Customer Information Pack


Sales, Maintenance & Pricing Policy

 Thank you for choosing the National Saddle Centre to advise and fit you and your horse with the saddle of your preference.   Every care will have been taken to give you the best advice for the comfort of you both.  When you booked an assessment and test ride you will have been asked for a detailed brief of horse and rider, discipline and preferences, and you may well have sent photographs of your horse. Based on this information, our fitter will have selected saddles and you will have been given the opportunity to try as many different saddles as were deemed possible fits for both you and your horse.

NSC charge $150 (including its) per horse assessment. This covers an hour of our saddler/fitter’s time doing whatever is deemed most necessary – test rides, re-fits, minor re-balances. More expensive and complicated work including flocking will be quoted for at the time and after the hour there is a charge of $20 incl. GST per quarter of an hour.

If you are unsure and do not wish to purchase the saddle on the day you may be offered an extended test ride facility so that you may ride in the saddle you have selected for one week.   This means that you may trial the saddle again in privacy and at your leisure.   The cost of this facility should you wish to return the saddle is $100 plus the carriage back to NSC  and it is subject to the saddle being returned in new condition except for small marks on the girth straps and normal wear for 5 or 6 rides.    Scuffs, scratches, scrapes and teeth marks will be charged.   We recommend that you ride in the saddle several times during the week to be as sure as you can be that it is the right saddle for you.  

We shall require a signed credit card authority as security but this will not be put through until we hear from you.   If you keep the saddle you will not be charged for the test ride.  In the event that we do not hear from you within 10 days your credit card will be put through for the full amount and we shall deem the sale complete.  If you wish to pay by cheque or direct transfer, which are both acceptable, different arrangements will need to be made with us. Once the saddle sale is completed NSC customers have several options should any unforeseen problem arise.

FOUR MONTH POLICY (Only applies to new saddles)

 NSC will prompt you to have your saddle re-balanced within the first four months of use.   This is done at half the price of an assessment, $75 incl. its which is a contribution to running the mobile service … We are giving you our fitter/saddler’s time and expertise to ensure that your saddle continues to give you and your horse the optimum sympathetic fit.

The balance of a new wool flocked saddle is at its most fragile during this initial wearing in process, and whilst not all need to be re-balanced, the vast majority need just a small amount of flock to keep the fit as sympathetic as possible.   Many potential problems may be avoided by having an experienced eye look over the balance and weight bearing of the saddle at this time.

Should any other unforeseen problems have arisen the customer may try other styles of saddles and their saddle be exchanged for another at just a 10% reduction of the cost of the original saddle against another model, plus our standard fitting charges. This is a liberal policy and done at NSC’s discretion and is subject to the used saddle showing only normal four month’s reasonable wear. Scratches, cuts scrapes and teeth marks will be taken into account.  This is also only applicable for the same horse and rider combination as at the original sale. Only applies to full price saddles which have been fitted by NSC & its representatives, against other full price saddles.

FIVE TO SIXTEEN MONTHS

 The cost of re-balances will be our normal assessment and simple re-balance charge of $150.   A nominal amount for the wool involved in the flocking will be charged.
NSC devalues your saddle by 25% in this period so any customer, for any reason, wishing to exchange a saddle  after the four month period or upgrade to the latest model may expect to lose a quarter of what they paid for the saddle within the first sixteen months providing the saddle is in good condition and not showing over use. This is a liberal policy and done at NSC’s discretion and is subject to the used saddle showing only wear for its age.    Scratches, cuts scrapes and teeth marks will be taken into account.  This only applies to saddles purchased at full price which have been fitted by NSC & its representatives, against other saddles at full price.

AFTER SIXTEEN MONTHS

Your horse will change in shape as he matures, his condition or level of work alters and we advise that the balance of your saddle be checked every six months.   If your saddle has been re-flocked several times or been altered to fit another horse it is advisable that at some stage, at an average of every 3 to 4 years depending on wear, to have all the wool removed and have the saddle fully repacked.   This helps prevent the panel from overstretching.   At this time NSC check the internal rivets, staples and stitching, oil the inside of the saddle and treat the leather as required.   This inspection and general overhaul may greatly increase the longevity of your saddle.

After 16 months, the amount of the trade in is at the NSC’s discretion depending on model, wear and tear.

