Privacy Policy

How Long Should You Wait For Your Saddle Fitter ?

I am aware that many saddle fitters are perceived as not returning messages as quickly as the client would like. This can be very annoying and frustrating. You’ve decided that you want to buy a new saddle or have your saddle checked, you have the money ready and you want a response. Now.  

Master Saddler and Master Saddle Fitter Kay Hastilow shares an interesting insight from the other side of the equation ..

kay at desk 400pxUnfortunately, much as we would like to get back to you instantly, it really isn’t possible. If it’s a larger company you've been in touch with, they may well have someone that deals with messages on behalf of a few fitters, but many are ‘one - man bands’, and must deal with all messages, as well as doing all of the fittings and administration work. I very much doubt that many clients have any idea of the amount of time taken by contacting clients, ordering up saddles and the like and making bookings. It was the one part of the job that I was happy to be rid of once I retired, much as I enjoyed speaking with my clients. Kay is pictured (left) at her desk planning her workload.

The fitter must make a choice. Be out fitting for clients at weekends and evenings, as well as during the week, or returning all clients messages within an hour or so. You can’t do both. The problem is made worse by the number of methods of contact available these days. In the early days, I used to return home, listen to the messages on my answer-phone, eat supper (which my husband had prepared) then ring my clients back to arrange bookings. Usually all sorted within a day or so. Nowadays, you have mobile and landline where you can leave voicemail, texts, emails and Facebook. Unfortunately, many people leave messages on all five mediums, adding a great deal of work just to lift the messages! Added to that, many voicemail messages are spoken so quickly that it’s hard to follow them, and the number left is often gobbledygook!

So, whilst you might find it hard to sympathise, please can I ask the following of you when contacting a saddle fitter?

Please use only one medium to contact the fitter. They will get back to you. 

Please state where your horse is, and why you want a visit.

If leaving a message on the 'phone, please speak slowly, make sure that the number you leave is said clearly and repeat it. Often, it is impossible to decipher the number, in which case you won’t get a return call.

Please expect a couple of days' delay before the fitter contacts you. If they are working into the evening, they might have set times a couple of times a week to contact clients.

Occasionally, a message won’t get through, so, if you haven’t had a reply after 4 days, please use just one means to contact the fitter again. 

We really do value our clients and want to help you to the best of our ability, but are only able to do so much in a day.

Increasing your own knowledge will help you work more closely with your saddle fitter and your horse will benefit  ...

Kay says; "Knowing when you need to book your saddle fitter is an important aspect of managing all ridden equines. Having spent more than 50 years working with saddles and fitting them to horses and ponies, I have retired from actively fitting saddles and I am now focused on sharing what I’ve learnt to help develop knowledge and understanding of what goes into achieving a correct saddle fit. I feel that video enables me to do that much more effectively than would be possible in a book, I enjoyed the project immensely and am delighted with early feedback from those who have already bought these two videos which are specifically to help Riders and their Trainers understand a little more about saddle fitting and why it is so important for every ridden horse and pony.”

Saddle Fitting Know How - For Riders and Trainers is available as two videos for unlimited download or streaming from Kay’s own Vimeo On Demand page for a one-off charge of just £35 per video – less than the cost of a good quality saddlecloth or a lesson from a trainer!

The first video looks at Conformation and Movement of the Horse, Types of Tree and their Influence, Different Panels and the Position of Girth Straps.

The second video explains How to Assess a Saddle for Soundness, Straightness and Safety, Recognising a Good Fit, the Balance of a Saddle, When Saddles Move and finally, Rider Influences.

These two new videos contain a huge amount of information and together they provide over an hour of expert Saddle Fitting Know How. Certain to become a ‘go-to’ resource, one that you’ll view again and again, Saddle Fitting Know How – For Riders and Trainers uses clever graphics alongside clear explanations and insight into many different aspects of achieving and maintaining a correctly fitting saddle.


Find out more and get access to these unrivalled and informative videos at 


Your horse will thank you in more ways than one!

Click here to buy videos for streaming or download