reach your potential
Most modern horse riders understand the importance of a properly fitted saddle but unknowingly sabotage their own riding and the performance of their horse by missing the signs of a sub-optimal fitting saddle.
A VH Saddlery consultation will help you determine if your saddle is having a negative impact on your riding, your horse's performance or well-being, and what options will better suit you and your horse.
Does this sound Familiar?
- You have tried every saddle on the planet and nothing seems to fit your horse
- You have taken your saddle to multiple fitters but something still doesn't feel right
- You have spend countless dollars on weekly lessons and you just don't seem to be riding any better
- You have sent your horse for professional training to solve behavioural problems that just keep coming back
- You try so hard to improve your position but always feel like you are off balance or tipping forward
- You feel unstable in the saddle which makes you feel nervous every time you ride, making it unenjoyable
- Your have spent your life savings on a horse that should be capable of achieving top marks but just can't seem to perform at the level you would expect.
why is this happening?
Most riders can recognise obvious signs their saddle does not fit such as:
- Saddle slippage
- Refusal to move forward
- Sore back
But they may miss more subtle signs including:
- Disuniting in canter
- Irregular lateral work
- Unwillingness to work over back
- Breaking gaits
- Depression where the saddle sits.
- Late flying changes
- Reluctance to move in an uphill manner
- Irregular steps walking downhill
As riders we are always quick to blame ourselves for poor balance, insecurity in the saddle and ineffective use of aids. But a poor fitting saddle will make it...
to achieve optimal positioning in the saddle.
how can vh saddlery help?
As a veterinarian, International competitor and top-level dressage coach, Dr Victoria Hamilton has unique and extensive expertise of equine anatomy and rider biomechanics. She has conducted extensive research to better understand how saddles impact rider position and the natural movement of horses, and uses this knowledge to help riders find the best solution in saddlery.
Our consultations involve an in-depth evaluation to determine what issues, if any, your saddle is causing, and recommendations of what saddles would be better meet the needs of you and your horse.
Victoria's knowledge is second to none, ensuring the best result for every horse and rider.
world class saddles
All VH Saddles have undergone stringent testing to guarantee the highest quality and superior fit.
horses come first
The comfort and well-being of your horse is our first priority and will never be compromised.
trusted by wa's top riders
grand prix dressage rider
I have been lucky enough to train with Victoria Hamilton with many different horses since 1998. Each horse has had its own strengths and weaknesses, but Victoria possesses an uncanny ability to understand each horse on their own merit and works closely with me to bring out their best. Victoria is calm, patient, and generous with her never-ending knowledge. Her attention to detail and empathy with the horse and riding is amazing. I believe it is these qualities that have helped me train my horses from freshly backed 3-year old’s right through to winning the state championships at Grand Prix level. Throughout all training Victoria always has the welfare of the horse as her foremost concern and works hard to help me and my horse understand what is being asked and why. If something is not working, Victoria changes tact and finds a way we can both understand. I hope to continue to train with Victoria for many more years as I value her opinion, her knowledge and her friendship
Photo credit: OneEyedFrog Photography
high performance para equestrian squad rider
I have been receiving coaching from Victoria Hamilton since 2012, when I first got back into riding after having kids and losing my confidence. Victoria took me and my no-frills older thoroughbred on when I my ambition was to “ride a bit nicer” but not to do anything “serious.” I have since made it into the WA Para Equestrian High Performance Dressage Squad on my warmbloods, competing in the Tokyo Paralympic selection events in Victoria in 2019. Along the way we also competed in show horse and breed classes, improving and achieving high levels every year. Victoria has worked with me to find what works best for me in terms of my health limitations, as well as taking into consideration my life circumstances of living rurally and having a family. I have found Vicky to be a wealth of knowledge in regard to riding, equestrian health and biomechanics, and as a highly skilled rider herself, which gives me someone to aspire to emulate. I highly recommend Vicky for anyone who wants to improve their riding and their horse’s health and longevity, as she is able to improve the fundamental basics which are required in every discipline.
what does a consultation involve?
The step by step process of finding the perfect saddle for you and your horse
step one: Initial phone Consultation
We arrange a suitable time for an initial conversation via phone or email to find out some details about you and your horse:
Step two: face-to-face
Riders able to travel with their horse will be invited to attend Victoria's property in Sawyers Valley for a face-to-face consultation. During this consultation Victoria will:
Step three: Ordering
Once you have decided which saddle is right for you and your horse, it's time to place your order.
We often have off-the-shelf ranges in stock... and in many cases you can take them home the day of the consultation! But if you need adjustments or want a particularly model we don't currently have in stock, we will place an order for you as soon as payment is received, to ensure you receive your saddle asap!
Custom saddles need to be measured, which can also usually be done on the day of the consultation. Once the measurements are done, you get to customise your saddle! This involves choosing patterns, colours and styles for flaps, welts, cantles and more. Once payment is received we can order your new saddle which generally takes between 4-8 weeks to arrive.
