Saddle Fitting Clinics

Sean is a qualified Saddle Fitter with The Society of Master Saddlers and has over

25 years experience as a saddler. He is available for saddle fitting appointments

throughout Canterbury.

Sean also makes saddle fitting trips throughout the South Island – endeavouring to

head up the Nelson/ Marlborough and down to Southland/Central Otago at least twice a year  - and to other areas on demand.

Saddle Fitting appointments can be arranged at your property at a fee of $95 in Canterbury. ( The fee is $125 in other areas to cover additional travel and accommodation costs).

Alterations such as changing of gullet plates and flocking can often be carried out on site.

Sean is an agent for NSC saddles and can also bring a selection of saddles on request, however his Saddle Fitting assessment remains independent, and he is happy to work with your own saddles or saddles from other retailers.

So why is saddle fitting so important?

  • Whether you are competing in dressage, eventing or show jumping, pony club, english or western or simply enjoy riding, the importance of a correctly fitting saddle cannot be overlooked. An ill fitting saddle can impact on the health of your horse and its performance. Therefore, a correctly fitting saddle is essential.

  • Popes Saddlery advises anyone considering purchasing a new saddle to have the saddle fitted to ensure it’s suitability for both the horse and rider.

  • New saddles are generally 'soft-flocked' to encourage the saddle to adopt the contours of the horse on which it is being used. Once the flocking has settled, it will probably need lifting and other minor adjustments. Generally speaking, this will occur in the first six to twelve weeks - but this varies considerably depending on the type of saddle and how much it is used.

  • Regular saddle fit checks are encouraged. A horses body changes for many reasons, seasonal changes in diet and exercise can significantly alter their body mass, and there are muscular changes that occur throughout the years. When a saddle no longer fits a horse well, the horse will not be happy and can actually experience all sorts of physical problems. This can also be a danger for a rider if the horse isn’t comfortable with something on its back.

  • Young horses muscle up and put on condition, older horses tend to 'drop away'. A period off work may result in loss of muscle and condition while horses turned away on unrestricted grass can become very fat - and so on. It is very important to have the saddle modified in line with the horse's changed shape. Imagine being forced to wear clothes or shoes that are either much too tight - or chafe because they are too large!

REMEMBER ...a sore and unhappy horse will never perform to its best ability!

Contact Us to book an appointment or to find out when we are next in your area.

Upcoming saddle fitting trips will be posted on our Facebook page.

A well shaped horses back

Saddle alteration

Saddle fitting


Popes Saddlery & Canvas  Ph: 03 312 2013   M: 0274 225 716  E: