Choosing a Tree for Your New Saddle, and what else you'll need to do:
We have several methods to help determine what is the best fit for your animal.
1) Meet face to face. You can contact me if I am vending at an event, or you can trailer in to our location.
2) We can come to you: this often requires a per mile fee in addition to the actual fitting. Travel fees are calculated for both directions and are based on the current Dept. of Trans. business mile charge.
3) Coming to you has it's down sides, the saddles are all in the shop. However for fitting this may be a good option. You can also arrange for a group. Call for more information.
Live far away?
Tracings: these are quite specific to our saddles because we know where are saddles are designed to sit on the horse and their design features. We can email you specific directions.
The Saddle Gauge: You can either purchase through us and we have the gauge drop shipped to you, or we can "rent' and ship you a tool gauge that measures the back of the animal 3D. Very easy to operate. The cost of the rental is shipping it both directions, approximately $20 each way, and the gauge itself $150.00 When you go to build your saddle the $140 is credited to your saddle cost, shipping is not refundable. To get to the point of actually assessing your fit and tree choice, we have spent over two hours reading photos and fit trees. Should you choose to not build a saddle we will refund you $125.00 by check.
3) The EQUIMeasure Mold: a thin slab of plastic material that when heated in a warm oven, is laid upon the back of your horse for a 3D version. You then ship the cooled molded mold back to us and we choose a tree accordingly. The cost of the EQUIMeasure Mold is $160 but we split it between uses. Often you are only paying for 1/3 of $150, shipping is always your cost.
How long are my measurements good for? Two months from the time we choose a tree fit.
Can I share the chosen tree designation? It is our policy to not divulge which tree is best for your animal. The reason for this is they are specific to our saddles, and another saddle maker uses different skirting, rigging, pommel height, gullet width, underside materials etc. which can change the fit.
What if I have more than one equine? A full set of directions and photos plus the Gauge paperwork is sent to you via email. Should you need to use the gauge for several animal, simply copy the paperwork and do the gauge steps several times.
Where do I ship the Saddle Gauge, tracings, or EQUIMeasure Mold when I'm done? Often the gauge is sent on to the next customer so be sure to write or call for instructions as to where to ship the Saddle Gauge. It's a very busy piece of equipment!
What else do you need to do? In addition there are a series of photos that need to be taken as well as a brief video of the animal moving at liberty, and you riding. Once we have everything we need, you can choose what style saddle you want to build along with all the details that make your custom saddle your own.
Do you guarantee fit? That's impossible due to the fact that all our equines change with fitness, age, and health. However we have an excellent track record and part of your relationship with us is we offer saddle fitting knowledge after you receive your saddle. We teach you a few techniques to "read your fit" for now, six months from now, and your other animal.
Is my custom saddle returnable and what is your warranty? Custom saddles are just that: Custom. Although there are many others who use the term custom, these actually are custom and take a great deal of time up front to get exactly what you want. Each saddle is built on it's own tree, therefore each piece of leather is hand cut and fitted to that tree as well. Double Diamond is a small custom saddle shop started in 1990, not a large chain of brick and mortar tack shops with store rooms and racks full of in stock saddles to sell. We have built our company on individual attention to detail, quality workmanship,expertise and experience, and they are worth the wait. We build our saddles one at a time by hand, from the tree up. If we have made a mistake on your order, it's our responsibility to fix it. Steele guarantees their trees for 5 years. Other than that, due to the specificity of your designs and tree, your saddle is yours to keep. Should you decide to not keep your saddle we are happy to help you sell it on our website.
The Trees We Use in our saddles
We use the Steele Saddle Tree Company FTBS trees for the Double Diamond TEK saddles.
For the Crooked Creek Ranch and pleasure saddles we use the Baties trees.
Keep in mind this is not a quick process, and often times takes a couple of weeks or more, but in the long run both you, and your riding partner, will feel more connected, balanced, and out of the distraction of pain from an ill fitting saddle.