Posted: 22nd April 2022 | Back to news feed

In this article Society of Master Saddlers’ Master Saddler, Master Bridle Maker, Master Harness Maker, Registered Master Saddle Fitter and Registered Qualified Bridle Fitter, Helen Reader, provides advice on:

Q, My saddle seems fine and I’ve been riding in it for years. Do I still need to get it checked regularly?

A, Prevention is always better than cure. The SMS advise that your saddle is assessed every 6-9 months depending upon the horse’s age and workload. Young horses, those that are in hard competition work or rehabilitation will often have their saddles reassessed as regularly as 2-3 months. A horse can change shape for a number of different reasons, for example a change of yard, the time of year or due to a change to the workload and even though the horse seems fine there may be something just starting to cause an issue. It is far better for the horse’s welfare that the issue is spotted and sorted before it becomes a major problem.

Q, Can my saddle fitter advise on bridles too?

A, A saddle fitter is trained to fit saddles; however, some are also trained to fit bridles. The SMS has recently developed a Bridle Fitting Qualification with City & Guilds, an independent awarding body that accredits qualifications. As with the saddle fitting, if you go to the SMS website you can search for a SMS Registered Qualified Bridle Fitter in your area. They are trained in the anatomy of the horse’s head and mouth, suitability of different styles of bridle and adjustments that can be made to improve the fit of the bridle or take measurements to make a new bridle.


For more information visit or contact The Society of Master Saddlers on 01449 711642.    

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