TRIAL CONDITIONS ON ITEMS IN STOCK
Apart from occasional Sale items, we offer TRIALS on all saddles purchased directly out of the saddlery (ie not forward or custom ordered). Our aim is for you to get the very best possible saddle for you and your horse and to be really happy with your purchase. We do not sell saddles with any guarantee of fit or suitability, this is why we offer Trials which allow the customer to make their own decision or to obtain an independant assessment from a professional saddle fitter.
If you order custom made items of any sort, the Conditions apply that are detailed in the section below on TRIAL CONDITIONS ON NON-STOCK ITEMS.
For saddles in stock that you wish to take on trial, we work together with tracings, photos and discussion, to identify the saddle most likely to suit you and your horse. You then purchase the saddle and pay postage (plus an optional $20 transit insurance) and I post it out to you. The current cost of Postage & Packing to North Island customers is $60 and to South Island customers is $70.
The Standard Trail period is 7 days from you receiving the saddle to it arriving back here at the Saddlery. So firstly, please notify us of its safe arrival. If you find weather conditions, late delivery or some other issue make this timeline too short then just get in touch and we can usually agree to an extension but we do not give extensions retrospectively. If an extension has not been agreed in writing within the 7 day trial period, all items will be considered sold after a week and a refund will not generally be available if saddles are returned more than a week after receipt.
Whilst you have the saddle I ask that you keep in touch and if you want help I can talk you through a range of methods for assessing the fit, once you have the saddle there on your horse. I suggest that you have a ride in it to see if you and your horse like it. If you think you do then have another ride to be sure and trotting and hills are best for checking out the fit for you both :-) However, be aware that if the saddle becomes marked then it cannot be returned so best to avoid riding in the rain, make sure your boots are clean, do not ride in trousers that have studs on the pockets which will mark the seat and make sure your saddle pad is clean and long enough to ensure the saddle does not sit on the horse’s back and get sweaty. These are the most likely causes of marks to a saddle but you need to look after it. I have never had a customer cause significant damage to a saddle to date and be unable to return it but I have had to charge for the replacement of a pommel cover that was badly scratched by finger nails and another by a staple in the box.
If you wish to return the saddle, please give me a call first. On a number of occasions a fitting issue or other concern has been resolved and the customer has been pleased to keep the saddle or puchase an alternative. If we do not have the opportunity to discuss an issue prior to the saddle being sent back, it makes it extremely difficult to identify if an alternative saddle is likely to be a better option. If you are unsure but did not have a ride in it, again this makes it almost impossible for us to suggest a suitable alternative with any confidence. If you like the saddle, then please have at least a short ride in it. It is difficult to be sure whether a saddle fits or not without sitting in it and getting the horse to move and take up the shape it normally has when under saddle (which can be very different from standing still!) The saddle pad thickness and rider’s riding style can also have a significant impact on the fit.
If the saddle is returned unmarked, then I will refund the purchase price minus $100 (inc GST). This charge is negotiable if you choose to subsequently trial another saddle. This is why it is really important to get in touch whilst you have the saddle so that we can identify what aspect is not right for you and your horse.
Sometimes people are very undecided between two designs and I post them both so that they can make a direct comparison of the fit and feel of the saddle, with them both there at the same time. It means an extra investment in the postage but provides the most certainty that you have got the best option. Postage is also still cheaper than diesel to truck a horse from anything over 4 hrs away. But if you come here you can ride in as many as you like. If you trial two saddles at the same time, and keep one of them, there will be no $100 charge for the one that is returned.
The saddle is mailed at the customer's risk but we offer an optional full insurance cover. The full conditions for trialling a saddle are stated above but in summary:
TRIALS Saddles taken on trial must be returned within 7 days, unmarked and in the same condition in which they were sent out. Saddle pads and girths cannot be returned if they have been used.
TRIAL CONDITIONS ON NON-STOCK AND CUSTOM-MADE ITEMS
Custom made saddles and items of tack
A non-refundable deposit will be required before we can start making custom items. For most custom saddles this will usually be $2000. For other items of tack the deposit will be 50% of the RRP.
Custom made items are not sold on a Trial basis and cannot be returned if unsuitable (please note that the normal manufacturer’s warranty still applies on all purchases including a 5 year industry standard guarantee on the trees), therefore please check the order specifications very carefully to ensure that they reflect exactly what you want.
We therefore strongly advise that a fitting is carried out prior to placing a forward order.