About Claire Fitzmaurice | Ava Saddles | Tailor made saddles for all disciplines

About Claire Fitzmaurice

Claire has always loved horses. As a child she competed many ponies for anybody and everybody that would let her. After starting her eventing career in her late teens, she moved to Belgium to train and compete. Claire also gained valuable experience of top level competitions by groomed on the international 3-day circuit, which included attending the Europeans at Achelswang.

Claire then moved to Germany for the next four years. She gained invaluable experience training with some of Germany’s leading event riders, and competing a wide variety of young horses with a lot of success, including two years riding for Peter Thomsen (team gold medallist Beijing 2008). Some of her many highlights were riding two horses at the Bundeschampionat (German national young horse finals) and grooming at the Atlanta Olympics.

Claire returned to England and its enviable eventing scene. Over the following five years she had the support of an enthusiastic owner and rode up to advanced level. Many successes followed on several different horses.

In 2002 Claire branched out, set up her own yard and started her career as a trainer. She produced and rode many horses and trained riders at all levels, gaining considerable experience of watching and feeling horses’ movement and a thorough understanding of how they move and carry the rider. During her time teaching Claire realised that many of the training issues and poor performance problems that she was enlisted to help with were saddle related as horses where restricted and compromised by the saddles they where ridden in.

Claire became increasingly frustrated because she could not find a suitable saddle to address these issues so she designed her own and Ava Saddles was born. Claire is a trained saddle fitter in flair and flock panels. She has drawn on her extensive horse knowledge and experience to develop a range of flexible horse friendly saddles that also work well for the rider.

Claire has developed Ava into a successful company, designing and fitting the saddles. She believes that a well-fitting saddle is key to horse well-being and performance. Claire brings her experienced eye and passion for horses and their comfort to the job, and enjoys working with clients to find a saddle that really works for them both.

Claire no longer has time to event but you can see what she’s up to through Facebook and Instagram.

Claire and Princess Anne
Claire on the cover of Horse Deals

Clients’ Testimonials

Just wanted to let you know how simply awesome the saddle is and how it has transformed our work in the school/competition/jumping!!

Nicki Owen, West Cumbria

Wonderful personal service ensuring saddle fitted both myself and my horse.

Amy Bratt, Stafford

My horse now moves freely in all paces and is no longer tight in his back. I have received a first class service, so will be recommending AVA to everyone.

Rebecca Hunt

Everyone needs an AVA saddle!!!!

Kirsty Morton, Aberdeen

Claire is completely brilliant at what she does. Excellent British made product, excellent service.

Katie Monroe, Windsor

Just a note to say how delighted I am with my new dressage saddle. I have been struggling to find a saddle to fit for three years and have have tried at least four different makes which have been disasters!

Tracey and Texas

From the first time she had the new saddle on she looked more relaxed and moved more freely. Six months on and she is a different horse.

Judith Warr, Bradford

Both girls have got a Saddle for life now though, definitely a worthwhile investment! Fantastic quality and great looking saddles! Thank you so much Claire Fitzmaurice! Highly recommended!

Izzy Scott, Riding Instructor, Otley

After three saddle fitters all struggled to sort me out, Ava came to the rescue with an absolute perfect solution.

Joanne Mulloy, Cowling, West Yorkshire

Love our new Ava calfskin Gp Saddle with Swarovski crystals. My boy is so much happier and his way of going is superb!

Joanne Robinson, Wirral

Our Pony Sariska is moving so much more freely in every discipline.

Kirston & Eleanor Clulow, Durham

I have struggled with saddles probably since having horses. For the first time ever since my saddle fittings for both horses (Young & Older) I feel positive about our future.

Maria Stevens, Usk

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