What is the difference between a Masters Saddle Fitter and Master Saddler?
A Master Saddle Fitter or a Master Saddler? Know the difference!
Today we are on the topic of saddle fitting. Did you know? Saddle fitters are becoming more and more in demand. Here at The Saddle Bank, we find there tends to be a bit of confusion on a fitter and a saddler.
The Saddle, it’s very important to us. Have you ever tried to ride without a saddle on? OW is all we can say. However, it is good for your core and balance, so maybe try it for short periods of time once in a while! We want to give you information today so you can understand who you are employing. A saddle is supposed to work with the horse, to enhance their flexibility and give them the ability to move freely. A Master Saddler and a Master Saddle Fitter are both very highly qualified and have undergone rigorous training to be professionals in their field. Do you know the difference?
The Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) is the governing body for saddlers and saddle fitters. They run a training scheme dependent on what path you want to go down.
If you are still a bit confused about which saddle or any saddle related product is best for you why not get in touch with our friendly customer support team. Via phone on 0345 030 4916 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
What do Saddlers do?
A Saddler is someone who works at a bench, makes saddlery items, repairs, and adjustments to a saddle.
How do you become a Master Saddler?
To become a Master Saddler, there is a specific and lengthy pathway you would have to adhere too. There are options too, either you would do a 4 year apprenticeship with a Master Saddler or you complete a 2 year diploma course. There is also a new option too, at some private training establishments they do structured courses, or perhaps if you want a taster they also do one-week taster weeks! Once you have completed your level 3 city and guilds saddlery course, you are officially a Qualified saddler.
However, to become a Master Saddler it is an entirely different ball game. You must then complete 7 years’ experience in the trade, this does include your training years though, so don’t run away yet! Then you have the name of a ‘Master Saddler’ – sounds good, right? These Master Saddlers are experts in making alterations to your saddles. They have lived and breathed saddles for a very long time, if you have ever sent your saddle back to be repaired, then these are the guys in charge!
Who are Saddle Fitters?
Believe it or not, saddle fitters have a different pathway to saddlers. These guys have the more hands-on approach when it comes to the horses. A saddle fitter is someone who works in the field, checking to supply a good fit. If your saddle needs adjusting, they would send it to a Master Saddler.
How to become a saddle fitter:
Do you want to become a qualified saddle fitter? If you are any of the following, then you can attend a 2 day course in saddle fitting:
- A member or employed by a member of BETA
- A BHS instructor
- A Charterered Physiotherapist, or
- A different kind of equestrian professional,
Once you have done this 2-day course, you then have to complete 3 years of experience, preferably with a qualified saddle fitter. Then, you attend a SMS 4-day qualification course. Then you must compete an assessment, all before you become a SMS Registered Saddle Fitter. All you have to do once this is complete, is attend a refresher day every two years.
Here at the saddle bank we have created a fabulous introductory course to becoming a saddle fitter click here to read all about it!
What we are saying by this is being a saddle fitter is by no means easy, and there are people out there who say they are a saddle fitter. Don’t get caught out! Fitting saddles is a very important job, and it is not to be taken lightly, ensure the people you get are qualified! To see how much it costs to hire a saddle fitter, check out this previous blog.
It is possible to be both a Saddler and a Saddle Fitter. Some choose to be both, or one, it depends solely on what they want to specialise in. If you are wanting to take up your own business, you might want to train as a saddler first, as you will need to be able to adjust saddles. Or another option is to hire a qualified saddler.
Have we put you off? Don’t panic! Here at The Saddle Bank, we are professional saddle fitters. We are based in Peterborough, so we can offer a service to this and surrounding areas! To find out more about what we can offer you, and to book an appointment, click on this link:
If you aren’t in or near, Peterborough, click on this link to find one local to you.
Want to learn more about how saddles should fit….
If you are a horse owner or rider and would like to learn more about saddle fitting. As well as how the saddle can impact your horses performance and welfare, click on the link below:
Thank you for reading this article! We hope you found it useful!
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The Saddle Bank Team x