THE Society of Master Saddlers has introduced a prestigious new category in the form of Master Saddle Fitter.

The SMS already has categories for Master Saddler, Master Harness Maker, Master Bridle Maker and Master Saddle Maker and

the Executive Committee felt it was a natural step to add Master Saddle Fitter. 


Explains SMS Chief Executive, Hazel Morley: “The new category uses similar criteria to all of our other ‘Master’ categories.


“The term ‘Master’ should show a high level of experience and expertise.  When it comes to the Master Saddle Fitter category we will of course be looking for individuals that have a wealth of knowledge, experience and a high skill level in order for them to be awarded the title.


“We need to utilise that experience and history to give credence to Society Qualified Saddle Fitters. 


“Creation of the category gives a way for saddle fitters to progress and is something to aspire to as the other Master categories have shown.”


To become a Master Saddle Fitter members will be experts in the fitting of saddles and meet the following criteria:


  • Have passed the Qualified Saddle Fitting Assessment, gaining the Certificate in Saddle Fitting 4750/80, awarded jointly by City & Guilds, The Worshipful Company of Saddlers and The Society of Master Saddlers or if achieved before 2007 passed The Society of Master Saddlers’ Qualified Saddle Fitting Assessment.


  • Derive their income from the sale and fitting of saddles by retail or fit predominantly for Society of Master Saddlers members.


  • Have the necessary experience and knowledge to advise on all aspects of saddle fitting.


  • Must use the services of a qualified saddler (holding City & Guilds SKASS Level 3 Saddle and one other Level 3) to carry out major saddle, panel and flocking adjustments and repairs or have the agreed services of a manufacturing member. (The nominated saddler must be named on application and annually).


  • Have been in business for a minimum of one year or are employed by an SMS member.


  • Have a minimum of seven years’ experience in the fitting of saddles, of which at least 3 are since qualifying.


  • Must not have any outstanding complaint against them or an upheld complaint in the previous two years.



Other requirements include holding current product and public liability insurance or be employed by a business which holds such insurance; being able to supply references from two other members of the Society holding the QSF certificate willing to recommend upgrading to Master; is a Master Saddler or has passed the Society’s assessment for Flocking and Flocking Adjustment.


Final criteria to meet this prestigious category include providing a list of at least 25 customers for whom they have supplied and fitted saddles in the previous two years and who are willing to be contacted for a reference.


Or in the case of trade based QSFs supply the names of customers for whom they have assisted in the fitting of saddles and must not have any outstanding complaint against them or an upheld complaint in the previous two years.


For more information visit or contact The Society of Master Saddlers on 01449 711642.  

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