Some Important Tips

·          On your quest to learn more about this fading art, you may come across a great variety of information on the internet that could easily lead you astray.  Sidesaddle riding is a wonderful part of the equestrian tradition, but riding sidesaddle is something that must be done responsibly. Jumping into it without proper research and information could potentially yield negative results. You could cause pain or injury to your horse by choosing an ill-fitting saddle, you could cause pain or injury to your horse. One should never be cavalier about this aspect of horsemanship.  Your best option is to find your nearest Sidesaddle Association and contact someone there to help get you started. The ladies of the sidesaddle community are very helpful and excited to help more people carry on this tradition.  If you are bereft of local people, then join Facebook and look into the sidesaddle groups on this social media outlet. Some of the most known sidesaddle luminaries are at your disposal. Links are in the left margin.  We encourage you to take your information from valid sources, and try to gather as much information about sidesaddle products and information as possible before you spend the money and dive right in.

·          This listing is based primarily on the sources for new sidesaddles—although several of the companies listed also sell and restore vintage sidesaddles.  Vintage saddles are often quite desirable; however it is imperative that the fit is good. Please remember that older sidesaddles were designed for use on non-modern horses, which means horses with tall, narrow withers. Have your saddler verify the fit of a vintage saddle on your horse to insure a comfortable ride for both you and your horse.

·          The sidesaddle community has a range of opinions of what new saddle brands are best.  Although Asian imports are often frowned upon by many, some people believe that as starter-saddles, there are some brands manufactured in India and Pakistan worth purchasing—however many believe that they may require some modification for safe use.  We recommend, as first-time buyers, that you research the brands, and also join sidesaddle communities on Facebook and other social media, and get in touch with a local Sidesaddle Association, where there is a fount of experience and resources to help you pursue this discipline in the safest, most fulfilling way.

·        Most experienced saddlers will not modify or do work on Asian brands. If you plan to purchase an Asian brand saddle that you think may require some modification, be sure to contact your local saddler to see if they are willing to work with the saddle before your purchase it. Some brands are just too badly made to be properly modified and some saddlers won’t touch them. So don’t jump on what might appear to be a bargain unless you’ve done some research, or it could cost you more than you wanted to spend.

·          The best option for everyone, including the horse, is the custom saddle. Sidesaddles require an inordinately good fit in order to be comfortable for the horse and the rider.  These saddles, naturally, will be higher-end and higher-dollar, however their durability and quality is unmatched. We encourage you to support the individuals who practice this dying art.

·          Many of the export and manufacturing and retail companies may have produced, sold or shipped sidesaddles in the past and that is why they are on this listing, in spite of having no evidence of sidesaddles on their respective websites.  It’s only a matter of making a phone-call or sending an email for clarification.

·          If you find any errors in this listing, or you are aware of a source for sidesaddles, sidesaddle-related services such as seamstressing/tailoring (habits/apparel, pads, saddle covers), accessories and tack (bridles, girths, etc), fitting, flocking, lessons, etc or sidesaddle associations that are not listed above, please send details to Stephanie Johanesen. Email and details are in the downloadable PDF version of this listing.

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