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.

fitTip9

 

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

Contact miriam@schleese.com or solutions@schleese.com, book a Personal Saddle Fit Evaluation, or attend an educational lecture/demo.

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Testimonial from a client who responded to a post on Chronicle of the Horse Forums. Hate to say it, but 99.999% of all riders/trainers/vets/chiropractors have no idea whether a saddle fits or not- and Jochen Schleese has done the research and the innovation to determine what does fit. My 3 year old started to give me the same signs as this mare [bucking] - thank God I was lucky enough to attend a lecture by JS the next weekend and I then did quite a bit of investigating what he had to offer. I took the plunge and even with a loaner saddler in the interim the results are phenomenal. No more issues with my young horse, and my older horse who I was on the verge of retiring because of cascading soundness issues is now going better and sounder every single day- and doing work which he has never been able to do before. Of course, I was able to change the saddle on my young horse BEFORE he learned to defend himself by rearing and bucking and it became a habit. A new saddle is considerably cheaper than sending her somewhere to another "fixer" trainer.

— Madeline Zook, NV

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