Fit is Everything - Infinitely Adjustable for Optimal Comfort & Performance!

Tip 9: Saddle Tree Width

Did you know…Saddle Trees come in either Narrow, Medium or Wide widths?

Ask yourself…But what do these terms actually mean? And what will a saddle with a tree that is an incorrect width for your horse actually do when your horse is in motion?


Watch this informative video for some saddle fit tips on “Saddle Tree Width” that may help you! Whether you answered yes or no to the above questions… Schleese is offering you further information on the importance of a proper tree width to prevent long-term damage to your horse.

Learn the importance of a Saddle’s Tree Width

The tree width must be wide enough for the horse’s shoulders to rotate freely under the tree. But too often we see a saddle with a tree width that is too narrow for a particular horse. Not only can your horse’s shoulders not move freely under such a saddle, but the saddle can be driven forward on top of his shoulders as he is being ridden. This will result in all of the problems we’ve already discussed in previous saddle fit tips.

If the tree width is too wide, while the horse is being ridden, the entire saddle may rock from side to side, or the back half of the saddle may twist to one side or the other.

Why do saddle makers and saddle fitters consider both tree width and tree angle when fitting a saddle to a particular horse? Tree width and tree angle need to be adjusted together. If the width of your saddle’s tree is correct for your horse, but the angle is incorrect, the saddle will not fit your horse. Adding flocking to or removing flocking from the vertical panels of the saddle will not solve the problem. And at times both the width and angle of the saddle’s tree are incorrect for a particular horse. As we discussed in Saddle Fit Tip # 8 – Tree Angle, this can cause permanent, long-term damage to your horse.

A properly fitted saddle will have a tree that is wide enough and an angle that is correctly adjusted so as to avoid hitting the spinalis muscle. This is also a reflex point that inhibits or completely stops forward movement. When a stallion breeds a mare, he bites her on this reflex point so that she stands still, hollows her back, and rotates her pelvis open. In order to locate your horse’s spinalis muscle, draw a line 4” down from the base of your horse’s withers, and then draw a horizontal line back. The saddle must stay off of that triangle.



Is this a challenge you are facing? Are you experiencing other saddle fit issues? Tell us about them and let us help!

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Dear Schleese team, All I can say after riding in my new Schleese saddle is, WOW!!! I ride a 20 year old quarter horse and he was like a different horse. He moved like a much younger horse, full speed ahead. I had so much fun riding in the Eagle. As for myself, no more band aids to prevent sores on my legs. I feel very secure jumping. This horse is very difficult to get on the bit and round. My riding instructor and I noticed that he is much more willing to go round and keep round. Not bad for a 20 year old school horse that was never taught to go round in his life. I also ride a thoroughbred school horse in his twenties. I look forward to putting the Schleese Eagle on this horse. My riding instructor told me that my leg position is the best that is has ever been. Thank you so much for designing such a wonderful product. It was well worth the expense. I know the horse thanks you too! He even looked happy

— Eva Stock - Elmhurst, IL

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