YOUR SADDLES VALUE  IN PART EXCHANGE

NSC have a policy that subject to condition they will part exchange any NSC saddle for another more suitable or upgrade to a different or latest model.   The amount agreed on for your existing saddle must be put to the upgrade of your new NSC saddle.   NSC do not have a precise devaluation scheme after the first 16 months as this will depend on the condition of the saddle, and the model you have.

What it does mean is that an NSC customer should never be stuck with a saddle that they cannot use.

SERVICING AND ALTERATIONS TO NON NSC SADDLES

Our saddlers/fitters will do their utmost to give unbiased advice as to how to alter your non NSC saddle to give a more sympathetic fit to your horse but under no circumstances will NSC be held responsible for the efficacy of such advice.   NSC will not be liable for any mistakes in customers’ judgement in using a saddle purchased from another source.

NSC’s fees for assessing other brands of saddles is $150 including its per hour at your venue – this will include small re-balancing or re-flocking  jobs where that is possible.

There is a minimum $75 labour and dismantling charge at the workshop, plus postage where appropriate.

WARRANTY AND SADDLE REPAIRS TO NSC SADDLES

  • 5 year warranty on all spring trees
  • 1 year warranty against defects in workmanship or materials
  • Freight costs to or from NSC are not included
  • It is important to check both e bar hangers and billets for any sign of wear.
  • All repairs or adjustments must be done by an NSC approved representative or our warranty may be voided.
  • All warranties are based with the original purchaser only.

Advice on Repairs

We strive to offer a professional service at all times and our aim is to ensure that any repairs or modifications that we carry our will result in your saddle being safe, fit for purpose and comfortable for the horse.  Sometimes it is necessary to partly dismantle a saddle before we can establish what faults may be present and recommend the necessary repairs to restore the saddle to be safe and fit for purpose.  Normally we charge for this initial recommendation following which a quotation will be given for any work that is subsequently found necessary, which you may forward to your insurance company if appropriate.

Sometimes this investigation may result in faults being identified that result in the saddle being beyond economical repair or you as the customer, may decide that the quotation to repair the saddle is more than you are prepared to pay. In these circumstances it is our policy not to reassemble the saddle as we are not prepared to return the saddle in a condition where it could be unwittingly used in the future in an unsafe condition. By booking your saddle into our workshop for investigation into a possible fault or in order to quote for a repair you are agreeing to our terms of business as explained in this policy. This shall include making a broken tree irreparable by whatever means necessary.

We will always endeavour to offer the most professional service possible and any repairs or modifications that are recommended will be done with the rider’s safety and the horse’s welfare in mind.


Insurance Claims

In the event that your saddle is involved in an accident for which you have potential insurance cover you may send us your saddle with details of the accident and for a one hour fee of $75 we will assess the damage and give you a letter for your insurers confirming our assessment and either the cost of repair or replacement if repair is uneconomic.   We will include the cost of a normal refit following repair or replacement so you are put back in the same position as you were prior to the accident.

It is not uncommon to find that the cost of replacing a broken tree of an older saddle is uneconomic as it requires our saddler to completely strip down the saddle, order the correct tree from the UK and then rebuild the saddle using the original leather parts which have often stretched and require considerable adjustment to fit the new tree.   This whole process may take several weeks and during that time you may be entitled under your Insurance to hire a saddle.

If your Insurers agree to write off the saddle and provide you with a new one then acting under the recommendations of Society of Master Saddlers UK we shall not return the broken tree to you in order to prevent any possibility of this saddle being poorly repaired and somehow finding its way back on to the market in a substandard and potentially dangerous condition. In some cases there may be a salvage value in the remaining leather parts which we shall assess in each case. This is with the rider’s safety and horse’s welfare in mind.


New Saddle Awareness

Congratulations on the purchase of your new saddle and thank you for choosing the National Saddle Centre NZ to supply and fit it for you and your horse.

As saddle fitters and designers with many years of experience we realise that buying and fitting a new saddle is not an exact science and both horse and rider need time to become acclimatised and familiarised with this new vital piece of equipment.  Every care has been taken to ensure that the saddle you have purchased is the best possible for you and your horse but as with a new pair of leather boots you must be aware of the following.

