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Best inexpensive way to ship saddle?

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  • Best inexpensive way to ship saddle?

    Title says it all, I guess. Tell me what you would recommend as the best way to safely ship a saddle without spending all my pennies?
    Shop online at

  • #2
    I shipped a saddle last spring for under $50 with insurance for a value over $2K. What do you consider expensive for shipping? This was done through UPS, but I packaged myself (U-Haul sells boxes large enough, and also packing peanuts) as that is where they really make their money.

    ETA: This was from CA to PA
    Last edited by mjrtango93; Sep. 2, 2009, 10:51 AM.


    • #3
      I was lucky enuff to find a big sturdy shipping box at my drs office. They get in lots of samples & had a bunch with packing material just waiting for me.

      A friend shipped a saddle UPS with "help" froma mailing agency. It cost, ahem, more than the saddle was worth. Dunno how much "help" she paid for but I think UPS is pretty expensive.

      I like USPS though pack it extra well (I had a package of books totally mangled by those gorilas and/or equipment and some were lost) and insure the heck out of it.

      YMMV alot.
      “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


      • Original Poster

        How much for a box and peanuts, how much just for peanuts? I think I can drum a box up but i am worried about not having enough packing material to keep it safe.
        Shop online at


        • #5
          Sent a Passier last month Postal, had box, bought 2 dollar store pillows, wrapped saddle in sheet [didn't fit any of my beds]
          Insured for $1500, Pa to Il =$27.50


          • #6
            The biggest difference between the expensive to ship saddle and the cheap one is the size of the box, not the weight.

            Look at the shipper's size restrictions, and try to fit the saddle in a box smaller than that. Beyond a certain size they use "dimensional weight."

            I always save bubble wrap or cushion wrap when I get things and re-use it. Peanuts are so annoying in a saddle box- getting the saddle out without peanuts everywhere is impossible. I usually wrap the outside with bubble wrap and stuff the inside with newspaper.


            • #7
              Don't be afraid to roll that sucker up and strap something around it, either! You won't hurt it.

              My custom County arrived on my doorstep rolled up and shoved into was was essentially an over-sized poster tube. Was a little shocking, but it was in perfect condition and none the worse for wear.
              Originally posted by tidy rabbit
              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ambrey View Post
                The biggest difference between the expensive to ship saddle and the cheap one is the size of the box, not the weight.

                Look at the shipper's size restrictions, and try to fit the saddle in a box smaller than that. Beyond a certain size they use "dimensional weight."

                I always save bubble wrap or cushion wrap when I get things and re-use it. Peanuts are so annoying in a saddle box- getting the saddle out without peanuts everywhere is impossible. I usually wrap the outside with bubble wrap and stuff the inside with newspaper.
                Also pieces of peanuts can get wedged into the little crevices of saddles and are almost impossible to remove. Really, really annoying. Try to avoid peanuts if at all possible when shipping. It usually runs me around $60 to ship a saddle that is usually insured for over $2500 through FedEx. When I use my dad's account (owns a business and gets discounts) it's only about $25.


                • #9
                  UPS stores are ridiculously expensive. I recommend a FedEx authorized ship center. I was able to ship a saddle for $30 using them (I did already have it packaged).


                  • #10
                    I shipped a saddle last week via the UPS Store. I think Nashville to Vermont was $30. The insurance was more than the shipping so I did not insure it. Found out later that it would have been covered in my homeowners if anything had happened. So check your homeowners insurance before you pay shipping insurance.


                    • #11
                      I have been SO HAPPY shipping saddles through the Post Office. It is under $30, the insurance runs about $12 for a saddle under $1000, and as long as I can get the box small enough, I mark Fragile all over it and *knock on wood* haven't had a problem yet. I also like rolling the saddle up and then using Saran Wrap to keep the flaps rolled while I put it in the box.
                      Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay


                      • #12
                        I prefer shipping via fed ex when I am shipping any saddles....


                        • Original Poster

                          Really excellent advice. Thanks you all so much.
                          Shop online at


                          • #14
                            One more piece of advice if you haven't shipped. I opened a Fed Ex acct online. Best thing I could've done. I can do my on shipping labels, and it is much cheaper than using the Fed Ex store. They have a high overhead. My husband sold a high dollar watch, and we did our on label. When he took it in, the man behind the counter asked why he didn't let the store do up the label, etc. My husband told him he used the wife's account, and how much cheaper it was. The employee didn't argue. I've had good luck w/ 24x18x18 boxes. Home Depot sells them for about $1.30. I paid $6 for the a slightly smaller box at the Pak Mail store. Insurance is included in the price w/ Fed Ex too.


                            • #15
                              I've sent about 20 saddles through the United States Postal Service in the last year or so. I wrap them in bubble wrap and pack the box with newspaper. I haven't had a single problem and got each box to it's destination for $16-18 depending on where it was going (I'm in FL). I agree with the rolling of the flaps, a lot of saddles came to me that way and I sent out a lot that way, no problems.


                              • #16
                                I just sent a County saddle to the headquarters in MD via the USPS. I sent it registered mail which includes $3500 insurance for $22.00. It sent priority mail on Saturday and it is due to be delivered on Tuesday. Can't beat that.


                                • #17
                                  need to ship a Western saddle. I think most of these posts are for an English saddle. Anyone ship a Western?


                                  • #18
                                    This is really an interesting thread thanks to all the posters for the info.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Magicboy View Post
                                      This is really an interesting thread thanks to all the posters for the info.
                                      This is a zombie thread, so be aware that the prices quoted don't reflect today's prices.

                                      Western saddles tend to ship for around $65+ now, English ones not much less.


                                      • #20
                                        A warning about USPS insurance.

                                        I insure every saddle I ship. I shipped a Bates. USPS must have done something horrible - dropped it off a truck or something - and broke the tree. (It had an interchangeable gullet; I checked the gullet when packaging the saddle, and had generous packing in the box.)

                                        Filed a claim with USPS insurance online. A month passes - nothing. Six weeks later I get a letter denying the claim due to "lack of response." Hard to respond when I've received no correspondence from the USPS. Spend 2 hours on hold on the USPS phone line only to get routed into an automated system. Go talk to the postmaster of the local branch; there should have been a letter or something, which USPS never sent.

                                        File an appeal, explaining I never received any information, and USPS denies the appeal in 24 hours. File another appeal, write a two page letter detailing the whole incident. No response for another 6 weeks. Get ANOTHER denial letter, this time stating that I did not have the seller bring the saddle in for inspection, and that I didn't prove the saddle's value. When I submitted the initial claim I included the invoice of the saddle. Called the postmaster - apparently USPS is ridiculous when making you prove an item's value, and want all sorts of additional proof.

                                        Currently drafting my next letter to USPS. Will include all SORTS of documentation and will send them a darn package. Will also have the buyer bring the saddle in for inspection. However, it's been MONTHS now- I'm out that money, which I could really use, plus USPS has been INSANELY unhelpful, in not even providing the basic correspondence/information I need to progress through the claim.

                                        The short of it? I'll never bother insuring a saddle through USPS again; it's clearly a waste of money and I'll be surprised if I ever see my money again.
                                        Dapplebay - home of original equestrian clothing and accessories.