DUTCHESS BRIDLE & SADDLE LLC
Q: Do I need to be present at the saddle fitting appointment?
A: It is very important that the person who is the most involved with the horse's riding - the owner, trainer,instructor, leasee or all of the above - is present at the appointment to answer questions and give observations about the saddle fitting issue at hand. Decisions that need to be made for re-fitting or for a new saddle are managed better with the person most directly involved with the issue and the financial aspect of the decision. If you are not able to be at the appointment, please make this known in advance.
Q: How much is the stable call?
A: The stable call is an inclusive fee that covers the call to the farm, mileage, the fitting evaluation of the saddle and/or trying new saddles. The base fee is $100 per person (the base fee is NOT divided). The mileage is divided by the total number of people seen in a day. The divided mileage is added to the base call fee for the total fee amount person. An information sheet will be emailed at the time the appointment is made with a break down of the stable call fee for 1 to 9 people for your area. The stable call is due at the time of the appointment.
Q: What does the stable call fee cover?
A: The stable call is an all inclusive fee that covers the call to the farm, mileage, the fitting evaluation of your saddle and/or trying new saddles. It does NOT include flocking, repairs, merchandise or any other charges.
Q: What days are available for appointments?
A: The days available for appointments are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday ONLY. Wednesday and Friday are office days. Sunday appointments are NOT available.
Q: How far do you travel for saddle fitting appointments?
A: My traveling area includes most of New York including Long Island, Rochester and Buffalo areas, all of New Jersey, Connecticut, eastern to mid Pennsylvania, parts of Massachusetts, and southern Vermont. I have traveled as far west as northeastern Ohio, northern Maryland and Burlington, VT area. I will travel up to 6 hours in one direction (given a group of 6 or more). My average traveling distance is between 1.5 to 3 hours in one direction.
Q: How much does re-fitting/flocking cost?
A: This is largely dependent on what needs to be done to the saddle in order to re-fit it. A simple on-site spot flocking ("tweaking") is $95. A flocked panel saddle that needs to have all the flocking removed and all new flocking put in it - a "strip flock" - is $285. A tree adjustment - or tree point re-angling - is $325. Most re-fitting is a combination of jobs (flocking and tree adjustment). These prices are subject to change and are IN ADDITION TO the stable call fee. All re-fitting and/or repair charges are due at the time the saddle is taken for adjustment. (The re-fitting solutions listed here are the most commonly performed re-fitting solutions we do. Other fitting solutions and their associated cost will be discussed based on your saddle's refitting needs.)
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept cash, checks, VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS and DISCOVER.
Q: Do you offer payment plans?
A: For the moment, no. All stable call fees and re-fitting/repair charges are due in full at the time of the appointment. New saddle orders require a deposit and the remainder is due when the saddle is delivered.
Q: How long should I plan for my appointment?
A: Each appointment is scheduled in 2 hour blocks. Depending on the fitting evaluation, trying demo or used saddles, on-site flocking and/or the number of people seen at one barn, the appointment could be significantly shorter or longer.
Q: Should my horse be tacked up before you get there?
A: No. The horse's bare back conformation needs to be addressed first and wither tracings taken before the fitting evaluation is discussed. The horse needs to be in the barn, groomed and tack gathered BEFORE the appointment start time. The time taken to bring the horse in, clean it up and get tack out of the tack room after the appointment starting time eats into your allotted appointment time.
Q: What saddles do you work on? Is it only certain brands?
A: We will work on ANY brand of saddle - English or Western. We are an independent fitting service and are not exclusively affiliated with any specific brand.
Q: When I make an appointment, am I required to get more people at my barn interested in order to have the appointment?
A: This will depend on how far away you are. If you are more than 2 hours away, I would prefer to see more than one person in that area. (Over 3 hours away, I do need to have at least 2-4 people signed up.) Chances are good that I will have another person already scheduled that day or I know someone that needs an appointment near by. It is not a requirement that you personally get more people in your barn to sign up for an appointment however, it will reduce the cost for everyone interested and most people like to know if/when a saddle fitter might be visiting!
Q: Do you mind if my barnmate watches you work while you are there?
A: Not at all! Because of the unfortunate "snake oil salesman" reputation of some "saddle fitters", people would like to see and hear someone working before deciding to work with them. I welcome anyone to watch and ask questions. Because my days are scheduled in advance, I don't have the ability to accomodate an in-person add-on. If I can make such an accomodation, the add-on is therefore obligated to pay for an evaluation as if they had scheduled in advance. Otherwise, I will be happy to schedule a time to come back and work with them when time permits.
Q: If I make an appointment for my saddle to be evaluated, will I be pushed into buying a new saddle?
A: NO. We are an independent saddle fitting and repair service. Our foundation of service is based on the principle that we are a service that solely works with your needs in mind: re-fitting you current saddle, repairing and maintaining your saddle/equipment, and providing other saddle solutions through various reputable and recognizable brands. We are NOT a singular saddle brand representative whose only goal is to get you to buy their brand of saddle as it all that they have to offer as a solution. We are not paid a salary, endorsement fee or given any monetary compensation by any of the manufacturers/distributors that we work with unless we sell their product. It our sole interest to fit your saddle or find the appropriate product to match your needs.
Q: Will I be required to ride?
A: The short answer is, be prepared to ride. For first time appointments, you may or may not have to ride depending on what the fitting evaluation reveals. If it's obviously not fitting the horse and the solution needed to fix the saddle (re-angling the tree, strip flocking the panel) can not be performed on site, then no, you will not be required to ride. On-site flocking, trying a new/used saddle or the delivery of the re-fitted saddle or custom saddle do require riding.
Q: Do I need to have my trainer/instructor present at the appointment?
A: Having the professional involved in the appointment lends valuable insight to the issue(s) and can help in formulating the right solution. Appointments for new/used jumping saddles require the involvement of the trainer (if one is involved) as they are the ones to determine if the flap and stirrup position are what they are looking for.
Q: Do you bring saddles with you to the appointment?
A; All demos and used saddles travel with me in my 6.5 ton truck (think LARGE Penske moving van). I also carry saddle pads, girths, leathers, bridles, reins, stirrup irons, leather care products and various other products of interest on the truck in addition to the saddles.
Q: What brands of saddles do you represent?
A; We sell Black Country, Stubben, Prestige, Thorowgood, Kent & Masters, and our own custom line.
Q: Do you have used saddles?
A: Yes, those saddles travel with me as well! We have dressage, jumping, general purpose, Western and the odd Australian stock saddle or endurance style saddle. Our offerings are constantly changing!
Q:Do you accept consignments?
A: Yes, we will accept any brand of saddle that is in good or better condition. Saddles needing major repairs or very out-dated models will not be accepted. Click here to read our Consignment Terms & Conditions.
Q: Do you accept trade-ins toward the purchase of a new or used saddle?
A: No. It is a financial loss we can not sustain. We are happy to help sell your saddle but can not accept as a trade in.
Q: Will you look at a Western saddle's fit?
A: Yes. Many of the same principles apply to a Western saddle's fit that apply to an English saddle's fit. There are specific things about Western saddles that make them unique in their fitting requirements and we are happy to help you in understanding what they are. Western saddles can't be adjusted in the same way as an English saddle due to their construction so the fitting solutions are limited.