Serial number look-up

Whether you’re looking to purchase a saddle second hand or want to check what systems are in your current saddle, your saddle’s serial number can tell you some key information about your saddle.

How do I read my saddle’s serial number?

As we've been making saddles since 1934, our serial number process has changed many times, meaning there is no one way to accurately read your own serial number. Some of our more recent serial numbers can be deciphered to tell you key information about your saddle, including your saddle’s age, seat size and what systems it features which are outlined here. 

Where is my saddle’s serial number?

Most serial numbers will be stamped on the under-flap of your saddle, however older models may have the serial number on a sewn in tag located near your saddle’s girth points.

What year was my saddle made? How old is my saddle?

You can find your saddle’s year of manufacture at the start of your saddle’s serial number. If the first two numbers start with 10 or above, they represent the year your saddle was manufactured.

For example, if the first two numbers of the serial number start with 17, the saddle was manufactured in 2017, 18 = 2018, 19 = 2019 and so on.

What size is my saddle?

The last two numbers of your saddle’s serial number represent your saddle’s seat size in centimetres. The conversions are as follows: 36 cm = 14 inch, 38 cm = 15 inch, 40 cm = 16 inch, 42 cm = 16.5 inch, 43 cm = 17 inch. 44 cm = 17.5 inch and 46 cm = 18 inch. 

For example, if your saddle’s serial number ends in “-43” the seat size is 43 cm or 17 inches. 

Does my saddle have a changeable gullet?

Most Bates saddles have a changeable gullet, however some older models have a different screw location or type and some early models are only changeable by a saddle fitter. 

All saddles manufactured after 2010 will feature the EASY-CHANGE Gullet System which means that for most saddles it is only two external screws that need to be taken out to access the gullet. Saddles older than this may have additional screws in place to access the gullet. See above how to check your saddle’s year of manufacture. See below how to tell what systems your saddle includes. 

What systems are in my saddle?

There are a few ways to know what systems your saddle features without needing to perform a complete serial number check. Included below are some things to look for to check what systems are in your saddle: 

HART badge

A HART badge is featured on Bates saddles to denote that the saddle has all of the features of HART (link: including the complete EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution, CAIR Cushion System along with the other features of HART. 

CAIR badge and EASY-CHANGE badge

Bates saddles manufactured prior to the introduction of HART branding may feature a CAIR badge at the back of the chamber and an EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution badge at the front of the chamber, these saddles have all the features of HART including the EASY-CHANGE Fit Solution.    

Special conformation models

Saddles made for specialist conformations such as Wide and High Wither models, will be stamped with their model type. Wide models will also feature the EASY-CHANGE WIDE Gullet System which has purple/ lilac gullets.

When did you last perform a health check on your saddle?

It’s important for the comfort and safety of you and your horse that you regularly check you saddle for signs of wear and tear. Follow our guide on how to perform a health and safety check on your saddle. 

Are you looking to purchase a new saddle?

Read through our checklist for buying a new saddle to ensure you make the right decision for you and your horse.

Please note when purchasing a saddle second hand, there is no way of knowing from the outside whether alterations have been made to the saddle. This could include the removal of the saddle’s CAIR Cushion System, which is not recommended and voids your saddle’s warranty. Therefore, it is important to seek the advice your local Bates Saddles retailer or have the saddle assessed by a saddle fitter if you have any concerns.

I still need help to find out about my saddle

As we've been making saddles since 1934, our number process has changed many times and unfortunately there is no one way to accurately read your own serial number. However, our friendly customer service team would be happy to help you. Simply contact us with your serial number and we'll do our best to tell you all about your Bates saddle. 

To speed up the process for you, please send us all numbers and letters that you can see, plus any stamping of model names. Both typing out the number for clarity and sending us several photos will assist us to determine your saddle details. All information and images you have can be useful we are sometimes relying on hand-written notes in books.