“The definition of a saddler is a“
If you are totally new to the world of horses, then this short explanation of what a saddler is should help..
It’s not a definitive description as times are changing and with that people are having to adapt to new ways of working just to earn a living.
The definition above states that a saddler is a person who makes, repair or sells saddlery.
Do you know what saddlery is?
However with modern day technology it is not unusual to mail order from anywhere in the world.
As well as making and repairing saddlery, some Saddlers will restore antique saddles, such as side saddles.
Some Saddlers are also qualified as Saddle Fitters but this is not a mandatory requirement.
Training to become a qualified Saddler is possible within three or four years by undertaking their Level 2 and Level 3 City and Guilds saddlery qualifications individually.
However, if given the choice undertaking a 4-year apprenticeship with a Master Saddler is by far the best option.
Qualified Saddlers are only able to classify themselves as ‘Master Saddler’ once they have been working in the trade for a minimum of 7 years.
Saddle making is an ancient skill.
Tools and techniques have advanced over the years but the basics have remained the same.
The best saddles are made-to-measure as this will ensure a good fit for both the horse and rider.
Leather colour, softness and overall design of the saddle is discussed to suit the customers’ requirements.
Traditional Saddlers can tan the leather themselves.
Although these days there is such a multitude of different leathers available from tanneries so this isn’t always necessary.
Traditional saddlers will hand stitch saddles but Manufacturers have access to fancy machinery that can speed up the process.
The price of custom made saddles cannot compare with that of the cheaper manufactured saddles so modern day Saddlers have had to adapt their skills.
Repairing and making other items in leather, such as boots, bags, belts, jackets is commonplace simply to make a regular living.
You’ll never be rich being a saddler but the freedom, flexibility and job satisfaction far outweighs that.