Saddle Fit


Saddle Up’s number one priority is to assist our customers in finding the best fitting saddle for both horse and rider. A correct fitting saddle is the key to optimum performance, safety, and communication with your horse. Offering saddle fitting’s on and off site is our way to try to ensure you are getting the best fitting saddle possible. You can bring your horse to our location, make your selection of saddles, and try them on right at our shop or pick out the saddles of your choice and we will bring them to your location. If you’re purchasing online, we also want to make sure the saddle is right for you, that's why we give you 7 days from the date the saddle is received to make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for!


On-Site Saddle Fit Prices:

  • Saddle fits on-site are $35.00. This fee covers one horse for an hour of our saddle fitter's time. Each additional horse will be $15.00. This fee will need to be paid while scheduling either over the phone or in the shop.
  • The $35.00 fee in non-refundable. 

Off-Site Saddle Fit Prices:

  • Within 30 miles from Saddle Up: $125.00 fitting fee and $1.50 per mile to your location (one way).
  • Within 31-45 miles from Saddle Up: $150.00 fitting fee and $1.50 per mile to your location (one way).
  • Within 46-60 miles from Saddle Up: $175.00 fitting fee and $1.50 per mile to your location (one way).
  • Over 61 miles from Saddle Up will be charged on a case by case basis with a minimum charge of $200.00 fitting fee and $1.50 per mile to your location (one way).
  • General Rule: Each additional 15 miles add additional $25

 Special Situations:

  • If you personally have more than one horse you would like us to fit, each additional horse per party is $25.00 (husband and wife’s horses, you own 3 horses, etc.) 
  • If another party at the same location would like us to fit their horse as well, the same fitting fee would be charged for their horse and $25.00 for each additional horse. However, the mileage fee can be split with the other party.

Expectations and Extra Fees: 

  • Please have horses caught, groomed, and ready to be saddled at the time of our arrival. 
  • Time will begin at scheduled appointment time. 
  • This fee covers one horse for an hour of our saddle fitter's time, each additional hour will be prorated at 15 min. intervals for $60 an hour. 
  • If we are unable to try saddles on the horse because of any behavior issues, the saddle fitting fee will still apply. 
  • Saddle fittings can be canceled or rescheduled in the event of severe weather. When it is below 32 degrees, when it is snowing, or when it is raining, Saddle Up has the right to cancel the saddle fitting appointment at any time. This policy is in place to ensure the safety of the saddle fitters, the saddles, the horses, and the horse owners. In the event of a large snow storm, we do ask the property for any off-site saddle fit is plowed at the time of the saddle fit. 

Signs of Improper Saddle Fit: 

  • Biting 
  • Bucking
  • Kicking
  • Pinning ears
  • Swishing Tail 
  • Decline of performance 
  • White spots on back 
  • Uneven sweat pattern on horses' back after riding
  • Horse tenses when the saddle is placed on it's back 
  • Constantly needs re-adjusting
  • Causes you to sit down on your horse’s spine
  • Cinch needs to be over-tightened
  • Sliding forward or backward


More than just the gullet:

The most common statement we hear is “My horse needs a 7” gullet”. While the gullet is important when it comes to fitting a saddle, it is just one very small piece to the whole puzzle. The tree consists of the gullet, the back handhold, the twist, the flare, the rock, and so on. All these things play apart in fitting a saddle.

Saddle fitting is like the princess and the pea. You are trying to fit the 3-dimensional underside of a saddle to the 3-dimensional top side of the horse. The whole tree must fit, not just the front gullet.

Another thing that needs to be considered is that not every maker has the same trees. Therefore, a 7” Martin will not fit the same as a 7” Circle Y. It is not universal and varies between makers and trees. Think of it like a pair of jeans. Not all brands fit the same, even though the size may read the same.

What we look for during a saddle fitting appointment:

During a saddle fit, we always check the saddle without a saddle pad on. This allows us to feel the direct contact of the tree and see where any problem areas may be. We do everything hands on when it comes to saddle fit. It is all about feel. There is no accurate way to tell if a saddle fits by looking at a picture. You must feel along the whole tree, starting at the shoulder and going all the way along the back. It is also important to have your saddle in the proper position (the back of the shoulder needs to be lined up with the concho) and you must place your hands up where the tree bars are. Feeling along the skirt does not tell you if the saddle fits, that is purely cosmetic.

The main thing we look for is nice, even pressure all the way through. You want a nice slide through your shoulder area and nice contact along the back. We do not want any tight spots, nor do we want major gapping or bridging. The biggest problem spot we run into with a saddle not fitting is right behind the shoulder or even in the middle of the back. These things are impossible to find by using sight; feeling is the key.

Evolving Horses:

Like anything, horses have evolved tremendously over the years. The biggest struggle is the saddle makers are not evolving the trees to match the current back types. They are still designing saddles to fit horses decades ago. Back when horses were used more for work and transportation, not pleasure or performance. Not to mention all the cross breeding happening nowadays. There are very few saddle companies that are changing their trees to fit today’s horses, many are still stuck in the past. On the flipside, there are many saddle makers and companies out there that don’t believe in saddle fit, their goal is to just make a sale.

Another common thing we hear is “My horse needs a FQHB or SMQHB” (full quarter horse bar or semi quarter horse bar). In our shop, we toss those terms right out the window. The reason being, there is no process of regulating those measurements. As said before, each maker’s trees are completely different. It is impossible for Billy Cook’s FQHB tree to be the same as HR Saddlery’s FQHB tree. It is not a universal measurement and will not ensure a proper fitting saddle. The tree will be specific to that maker, not the whole industry. That is like comparing apples to oranges.

Factors with Saddle Fitting:

There are certain factors to be considered when fitting a horse. For example:

  • Age of the horse
  • Muscle atrophy or trauma/injury
  • Topline or body condition
  • Fluctuating weight between seasons
  • Amount of use/exercise