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Advanced Saddle Fit: STAY AWAY!

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    Advanced Saddle Fit: STAY AWAY!

    I was in the market for a new saddle and I had just moved to a new barn, the first trainer I began riding with recommended one woman. The trainer had one of her saddles, many of her students had them, and word was that this saddler knew her stuff. She seemed like a very reputable business, I did my research- no ill words- and I had a first hand account of the saddles she sells in the barn. They are quality and very nice to ride in!

    This was back in July. When I ordered my saddle from her she gave the prospective 8 weeks, kept in mild contact since then (calling maybe once month) and was told my saddle is next in line... will be the next shipment...

    AND NOW HERE IS THE KICKER: I have lost contact with her.

    Over three weeks ago I called and a left a message to check on the status of my saddle. Never received a call back. Called a few days later left a polite message. No call back. Over a three week period I have not received a call back. Today I sent an email saying how I was concerned over this lapse of communication and for her to either email me back or call. Throughout the whole process I had no trouble getting in touch until now.

    My first thoughts was that she was on vacation, then maybe she got hurt, or family trouble, I kept making excuses. But then when I asked my old trainer if by chance they were accidentally calling her, with lots of um um um ums, said that she had been in touch the week before. So the saddler had just chosen not to return any of my calls? I'm thinking I smell fish...

    Keeping in mind I've already paid this lady 2k, I have nothing to show for it and she had just gone MIA, I'm getting a little nervous. Anyone else have an experience like this, and frankly, what do I do, WWYD?
    Last edited by Obiwan; Dec. 25, 2014, 07:38 PM. Reason: Title- much more to the point

    I'm assuming there's a company making your saddle - contact the main number and ask what's up?
    Patience pays.


      Did you pay by credit card?


        In a situation like this, the name of said saddler could help you find her. The COTH members are a widespread communicant, and could be helpful.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


          You need to take action to protect your $2k, as best you can, immediately. Forget about chasing the saddle and chase your $2k instead, with vigor and determination. With luck you'll get the saddle fairly soon, but just in case, you've got to start now to recover the funds or risk losing them.

          Assuming you paid in a manner that may be hard to recover (check or cash), her reputation is your best tool to get either a refund or your saddle. Do NOT be squeamish, or worried what others will think of you. They will respect you for standing up for yourself. And there are likely others in your shoes, wondering what to do.

          Start by putting out urgent messages via EVERY social media channel with broad visibility with your horse world "Seller Name contact me immediately at xxx. Anyone in contact with Seller Name, please urge her to contact me immediately at that number." That may prompt her to respond to you.

          If that doesn't prompt her to make contact, step up the campaign by putting out the social media word again, and this time add "about delivery of the saddle I ordered from you". And add "Anyone else having trouble getting delivery of anything you ordered from Seller Name, please contact me at xxx." Very probably there are more people in your shoes. That may get a response from Seller, or at least a collection of other parties who can all join together to try to get what is owed you all (if this is the case).

          If Seller does contact you, be prepared to hear that she intends to deliver your saddle but she has delays and excuses. Give her firm, near-term dates after which you will be taking next-step action if you don't have either a full refund or the saddle. Then take that action when the date arrives.

          Do not accept any excuses she offers - if you do, you are likely to be hearing new versions every time you contact her for months.

          Document everything, with dates. Keep notes of telephone conversations and copies of emails, social media contact, and everything you and she discuss via any channel. Keep records of your attempts to contact her. If you haven't yet done so, make notes now of how the original sale took place and what was promised, with dates. These records are essential if you have trouble recovering the funds or the saddle.

          At the appropriate time (fairly soon), tell an attorney you are willing to put $x amount into their services to recover the $2k (if you have no other options for recovery). If you ended up recovering the money less a few hundred, you will be better off than losing it all.

          If you paid by credit card, call the company and talk to them about your options.

          I have no idea what happened to your saddle and your money. It may be all an innocent misfortune that will soon be rectified to your satisfaction. Just be aware that sometimes someone who sells something privately, without a formal retail channel, decides to use the funds collected from customers for their own private needs and wants instead. Possibly they believe they can then "make it up" later from other sources. But that doesn't work out and now they can't make good for the customer. It's a sadly common scenario even for people who do have dealt reputably most of the time. Commingling business and personal funds is a bad idea but it happens and it would explain what is happening with you. But maybe that's not the case this time, hope so for your sake.

          Good luck - I hope this works out for you soon!


            You do have a receipt for the funds paid, correct? Does it have address and other information as well as a phone number? Can you confirm if she is still at that address? You may need all that for the next steps, whether they be in public or private. is $2000 still within the purview of Small Claims Court in your area? You may soon need to show the seller that you are preparing for that, at least... might motivate them to move faster. I at least see a certified letter sending in your near future.....
            HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.


