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The Saddle Bank Trials - How do they work?

By Jade | January 5, 2021
  1. Buying a saddle

How do saddle trials work?

The Saddle Bank, the worlds most trusted online saddle retailer, understand the importance of finding a saddle that fits both you and your horse. Likewise ensuring you find a saddle you find comfortable and supportive. It can be difficult to find a used saddle that fits your horse at a reasonable price. Unless you have a saddle fitter that has a large supply of used saddles which is highly unlikely. The Saddle Bank holds over a stock of over 1200 saddles to ensure there is something to suit most horses. The Saddle Bank saddles are offered on 5 day UK trials. This give the rider a great selection to choose from and enables them to assess the fit of their saddle. 

If by the end of the article you are not sure which saddle is right for you and your horse, why not get in touch with our friendly customer support team via phone 01733 301 488 or email info@thesaddlebank.com. Our lovely team are always happy to help as much as they can and provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for you and your horse.

How do I trial a saddle?

Find a saddle that you like on The Saddle Bank website that matches your requirements. Search for your required seat size, width and type of saddle. 

When you find a saddle you like you can purchase it directly on the website or call our team 01733 301488 (Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00) if you have any questions.

You are able to select a delivery date up to 2 weeks in advance when ordering via the website. Just proceed through the check out and select the date that works best for you. 

Once you have placed your order we will get the saddle ready to send out to you. Saddles ordered in the UK are sent out via DPD using the next day delivery service where possible. Some parts of the Scottish highlands/islands are a two day service.

During your 5 day saddle trial we recommend having the saddle checked by a qualified saddle fitter. The appointment with your fitter should be booked in advance of purchasing the saddle. We are able to schedule the delivery to ensure your appointment falls within your saddle trial period. We recommend having the saddle delivered 2 working days prior to the fitting appointment in case of any delays with the courier (which are very rare). Simply select the delivery date you would like at check out. 

How to make your trial a success

The saddle is just one element to a saddle fitting. To ensure a successful fitting you also need;

  • A girth with elastic both sides or no sides. A girth with elastic one side can cause the saddle to slip. 
    Browse recommended Girths here
  • Even stirrup leathers. Uneven stirrup leathers can cause you to sit wonky and cause your saddle to slip. 
    Browse stirrup leathers here
  • Spare gullet bars if taking an adjustable gullet saddle. We suggest taking the size you think your horse is, plus 1 bar either side of that to give you some options during the trial. (Top Tip: Often people think they horse is narrower than they actually are). 
    Browse Gullet Bars here. 
  • Template kit. If you are unable to have a fitter out but want to take a template of your horse to check for asymmetries and the width and shape of your horses back, you can purchase a flexi curve here. 
  • Shim sets. If taking a Wintec, Arena or Bates saddle it is vital that you also take the relevant Easy Change Riser set which fits the saddle. These saddles are extremely adjustbale in terms of fit and shape of the panel but you need the equipment to be able to make the necessary changes.
    Pony/Jump Saddle choose this pack
    GP/Dressage saddle choose this pack
    High Wither/Tricky Conformation choose this pack

If taking a saddle on trial we recommend taking everything you need to successfully trial the saddle during the 5 days. If you don't need the extra bars etc you are always welcome to return them (although many people do keep them for spares for as and when their horse changes shape throughout the year). 

What next for your saddle trial?

The Saddle Bank trials start on the day you receive the saddle. We recommend checking the box for any damage prior to opening the box and take pictures where necessary. Unbox the saddle and inspect it. Ensure it is in the condition described and hasn’t been damaged during transit.

You can then try the saddle on. The saddle should be returned to us in the same condition, so make sure you look after it as any damage to the saddle could result in a reduced refund should the saddle be returned.

If you are having the saddle fitter out, we recommend them looking at the saddle before you ride in it to ensure it is a good fit for you and the horse. Using a saddle that does not fit could cause pain or injury to your horse.

Once the saddle has been fitted, ride in the saddle to make sure you and your horse are happy and comfortable.

What if I don't want to keep the saddle?

If the saddle does not fit, or you do not like it, you will need to let us know that you intend on returning the saddle. You can request collection of the saddle by using the returns form.

We can arrange for DPD to collect the saddle from a suitable place (home, work, stables etc). If you need to return the saddle, simply fill out the returns form and we will arrange collection for you. You do not need to pay anything at the time of arranging collection, the returns postage fee will simply be deducted from your refund. Once we have received the saddle it will be inspected and your refund will be processed (usually within 48 hours).

A £10 trial fee will be deducted from your refund. This contributes towards cleaning, handling, admin, transaction costs etc associated with the saddle trial.

Your refund will then show back on your card within 3-5 working days.

If we do not hear from you by day 6, we will assume you are happy with the saddle and the sale will be final.

If you are trialling a new saddle, we ask that you limit the amount of time you spend riding. Of course we want you to be happy with the saddle by ensuring it fits and is comfortable. However the saddle should not be returned with excessive signs of wear, for example on the girth straps or saddle flaps. We ask that you attach your stirrup leathers under the saddle flap to eliminate any wear on the flaps from stirrup leathers.

Ready to Ride?

If you are ready to trial a saddle start browsing The Saddle Bank website now. If the saddle you want is not currently in stock with The Saddle Bank, you can set up an alert here to be notified as soon as your dream saddle comes in stock. 

Dream Saddle Notifier

Start Shopping Saddles 

Got a question?

If you have any questions please do take a look at our FAQ's here.

Banner to learn more about recognising saddle fit issues

Thank you!

Thank you for reading this article! We hope you found it useful!

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The Saddle Bank Team x

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