N.California Saddle Fitter Recommendations

I’ve searched COTH to find some of the old posts on recommended saddle fitters in Northern California but they are so old, I don’t know if the fitters are still around OR if there are any other recommendations.

I’m in the Sacramento area and looking for someone to evaluate my current saddle fit. I’m a bit confused because I purchased my saddle to fit my (then) new horse … and I am still riding that same horse in the same saddle. Two separate fitters agreed it was a good fit at varying times a few years ago. I try to have my saddle evaluated every other year or so and when I found out a fitter was coming to my barn, I figured I would get my saddle checked out just to be sure all was well. I was told this time it doesn’t fit my horse. So now I’m totally confused.

So who do you recommend? I’ve seen the name David Gilpin quite a bit. The saddle I have is a Custom so I considered calling Custom to have their saddle fitter come out - they have quite a few listed, I believe it is Stacey Berger. I just don’t want someone who is brand biased. Although I do absolutely LOVE my Custom, if it doesn’t fit my horse, then that’s priority number one. I’m just not sure how this saddle was approved by two different fitters, both well trained, and now I hear the tree doesn’t fit my horse. That’s a huge disconnect. I certainly do not want to be unfair by using a saddle that does not fit my horse at all. Before I moved here, I searched out saddle fitters trained by Mike Scott because I was always impressed with them and apparently his training courses are fantastic. The rep trained by Mike Scott in the area is Eileen Fenwick. But others listed on Mike’s page that aren’t too far are Gail Phillips in Smartsville, CA and Kelly Robinson in Sonoma County, CA.

Can anyone give any insight on any of the people I’ve found online so far or make any other recommendations? I’ve seen the “saddles that fit” option as well. Never have used them so that could be a possibility. I just want someone who is very experienced and will be honest to take into account my horse’s best interest and well being … not selling one of their saddles. I’m not beyond getting a few different fitters to give me a few different opinions just to be sure I’m doing what is best for my horse.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Why don’t you come over to Murieta for the championships? There are a bunch if saddle sellers and fitters there, and just about everyone you’d want to give you a recommendation.

I so wish I could. I am sadly going to be out of town.

In Sac, you have Stacy from Custom Saddlery. Schleese comes to Vacaville (look up Christiane Noelting Dressage Center) several times a year. SaddlesThatFit.com is in Plymouth. There are several others in the Bay Area, and Lemke is near Reno and comes to the area a few times/year. There may be others, but that is a good start.

I think Limelite saddlery cover your area, another one to investigate.

Here is another possibility - Christensen’s Saddlery in Loomis where you trailer in.


Julie Nelson at Dresch http://www.saddlerydresch.com is AMAZING. They are out of Dublin, and she travels to your area. She used to work for Custom I believe, so she would know how to work with your saddle.

I highly recommend David Gilpin. Talented, honest, and not brand-biased. He comes to N. California once a month from Utah usually about now.

Talk to Sarah at http://sapphiresaddlery.myshopify.com/ She an independent saddle fitter trained by The Society of Master Saddlers.

Keep in mind that you may void your warranty if you don’t use a rep from custom.

Tough situation to be in but I would start with the custom rep and if that doesn’t fix the issue, get a second opinion from someone else.

I’ve used Saddles that Fit numerous times for both reflocking a dressage saddle and demo-ing/purchasing a new saddle. They will spend a lot of time with you putting the saddle on the horse, having you ride, making adjustments, having you ride again, etc.

I would not go to Christensen’s for a saddle fitting. Nope, nope, nope.