Hi I purchased a new Albion Kontact saddle on the advice from the saddler that my old saddle would not fit my new horse. Since purchasing the saddle and being told it fits me and the horse, I have had to have it re balanced 5 times since February and had the back lady out to the horse as he seems to be uncomfortable and put his back up when in the jump saddle but not the dressage saddle!? My trainer then also noted it makes me sit at an angle as its to wide for me as my hips are narrow! I have since had another saddler come out to check and they have re assured me that my old saddle would fit the horse and the new saddle doesn’t fit well without padding !? What are my rights ?
Answer from Alison Goodwin:
You have a potential claim against the saddler for breach of contract. Your claim would be based upon breaches of terms implied into the contract between you and the saddler pursuant to the Sale and Supply of Goods and Services Act (the Act). In this case you have contracted with the saddler to purchase a new saddle and also for their services in fitting the saddle. The Act implies terms into the contract requiring the saddle fitter to ensure that the goods supplied are of a reasonable quality, and are fit for purpose, and also that the services they provided are carried out with reasonable skill and care. In order to establish a claim against the saddler that they have breached any of these implied terms you would need clear evidence to support your claim. My advice would be to obtain a written report from the new saddler confirming the issues with the new saddle and explaining why the saddle is not suitable and has not been fitted properly. I would also obtain any further evidence you can such as a brief video and written statement from your instructor detailing why the saddle does not fit you and your horse and also a note from the back lady confirming the back problems she identified and explaining why in her opinion these were caused by the saddle. Once you have this evidence together you will need to value your claim. Your claim would be based upon the losses you have incurred as a direct result of the breach of contract by the saddler. You should make a list of all your losses and support the list with evidence. Once you have all your evidence together you should write to the saddler (recorded delivery) and set out your claim and request that they settle your losses within 14 days otherwise you will commence a claim against them in the county court.
Senior Associate Solicitor
For and on behalf of Harrison Clark Rickerbys Limited
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