My saddle fitting journey began with my own horse in 2006. As a rescue, she had been through a trailering accident that left her with kissing spine, a trauma-induced spinal injury. Any hope of riding her would mean a complete custom-made saddle.
So began my efforts to learn everything possible about how a saddle impacts the horse's movement and health. During that time I went to work for Schleese Saddlery based in Toronto.
As a fitter for Schleese, I was educated by Jochen Schleese and his team. I was fitting for members of both the US and Canadian Olympic teams as well as several national level competitors.
After being on the road for a year, I made the decision to become and independant fitter and not be tied to a brand. This way, I can fit horses and assist clients in finding the best fit for both horse and rider within the needed budget.
Continuing my fitting training, in 2016 I was fortunate enough to be invited to the national fitting seminar in Maryland by County Saddlery. This allowed me to become a collaborator for the internationally well known brand. I am able to evaluate, service and sell their saddles while remaining an Independent fitter.
What to Expect During an Evaluation
The evaluation includes full measurements of both horse and rider, as well as full documentation of the horse's past history, health and current work schedule.
Current tack, either English or Western, is evaluated for the best fit option; everything from the saddle to girths, pads, bridles and bits. Fitting is done both statically as well as dynamically. Please be prepared to ride.
If the current tack is not an optimum fit based on the evaluation results, then Blackbird Equestrian can assist in finding what is needed for both horse, rider and budget.
Blackbird Equestrian has established relationships with many tack shops across the service area and knowledge of Internet providers for multiple purchase outlets.
All pricing is discussed upfront. Please feel free to clarify any questions. Credit cards, checks and cash are accepted.
Per horse: $125. Price is based per horse and not per saddle in case you have several saddles to see which is the best option.
If new tack is needed, we are available to go with you to the tack shop or I can shop for you, to assist with finding the best option for both horse and rider.
$50 for the first 2 hours (leaving from north Lakeland)
$15 each additional hour.
Purchase of a new or demo County Saddle is also an option. Demo saddles are available to be test ridden as well.
For clients shopping for new tack who would like it to be checked for fit.
$25 within 60 days of Initial Evaluation
$50 beyond 60 days
Saddles are recommended to be checked every 6 months to a year and fall within the Recheck program. Horses coming back from an injury, under the age of 6 or changing disciplines are recommended for refit every 3 to 6 months requiring updated measurements would be $125
Unless outside of the service area there is not a trip charge. If beyond, it can be discussed during booking.