Teaching you how to understand saddle fit!
Susan & David Hartje
Saddle Makers: Every saddle made will fit at least a few horses. None will fit every horse, mule or breed. We look for saddles that fit a range of horses well, most of the time. At the same time, we want saddles that encourage a balanced seat for the rider. And finally, we focus on light weight saddles. (Most people don't want a 40# western saddle if a 22# one will do the job.) We continue to search for saddles that accomplish these goals.
So far, we've tried a lot and kept a few. (We know there are more out there, that we just haven't found yet. Let us know if you know of one!) When we find them, new and used, we stock them so we can have them on hand for our fitting clients. We do not market saddles to non-clients.
Our Western favorites are (in alphabetical order):
* We always have fitting demos from these saddle makers (just the models/trees that we find work better) in stock to ride and try. We also often have consignments in these models too.
Allegany Mountain Trail Saddles - Western & Endurance*
Crest Ridge Saddlery - Western & Endurance*
Skyrider Saddle - Endurance or Western*
Specialized / TW - Adjustable Endurance & Western & Plantation models*
Black Rhino, About the Horse - Western & Endurance, used only
Crates - Meleta Brown Freedom Saddle
There are several small and very good saddle makers who make western saddles to template for your horse (JJ Maxwell Saddles, Legacy Saddlery, Andy Knight, Jeremiah Johnson Flying W Saddlery, etc.), due to production time, cost and/or weight, we don't stock them. But we do keep a list of used ones that we know of for sale.
Our English favorites are:
Bates - Adjustable Endurace & Dressage models, used only*
Duett Saddles - Trail & Dressage*
D & T Butterfly Saddles - Self Adjusting Dressage & Trail*
Frank Baines Saddlery - Dressage & Endurance & Hunt/Jump models*
Ideal Saddles - Dressage & Trail*
Toulouse Saddles - Adjustable Dressage & Trail*
Wintec - Adjustable Synthetic, Endurance & Dressage, used only*
Rider: Even the perfect saddle will create problems for a horse if the rider is out of balance. An educated rider is as important as a good saddle. We HIGHLY Recommend finding one or two instructors to help you along the path to excellent horsemanship. It will make a world of difference to your horse!
Seat Specific Riding Instruction:
Mary Fenton, Watsonville, CA - Centered Riding Level lV
Zsuzsu Illes, ReBalance, S. CA - Holistic, Balanced Dressage and Trail riding
Wendy Murdock, The Murdock Method, VA - Centered Riding & Feldenkrais
Karen Irland, WA - Centered Riding Level lV Instructor
Dawn Ruthven, Canada - Centered Riding Level lV Instructor
Carla Bauchmeuller, Berkeley, CA - Centered Riding Level lll Instructor
Horsemanship Trainers: There are many aspects of riding and many areas to improve your riding skills. Here are a select few resistance-free Trainers who always work 'from the horse's point of view.' While there are many good horsemanship educators, we have worked with these extensively and can highly recommend:
Julie Carpenter, Jackson/Santa Cruz, CA - www.miraclemountain.com
Stella Jennison, Plymouth CA - Horses in Motion - 209-245-6055
Kathleen Lindley, CO - www.kathleenlindley.com
Mark Rashid, CO - www.markrashid.com
Larry Whitesell, TN - www.whitesellgaitedhorsemanship.com
Harry Whitney, AZ - www.harrywhitney.com
Saddle Repair: We do billet replacement and small hand repair work on English and Western saddles. For extensive repairs we can direct you to the following experts with whom we have had good experience.
Giovanni Zappeta - Castleberry Saddle Shop: Vacaville, CA 707-446-1140/707-448-2972
Dutchess Bridle & Saddlery - Kate Anathas-Wilson: NY
Susan Schurer - Schurer Saddlery,
Susie Flecher Baker - Colorado, 970-454-3556