The leather in your saddle needs time and care to soften and the wool flocked panel time to perfectly mould to your horse.  This can only be done by riding in your saddle and cleaning and conditioning it.

Your new saddle may well change your posture, riding position and where you apply your aids.   The way your horse carries itself (even more noticeable if your previous saddle has not been well fitting) is also affected.   Over the course of the first few weeks (we estimate about 20 hours of riding) the saddle should start to feel really comfortable and familiar to both horse and rider.   It is not unusual to notice the horse going differently at the beginning of this process and very sensitive horses, like people with very sensitive feet, should take this period slowly.   (How many of us have worn our new shoes excessively the first time? – We may have finished with a blister or with discomfort and yet these same shoes can well end up a few weeks down the line as the most comfortable we have ever had.)

We advise you to ride initially for shorter periods – 15 to 30 minutes in a training environment not competition, hunting or trekking etc.    
 
In the vast majority of cases reaction is nothing more than “new shoe syndrome” and very transitory.   Remember that your saddle fitter will have advised you on size and width as well as type of tree based on experience and qualification also that he/she will be aware of how much “give” there is likely to be in a brand new saddle.   Like the new pair of boots  designed to take hard wear your new saddle will feel quite snug on your horse……if the saddle is fitted too loosely in the first instance, then this will lead to excessive movement, torsion and eventual loss of stability.
 
You have chosen a saddle on an English Spring Tree with wool flocking – such saddles, whilst offering an unparalleled degree of comfort and excellence, do require maintenance and we urge you to have the balance and correct fit of your saddle  inspected by  an NSC saddler qualified to do any alterations and ensure optimum fit and performance.   This is particularly important in the first few months of the life of your saddle and as your horse either matures or its condition and work level alter – see our Sales, Maintenance & Pricing Policy for more information.  Equally important are periods of rest, injury, or change of rider.   SOME SADDLES PARTICULARLY THOSE ON HORSES WITH EXTRAVAGANT MOVEMENT OR THOSE WHO CHANGE CONDITION RAPIDLY NEED MORE FREQUENT MAINTENANCE THAN OTHERS.

Many of you will be working with other qualified equine specialists – vets, trainers, instructors, physiotherapists etc. etc.   It has always been our policy to work alongside any other specialist who may well have insights into your and your horse’s performance.   We welcome such input either at a saddle fitting, or maintenance appointment and are happy to be in direct communication by telephone or email, so that we may all work alongside for the greater benefit you and your horse.


Warranty Information, Terms & Conditions

 1/ Statutory Rights -

These terms & conditions do not affect a customer’s statutory rights.

2/ Customers Declaration -

It is the customer’s responsibility to declare to the saddle fitter any pre-existing or current issues whatsoever with the horse and rider that may affect the saddle fitting. The NSC welcomes input from other professional advisors such as trainers, veterinary surgeons, farriers or equine physiotherapists and the saddle fitter requests they should be at the fitting if their opinion is required. The horse must be sound enough to carry a saddle and be ridden. The customer shall be responsible for giving the saddle fitter a full brief on the intended use of the saddle for which rider and on what horse. The saddle fitter shall record details of the horse & rider and the saddle fitting. The customer will be asked to sign these records as a true and fair reflection of the circumstances on the day of fitting.

3/ Saddle Fitting -

When the customer chooses to purchase a saddle unfitted the responsibility for the saddle being fit for the purpose intended shall be the customer’s responsibility except in cases of valid manufacturer’s warranty. In doing so the NSC wish to point out that a high percentage of saddles sold unfitted do not fit as correct fitting requires a great deal of training and experience.

When a customer requests a saddle to be fitted by one of the NSC approved saddle fitters this will be carried out to the standards of the Master Saddlers of Great Britain. Please note that these saddle fitters are not employed by NSC and will charge you a fee for travelling to your premises assessing the saddle needs of your horse & rider and for fitting a saddle which is the property of NSC.

The NSC does not accept any responsibility for advice given to you by such a saddle fitter on riding equipment which is not the property of NSC. The NSC will not accept any warranties made by such a saddle fitter on NSC supplied goods unless they are expressly documented in these Terms & Conditions or they are noted on the fitting records and subsequently confirmed on the NSC invoice.
 
