At JRD Saddlery, we have redefined what ‘custom’ means in saddle making!
The options for customization are practically endless. Once you have ridden in one of our Make-To-Measure saddles, you will never want to ride in any other brand of saddle again. Our saddles are highly specialized to maximize you and your horse's comfort and performance. We will walk you through our saddle making process and discuss the options for customization below.
Here are just a few of the things that make us different from other brands...
First, we start with a laminated wood and steel tree. The wood offers the right amount of give, while the steel keeps the tree strong and maintains its shape. The structure of the tree is extremely important and can negatively impact the horse's back if done incorrectly. The steel across the pommel keeps the head of the tree immobile.
We also take into consideration the length of the points, which are where the tree ends underneath the stirrup bars. The height of the horse's withers should determine the length of the points.
The waist should be wide enough that the tree does not create pressure points above the the horse's trapezius muscles. We use three different widths depending on the horse's trapezius muscles.
Next, we build the base of the seat of your saddle using large strips of nylon. This nylon is pulled very tightly and attached to the tree to create the desired flatness and curvature of the seat in order to provide the optimal balance of the seat for both horse and rider. The shape in which the nylon for the seat is adjusted is what develops the “twist” of the saddle.
After the base of the seat has been constructed, we begin building the remainder of the seat to the specific measurements of the rider. A thick layer of foam is put on the seat and then shaved to conform to the structure of the rider’s body. This helps to further fine tune the balance of the seat enabling the rider to sit exactly in the correct position and remain in perfect balance with the horse.
We then proceed crafting the exterior of the saddle including stretching leather over the seat, making the panels, and shaping the flaps. All of JRD’s saddles are flocked with 100% wool flocking, which will not add extra heat on the horse’s back or for clumps like synthetic fibers do. All Make-To-Measure saddles have flaps that are cut to fit the rider’s legs and allows for the rider to choose how straight they want their legs to fall.
The thigh blocks or knee rolls are custom fit to each rider’s legs. They can be as small or large as the rider prefers. We can create anything from very little support to full knee and thigh stability.
Your saddle is then shipped to you. Within 3 months after you receive your saddle, the saddle will be checked for fit.