Entitled to be comfortable

We believe passionately that every ridden horse is entitled to be comfortable and happy in its saddle, and that a well designed and sympathetically fitted saddle should be available to every horse and rider.

I am happy to work with ANY appropriate saddle of any brand, and to fit this, according to these fitting principles. My visit as a saddler is not conditional of your purchase of a saddle from myself or of any of the brands I recommend or stock. It is however on the understanding that regardless of the brand of your chosen saddle, I will fit this saddle holistically, according to tried and tested principles which offer maximum comfort and freedom of movement for your horse. I feel that for me to compromise on these principles, would be to compromise your horse’s comfort.

Where no horse is the same I sometimes call upon my years of experience working with shims to rebalance and find the optimum fit for your saddle, whatever make you choose as long as it is appropriate for your horse. Some see the use of shims as unnecessary, but it has been proven time and time again that when used short term and prescriptively they are a valuable tool for remedial saddle fitting, to prevent discomfort or to encourage the growth and repair of atrophied saddle area musculature allowing for a wider range of movement that enhances stride and ultimately performance.

At Montague saddles, we not only fit your saddle but can create and follow your horse through a prescriptive schedule of muscle development through the use of shimming and saddle adjustment.

A fitting takes up to two hours, including a biomechanic assessment for both horse and rider, which I feel is beneficial. This applies to both happy hackers and competition riders, everyone has the same assessment, and other professionals may be suggested if I feel this would help. I usually expect you to ride your horse during the assessment to ensure the best outcome, and help resolve saddle issues.

Hear Julie interviewed by Mindset Coach Jenni Winter-Leach, explaining Montague’s holistic approach to saddle fit.

The science

“This wither tracing is an example of a group of horses that have been used in a dissertation to show the change in muscle bulk in the back of a horse when exercised.

The experiment was carried out over three days:
Day 1 – Lunged on both reins with no saddle
Day 2 – Lunged on both reins wearing current saddle and numnah
Day 3 – Lunged on both reins wearing LM Saddle and Shim pad

Each exercise period was preceded by a back measurement of the static horse (posture at rest) and the lifted back of the static horse (posture when the horse’s abdominal are engaged I.e. During “belly lift”). You can clearly see how after exercise with no saddle there is a small increase in the muscle, but not as much as when exercised in the wider fitting (LM) saddle and shim system. What shows very clearly is the compression of the back muscles when the horse is wearing its own (statically fitted) saddle.

This perfectly illustrates how a horse with muscle atrophy will remain the same when its saddle is fitted to its existing shape, and how that muscle can develop and recover when a remedial fitting process is used.”


The holistic approach

All horses have a natural laterality and will be left or right side dominant. For some horses, unnatural patterns of movement, poor muscle development and unusual postures exist. The cause may have been accident, illness, poor training methods and ill fitting saddles. Sometimes the horse is capable of sorting the problems out as soon as the saddle has been changed or refitted. However, some will benefit from the additional support of a vet, chiropractor, osteopath, Bowen therapist, Massage therapist or other Equine Body work. If appropriate, we will discuss this with you during the consultation.

It is important that the shape and size of your saddle is correct and comfortable for you, too. Because of the influence that we as riders have upon our horses it is also very important to take the rider(s) into account. We find that it can often be very helpful to discuss any rider bio-mechanic issues that may arise during your consultation, or offer an instructional session to resolve these issues.


Price list

Saddle assessment

Full assessment, up to two hours, including ridden assessment

Per Horse

Flocking extra from £10 to £35


Second horse with same owner


Yard Visits

As above but minimum 4 people

per Horse

Owner must be present unless pre arranged


Travel fee may be waived

Please discuss

© 2024 Montague Saddles. Privacy Policy

Website by Yello Media