I have had my Equiflex NRHA short reiner for a year and love it. Before my fitting my horse had back pain due to a poorly fitting saddle and following physio and the custom fit saddle he is now in great shape. Maria took the time to get everything right, from fit to the extras I wanted, such as colours, silver and tooling. I would definitely recommend Maria's services and it is worth the investment for an authentic saddle and peace of mind that my horse has kit that is not causing discomfort or behavioural problems.
Rosie & Colonel 24/09/18
I originally contacted Maria In 2015 as I had a Quarter horse who had outgrown his original western saddle which I had purchased from the breeder. Having no idea where to go to purchase another saddle or who to talk to, I found quite by chance, The Western Saddler's web site. Once i spoke with Maria I knew I had made the right choice. Maria was so helpful and didn't mind how many times I emailed, texted or called with numerous questions she was always patient and helpful. Eventually we managed to arrange a date for her to come and see my beautiful boy Kodah. His back was very sore due to his previous saddle pinching and as he had not been ridden for some time due to saddle. I was rather anxious how he would react to trying out a new saddle as he was still young only 8 years old. Maria was very patient and after trying on several saddle moulds for size and shape Maria had an old saddle for me to try which she thought would fit based on the photos I had sent her. This was a great fit and Kodah loved it so much that he made rather a lot of fuss over Maria to say thank you. I ordered a new version of this saddle which arrived in October 2015 and Kodah and I had some great times. Unfortunately my story does not end there as my boy had an awful accident in the field in February 2017 and I had to have him put to sleep in May 2017. At this low point in my life I did not think I ever wanted another horse so my lovely saddle sat in the tack room gathering dust until June 2018 this year. At this point I had purchased a 16 3 (I was told he was 16 1) Clydesdale gelding called Teddy who needed a good home after a rather rough start in life, I inherited bad feet, bad back and a horse that didn't have a lot of faith in humans and had a rather jaundiced view of English saddles. So I called Maria and gave her my rather sad story. Her answer was "don't worry I will come and take a look and see what can be done" So last month Maria came all the way from Hampshire to Middlesex together with a car full of saddles. Out came the western saddle onto Teddy's back. I had been dreading this as I was sure there was no way it was going to fit and and I would lose the last bit of my boy. However a miracle happened and neither Maria nor I could believe it the saddle fitted. Maria put it on without the pad then with the pad tried the mould of the saddle and even got up on the saddle to make sure and yes it definitely fitted. At this point we just hugged each other and shed a few tears as well. The chances of this saddle fitting a Quarter horse and a Clydesdale were so slim I had resigned myself to giving it up. So it just goes to show how versatile western saddles are compared to English/European saddles and maybe just maybe my boy was looking down at me and granted my last wish. Thank you Maria for all your help and patience and if anyone says western saddle to me I say call Maria at the Western Saddler.you will be so pleased you did.
Shirley, Kodah ❤️ & Teddy 15/07/18
- Over a year down the line and I'm still very happy with my saddle from TWS. The time Maria took to fit it to my horse was definitely time well spent. Before ordering she came out with a number of different trees to make sure she had the best fit. Once my saddle arrived she came back out to check the fit and advise on the best pad and shimming to ensure my horse was as comfortable as possible. She was extra careful with fit as my horse had some back issues, and took this in to account when advising on which saddle I should have. She watched me ride in the saddle, checking that it wasn't pinching anywhere and spent a long time making sure both she, my horse and I were happy with the fit. I've been on many long trail rides since buying my saddle, and my horse has never shown any sign of soreness, the saddle stays perfectly in place and I've been able to adjust the shimming in the pad Maria recommended to allow for seasonal weight changes. Thanks for a great service Maria Leo and I have really appreciated your knowledge throughout.
We ride on Dartmoor in all weather and inevitably, across all types of terrain. Eight years ago Maria came and spent an hour with each horse getting just the right saddle (we have a quarter horse and a part bred Arab with very different needs), and making sure the fit was perfect. The saddles have stayed in excellent shape and remained comfortable for horses and riders so when I got a new young Arab the obvious place to go was back to The Western Saddler to find a western saddle to fit. Maria is a joy to work with, reassuringly concerned to get the detail right and explaining clearly how the fit is specific to my horse’s shape (it was a real eye-opener to realise that my slight young Arab is wider across her shoulders and rib cage than my stocky older quarter horse). I am confident my new horse will be as comfortable in her saddle as our others have been for the past eight years and can’t recommend Maria, her saddles and her saddle fitting highly enough.
