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The Saddle Bank Story

The story behind The Saddle Bank started long before the business was established. Jade, owner and founder of The Saddle Bank had a beautiful black ex race horse named Billy.

Billy was Jade’s first horse from the age of 17. His first saddle was a Wintec 500 Close Contact jump saddle. It was purchased online along with a haul of rugs, bridles, buckets, boots – everything you would need to kit out a horse when buying your first horse. Jade knew nothing about saddles at the time and simply purchased one based on what she liked the look of.

The saddle was fine for a period of time. However, as Billy changed shape, and the saddle was no longer working for him. Jade decided to invest in a brand new, made to measure, ‘fully adjustable’ saddle. The saddle fitter came out, measured the horse and Jade selected the leather type she wanted. The saddle fitter placed the order with the manufacturer and came back out some weeks later to fit the saddle. However, the horse hated it. No matter what the fitter tried, the saddle just would not fit the horse. Tipping the rider forwards, backwards, pinching the horse, and Billy was sure to tell Jade he was not happy. He would pin his ears back when the saddle came near, stomp his feet, swish his tail, try to bite when his girth was tightened, and refusing to walk forward. Jade, an uneducated horse owner was sold a dream of a ‘fully adjustable’ saddle that would be able to fit no matter what and be adjusted as the horse changed shape. However, it just would not fit him. Jade was extremely disappointed and upset. At age 21 she had spent a lot of hard-earned money on this saddle, which was just never going to work.

Jade sought the opinion of a second, highly reputable saddle fitter. The fitter didn’t even look at the saddle on the horse. He simply said there was nothing he could do and threw a price list at her of brand new saddles (none of which he had even tried on the horse at this point).

Bitterly disappointed and having lost all faith in saddle fitters, Jade decided to purchase 10 saddles on eBay. The horse was very reactive and responsive to discomfort, so it was clear when he did not like something. Jade tried all the saddles on Billy, and Billy choose the one he liked. It was a horrible, old dressage saddle which was awfully uncomfortable to ride in. But Billy loved it and was able to move freely.

Jade then had to get to work selling the other 9 saddles she had purchased to try, plus her brand new saddle that did not fit. At the time, Jade considered setting up a small business selling saddles and offering people to try them on their horses with the intention of helping others who were in a similar position. However, she knew nothing about saddles at the time.

A few years later, after Jade had completed a Business Studies degree, Jade decided to revisit this idea that had been burning in her mind. She wanted to help ensure that people were not ‘taken for a ride’ as she was. In December 2016, The Saddle Bank was established to offer horse owners a safe place to purchase saddles online. The trial facility was available to ensure clients had the option to try the saddle on their horse, and have a local saddle fitter out during the trial.

Fast forward to the present day, Jade is a passionate business woman and qualified saddle fitter who is desperate to educate horse owners across the globe about saddle fit issues. Jade wants to empower horse owners to have the knowledge to understand and hold a conversation with a saddle fitter and know when something is not right. Besides from have the worlds best stock holding of saddles in terms of choice, availability and quality, The Saddle Bank also offers online courses teaching horse owners more about how to recognise saddle fit issues, and know when to call the saddle fitter out.

The Saddle Bank also works with saddle fitters across the UK and USA to ensure they have access to a wide selection of quality new and used saddles to be able to offer clients what they need, at prices they can afford.

The whole team of Saddle Bankers are passionate about what they do and helping horse owners find their perfect saddles. We know a saddle is not for life and things change all the time, for example your horse may change shape, you may sell the horse, you may want to try a different discipline, you may want to upgrade your saddle. Whatever the reason, we ensure our service and what we offer is designed to help you at every phase of the process.

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