Without horses and without riders there would be no need for saddles and bridles: a healthy saddlery industry therefore demands a strong interest in equestrianism.
The Saddlers, through the British Equestrian Federation, provides training grants to most equestrian disciplines encouraging them to use the funds to educate and encourage their coaches, instructors and riders to better understand the importance of well fitted tack to both horse and rider welfare and performance. In addition, saddles, bridles and cash vouchers of varying value are awarded to a wide range of equestrian competitions, including point-to-points, show jumping, dressage, vaulting, endurance riding, horse trials, riding club events, schools and universities polo and – of course – Pony Club competitions.
The Company does its best to ensure that its prizes and vouchers are won by the younger, unsponsored, competitors rather than those that might already be well supported and have rewards heaped on them in the cause of advertising commercial products.
The Company also subsidises the training of young riders on courses run by the British Horse Society and the British Show Jumping Association, as well as encouraging the training of instructors and judges in all equestrian disciplines.
Support for the work of the British Horse Society extends particularly to its Safety Committee, the Changing Lives Through Horses project and to those initiatives concerned with providing opportunities for riding to young people in inner-city areas and for the disabled.
The Saddlers work with the trade, the Society of Master Saddlers and the British Equestrian Trade Association to spread awareness of the importance of well-made, good quality equipment for all those who take part in what will always be a sport with an element of risk. In addition the Saddlers provide funding for related equine research at the Royal Veterinary College and the Animal Health Trust.
Following its long-standing connections with the mounted units of the Army, the Saddler support equestrian sport in the Armed Services through an annual training grant and prizes at horse shows and other events.