An alternative approach for those without previous training is by means of an apprenticeship to a Master Saddler, though finding one who is willing to take an apprentice at the right time and place may not be straightforward. Those who are most successful in finding a placement have gained some prior training in saddlery.
Apprenticeship normally lasts for 4 years, however prior training is taken into account when deciding upon the appropriate length of time to be served. The Apprentice's indenture papers are registered with the Society of Master Saddlers and Worshipful Company of Saddlers in order that any dispute or difference may be arbitrated by the Society. A Visitor is also appointed to oversee the apprentice’s training. On satisfactory completion of the apprenticeship and the attainment of the necessary City& Guilds qualifications the apprentice will receive a Completion Certificate signed by The Worshipful Company of Saddlers.
During the apprenticeship period the Master may wish to send the apprentice on one of the courses mentioned previously at The Saddlery Training Centre as part of their training. A Modern Apprenticeship in Saddlery is also available to those of an appropriate age and in suitable employment Proficiency in the craft of saddlery requires a considerable period of time of training and subsequent experience, however part time courses are available at some of the centres mentioned and there are in addition some private sources of tuition, including the following:-