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When should I call a saddle fitter?

The fit of every horse’s saddle should be evaluated at least annually to keep the horse and rider safe and healthy.  See the list of ‘Key points of consideration for the horse’ and ‘Key points of consideration for the rider’ on the ‘SALES’ page, for more information. Below are some warning signs that should serve as indications for you to call your fitter right away.


Considerations for comfort and safety:


MacLean Equestrian Company is part of the team looking out for your safety.  If we find changes to your tack that renders it unsafe, it must be removed from use until repaired, for the safety of you and your horse.


Stop using your saddle, stirrups leathers, reins, etc. and call for an assessment if you observe:


  • Noises, such as clicking or squeaking from your saddle (possible broken tree)

  • Excessive movement from your saddle (possible broken tree)

  • Panels that are hard or lumpy, or uneven when you run your hand along them with your saddle on your horse’s back

  • Billets, Stirrup leathers, and other leathers in general with

    • rotting or frayed stitches

    • overstretched holes

    • dry rot or cracking


MacLean Equestrian Company will assess your saddle fit, address flocking and tree fitting issues, and repair or replace billets, stirrups and reins to keep you safe from unexpected falls.

Saddle billet repair - cracked leather

What should I expect when I’ve booked an appointment to try saddles with MacLean Equestrian Company?

When you book your appointment, tell us about you, your horse, and your goals. Pictures of you and your horse are also helpful: send us a picture of your horse standing square in profile and one of his saddle area top line, viewed from above and behind. With more information, we are better able to meet your needs.


Have yourself and your horse prepared to ride at the time of your appointment, with a safe girth and saddle pad; as these items directly contact the horse, for bio-security reasons we generally do not supply them for saddle trials.


Upon arrival, your saddle fitter will assess your horse and discuss your current and future riding goals.  Some measurements may be taken in order to record a baseline of your horse’s shape.


Your saddle fitter will suggest saddles for you to try and/or assess the saddles that you have brought to your appointment.  Do an assessment ride, and check that you and your horse is able to move with freedom, comfort and stability. Your saddle fitter will watch for these considerations as well, check for finer points of fit, and that your position is correctly supported.

This service is conveniently offered at your farm. The Assessment and Consultation fee for a new saddle assessment is $100.  

How do I care for my saddle?

Your saddle is an investment that can be easily cared for by dusting it after each ride with a microfiber cloth.  Use a damp cloth to remove dirt and sweat.  When necessary, apply a quality cleanser followed by conditioner, such as Albion’s Natural Leather Soap, and Natural Leather Balm, being sure to remove any excess.  Use a microfiber cloth or gentle shoe brush to apply the conditioner sparingly.  If the leather has become dry you can allow it to sit overnight before polishing buffing.  If your saddle is stored in either a damp or a dry tack room, modify your conditioning practices accordingly. Buffing after conditioning will prevent the buildup of residue.

To protect your leather, do not use leather cleansers that are not specifically designed for tack, as these cleansers may strip your leather.  For the same reason, be careful not to use cloths that have been used with other cleansers.  Finally, protect your flaps from rough stirrup grips, and be mindful of the rack upon which you store your saddle: preserve your panels for your horse’s back!

Saddle stitchng repair: broke
Stirrup leather repair
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