SMS Members fall into three broad categories:
Craft, Trade and Fitting.
Craft or Trade Saddler and Fitting members may be Trainee, Qualified, or Master level.
Our Trade and Allied members manufacture saddlery, or supply the industry with products and services. Use our member search to find Craft, Fitting, and Retail members. You can browse our Trade & Allied members here
About the Qualified titles
Qualified Saddler and Harness Maker
A Qualified Craft member must hold the City & Guilds Level III Advanced qualification in their area of specialisation, plus one other Level III in the City & Guilds Saddlery Skills Assessment Scheme. They will have been working in the trade for at least 4 years, and actively be working as a Saddler, Bridle Maker or Harness Maker with all relevant insurances in place.
Qualified Saddle Fitter and Qualified Bridle Fitter
A Qualified Fitter member must pass the Society of Master Saddlers Qualified (Saddle or Bridle) Fitting Assessment and derive most of their business from the fitting and provision of saddles or bridles. Saddle Fitters must also hold the Society Flocking qualification, and both should have recourse to the services of a qualified (or higher) Saddler. The Fitter must have been trading for at least one year, have all insurances in place, and be recommended by three SMS members.
About the Master titles
Master Saddler, Saddle Maker, Bridle Maker, or Harness Maker
A Master in the Craft or Trade categories has 7 years’ experience and derives most of their business from their area of specialisation, being it saddle, bridle or harness making. They must hold the City & Guilds Level III Advanced in their area of specialisation, plus one other Level III in the City & Guilds Saddlery Skills Assessment Scheme. In addition, they must hold all relevant insurances, and be recommended by two current members of the Society. An inspection of work may be carried out – the title of Master is not easily gained.
Master Saddle Fitter
A Master Saddle Fitter member has 7 years’ experience fitting. They must hold the City & Guilds Certificate in Saddle Fitting (or the SMS Qualified Saddle Fitting Assessment if prior to 2007) and should have qualified at least 3 years prior to application for Master status. They must provide member and customer references, hold relevant insurances, and be able to access the services of an SMS Qualified (or higher) Saddler. Furthermore, they must not have any outstanding complaint against them, or any upheld complaint within the past two years.