Fittings and demo's can be performed here on-site in Woodend Victoria. There is a redeemable demo/fit fee of $120: if a new saddle purchase is made then this fee is waived, or refunded should you place your order at a later date. This fee is now taken in advance over the phone due to a few bad eggs spoiling it for all and not showing up for their booked appointment. Please allow at least 3 hours for the fitting/trial.
You can also hire one of our demo saddles for 10 days and really put it through its paces! Please see the Demo Saddles page for details. This is the best option as it really does let you know if the saddle will work long term for you and your horse/s.
If you cannot bring your horse to Woodend and you would rather take the plunge and take full advantage of our 10 day - no questions asked - return policy, that applies to all new saddles purchased from HEST (unless otherwise stated at time of order), then I am here to assist you with the fitting of your new saddle via email, phone, video etc. My ability to assist you accurately, is highly dependent on the photos you provide. Please ensure that no strong shadows are being cast on your horse whilst making sure you are in good light, an overcast day is ideal. Please see example photos below. Please note these are not supposed to be examples of good or bad saddle fit, they are purely meant to be used as a "photo taking guide", so you can send in good usable photos for your saddle fit assessment. Please also see our wither tracing instructions further down this page.
Alternatively you may elect to have your own independent saddle fitter assess the fit of your new saddle for you. If your fitter concludes that your new saddle will not fit you or your horse, you can return it for a full refund less any merchant fees and postage costs. Saddle fitters are not usually experienced with the fitting of treeless saddles so please consult with HEST with regards to fit in this instance. All saddles should be returned insured to the value of it's RRP. Please read the return policy for full details.
Photo Instructions for Saddle Fit Assessment
1) Make sure your horse is standing square and on even ground
2) Make sure your horses head is in a neutral position: not grazing
3) Make sure there are no shadows being cast on your horse or sun glare distorting the clarity of the images
4) Make sure your horses mane is not in the way
Wither Tracing Instructions: To determine Gullet width
These wither tracing instructions are only applicable for Kuda saddles but can also assist us to gain a better understanding of your horses gullet requirements, so can be useful when ordering other brands of saddles that we sell.
Click on the PDF to download and print out our wither tracing instructions. If you do not have a flex curve ruler, a 50 cm length of copper wire or electrical conduit can work just as well. You want the wire to retain it's shape once taken off of your horses withers. Clothes hanger wire may work but it tends to spring back once taken off the horses withers.
EDIX Saddle Fitting: To determine Pommel size
Ghost Saddle Fitting Instructions
How to Measure your Horse's Saddle Support Area
This measurement is particularly important for short backed horses where the rider is wanting to purchase a western saddle. Western saddles usually start at around 23" front to back. Good Western saddles (like the ones sold by HEST) have a decent 'rock' (flair) to the tree front and rear, so weight bearing is considerably shorter than the actual length of the saddle. However it is always best to check the length of your horse's saddle support area. Please follow the instructions below.