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Poor business practices? Sleipnir Saddlery/Amanda Anderson

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  • Poor business practices? Sleipnir Saddlery/Amanda Anderson

    Posting as an alter since I've had such a poor experience with this person I DON’T want her harassing my “main” COTH account (she is a poster here…although a new one and not one of the long standing saddle posters like Patty, Jay, Kitt etc).

    I had a very poor experience with a local fitter (Fitter B).

    In August Fitter B took my well fitting, brand new (from May) semi custom black country saddle, and after two adjustments my mare was so uncomfortable she was unridable with intense shoulder soreness that required bute and robaxin. We discussed her fixing it, but she wanted additional fitting fees…and considering she’d already had two attempts, I ended up shipping it to fitter A (who was not local), which is who I trailered to when I was looking for a saddle and fitted the saddle originally. My fitter (fitter A) found that there was a hole in the flocking on the left side, coupled with a massive “mound” in front of the hole in the panel and there was no flocking under the left pommel (causing the weight of the rider/saddle to be shifted onto my mares shoulders hence the soreness). This was about 3 rides into the saddle after the 2nd fitting by Fitter B.

    After getting the saddle back, I've not had any fit or soreness issues and was reserve champion in two hunter divisions at the last show of the season.

    After a posted “refund policy” came up on Fitter B’s facebook page a few weeks ago I requested a refund. She was very unwilling to work with me, tried to bully me into backing down (used both “If she didn’t hear anything about me speaking negatively about how she “screwed me over for 6 months she’d consider it” (words I’ve never used) and “if I returned the $80 worth of wool she put in my saddle she’d give me a refund” (which prompted a request for a refund less the price of the wool and she then backtracked).

    After that, I left a review on Fitter B’s facebook page for her services. Shortly after that the physical address on Fitter B’s page was removed to eliminate reviews. Oh well, wasn't that important.

    Yesterday, a casual acquaintance that I’ve seen a few times at local shows sent me a link to the Fitter B’s website with “I think she’s talking about you!”

    After clicking I was shocked with a greatly distorted post under her “saddle fitter notes: how the rider affects fit” regarding my riding, and my saddle…using my pictures I had sent her when I was asking her to fix the problems in the flocking I had noticed!!! She had also selectively picked the pictures that backed up her points...ignoring the ones that showed adequate fit and the issues in the flocking.

    There are several blatant untruths, saddle being too wide for my “narrow” mare (who is NOT narrow) me riding “heavily and extremely to the right shifting the flocking”, her having a personal conversation with Greg Best regarding my issues and he told her I needed to step down…Except I had specifically asked him at the conclusion of my clinic and he had stated I was fine at the height I was jumping (2’6”-3’) just needed to make some adjustments in my riding style (and if I didn't have "homework" after a major clinic I would have been extremely disappointed).

    Fitter B states that she told me I needed a foam saddle…a topic that was never raised, in fact she wanted me to try some of the Stubbens she had on hand (she is a stubben rep which I thought were wool flocked?). And I refused because my BRAND NEW saddle had worked perfectly before she had adjusted it.

    The final insult…thanking me for allowing her to post using me as an example!

    I’m just a bit taken aback at this point and not sure what I should do? I've tried to be professional but at this point feel that the personal attack on her website is WAY beyond the line, especially coupled with the blatant untruths.

    Lord knows I’m not perfect, but I do try hard to do the best I can for my horses.

    ETA: I've added the name per confirmation from Moderator 1 stating that it will not get my thread closed.

    Fitter B = Sleipnir Saddlery.

    This fitter (Amanda Anderson) has also worked under Centaur BodyWorks (www.CUatX.com) before changing her name to Sleipnir Saddlery in 2013 (hence including her personal name).
    Last edited by Alterwhattodo?; Jan. 13, 2014, 09:43 AM. Reason: add name

  • #2
    Truly unprofessional of the fitter. Facebook does have some remedies for its users, so I'd start with a report to them. As for her personal website: maybe a letter on your attorney's letter head would convince her to remove photos and text.
    Patience pays.

    Comment


    • #3
      Contact her ASAP and tell her she does NOT have permission to use pictures of you on her website and to take them down post haste!

      Comment


      • #4
        I just googled your location, found the fitter's website, and found the post on her site. Wow!!! The post is EXTREMELY unprofessional. I can't believe this fitter thought it would be okay to post such harsh (and probably untrue!) statements about you and your riding.

        I think you should out the fitter, personally. That she would do something so unprofessional blows my mind.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Frivian View Post
          I just googled your location, found the fitter's website, and found the post on her site. Wow!!! The post is EXTREMELY unprofessional. I can't believe this fitter thought it would be okay to post such harsh (and probably untrue!) statements about you and your riding.

