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How To Become A Saddle Fitter In Australia

Many people confuse a saddler and a saddle fitter, even though they are two distinct occupations that are closely connected

How To Become A Saddle Fitter In Australia

Do you want to change careers and work as a saddle fitter in Australia? Here's what you should know. Many people confuse a saddler and a saddle fitter, even though they are two distinct occupations that are closely connected.
Simply put, a saddler is someone who works at a bench, making saddlery items, repairs, and makes adjustments, whereas a saddle fitter works with horses and riders in the field, ensuring a good fit and delivering new saddles as needed.
Saddlers are highly talented persons who can manufacture intricate leatherwork such as bridles, saddles, and harnesses.

As a saddler you will:
1. Create saddles, harnesses, and bridles from scratch.
2. Repair saddlery and gear.
3. Re-flock saddles

Learning the craft requires time and effort, but demand for fitters has never been higher, making now an excellent moment to retrain.
If you enjoy horses, becoming a saddle fitter might provide you with numerous opportunities. You must understand how you can improve a horse's comfort and movement.

There is a high demand for qualified saddle fitters right now, particularly in Australia. Waiting lists for qualified saddle fitters can be six to eight weeks long, and you can work seven days a week and still have too much work, so now is an excellent time to start.

Pros And Cons Of Being A Saddle Fitter


1. Being a saddle fitter and rider allows you to swiftly determine whether a problem is caused by the saddle, the horse, or the rider.
2. It may open up doors you were unaware existed.


1. Training can be difficult because there is a lot to learn.

How To Be A Qualified Saddle Fitter In Australia

A good saddle fitter is more than just a salesperson. You only need solid commercial values to become a saddle salesman. To become a saddle fitter, you must first complete specialized training. You must be schooled in horse anatomy, pathology, training, biomechanics, conformation, rider influences, and, of course, everything about saddles and proper fit. Everything for the horse's well-being.

The Saddlers' and Harness Makers' Association of Australia (SHMAA) is a regulatory organization for saddlers and saddle fitters in Australia that also conducts a training program for recruits.
To become a fitter, you must first train as a saddler or work with someone who is an SHMAA licensed saddler, as they will be able to adjust the saddles for you.

You can also work with a shop or another saddle fitter who has stock.
Once you've chosen a saddler to work with (who could be from a manufacturer), it takes three to four years to qualify as a saddle fitter.

How To Get Started As A Saddle Fitter

Saddlers and saddle fitters are both jobs in the saddlery industry, with many people working in both. Saddlers are educated, talented, and qualified to create and repair saddlery and leatherwork such as bridles, harnesses, and saddles. Based on initial inspections, a saddle fitter is a professionally qualified individual who can fit an appropriate saddle to the horse and rider.

Whether you want to be a saddler, a saddle fitter, or a combination of the two, these vocations will provide you with variety and the opportunity to create a particular trade.
To begin working as a saddle fitter, you must first find horse owners, which can be a time-consuming effort. When you join the Saddlers' and Harness Makers' Association of Australia, you can begin working right away (SHMAA). They have branches in all of Australia's states and cities. Another advantage of joining SHMAA is that they may get excellent materials and "hard to find" things.

Job Opportunities As A Saddle Fitter

Because you have 3 to 4 years of experience as a saddler and saddle fitter, you are qualified for any work prospects as:

1. Saddler

Saddlers are those who have been trained, skilled, and qualified to build and repair saddlery and harnesses.

2. Harness Maker

Individuals who specialize in harness making are known as harness makers. They are trained, talented, and qualified to construct and repair harnesses.

3. Bridal Maker

Bridle makers are those who specialize in bridlework. They have bridlework training and experience.


Saddle fitters can be an important component of a horse's success, whether for pleasure or competition. A poorly fitted saddle can create pain and subsequent welfare and behavior issues in a horse. When performing your assessments, you will take a holistic approach to your work and look at the horse and rider as a whole, taking into account horse and rider biomechanics, fitness levels, and type of work.

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