Service List & Client Comments

Saddle Evaluation

SaddleHands evaluates English, Australian, Endurance, and Western saddles to determine comfort. Ellen will travel to your location in or outside Colorado to help identify undesirable pressure points that are inhibiting performance and will recommend solutions. Ellen recommends and helps riders find new or used saddles that are comfortable and enhance performance potential.

The saddle evaluation fee is $120 per horse with up to two saddles (Colorado Front Range) plus mileage. Fee for out-of-town engagements to be determined.

Hi Ellen,

I haven’t been able to ride very consistently because of the weather,
but the rides we’ve had have been fantastic! I’ve got forward, canter
departs, lateral movement. I knew the right saddle makes all the
difference, but I never expected this much improvement. And I am so much
more secure in the saddle, so I can really ask for more.

Thank you so much!


“I sure enjoyed meeting you the other day(s) at Dancing Horse Farm. I wanted to write and let you know how much I appreciate your help and guidance in choosing a saddle. I also appreciate your teaching me about saddle fit and my horses back. You spent quite a bit of time with me and the end result was that I was able to get a saddle I love AND fits my mare, all within my budget. Can’t wait to see you again as you have made a client for life. Thanks again!”

June Scholl
Flying Solo Farm, LLC, Ohio

Ellen is that great combination of expertise and approachability. She is clearly an expert in the art and science of saddle fit, and has educated herself by getting around both Western and English saddle masters. She is open and friendly, welcoming questions and answering them all. She worked with the clinic attendees with patience and a genuine concern for the best outcome for horse and rider. Since she doesn’t represent any one saddle company, she is truly an objective expert and that is invaluable to me as an owner. I felt complete trust in her advice and recommendations.

Ellen is not hesitant to point out a poor fit, and let an owner know that the saddle they’re using is causing the horse a lot of pain. Direct, clear and unbiased by brand name or price tag, Ellen shoots straight from the hip. I appreciate that immensely. She is a tremendously important resource to me as a horse owner and rider, and I would highly and without reservation recommendation her clinic to all horsemen and women who want the best for their horses and for themselves. It’s amazing how much most of us don’t know about the saddles we put on our horses’ backs. Ellen is the voice of experience to help us all become more knowledgeable and to give our horses the best ride possible.

L.R., Wyoming

Ellen, wanted to pass on to you news update that Calvin, Sheila’s silver Foxtrotter, is now gaiting strongly with little evidence of a limp until he gets tired! You posed the possibility that this may happen—well it did. Think he is able to carry himself better and get the weight off the forehand now, so he isn’t stressing his foreleg as before—at least that’s my best opinion.

Obviously we are thrilled. Thanks for your professional advice in choosing the right pad and fillers to make his transformation possible.”

C.E., Evergreen CO: Trainer, Licensed Missouri FoxTrotter Judge, Certified Myofascial Release and Reiki III Practitioner

Ellen was recommended to me by a friend when I mentioned to her that I was having trouble with saddle fit on my then five-year-old mare. My horses are used mainly for trail riding, western dressage and endurance, but that does not make saddle fit any less important! I first had my vet out for a thorough exam, chiropractic and acupuncture treatment on my horse. Once the potential lameness and pain issues had been addressed, I scheduled a visit and fitting with Ellen. She carefully analyzed my mare’s conformation and movement before checking my saddle fit.

After deciding that my saddle was now too wide for my mare’s trimmer physique, she suggested a correction pad for my western saddle. She took care of ordering the pad, and had it drop shipped right to me. After a few rides, Ellen checked in to see how we were doing. Saddle slippage problem is fixed and my mare is moving better than ever! I highly recommend Ellen, no matter what kind of riding you may do. Those very subtle changes in your horse’s muscling and fitness can greatly affect your saddle fit and fit problems can turn into training problems if they are not addressed.

Cindy & Zoe, CO

English Saddle Wool Adjustments & Reflocking

Ellen has worked and studied with three Society of Master Saddlers (UK) Qualified Saddlers and works with clients and saddle stores in and outside of Colorado adjusting and reflocking wool flocked saddles. She uses 100% sheep wool from Scotland, works with most makes, and is one of a few authorized to work on Borne Saddlery saddles.


Thank you so much for working on my saddle. It has been a dream to ride in since you totally reflocked the whole thing. I never would have dreamed it could make such a difference not only for my horse , but for my comfort level as well. Being an animal and human chiropractor, I see this from a whole new perspective and definitely keep your number handy to refer for not only the benefit of the horse, but also the rider!
Thanks again so much. You are fantastic!!!

Dr. Debbie O’Reilly DC, Dipl Ac.
Certified Animal Chiropractor AVCA


Ellen has presented seminars for small and large crowds. Audience participation and questions are always welcomed and feedback has always been very positive. She works with non-profits and all organizations to educate equestrians about the importance of their horse’s comfort.

Ellen has presented sessions on saddle fit at two of our Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) International Conferences. She was very well received by our riding instructors and barn managers as her information was so easy to understand and so beneficial.

CHA CEO Christy Landwehr,

I found Ellen Fitzgerald of Saddle Hands when I started riding a different horse and absolutely fell in love with his saddle. It kept me in a solid and correct position and improved my riding, and I wanted to see if this saddle would work with my Friesian. Ellen was able to determine that while I really liked the saddle, it was not at all correct for my Friesian. She was able to provide guidance on what would work best for me and my horse, and as a result, I found a saddle that makes me and my horse happy in short order. I’ve heard many stories of lengthy and non-productive saddle searches, so I can fully appreciate that Ellen saved me both time and money. I can now get on with enjoying my rides, knowing that my horse is as happy as I am.

I am particularly impressed with the time that Ellen takes to analyze and study the horse and the rider. I worked with a local saddle fitter a couple of years ago who never asked me to get on the horse as part of the evaluation, and I now realize this is a crucial part of the process.

I highly recommend Ellen Fitzgerald to help you and your horse get the best possible result!”

Cathy Cardon, Fort Collins, CO

Hi Ellen- I took Beau up to the mountains yesterday for a long ride with lots of up and down. My saddle stayed put—a major improvement on having it slide down his neck. WOO WOO!

Wanted to thank you for your help with Beau and our saddle issues. You get the hero of the week award.

T.Q. Longmont, CO