What riders say about our saddles
The new Discovery Dressage Saddle is by far one of the most comfortable saddles I have ridden in. The Discovery saddle offers a variety of gullet widths that allows my warmblood horse Winston (Everton Churchill) complete freedom through the shoulder and back, while not compromising the rider’s position. With its soft seat, narrow twist (waist) and close leg contact my aids are applied with little effort for maximum results. The Discovery saddle has managed to get three things right, a narrow twist for the rider, versatility of gullet sizes to fit thoroughbreds and warmbloods all at an affordable price that will fit most budgets.
Photo Credit: Meimipix
I can finally ride without any discomfort! I have an 18-month-old daughter and before having her I would ride in any saddle you put me in. But after having her I had trouble with a sore coccyx if I rode more than two days in a row. On top of that I have a 5-year-old Clydie X who is still growing and limited to wide range saddles, so I was struggling to enjoy riding. When my saddle fitter told me about VH Saddlery and their Discovery saddles I was up for trying anything. I had a few rides in the dressage saddle and loved it! It is so comfortable, puts me in a great position and is supportive. I had my dressage saddle for about a month and decided “I needed” a jump saddle as well. I have received fantastic service and support from VH Saddlery and would highly recommend them to anyone.
Victoria’s knowledge of her saddle brands and focus on the welfare and comfort of my ponies is exceptional. The focus on the location of girth points and set up is so refreshing. Her input in regard to my pony’s weight from a vet’s perspective was invaluable. I have made a few simple changes and gained unbelievable results. I have been very frustrated for many years purchasing more saddles than you would like to know, and Harry has never been able to move under saddle as he did in the paddock. Since changing to a Discovery Dressage on a WB tree people cannot believe it is the same pony. He is loose, relaxed, willingly forward, able to bend around my leg and has cadence, all of which he used to find too hard. Percy was always anxious while being saddled and ridden, tight and generally not working anywhere near his potential. Now in a Discovery Dressage on a TB tree he stands quietly while being saddled, relaxing over the back and gaining confidence. I could go on for ever about how grateful I am.
we have been lead to believe
Fitting a saddle is as easy as changing a gullet and re-flocking.
BUT THERE IS FAR MORE TO IT THAN THAT.
BUT THERE IS FAR MORE TO IT THAN THAT.
to find the perfect saddle we must consider
Gullet shape, width and angle
Seat shape and size
Flap length and cut
knee roll depth, length, shape and Position
Tree twist, materials and size
Gusset lengths, depth and position
girth strap positioning and design
more from our riders
In the short time I have owned the Discovery Dressage Saddle there has been a dramatic improvement in my position and my horse’s movement, which has been reflected by the judges’ comments and marks. It is an extremely comfortable saddle that has helped me enormously by aligning my position and allowing me to communicate better with my horse.
I am thrilled with the way Crystal de Luxe is working since being fitted with her new Discovery Dressage Saddle. The improvement has been incredible and helped us on our way to 2nd at the 2019 Rubber Gem WA State Dressage Championships.
I had lost hope in finding a saddle, sat in 30+ major European and English brand saddles. Never got that immediate yes feeling. The Ryder Zara was the first in the range of the VH Saddles I tried on. I immediately loved it.
Every ride counts now, I can sit the bigger trot. I feel connected in my seat and through with the horse.
do you need to see my horse?
Ideally yes. There are options for doing online or video consultations, or using your local saddle fitter, if you live rurally, remotely or interstate. I'm am happy to discuss this further in the initially consultation.
Do you travel?
Generally no. But there are a some occasions where I attend events and clubs, and may be able to arrange to meet you for a consultation.
where are you located?
VH Saddlery is located in Sawyers Valley. We have an undercover arena with great mirrors and plenty of float parking.
What happens if i live rurally or remotely?
There are options for doing online or video consultations, or using your local saddle fitter, if you live rurally, remotely or interstate. I'm am happy to discuss this further in the initially consultation.
what if my horse is currently out of work?
It is not ideal to buy a saddle for a horse that is out of work as their back shape will not be indicative of what it will be like when they are in work and also a major part of the saddle trial process is seeing how the horse moves in the different saddles and how the rider sits.
Do you do saddle fittings?
We do not offer saddle fittings, but we do measure horses to ensure your new saddle fits upon arrival, offer advice for care and maintenance, and can recommend suitably qualified fitters who specialise in fitting our saddles for the future.
Do I have to ride my horse at the consultation?
Ideally yes. There are some cases where this is not possible. We can discuss options depending on your individual circumstances.
How long does it take for saddles to arrive?
We always have saddles in stock, but depending on the individual needs of you and your horse, and the brand you select, we may need to order a saddle in. They can take anywhere between 2-8 weeks to arrive depending on various factors.
What if i'm not sure whether my saddle is a problem and i just need some advice?
We are always happy to help. If you're not sure whether you need a new saddle be in touch and we an decide how to proceed from there.
Do i have to buy a saddle through VH Saddlery after my consultation?
Not at all! We are confident we have a saddle to suit every horse and rider. However, if you decide for whatever reason you do not wish to purchase a saddle through VH Saddlery, you are under no obligation to do so. We always put the needs of the horse and rider first and would never recommend a saddle unless we are 100% confident it is perfect for you and your horse. We keep detailed notes so if you decide later on to make the purchase we will know which ones were your favourites.
HAve more questions?
Give us a call or send us an email. We are always happy to help.
E: firstname.lastname@example.org P: 0407 773 582