Sue Rudler started Saddle4You around 16 years ago after years of passion for saddles! I have always loved them!
We are the NZ Importers of Harry Dabbs Saddles - a relationship which has been built up over the last 14 years.
I love the quality of these saddles & the fit is second to non - especially as we offer a 'Made to Measure' Service at the same price as an 'off the shelf' saddle - why wouldn't you use this service! We also offer a great range of preloved English Pony saddles, as well as the New Jefferies Pony Saddle Range - exclusive to Saddle4you.
Saddle4you work mostly on a referral basis - our philosophy is not to have the glossiest advert or be the biggest company - we don't do lots of advertising or run lots of Trade Stands - this also helps to keep our saddle cost down & support our clients better. We like to work closely with our clients on an ongoing basis, certainly not in the business to just sell saddles. We work on a 'quality not quantity' basis. I work hard to educate our clients so that they understand the how & why the saddle fits, or not!
I have been working as a saddle fitter for many years now - looking at horse & rider in a holistic way, really enjoying working with well respected FEI / Olympic level Vets, Manual therapists, Farriers, Osteopaths & Massage therapists at the top of their professions. We have to look at the horse as a whole - its a constantly changing being!
Personally I trained as a BHSII, until recently a List 4 Dressage Judge - but I am trying to ride more now! I competed in the UK to Intermediate Horse Trials, Foxhunter level Show Jumping, and worked in both Eventing & Showjumping and Hunting yards in the UK before moving to NZ 20 years ago. I have many years experience as an Energy Healer & with Aromatherapy for horses, I love exploring natural ways of helping our beloved horses.
I have a lovely level 2 Dressage Horse coming along (Oh Asterix, by Anamour) and Zactac Night N Day who is making the change from Show Hunter to Dressage. Saddle4you also has an interest in Zactac Carnival being ridden by Helen Ensor.
Our New Team Member -Vanessa Karsten
Vanessa has been a client of Saddle4you for some years, always showing an in depth interest in learning more about saddle fitting. After a year of chasing me to learn more, we decided that Vanessa was the ideal person to work with & train! The fact that she also lives in central North Island was great as we are now based in the South Island.
Vanessa has been training out on the job with me for 3 years, and is in the process of taking her Saddle fitter Examinations. She is a great asset to the team, completely passionate about the job.
A little about Vanessa:
I live in Hamilton with my husband Mike and our two children Travis 12 and Grace 8. I have been riding most of my life, competing when I was younger and working overseas in racing stables in my 20s.
Since having children my own riding has taken a bit of a back seat so now I mostly ride my beautiful station bred Clyde cross Bella for fun. One of my favourite things to do is ride with my daughter on the beach. The last few years have been taken up focusing on my daughter and niece's riding as they are both pony mad.
My love of horses has taken me on a journey to find ways to help our equine friends feel better and be able to perform to the best of their ability. I have found that the saddle plays a huge role in this. Therefore I wanted to make a difference by training as a saddle fitter so I could help people make the right decision when fitting a saddle to their horse.
I am passionate about what I do and am really invested in finding the correct fitting saddle for both horse and rider, no matter what kind of riding they are doing and at what level.
I was fortunate enough to meet Sue 7 years ago when we were searching for a saddle to fit our little 11.2hh welsh pony. She was the only saddle fitter that had a saddle that fitted. Over the last 3 years I have been working with Sue and studying with The Society of Master Saddlers (UK) and the British Equestrian Trade Association. I hope to complete my exam this year and become fully qualified. I love working with horses and people and look forward to a long future in this industry.