Many riders love the feeling of a narrow twist. The twist is the part of the saddle you feel between your upper inner thigh. Most trees with a narrow twist minimize the weight-bearing surface for the horse’s back, especially between T10 and T13. Excessive pressure in this area can lead to hypertrophy, hypertension and painful reaction to palpation. The horse is restricted in using its back correctly. This scientific study has been published by the University of Zurich in the journal entry “The importance of the twist in the context of proper saddle fit”. The study aimed at investigating the correlation between back pain and saddles with and without a narrow twist. Comparisons, especially in the craniomedial area, showed that saddles with narrow twists exhibited higher pressure readings and resulted in more incidences of hypertrophy in the Spinalis Thoracis muscle.
So how do we keep a nice narrow twist for the rider, but an appropriately wide twist for a better weight-bearing surface for the horse’s back to avoid pain? Schleese, the leader in innovative saddle solutions bisected the tree at the twist to develop the revolutionary NW-Twist. What is an NW-Twist? It is a tree with an extremely narrow twist for the rider and a wide twist for the horse. This gives the rider a comfortable seat with extremely close contact with the horse while providing the horse with optimal weight distribution and maximum freedom of movement to engage its back pain-free.