Understanding Saddle Trees seminars
We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com website. Western Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)
Yesterday, we did our seminars on Understanding Saddle Trees at the Sheridan Leather trade show. In the morning, we talked about The Top Side, pertaining to the rider and the look and function of the fork and cantle. In the afternoon, we talked about The Bottom Side, pertaining to the horse and how the tree fits and works on them. I never pulled my camera out of the case, but one of the participants in the afternoon took a number of pictures and was kind enough to share them with us. So here is an outline of the afternoon's seminar.
We were pleased with the attendance at the seminars. The participants asked questions and not too many fell asleep, despite just sitting and listening right after lunch...
Rod started by talking about the 3 P's of saddle fit - allowing the tree to be in the correct Position, no Poking, and distributing the Pressure over as wide a surface area as possible. The whole topice of saddle fit can be covered under these three Principles.
Since everything about saddle fit has to do with shape and not measureable sizes, Rod talked about some of the methods of communicating the back shape of horses.
Then I got to talk about a favorite subject - functional equine anatomy as it relates to how saddles work on horses.
And I got into a bit on bio-mechanics and how horses move as well.
Next up was Rod talking about some of the factors that affect saddle tree fit. He used trees, parts of trees, and lots of hand movement...
but he brought the horse inside only in pictures...
After that, talking about what you look for in evaluating a horse for saddle fit was almost a review, putting together the pieces from both the horse and the tree.
Then we went over signs of saddle fit problems, what to look for and some of what causes them.
The End of our allotted time.