          I think you should out the fitter, personally. That she would do something so unprofessional blows my mind.
          I agree…..personally I believe all who do wrong should be "outed" Saves us horse people from using the "wrong" people!
          Adriane
          Happily retired but used to be:
          www.ParrotNutz.com

          Comment


          • #6
            WHAT THE WHAT?!? Wow. If what you posted was true, then this saddle fitter has a lot of nerve...especially after reading the post on the website.

            Oh and what really makes me think this person is maybe a little bit insane and petty is she dragged poor Greg Best into the whole saga as "back up" to substantiate her claim that the rider is causing the issue.

            ETA: its pretty easy to google the OP's location with "saddle fitter". The person she is talking about comes up as the first website...

            Comment


            • #7
              From the saddle fitter's website:

              "OUR THANKS: To the rider who graciously allowed us to post this for the betterment and education of all riders."

              Didja give her permission? If not, clear that up and get that crap taken down.

              And FWIW, that 3/4 shot of your mare's withers and saddle (while she's naked) shows a saddle that's either *way* too close to the withers, or one that's placed too far forward. Just eye-balling that "no fingers fit" up there and they depth of even the gussetted panels, I think you'd have a hard time rising the tree of that saddle up off her withers. Maybe I'm wrong. Hope so since you own the saddle.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Frivian View Post
                I just googled your location, found the fitter's website, and found the post on her site. Wow!!! The post is EXTREMELY unprofessional. I can't believe this fitter thought it would be okay to post such harsh (and probably untrue!) statements about you and your riding.

                I think you should out the fitter, personally. That she would do something so unprofessional blows my mind.
                Ditto. In fact, it was so mind-blowing that I took a full-page screenshot for my files in case she decides to try and take it down. I'd like to be able to show it to folks in the future if they ask me "what I think of this fitter" (with whom I have no experience, but this alone would be grounds not to recommend her.)

                At the very least, I would report her to Stubben and to the Better Business Bureau. I would also think about contacting the SMS fitters she claims to have trained with in Scotland, to let them know that their names are being associated with unsavory/unethical business practices. I'm sure they won't be amused.

                Now before I go on, let me be clear: I find her behavior totally unethical, and I would never use a fitter who stole pictures and talked about a fitting case online without authorization from the client in question. It sounds like she majorly botched the flocking job, but even if she didn't botch the job, her tone and response to your inquiry was unprofessional and uncalled for. I also personally feel that it is not a saddle consultant's place to lecture clients on equitation. So on those grounds alone, I hope you call her onto the carpet.

                As for the rest of it...that may all be a matter of opinion. And I'm saying this only so you can be clear in your complaints to the higher-ups about what this fitter has done wrong. She may (or may not) have a valid argument about your leaning. I have absolutely seen real-life cases where rider leaning can cause the described issue in a wool-flocked saddle. But if a fitter felt that was truly the case, then the ethical response IMO would be to a) refuse to reflock the saddle because you know it's not going to work for more than a few weeks or months at best, and b) keep your trap shut about how you think it needs to be addressed equitation-wise. That is my opinion only. I do know fitters who seem to think it's appropriate to offer extensive equitation advice, and I know others who would say "Well my obligation is to try and make the horse more comfortable, and I would not feel right walking out of the barn knowing that I could have at least put a band-aid on the problem." But again, MHO is that the fitter should have stuck to her guns IF she truly felt that foam panels were the appropriate solution.

                I will say that based on the scant picture evidence, the saddle does look potentially too wide for the horse. I say "potentially" because of course, two pictures does not an entire story tell. And I'm well aware that the saddle would sit quite differently if the flocking in those K panels were fluffed up to where they belong (and perhaps overflocked a little), and maybe a half pad got thrown under there too. I'm simply saying that there may be some credence to her analysis that the problem(s) are exacerbated by a too-wide saddle tree, especially if you're an H/J rider spending a whole lot of time in two-point and going over fences. A tree that's too wide by more than about 12 or 13 degrees, even if you pad it up well and you've addressed the wideness with flocking, can really "shake" on the landing off a fence and lead to prematurely compressed flocking, sore shoulders that are aggravated by the jostling tree points, etc. To some degree, those points can also "shake" with a rider who leans heavily in a stirrup or a horse who turns crookedly. But again, none of that excuses this fitter's other behavior, nor does it give her permission to discuss it in public without your permission. I mention it only because it may be something to get Fitter A's opinion on, since you still have and are living with this saddle, and I assume you're still trying to make it work.
                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by inca View Post
                  Contact her ASAP and tell her she does NOT have permission to use pictures of you on her website and to take them down post haste!
                  I think this is a good idea.

                  It is sad that someone would do something like this and then have the balls to post that you gave permission.