Thank you so much Maria for all of your help. It’s beautiful and so comfortable (Patrick agrees with that part too). Hoping to spend many hours across many miles in it.
Chris & Patrick 19/10/17
I am very happy with the care you have taken to make sure everything was correctly fitting, particularly as he is a native pony and required custom made saddle, headstall and breast collar. May I say your care was exemplary and he is working very well.
Meryl & Mr Jamie Fish 05/10/17
I contacted Maria with regard to fitting a western saddle for my Irish cob. She arrived with a car-load of saddles and trees and was very thorough in making sure the fit was just right, explaining everything to me as she went – her knowledge is phenomenal! It took a while but we did find a perfect fit. Maria showed me how to saddle up and watched me riding, checking the fit of the saddle while my horse was moving to see if any adjustments were needed. My saddle was made to order, along with the cinch and saddle pad, and a few weeks later I became the proud owner of a beautiful Pullman saddle with acorn tooling, ostrich seat, with stirrups and conchos engraved to match the tooling. It really is stunning and has been much admired. Maria’s enthusiasm and expertise were invaluable throughout the whole process, and I would not hesitate to recommend her services most highly.
Maria has made my horse Joe a very happy boy!!! So very pleased with his made to measure western saddle…. it’s so nice to be able to tack him up and him not pull a face… it’s so very comfortable for me too and not so heavy to lift up onto him… teamed with a beautiful saddle pad and cinch.
I can recommend both the saddle and Maria's fitting. I have had mine nearly two years now and done around 200 hours riding in it and it is so comfortable for both Lulu and I. Used with the Mattes pad it fits perfectly. Although this is the expensive option, it is worth it. I have spent so much on secondhand saddles which did not fit correctly over the years. I would not use any other fitter or pad.
I recently purchased two ‘World Class Equine Deluxe Western Saddle Cases’ from The Western Saddler and I couldn’t be more pleased! These products are top quality and the choice of colours is brilliant, the option of embroidery is great too! I also purchased a ‘World Class Equine Deluxe Blanket bag’ and a ‘World Class Equine Chap bag’ – the same high quality as the saddle covers and I’m extremely pleased.
Maria’s communication has been brilliant – the ordering of the items was simple and Maria managed expectations in relation to delivery (from USA), I am really very impressed with all these products – another great reason to order great products from The Western Saddler – highly recommended!!!
“I bought my first Quarter Horse this year, a beautiful black mare called Vandys Orions Bar. This was my first step into the world of western riding and I wanted to start out right. With lots of recommendations I called Maria out to fit Vandy. Maria came a long way with a car full of saddles to try. She explained to me how a western saddle is different to English and the importance of a good fit. She took the time to chat to me about our needs and assess Vandy’s shape, watching us ride and how the saddle fitted while in motion. Maria is very knowledgeable and approachable and goes out of her way to help. I would recommend her to anyone.”
“I bought my first QH in April 2012 and, through a recommendation from a trainer, I contacted Maria at TWS for a made to measure Western saddle. Maria was really helpful, she travelled a long distance to meet me and spent time trying different types/sizes of trees on my mare. Western saddle fit seems to be a bit of a mine field but Maria explained the principals clearly and I felt confident with her advice. My saddle was made to order, I chose the colour of the leather, the silver detailing on the skirt and it was great that I could have a non standard Equiflex tree fitted. 2013 has been my first show season and me and my gorgeous QH mare have enjoyed every minute, she’s much fitter, i’m much more knowledgeable than I was 18 months ago and I would recommend TWS for your saddlery needs”.
“Maria came out to help me with the fit of my existing saddle, which I had been riding with my horse in for a few weeks. She was able to show me how the saddle was not a terrible fit, but also that it could be improved by using a shimmed saddle pad to balance it out and lift it off my horse’s loins. My mare immediately started carrying herself more correctly and found it much easier to bend on the circle. Maria’s understanding equine physiology and how the shape and structure of the saddle interact with the horse in movement equip her very well for saddle fitting and I strongly recommend her.”
Ben Moxon 10/09/13
“I recently asked Maria to come to my yard to measure up and fit a western saddle for my American Quarter Horse. This was my first every experience with having a western saddle fitted and I am so pleased that I found Maria to do this for me. I received a fantastic service, both before and during the fitting, with an amazing product, and at a very respectable price too. What I am really pleased with is the on going after care that she offers too. Thank you so much Maria, from myself and Sparky.”
Barry Collyer 19/05/13