Did you know… Saddle Trees come in either: Narrow, Medium or Wide widths?
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?
Learn the importance of a Saddle’s Tree Width
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.
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. 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.
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