The saddle fitter asks which type of saddle do you want?
ie GP, dressage, endurance, jumping, hunting.
He/she then looks at the horse, then measures the width of the horse's back
and the length of the dip in the back. He considers the shoulder and the depth of the barrel of the horse.
He tries several saddles from his stock and chooses two or three and then checks to see they fit. When he is happy he asks the rider to mount up.
The pair of horse and rider then ride around the arena with the saddler fitter watching. He asks the rider if he/she is comfortable.
He watches to see whether in his opinion the saddle is maintaining its position on the horse's back. He uses his experience and training to advise which saddle will suit the best.
The saddler looks for marks left by the saddle on the horse's back.
When he is happy that you and above all the horse is happy, he presents his bill for the saddle and the fitting.
He ought to offer to recheck the saddle in three months to make sure the saddle still fits - if necessary he might have to re-stuff it.
The problem is always that a rigorous programme of training and riding will give cause for the back muscles to firm up - in which case the saddle will require adjustment merely because the shape of the back has changed.
Remember a poorly fitting saddle is a major cause of disobedience in a horse.
PS Buy a leather saddle if you can afford it.
PPS Dial up the web site of the www.idealsaddle.co.ltd
and look up the fitting instructions.
PPPS A Mclellan military saddle is the cheapest and most widely fitting English cut saddle ever designed. They are still made in Sth Africa