Shipping a Saddle?
Hey all. I'm going to spend the summer in Alabama with my granddad and there's a woman there with a few horses she's agreed to let me ride/train while I'm there. I need to ship my aussie saddle and some other tack down there, but I'm not entirely sure about how best to package it and what sort of padding or covers to use. Any input from those who may have shipped a saddle in the past (or recieved one via the mail)? Should I box the saddle separately from my other tack (bridle, saddle pad, girth, rope halter and lead, helmet, boots) or stuff them all in together?
Also, what's the price ballpark for shipping a saddle? Do you think it would be above or below $50?
I've shipped LOTS of saddles all over the US. There are two ways to do it and it depends on you. The first way to do it is to take it to a UPS store and say "Here - pack it and send it to this address". It is the most expensive way to do it but it takes the stress off you.
The second way is to get a sturdy box somewhere - the tack shop, a grocery store, etc.(those will be free) or from the UPS store, a shipping company, a moving company, U-haul, etc (those will cost you some money). Packing it yourself is not a big problem. A sturdy box needs nothing to fill besides the saddle and tack. I wrap the stirrups with bubble wrap to protect the saddle leather and I also wrap anything else that may cause damage to the leather.
The cheapest way to ship, I've found, is to send it USPS Priority (it isn't much more then Parcel Post), it's faster and minimizes the risk of the shipper loosing the package.
The last saddle I shipped was a 40lb Western saddle that cost me ~$39.00 to send it to CO from SC.
Hope that helps.
I'm not sure about helmet and boots, but I shipped all other stuff together in one box. Ended up ~$18 by FedEx (it was English saddle though). Just wrap each piece separately and use lots of packing peanuts or (in my case) papers (like those free ads).
Oh, btw FedEx was the cheapest one for me compared to UPS and USPS... :-)
Thanks for the input!
You can shop for the best shipping rate by taking the measurements of the package and it's weight then getting on the 3 sites (USPS, FedEx, and UPS) and compare shipping charges.
The Box size is Crucial, the smaller the better.
If you ship early enough, you can use USPS Regular mail from OR to Al take 6-7 days but will only be 30.00. 2 Day Priority is 40.00, based on estimated box size an Aussie saddle would take.
UPS or Fedex will be 60.00 because of Box Saddle for a Saddle.
Check on-line with Box Size you will use for a price.
The Rates UPS Quotes and Fedex online are for Existing Business Customers, if you take it to the Company Owned Store, Kinko's or The UPS Store, the rates are higher than the Business rates on the Web.
However I had extremely bad experience with UPS deliveries (several times in 5 years), so I just don't use UPS "in principle".
Does Greyhound do shipping in the US? If so that's another option, which I've used for shipping big items within Canada with good luck (I have to use postal to ship across the border).
I usually set the saddle up side down in the box, and add some stuff for filler (paper, bags, foam....mostly to keep it from "rattling around" moreso than really cushioning). If I was sending other things, I would usually bag them and set them on the saddle's underside. Just make sure your box is heavy duty...that's what will protect it in shipping more so than padding.
Are you flying to Alabama? If so, you can box your saddle as if you were shipping it, but just bring it to the airport and have it as one of your checked bags. This should work fine (I did it before) as long as:
-You don't already reach your airline's baggage limit
-Your box is within your airline's weight limit
-You are willing to drag it around the airport =)
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