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Side Saddle Repairs (and a fitting if we are lucky?)

Branching out and looking to refurbish/refit my mom’s side saddle to her horse. I have no idea where to turn, side saddle fitters are not the most common or I am just totally out of the loop (which I am). Located in the Myopia Hunt area and would love some recommendations on reliable people that could put new panels on (linen and wool), overall check the soundness of stitching, and make sure its safe to ride in and a good enough fit for my moms horse. I am aware that there seems to be more popularity of side saddle down in Virginia, the Middleburg area in particular and I am open to saddlers in that area as well (anything for an excuse to go down there!) Anyway, I would love some names or Facebook groups or people to contact for some help in this area. The saddle in question is an old (early 1900s) Mayhew, stamped with Saddlers to the King so before the late Queen assumed the throne but it’s actually in pretty great condition, but definitely needs new paneling. Thanks so much for the help!

You could try Cherry Blossom Farm in Middleburg. She may be able to help you directly, or refer you to someone else who can. https://www.cherryblossomfarmva.com/

There’s also the International Sidesaddle Association, they have a website and a Facebook page and could also make recommendations.


thank you!

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Oops, I meant to say International Sidesaddle Organization :woman_facepalming: They’re generally active in the eastern U.S. and have traditionally held an annual days-long clinic at USET in NJ. https://www.sidesaddle.com/

There’s also the American Sidesaddle Association, that generally attracts participants from the Ohio etc. region. Outside where you’re looking but I thought I’d mention them since they’re the other big (in a relative sense) active group.

You could also ask for guidance in the FB group This Old Side Saddle, that’s specifically dedicated to repairing and refurbishing old sidesaddles. You might post some photos there and ask for an opinion on your saddle. That it’s your mom’s saddle is pretty cool!

There’s a handful of FB groups out there, one I follow is Sidesaddle Riders (Sidesaddle riders) which is dedicated to sidesaddles, from history to current sidesaddle adventures to stuff for sale. Many of the posters are in the UK which has a much larger community than the U.S.Here, we’re a big country with a small sidesaddle presence so it can be a real challenge to connect in person. However from my experience, those who ride aside are extremely generous and willing to help others as much as possible.

On the Hunt Outfitters (on FB) seems to have some good contacts which may be helpful!

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Message Laura Dempsey in the UK. She is THE side saddle expert. She will be able to guide you.

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