When buying a saddle from Fiona Cork Showing, it is essential that both you and the horse are happy with it. In successfully matching both horse and rider, we strive to achieve the best overall presentation for the show ring.
In the first instance feel free to ask as many questions as you feel necessary about the process and what the saddle can offer both you and your horse.
When happy, we look to agree a mutually convenient time for you to have a ride on one of my demo saddles on your own horse at home or you can use a purpose built menage at my own premises in Shropshire. I generally charge £50 for a demo if you are within a 100 mile radius. If you are over 100 miles away then I would look to match you up with some other customers so still do get in touch. I compete myself all over the country so it might be easier to meet there or I will be attending numerous shows around the country with the FCS stand, where you can try the saddle and accessories onsite.
The demo is no obligation whatsoever and gives you another opportunity to ask questions. Once you have tried the saddle, I will use a Precision Fitting System to take all the measurements we need to make a bespoke saddle for you and your horse. This does not mean you are committing to buy a saddle but ensures I have all the measurements and then you can take the time needed to decide how you wish to proceed. If you wish to place an order, I take a deposit by cash, card or cheque of £650 with the balance payable on delivery of the saddle.
The picture below gives you an idea of some of the measurements that we take. It gives an image to the saddlemakers at Albion Saddlemakers Ltd of the fitting that your horse requires to achieve the ultimate balance. We take into account the wither (or lack of) that your horse may have, the width at the point of the tree but also how the area of the back where the rider sits on the saddle is shaped. It is vital that the saddle sits in balance to have contact throughout and gives the rider the best opportunity to sit well and allow the horse to move freely.
The saddle should be ready within approximately 5-6 weeks at which point I will deliver the saddle personally and make any adjustments that may be necessary.
As with any product, we want to ensure that your saddle continues to fit you and your horse. Horses can change shape due to a variety of reasons (it is not just fluctuations in weight). For example, maturity, time of year, illness, change of yard or schooling regime. A lot of horses and riders are unlevel, which will also potentially lead to the need for a saddle adjustment. The list goes on...
I will endeavour to try and fit you in to one of my saddle fitting days as soon as I can. Generally I charge a £50 call out fee. I can do flocking adjustments on site, which do not incur an additional charge. There may be a requirement in some cases, where a horse has significantly altered it's shape, that the actual tree fitting may need narrowing or widening if available. I will discuss any associated costs at that point specific to the individual requirements of the horse and rider, before any amendments are made. I am also happy to check a saddle, on site at a competition, if we are both at the same one at a cost of £20.
To those that would like any general advice on showing, I am more than happy to help if I can. Again....just ask away!
I now have four stockists that will be able to guide you through the process of finding the right saddle for you.
Phil Ireland in Taunton, as a qualified SMS saddle fitter and with over 18 years saddle fitting experience, Phil is well placed to advise you on the best options for you and your horse. Phil is part of Unicorn Saddlery based at Taunton in Somerset, telephone 01823 481 484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kedlock Saddlers based in Fife in Scotland. The contact here is Victoria Flynn 07736 629867 or email email@example.com
Seaforth Saddlers, based in Inverness. The contact here is Katie Common, a keen showing enthusiast herself having won the Royal Welsh in 2016 and will be competing at HOYS. www.seaforthsaddlers.com 07917 107828
Debbie Boylan, based in Chipstead, Surrey Debbie is a highly proficient horse rider herself. She has previously won HOYS and rides both Natives and non-Natives. Debbie now enjoys dressage and showing, with a large yard of horses. She will cover a large part of the South 07879 437387.