sought to have the very best designs to fit wide horses from tree to panel to flap design. The designs work well for the majority of riders too, without the incredibly deep seats or huge blocks that mean the style might only work for a small proportion of riders. The saddles aren’t only designed to fit horse and rider but are made to look stylish and coherent - if the tree naturally forms a chunky seat such as with the Supercob range, then the flap needs to match, anything too refined looks out of balance. All saddles come with the best long fibre Jacob wool flocking, close contact panel styles and four girth straps; they are relatively easy to fit and adjust on-site, in most cases.

 
Workshop

Our workshop is an integral part of the development of our saddles and, unlike some smaller brands, we do not have anyone else make our saddles. The flatter trees we use are carefully selected, and the panels are designed specifically, for stability on wide horses. We have worked together over several years to continually improve the fit of our saddles as well as the quality of the leather. The saddles are made by craftsmen, not on a production line, so one person is responsible for ensuring symmetry and all other aspects of producing a quality saddle.

 

Fitters

Andrea has trained all the fitters who fit the brand. The two saddle fitting agents have been with the company for a long time, reflecting their love of, and confidence in, the brand. Clare Molyneux has been working with Andrea since 2001. Steph Bloom was trained thoroughly by Andrea back in 2008/2009, and both fitters still work closely with Andrea and the saddle fitting distributers to learn from each other and continually develop best practice. We don’t necessarily fit exactly as a typical generalist saddle fitter might, but it’s why in many cases our saddles can work better than anything else for wide shapes. Our saddle fitting distributors are all equally passionate about the brand and again work closely with Andrea. They have a deep understanding of how to fit the wider horse, but all bring their own unique take on saddle fitting and have their own style and approach. Each of them has a broad, holistic approach and can advise on other areas of equine management that may or may not directly impact on the saddle fitting.

 

The Saddle Ranges

Our sport tree saddles are an excellent fit for smaller finer native ponies, Arabian horses, quarter horses and their crosses. The sport tree is in the Sport GP, Traditional WH, Symphony show, Heathland/Pony dressage and the Optimus & Harrier jumping saddles.

 

In comparison, our “standard/GPJ tree” and “Supercob” trees tend to suit the larger breeds because they have a wider gullet and pommel combined with a broad seat. 

 

The Affinity dressage, GP Jump, Elite, Ebony & Luxe WH are all built on our standard/GPJ tree which can also accommodate some wither height. This means they can work well on a variety of shapes and offers a semi-deep seat.

 

The Supercob tree is in the whole Supercob range and is our widest and flattest option. Models available are GP, WH, Jump & Dressage. It would suit the widest Highlands, Section Ds, Traditional Cobs and Suffolks as examples.

 

We also offer two-panel options in most models built on the Sport and Supercob trees. The custom “upswept” option suits curvy or croup high backs, and in many cases can allow a larger seat size on a shorter back without compromising the fit for the horse.

 

Between the three general trees plus a stand-alone deep-seated dressage tree in the Classic model, we have options to fit all shapes and sizes of wider horse and pony. We have front gussets as standard in some saddles as they can help with fitting flatter backs as well as allowing for muscle wastage or prominent shoulder blades and other issues.

 

We offer fully custom options (including a small range of adjustable headplate saddles for more typical riding horse shapes), but the most significant benefit from our level of stockholding is that all standard saddles come with a 14 day trial with the ability to either try something else or return the saddle if it cannot be fitted to your satisfaction.

 

The following is a list of some of the horse types that we have resolved fitting issues for:

  • Appaloosas

  • Arabians

  • Clydesdales and their crosses

  • Cobs - Traditional, Irish, Coloured, Welsh

  • Connemara ponies

  • Dales

  • Dartmoors

  • Dartmoor hill ponies

  • Exmoors

  • Fell ponies

  • Fjord ponies

  • Haflingers

  • Highlands

  • Hunters

  • Icelandics

  • Iberians

  • Irish Drafts and their crosses

  • Morgans

  • Part Bred Arabs

  • Riding Horses

  • Welsh Section As and their crosses

  • Welsh Section Bs and their crosses

  • Welsh Section Cs and their crosses

  • Welsh Section Ds and their crosses

  • Shetlands

  • Shires and Shire crosses

  • Show hacks, hunters and riding horses

  • Show ponies

  • Sport horses 

  • Suffolk Punch

  • Standardbreds

  • Thoroughbreds

  • Trakheners

  • Trotters

  • Warmbloods

 

 If there is a horse not listed above that you find difficult to fit, please let us know, we are always happy to try and help a customer resolve a fitting issue.

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© 2019 by AH Saddles Ltd all rights reserved.

A H Saddles Ltd Company No. 07422949