Please read in conjunction with new saddle awareness information.
 
Safety Feature: The standard stirrup bar is commonly known as the “safety bar” – it is supposed to allow the stirrup leather to detach from the saddle in the event of a fall where the rider could be dragged. The National Saddle Centre NZ feel that this is no longer a reliable safety feature – the stirrup bars are often so deeply recessed that putting on and removing leathers is difficult.  As such NSC recommend that all saddles be ridden with safety stirrups and strongly recommend that the customer purchases safety stirrups if the e bar or hook bar version is chosen. Both the e bar and the hook bar are not designed to allow the stirrup leather to be pulled off either accidentally (another considerable hazard) or in the event of a fall. We further recommend the use of Hit-Air air vests when riding, see: www.katelambie.co.nz.

4/ Ongoing Saddle Fitting -

The degree and frequency of work given to the horse fitted and any change in its condition may have a significant effect on the fit of the saddle. It is the customers responsibility to monitor these circumstances and contact an NSC approved saddle fitter to check and re-check the fit of the saddle as soon as changes occur and in any event every 6 months.

The first saddle check shall be free of charge other than travelling expenses for the fitter provided it is within 4 months of purchase and is within normal wear & tear. Subsequent saddle checks will be charged by the saddle fitter according to distance travelled, materials utilised, time taken and postage & packaging where appropriate.

Please note that using the saddle on different horses or being ridden in by different riders to those presented at the fitting may compromise the fit of the saddle.
 
For more information on this please read our Sales, Maintenance & Pricing Policy.

5/ Saddle Care Instructions -

Before using your new saddle we recommend a light application of saddle soap. This will protect the leather from scuffing or rain spotting.  Should your saddle get wet never dry by direct heat or leave in the sunshine. Allow to dry out naturally in a dry cool room.
The secret of new leather is to allow it to age slowly in order to preserve its mellow character and suppleness. Do not try to hasten the ageing process with oils but have patience. In our opinion glycerine soap is still the best way of achieving this. It should be applied with as dry a cloth as is practicable after the leather has been wiped clean of sweat mud grease etc. with a damp cloth which should be frequently rinsed. This routine is definitely the best method for treating saddlery and bridle work. Do not use excessive oils. Leather can be killed with kindness as well as neglect and the fibres in the leather will be destroyed by too much oil and hence the leather weakened.

Certain cleaners should be avoided especially those that are alcohol based. See Manufacturers' Recommendations. We sell NSC special leather goo, see Accessories page of our website for more information & pricing.

6/ Payment Terms -

All products either left with or posted to a customer must be paid for in full on the day by cheque made out to the National Saddle Centre NZ LTD or by providing a valid credit card (VISA or MasterCard only) which is authorised by the card holder or by direct transfer to NSC bank account ANZ Bank 01-0102-0353122-00. You will be asked to give a credit card for use only if the direct transfer does not arrive within 7 days.

On occasional circumstances the goods may be sold on the basis of the customer being given up to 7 calendar days to return the goods with a full product refund after they had the opportunity to further test ride the saddle. Please note that the refund may take a further 7 days to clear.

In exceptional circumstances NSC may accept extended payment terms which must be expressly noted by the saddle fitter on the customer’s records and subsequently approved by NSC on their invoice. The goods remain the property of NSC until full payment funds have cleared and in the event of accident or damage the full amount shall still be due to NSC so the customer is recommended to insure the goods.

Saddles that have to be ordered as 'Specials ' from the manufacturer shall be signed for on the fitting record as an order with a 25% non-refundable deposit. NSC cannot guarantee a delivery date and this does not constitute a reason for cancellation or non - acceptance. As a guide this is often at least 12 weeks from confirmation of order by the manufacturer.

Products that are reduced in a ' Sale ' by NSC are sold as seen, are not refundable and are only covered by the manufacturers tree warranty unless expressly noted to the contrary on the invoice at the time of purchase.  You will have secured your new saddle either by cheque, credit card or cash.   In the event that you elect to pay by bank transfer, you will have been asked to give us your credit card as security.

If you have elected to pay by bank transfer please note that the funds must reach our bank within 7 days and that NSC be informed of such, with your name so that we may follow the transaction.   If we haven’t heard from you within these 7 days we shall debit your credit card without further notification. 