                  Fine that you and this saddle fitter do not agree on the service provided but that is not a reason to post something like this fitter did using you as an example.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                    At the very least, I would report her to Stubben and to the Better Business Bureau. I would also think about contacting the SMS fitters she claims to have trained with in Scotland, to let them know that their names are being associated with unsavory/unethical business practices. I'm sure they won't be amused.
                    This. I absolutely agree you report her to all 3 of them. Also, I agree it would be a good idea to have your lawyer send her a letter to take all of that down.
                    I'm so sorry this happened to you.
                    How unprofessional of her!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      FYI: I know exactly who you are based on your post, so if you want to really remain anonymous, you need to take out A LOT of details, including your location.

                      I also found the fitter's website and based on that posting, would never recommend her. That is SOOOO unprofessional...and even illogical. She honestly thinks GB's comment were about saddle fit? Um, no. And why would a fitter be asking a clinician about a client anyway? Tacky.

                      and like jn4jenny, I took a screenshot.
                      Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                      Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Holy crap on a cracker.

                        That is a totally passive aggressive S.O.B. move by the saddle fitter. Suggesting you take lunge lessons and learn how to ride instead of her fixing your saddle? Never in my life would I contact anyone that had that on their webpage, but just the fact she had the nerve to write that and pretend like you gave the ok is beyond insulting. Maybe she and that dressage guy should go into business together.

                        The amount of delusional whackadoos being presented on this site lately is frightening.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sorry to hear you're going through this crap. You and your horse have gone through an unnecessary amount of pain and expense, and the sort of unprofessional, irresponsible behavior you describe gives all fitters a black eye. Fitter B should have either fixed the issue or offered you a refund. Simple as that. And to drag the issue onto her website w/o your permission ... well, again, all I can say is "unprofessional."

                          Since you didn't give Fitter B permission to use your photos and info, I'd contact FB to report her. I'd also contact her directly and ask her to remove the photos and info about you from her web site. If that brings no results, you might have to make noises regarding legal action. Usually, that's all it takes, but do keep an email trail, just in case.

                          If it's any consolation, "fitters" like this usually wind up out of business in a fairly short time. The horse community is pretty small (I always say that if you kick a horse person in CA, someone in VT will say "ouch") and word travels fast, esp. when it's negative. Knowing this, I cannot fathom why anyone would behave this way.

                          Based on the photos, the saddle is sitting close to the withers, but the tree width looks good, and adding flock to the front 1/3 to 1/2 of the saddle (rather than just to the front gusset, as the caption states) should have corrected the matter. Glad to hear that Fitter A took care of the issue, and hope you can get the rest resolved quickly.
                          Kitt Hazelton
                          Saddle Fitter
                          www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                          www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wow, that is so unprofessional... I'm at a loss for words. At MINIMUM I'd be demanding she stop using my photos without permission and I don't know that I wouldn't consider small claims court for the money you paid for the terrible flocking job. If she didn't feel like she could fix the issue with flocking, she shouldn't have taken your money for it. If she felt it was something beyond her capabilities, she needed to tell you that before you shelled out! And when you were unahppy with the flocking, she should have fixed it or given you a refund. But the public flogging was just uncalled for!!! HOW AWFUL!
                            ~Veronica
                            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                            http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                              If she didn't feel like she could fix the issue with flocking, she shouldn't have taken your money for it.
                              Ha! I had a saddle rep/fitter take $150 to basically tell me that she couldn't tell if a squeak was a popped rivet. I had asked her in advance if she could tell to which she said she could evaluate, but when it came down to it, she said I'd have to send it in. She also proceeded to tell me that my saddle fit my horse very well, but I should still try one of her brands.

                              Waste.of.money.
                              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                Ha! I had a saddle rep/fitter take $150 to basically tell me that she couldn't tell if a squeak was a popped rivet. I had asked her in advance if she could tell to which she said she could evaluate, but when it came down to it, she said I'd have to send it in. She also proceeded to tell me that my saddle fit my horse very well, but I should still try one of her brands.

                                Waste.of.money.
                                She *thought* she had x-ray vision and then forgot she didn't I guess. What a maroon!
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Well, apparently some lunge lessons will help get rid of some "inner thigh jiggle" and maybe that will help the saddle fit!!! OMG, I don't know if I would demand a refund and threaten to contact the BBB, or if I would just go nuclear!!
                                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would file a complaint with Better Business Bureau and maybe contact a lawyer.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I must say as a saddle fitter, I am so sorry. Some of the reason above are why I got into saddle fitting. I was tired of feeling not appreciated as a client and people trying to sell me a new saddle.
                                      Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC
                                      www.thesaddlefits.com
                                      Society of Master Saddlers trained saddle fitter

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Just read the website. Appalling and completely unprofessional. Contact her ASAP and tell her she does NOT have your permission to post that and to TAKE IT DOWN.

                                        Comment

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