              Originally posted by HorsesinHaiti View Post
              You do have a receipt for the funds paid, correct? Does it have address and other information as well as a phone number? Can you confirm if she is still at that address? You may need all that for the next steps, whether they be in public or private. is $2000 still within the purview of Small Claims Court in your area? You may soon need to show the seller that you are preparing for that, at least... might motivate them to move faster. I at least see a certified letter sending in your near future.....
              If you send a certified letter, be sure to send the same letter via regular mail the same day. It was discussed at length (by at least one lawyer) in another thread that this was the accepted way of insuring the letter was received, even if the certified letter was refused.
              "Je suis Pony Owner."


                I would contact the saddle company directly and tell them what you told us. Don't forget that this person is representing their company, and not representing them well. Since the company, not the rep is making the saddle, they should be willing to stand behind their contract. If by some remote chance the rep has taken your money and not placed your order they will definitely want to know about that too.


                  I'm guessing you know the rep's full name and have tried a google search?

                  You do have an invoice and receipt right because with out those you have no proof of anything? That should have all the information regarding your rep/address etc. on it. You know the saddle brand, contact the company, they should have all the information on their rep's. If you paid with credit card then go to them and tell them what has happened, let them start a dispute. If you paid by check or cash that is going to be difficult, you might have to go to small claims court.


                    Others have given great advice. I would be worried sick. 2k is a lot of money and no returned calls is a huge red flag.

                    I might try saying to my trainer something like. I wish she would just call me back. I really hate to have to get my lawyer involved, but it looks like that is what it is going to take just to find out what's going on. She might tell saddler to call you asap. If she had contact last week then why isn't your trainer offering to contact her on your behalf? Something seems off there. I would be doing whatever it took to make it right if someone I recommended was jerking another person around. I called the photographer I recommended to my friend just because he was taking too long to get her the images. She should have told you she would call.


                      I am curious. Did you tell the trainer what was going on or just that you were trying to get in touch with this person?


                        Original Poster

                        Thank you for the idea! I did contact the saddle maker.... and he said the person I ordered the saddle from has become a complete nightmare to deal with. And apparently her account standing with him is in bad shape and he has orders lined up from her. But he can't/ won't send them out because I'm assuming she hasn't been paying him. UGH.


                          Name and geographic location. Someone here knows this person.


                            Original Poster

                            The saddle seller is Colleen Meyer of Advanced saddle fit. The location is in Marlborough NH. Anyone have any extra special ways of contacting her? And at this point I don't recommend trying to buy a saddle from her


                              Original Poster

                              Posting the email reply Adam Ellis sent me:

                              "Hi Abbey,
                              Im Sorry to hear of your bad experience with Colleen, I to really know the feeling, I cannot get hold of her, she's become a complete nightmare to deal with, a good customer, but now is becoming to much trouble to deal with, I have so many orders here for her with peoples names attached to them, but refuse to make and send saddles out due to her account situation with me, its not me delaying making you saddle,
                              As for your question, yes I have a order here dated 2nd July for a 17" Nut jump saddle, with navy or cream welting, The name on the PO is Harrison so I guess this is yours, I shall forward your concerns along with the others to her and see if this gives her the nudge needed,
                              Sorry again and if I can help in any other way then please come back to me, as I said, I shall again be trying to contact her myself,!!
                              Best wishes for Christmas

                              Does anyone know when you file for small claims court, is it the business location or the location of transaction?


                                Is Kent & Master the only type of saddle she deals?


                                  Original Poster

                                  My particular saddle is being ordered from Adam Ellis but I believe she also deals with Patrick Saddlery.


                                    I would let them know you are pursuing the matter in court. I would also let folks know at your barn.

                                    [edit] If I were in your shoes, I would give her one more chance to contact me in the next 72 hours and if she did not I would let loose an online and social media [edit] storm of epic proportions. She would be headlining Google
                                    Last edited by Moderator 1; Sep. 25, 2016, 09:23 AM.


                                      Original Poster

                                      I'm taking your advice to heart. Every one is going to know she's a bad seed. Anyone on here a neighbor of hers that can see if she's still in USA? Just my luck if she's shipped off to a foreign land from her financial troubles


                                        Wow. I purchased a saddle from her several years ago and the process was easy. Very knowledgeable about saddles and has been in business for many years. This is really surprising and sad.

                                        I sent you a private message.
                                        Last edited by yankeeclipper; Dec. 23, 2014, 12:32 PM.
                                        \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup