Tree and Saddle Fitting
Saddle fit is becoming more of a concern and more confusing for many people. As information and misinformation is spread between riders and over the internet, saddle makers are getting more questions about it all the time. While there are lots of opinions (often stated as fact) on what makes a saddle fit or not, there is really very little objective data to go by. We have come up with the three Ps which are the foundation for everything we believe in terms of fit: 1.) Position the saddle properly, 2.) nothing should Poke or dig into the horse and 3.) distribute the Pressure over as much surface area as possible without breaking principle number two.
The first Principle is discussed individually in our Proper Position of a Western Saddle page. Then the other two Principles are explained further in the Factors that Affect Tree Fit page. But beyond the priciples, we have broken down tree fit into individual components that can be evaluated separately to determine how well each of them matches the horse. This is crucial when Troubleshooting Saddle Fit Problems, since not only do you need to evaluate the tree, but also the saddle, the horse, the rider, the riding technique and other tack being used, since all of them may be causing, or contributing to, the problem. We also have provided a downloadable pdf of a Quick Reference Chart so you have an at-a-glance aid handy for when you get the “my saddle doesn’t fit my horse” phone call.
For those who are not familiar with our trees and want to be sure to get a correct fit on their first tree, or for those who are faced with a different body type than they are used to fitting, we have written the Measuring Horses For Fit page discussing different methods of communicating horse shape to us. We have also provided a downloadable Taking Back Drawings pdf that you can take out to the corral or barn with you.
Some of the posts in our blog have talked about some crucial concepts in saddle fit, and to make it easier for people to find them, we have put up a page with links to some of the more important posts.