How To Pack Saddles for Shipping

Supplies:

  • Thick/Heavy Cardboard Box – Can be found at Home Depot, Storage Facilities, Shipping Companies
  • Protective Materials: Bubble wrap, Blankets, Saddle Pads – Not Peanuts unless they are in bags.
  • Suggested Sizes – Depending on the size of the Saddle(s) Seat, Tree width & knee blocks
    • Allow 2-4″ max empty space around saddle(s) for protective material in a snugly fitting box
      • 18″ x 18″ x 22″ – 1 Only Average Seat & Width Jump, 1 Only Small (or No) Block Dressage
      • 20″ x 20″ x 24″ – 18″+ & wide Jump, 1 Only Average or Med Block Dressage
      • 22″ x 22″ x 24″ – 2 Average Jump, Wide/Extra wide Jump or 2 Average or 1 Wide/Extra Wide Dressage

Canada Post does not accept boxes 24″ x 24″ x 24″

Step 1: Preparing the Box:

  • Tape Up the Bottom* tightly – tape across the middle seam and overlap that middle piece with a tape on either side. Tape across the middle of each flap on either side of the middle seam. Tape 2x around the bottom of the box and over the seam tape pieces. about 6″ from the bottom edge to provide strength to box sides and corners.
  • Line Box Bottom: Make 2-3 layers of soft material; bubble wrap, saddle pads, towels on bottom of box. Only use Peanuts if they are kept in bags.

Step 2: Preparing the Saddle(s)

Put a cover on the saddle(s). Depending on how thin/thick the protective materials are, wrap a thick cover of approximately 3 layers of protective wrap over Pommel & cantle. Leave the end loose or use scotch tape, not shipping tape (its hard to remove) to hold the end of the wrap in place. Place another layer of wrap over the seat and flaps to provide further protection and to fill up any extra space. Be careful to not add so much material that the panels are potentially damaged from too much inward pressure on the flaps & tree points.

Step 3: Placing the Saddle(s) in the Box

  • Place saddle(s) POMMEL DOWN in box and position to provide maximum room for the flaps. Ensure flaps are not curled in so that the flocking does not become folded/creased/damaged.
  • Place a large folded “pillow” (~ 6-8″ high) of bubble wrap UNDER the pommel. It needs to be large enough to support the pommel and keep the weight and pressure off the front of the flaps.
  • For Wide saddles &/or flaps with large blocks that fit tightly in the box – Fill in the space between the flaps in the center of the box with bubble wrap/saddle pad(s) to press and hold the flaps to the outside.

2 Saddles?? – Nest one inside of the other(smaller one on the inside) OR Cantles in opposite corners with flaps fit around each other. The inside saddle only needs 1 layer of bubble wrap over pommel/cantle and seat/flaps. EACH saddle saddle requires a pommel “pillow”. Be careful that the panels/flocking aren’t folded; fill with bubble wrap/saddle pad to press and hold the flaps out so that the flocking doesn’t become folded/creased/damaged.

Step 4: Finishing Up

  • Cut down the box height as necessary to keep minimal space between the top of the saddle(s) and the top of the box to minimize the saddle movement during shipping.
  • Tape top the same as the bottom. Tape across the middle seam and overlap that middle piece with a tape on either side. Tape across the middle of each flap on either side of the middle seam. Tape 2x around the bottom of the box and over the seam tape pieces. about 6″ from the bottom edge to provide strength to box sides and corners

*Place Stickers or Write (in LARGE Red Letters) Fragile & This Side Up on 4 sides & top of the box

Recommendations

*Do Not ship saddles flat on their backs – there is a very high chance of damage when other boxes get put on top and the weight puts pressure on the tree points/headplate and/or the cantle causing structural damage. Shipping companies most likely will not cover damage incurred from what they may consider incorrect packaging so it is important to pack as thoroughly as possible.

If the only box you can use puts the saddle on its back then: Still place large amount of bubble wrap under pommel & place the
Shipping Label on the cantle end of the box so it stands up instead of laying down *to date saddles received by us that were damaged during shipping were all shipped on their backs

*Full Insurance Coverage for Value of saddle(s) is highly recommended *