7/ Saddle Manufacturer’s Warranty -

The tree of the saddle is warranted for 5 years for the NSC NZ branded saddles, manufactured under license in England. Please note, warranties only apply to the first purchaser.
The leather and components on all new saddles are warranted for one year from the date of purchase against defective workmanship and materials. In all cases these terms are subject to normal usage & conditions and normal wear & tear.

Any unauthorised repair or alterations to the product invalidates this warranty. Responsibility will not be taken for damage or defect caused by improper storage misuse neglect or accident. Please note: Leather is a natural product and therefore there is likely to be some colour loss during the initial use of the saddle. The severity of the U.V on materials in New Zealand is well documented. Every effort has been taken with our experience and research to provide the most colourfast leathers suitable for our climate. However, all leathers will show some degree of fading with time and in particular Buffalo leather which is favoured by riders because of its comfort and feel. This is normal and should not be considered a defect and we cannot give any guarantees in this respect. This does not affect the integrity of the saddle or the leather.

8/ NSC Warranty -

The NSC has a recommended policy that customers should ride on the saddle they intend to purchase before they buy. Therefore many saddles that are sold new and at full price have been test ridden on one or more occasions. This may result in minor scuffs to the leather which does not affect the integrity of the saddle and shall not be considered a defect. The entire test ride process is considered a benefit to the customer in helping them to make an informed decision before committing themselves to a significant purchase.
Where the fitting of a saddle is in dispute and the customer seeks to rely on other equine specialists opinions, these opinions must be submitted in writing to the NSC before the saddle fitter will return to assess the issue. The NSC reserves the right to have such specialists presents at the saddle fit re-evaluation at the cost to the customer.

At the sole discretion of NSC, customers may be offered the opportunity to exchange the saddle they purchased for a different saddle to be purchased from the NSC for the same horse & rider combination where changes in circumstances have occurred which cannot be overcome by normal saddle maintenance. In such circumstances it must occur within 4 months of purchase and the customer shall be credited 90% of the first purchase against the second purchase provided the saddle is in test ride condition. The customer shall pay the saddle fitter their appropriate fees.

For further information please see Sales, Maintenance & Pricing Policy.

9/ Warranty Claim Procedure -

It is the customer’s responsibility to advise NSC in writing and return the product to NSC 424 Whitmore Road, Matakana, RD6, Warkworth 0986 immediately any claim under warranty becomes apparent. The NSC will have the alleged defect assessed by independent experts in New Zealand. This opinion shall not constitute an acceptance of a valid warranty claim by the manufacturer but rather independent ratification that it is worthwhile sending the product back to the manufacturer overseas
In such an event the NSC will pay the costs of postage & packaging and will make best endeavours to lend the customer a suitable alternative saddle from their stock. In the event that the claim is proven the customer shall be provided with the original repaired saddle or a new equivalent saddle or their money refunded at the sole discretion of the manufacturer. In the event that the warranty claim is not valid the customer shall be responsible for all costs whatsoever incurred including payment for the rental of any replacement saddle supplied.

10/ Dispute Procedure –

The construction, performance and validity of these terms & conditions shall be governed by the Laws of New Zealand. Leather quality shall be evaluated by the Leather & Shoe Research Association NZ, and their decision shall be accepted as final. Metal quality shall be evaluated by Metal Test Ltd of Auckland. Their decision shall be accepted as final.

In the event that there is no independent expert saddle fitting body approved by Government training standards in New Zealand the technical aspects of any dispute shall be referred to and adjudicated by The Masters Saddlers of Great Britain.

Both parties shall be obliged to participate in a Mediation (Dispute Resolution) run by professional mediators to standards approved by the Law Society in New Zealand. In the event that the parties are unable to agree a resolution at mediation then the dispute may take its course through the New Zealand legal system.

11/ Interpretation -

Clause and other headings are for ease of reference only and shall not be deemed to form any part of the context or to affect the interpretation of this agreement. Words importing the singular number shall include the plural and vice versa.
The term NSC shall mean the National Saddle Centre N.Z. Words importing one gender shall include the other genders. Written communication shall include letter, and fax and e-mail provided a signed copy is sent in the post to the customers address on the saddle fitting record or to the NSC registered address as appropriate.

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