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The Saddle Network vs. Insurance

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  • The Saddle Network vs. Insurance

    Eventing Nation had a post about the Saddle Network yesterday and I wanted to see all your thoughts on it. http://eventingnation.com/home/intro...e-network.html I think it's a good idea in theory, but not so sure it's worth it. It costs $6.95/month for a single saddle to be included in the network. Not soooo bad, but it's money. And if the saddle is stolen, they're relying on the fact that either the crook is not too smart and tries to re-sell the saddle with the tag on, or the person who buys the saddle recognizes the holes where the tag was taken off and reports it to the saddle network. So I'd say the chances that you get a stolen saddle back even if you do have the service are at best 50/50 once the network becomes more well known and people recognize it, but probably less than that. I have my tack included as line items on my renters insurance policy, and it does not add much at all to my yearly premium. So if my saddle gets stolen, I can file a police report, make a claim, and get a payout from my insurance company (assuming they don't find some loophole, which always is a possibility). So to me, it doesn't really seem worth it to get my saddles protected by the Saddle Network. Anyone have thoughts on this or experience trying to get an insurance company to payout for stolen tack?

  • #2
    I'd stick w/ renters insurance & just make sure you have replacement coverage on your policy - and good for you for having renters insurance.. there are a lot of folks who rent & don't have insurance...


    • #3
      If it was actual replacement insurance I'd be more interested. I write my name in big letters down the gullet with a Sharpie marker. And it's covered in my homeowner's insurance.

      AND I keep my tackroom door locked and the window is fogged out with spraypaint so you cannot see inside. Someone could break it, but in terms of crimes of opportunity, it's less of a mark. Plus, my tackroom is a blight - so finding the valuable saddle would take some work!


      • #4
        Also, I would worry that if I decided to sell the saddle having two big holes in the flap would decrease its value. A potential buyer may not be interested in continuing with the service.


        • #5
          Originally posted by kcmel View Post
          Also, I would worry that if I decided to sell the saddle having two big holes in the flap would decrease its value. A potential buyer may not be interested in continuing with the service.
          On that note, what if you buy a saddle from someone that used the Saddle Network, but you decide not to continue. Now you have two big holes in your saddle that also theoretically scream 'This saddle is stolen!,' even though it's not. Then you decide to sell it on, but no one will buy from you because they think it's a stolen saddle...

          Instead of this, maybe everyone should just lock their saddles in their trailers and vehicles at shows at night. And also, please take off the Devoucoux and Antares saddle covers...they're practically screaming 'Steal me!!!' Get a nice custom saddle cover in your colors instead, they are pretty cheap from Dover...


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by kcmel View Post
            Also, I would worry that if I decided to sell the saddle having two big holes in the flap would decrease its value. A potential buyer may not be interested in continuing with the service.
            Originally posted by Divine Comedy View Post
            On that note, what if you buy a saddle from someone that used the Saddle Network, but you decide not to continue. Now you have two big holes in your saddle that also theoretically scream 'This saddle is stolen!,' even though it's not. Then you decide to sell it on, but no one will buy from you because they think it's a stolen saddle...

            I didn't think of these, but another reason not to do it!


            • #7
              yeah I don't think the idea is too bad but the product isn't completely ready to be marketed in my opinion; too many issues.

              I second having the owner's name stamped or printed in a not so visible area of the saddle (under the little "skirt" that's covering the stirrup bar for instance)... experienced saddle thieves will be able to make the mark disappear or make them unreadable if they see it.

              I don't think the saddle covers make a huge difference as in most cases saddle thieves just empty a whole tack room as fast as they can, stealing saddles by the dozens and taking them all whether they are pretty valuable or not... exceptions do happen but it's been my experience working in the saddle business for all these years...

              The safest is of course to take your saddle back home with you all the time, easier said than done, I know...



              • #8
                Hello Fellow Riders,
                I am Mary Braly, the CEO and founder of Saddle Network.
                I hear what you are saying, but to understand the system you need to stop thinking “ How do I replace my saddle?” and start thinking “How do I keep my saddle from ever being taken?”
                The basis of Saddle Network is Community Watch. The system enables equestrians to communicate quickly and effectively through what we use every day, Facebook, Twitter, texts and emails. The reason a thief will pass on a Saddle Network tagged saddle and move on to an easier target is because tags enable anyone at any time to get instant information on the item. No more guessing if a saddle is legit or who it belongs to. It allows members to easily send out social networking alerts if their saddle is stolen, lost or missing. An immediate call to action! Because the last thing a thief wants is for the world to know that the item they are trying to sell is HOT!
                If the tag is removed by a thief the holes left behind are a red flag. Status of an item can still be verified by parameter search on the Saddle Network site. By entering any info known about the saddle the system will bring up anything stolen, lost or missing that falls under those parameters. So either way tagged or holes left where a tag was increases the chance of getting caught.
                Tags stay with the saddle, just like a license plate on a car. There is no reason to remove it. The tag won’t depreciate a saddle, on the contrary it will increase its’ value. Think about it. It’s like having an ADT sticker on the window of your house. Whether your alarm is active or not most thieves won’t take the risk.
                Here’s the old train of thought- daily life at status quo. If bad luck strikes we hope our insurance company will payout without hassle or repercussion, we hope that the police department considers our loss a high priority, quickly catches the thief and returns our saddle undamaged. But the truth is the stolen saddle becomes just one more report of theft for an already understaffed police department, our insurance company tells us our saddle isn’t covered because ‘the moon was rising over Jupiter at the time of theft’, or if we’re lucky enough to actually be covered for equipment loss, there’s still a deductible to pay and we’re hoping this claim won’t jack our yearly premium, and then there’s all the wasted time – waiting to get your payout, waiting to order a new saddle, waiting for that new saddle to arrive, and of course waiting for that new saddle to break in.
                Isn’t it better to prevent then to have to play catch up?


                • #9
                  Mary, thanks for checking in.

                  The difference here, I think, is that perhaps 99%+ people out there know what an ADT sticker or placard on the house means. I think you would be stretching to say that 1% of horse people know what your Saddle Network tag on a saddle means.

                  Interesting idea, and could be useful if widely adopted. If not widely adopted, it's just a couple holes on the saddle flap.

                  Tell me again why I should pay $7/month to be included in this service, when my insurance company covers theft of tack?


                  • #10
                    Hi Simkie,

                    Your insurance company may cover tack theft, but that's still after the fact. Through the combination of visible tagging and social networking, Saddle Network helps keep your tack in your possession so you won't have to file a claim.

                    Prevention vs. reaction.

                    Sure ADT is easily recognized now, but at one time they too had to introduce themselves to the market and it was up to the consumer to say, "Yes I'm tired of being a victim! I want to be proactive and do things that will help keep my possessions safe."

                    Saddle Network has just launched, and as awareness grows of it, it will become as recognizable as an ADT placard, etc. The key is exposure, the strength is in how many people know about it and spread the news and just like ADT and other home protection services when they began, it started with one person, one house, one saddle at a time.