Privacy Policy

Waiting Too Long For Your Saddle Fitter?

I am aware that many saddle fitters are perceived as not returning messages as quickly as the client would like, which  can be very annoying and frustrating. You’ve decided that you want to buy a new saddle or have your saddle and its fit 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 Hastilow assesses a client's horse.Unfortunately, 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.

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 5 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.

Why not enhance your knowledge of saddle fitting whilst you wait for your appointment? You'll be better able to help your saddle fitter with more detailed information and more readily understand advice and recommendations.

International rider Robyn Smith comments ...

Kay's two new videos, appropriately titled Saddle Fitting Know How - For Riders and Trainers, will help individual owners when buying a new saddle. They answer the many questions Horse Owners typically ask when searching for a perfect fitting new saddle. You can buy one or both videos - for just £35 each - which is less than the cost of a lesson or a decent saddlecloth!

Visit Saddle Fitting Know How For Riders & Trainers to buy your copies for on-demand download or streaming.