My name is Jen the Saddle Geek, and I’ve spent a decade geeking out over 160+ brands of English-style saddles. And this is the saddle fitting web site that I wish I’d had 10 years ago, during my first big search for an English dressage saddle and jump saddle.
I’ve spent over a decade doing all these things:
- chatting with saddle fitters about what they know and how they know it
- geeking out over 160+ brands of saddles used for hunter/jumper, eventing, dressage, foxhunting, and other related disciplines
- learning about different theories about saddle fit, everything from “foam versus wool” to “synthetic trees versus wood n’ steel” to “narrow twists versus wide twists”
- learning about saddle engineering, including saddle trees, leather types, and manufacturing techniques
- sorting out saddle engineering innovations from BS marketing mumbo jumbo, and
- helping hundreds of horses and riders find their dream saddles.
And now, with this blog, I want share what I’ve learned with frustrated shoppers:
- how shoppers can take control of their saddle search and stop the downward spiral of frustration
- what you need to know about saddle fitting to help your horse, and you, be as comfortable as possible
- how to know when it’s time to call a professional saddle fitter–and how to find one that’s trustworthy
- the four major saddle fitting “schools of thought,” how they differ, and how to pick among them
- how to find the right saddle among 160+ English saddle brands and 700+ English saddle models on today’s market
- how to distinguish marketing mumbo-jumbo from exciting innovations in saddle fit that can make horses and riders more comfortable
- how to help special horses: wide, narrow, high withered, low withered, swaybacked, short backed, you name it I’ve seen it!
- how to help special riders: tall riders, short riders, skinny riders, Rubenesque riders, children, “husbands,” you name it I’ve seen it!
- how to evaluate saddle accessories like girths, pads, fancy stirrup leathers and irons, and other stuff that might affect your experience in the saddle.
To tell you the truth, over a half-dozen saddle brands and tack shops have offered me jobs as a saddle fitter. And I’ve turned down every single offer.
Why? Because I’ve heard, over and over again from hundreds of shoppers, that they don’t feel like they know who to trust. They’re desperate for truly brand-independent advice, from someone who doesn’t stand to profit if they choose Brand X over Brand Y.
And here at The Saddle Geek, that’s what I’ve built: truly brand-independent saddle advice. I don’t sell saddles here at The Saddle Geek. I don’t take kickbacks from saddle brands or particular saddleries. When I take on sponsors or partners to fund programs, those sponsorship relationships will be made crystal clear to you on this blog. And I’m committed to partnering only with tack stores and brands that I feel are truly working in their customers’ best interest and are comfortable with my commitment to truly geeking out over the entire saddle industry.
I live for “that email” that I get from saddle shoppers, saying, “Guess what! I found THE saddle! I love the saddle, my horse loves the saddle, and my awful saddle search is finally just a memory.” I want to get you there, too.
So let’s work together to help you and the horses in your life get comfortable, find the right products for them, and ride off happily into the sunset.