Custom Made Saddles for Endurance, Trail, Show
UPDATE: Sadly, Sharon Saare passed away on June 11, 2012 after an extended illness. Her business will continue and is being run by her saddle maker, Randy Aldrich. Please note that these saddles will continue to be of the same high quality as before. I will continue to do fittings and taking orders as before. The only change is that I will keep a set of sizers on hand so there will be no delay in getting your horse(s) fitted.
Sharon Saare started making saddles in 1972. For more history on Sharon and her saddles, click here. She possessed a wealth of knowledge and experience, not only in endurance, but also in all aspects of horse competition.
Sharon Saare saddles are of excellent quality and workmanship. Saddles are made to order and the rider's size is taken into account, but it is the horse that is our primary concern. Most often, one of Sharon's representatives will perform the fitting for the horse. Over the years, Sharon continued to improve her product and to offer even more sizes of trees to accommodate the huge variety of backs now seen. There are nine different size trees available! (Compare that to the usual 2 or maybe 3 sizes that most companies offer.) We do not guess at the size, nor do we decide upon a size based on a drawing. Sizers (which are molds of actual trees) are placed on the horse's bare back. In this way, we can actually see which size does and does not fit the horse. Since the majority of horses seem to have 1 shoulder larger than the other, we can also determine if a shim is recommended for the pad. (Not usually the case.) The horse owner can also see what fits and why and understand that the guess work has been taken out of fitting their horse. Rarely, a horse is encountered upon which a good fit cannot be obtained. (Excessive sway back, for instance.) When that happens, the fitter will tell you that is the case and allow you to see the problem. We do not want to make a saddle for anyone whose horse cannot be adequately fitted. If I am doing the fitting, I will also tell you what other options you might be able to pursue for that particular horse. The saddle is ordered once the fitting has been completed. You have lots of options such as tooling, with or without a horn, 2 different length stirrup fenders, 2 different width stirrup fenders, 4 different options for rigging type and position, silver, etc. All endurance saddles (3 basic styles) come with lots of D-rings, footman loops and snaps as well as 6 sets of tie straps. Seats have padding, but you can order extra padding. Cheyenne roll, brown/russet leather, all wool fleece lining are other standard items. Once the order is placed and a down payment has been made, it will take between 8 & 12 weeks to receive your saddle. (Sometimes longer, but not usually.)
A couple other useful options include: A tree with an extra high fork (pommel area) to accommodate those horses whose withers are more prominent (such as a lot of Thoroughbreds and some Arabs). A "G" or a "half-G" seat. This is a seat that has been modified so that the front of the seat is elevated somewhat. This places the rider further back in the saddle and is helpful for riders of gaited horses who ordinarily want to be sitting further back. It is also useful for riders of horses that have a "downhill" build. (Withers are lower than the rump.) Often, riders of such horses feel as if they are leaning forward and often end up putting more pressure towards the front of the saddle, which can cause pain to the horse's back and possibly the rider's back. The "G" seat in effect levels out the saddle seat so that they are placed in a more correct position. Both of these options can be very helpful for both the horse and rider when indicated. (The high fork adds $80 to the cost and the G seat adds $75 to the cost.)
The saddles above (left and center) are 2 examples of the "Endurance Lite" model, while the 3rd saddle is a western show saddle with silver. On the left, the saddle has border floral tooling, drop rigging, pencil roll cantle and brass hardware. The Endurance Lite on the right has no tooling, in-skirt rigging (hard to see), Cheyenne cantle roll, and extra padding in the seat, standard hardware. Same basic saddle, totally different look. Standard are all the strings you see, snaps, all of the D-Rings, crupper ring, Footman loops (front of pommel and behind cantle), double rigging. Keep it simple or dress them up...lots of options. Stirrups are included to match the saddle as well as double latigo straps and a mohair cinch on endurance. For western saddles rigging will be standard western with mohair cinch.
For more pictures of saddles and different types, including roping saddles, trail saddles, show saddles, etc., go to Sharon's website by clicking here. Sharon kept her prices in a very affordable range without lessening the quality of her product. With shipping and a few basic options, price runs a little over $2,100, which is much less than a lot of competitors who offer far less for far more. Of course, yours may cost more depending on the options you want to add. You may call or email me for more information and I can give you some idea of the prices. Please note, I am Sharon's rep. for Oklahoma. I normally do fittings in Oklahoma. However, on request I may occasionally do fittings in other states.
Email me at: bemc at trailsopen dot com If you would like to talk to me, please provide your phone number and tell me the best time of day to call you.
For a rough estimate on the cost of a new Saare saddle: Base price on endurance or western saddle is $1990. Base price on Super Lite (endurance) is $2055 (includes Super Lite rigging). Base price on Team Penning, Cutter, Roping and Show Saddles is $2860. Options, of course, add to the prices. (Prices in effect October 2011 and subject to change.) Some of the more common options include tooling (starts at $175), silver (starting at $180), rigging other than the standard in skirt ($65-$75). Brass or Stainless Steel Hardware is $25, oil treatment (highly recommended) $90. These are just some of the most common options. Once we determine your tree size, you can discuss any special needs/requests with Randy to be sure you are getting just what you want. Shipping runs around $65 (UPS) at this time.
How is a fitting done? The fitter meets with you and brings a set of 'sizers' to try on the horse. The sizers are fiberglass replicas of the saddle trees Sharon offers (10 different ones). Allow about 45 minutes for the fitting session. It will take 2-4 months to get your new saddle. (3 months is average, but sometimes sooner.) Altered trees take longer. Note: As of Feb 2013, production time is about 3-4 months due to a high volume of orders. Depending on time of year and number of orders ahead of you, it may only take 2-3 months.
I will occasionally have new or used saddles for sale. If that is the case, they will be listed on this website. If I have a saddle for sale, I will accept any credit card through PayPal or money order for sales in USA. Shipment is by UPS.
Cost of the fitting: Fittings are $50. If you order a saddle the fitting fee will be applied to the purchase price. I will do fittings at my house or one of the local trail heads (Bell Cow in Chandler or Prague). I will go to your home, but the minimum charge for the trip fee is $100, plus mileage for anything over 50 miles round trip. It just works better for me to do the fitting here. If you would like to schedule a fitting or just have more questions, please send me an email. To place an order, you will need to make a $500 deposit. The balance is due before the saddle is shipped. At this time, Randy is not accepting credit cards, only checks or money orders. No C.O.D.