Saddle tree widths?

Hayburner
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Saddle tree widths?

Postby Hayburner » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:38 pm

A fitter just changed the gullet plate in my Wintec Isabell to extra wide and mare seems happy with that change.

Since I am looking for a new saddle to improve my position mostly getting my legs back and under I wonder if tree sizes are "standard". Are all wides the same? Is a wide in one brand different than a wide in a different brand?

I'm still looking at the MacRider Saddles and think the Arlando may be a good one to go with. Unfortunately I can't find one to test ride in, so I'd be buying a used one and hoping it can be fitted to my mare. No, local MacRider fitter available either, so I'd be taking a big chance on iT.

I have also have a Frank Baines Elegance that I just don't like as it's not as deep as my Isabell and it like the Isabell doesn't have exterior knee blocks. I thought the exterior blocks would help keep my leg in a better position.

Now wonder to look for long or short knee blocks on a MacRider? In talking to them, they said most riders prefer a short knee/thigh block

I also can't tell if the Arlando is deeper than my Baines. Certainly, I don't want the same depth that I have and don't like.

Thanks !

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Re: Saddle tree widths?

Postby StraightForward » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:49 pm

No, they are all quite different. A Wintec Extra wide has a lot of "flare" or angle out from the gullet head. IME, not many horses are really shaped in a way that the XW gullet makes a good fit. Often, once a horse is that wide, it needs a hoop tree style that is more wide up at the head, so it's more upside down "U" instead of an "A" shape. On width, some brands will give you centimeter measurement, but even that can't be compared to another brand, because it depends on how long the tree points are, and again, how open the head is, and the flocking. After that, there is the front-to-back curvature of the saddle to consider.

You might look at Lovatt & Ricketts if you like the Isabell. They look similar in shape. Albion and Black Country often suit wider horses well. I don't know anything about MacRider.
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Re: Saddle tree widths?

Postby Hayburner » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:02 pm

Thanks for the quick response.

My mare did get a bit chunky over the summer as she was turned out all nite. I was shocked when the fitter put in the extra wide. But since my mare isn't objecting I hope the fit is right for her. The fitter is an Albion rep and I tried a couple of her Saddles but I didn't like them. I don't know the models we tried.

That's kind of my problem I can't find anyone that knows much about MacRiders. I do see posts on how people love them and how they are quality Saddles but that's about it.

If I buy one I'm not sure if just any fitter can fit it to her. I seem to be limited on independent saddle fitters in my area. I did meet a County Saddle rep last week and she said she too wasn't familiar with MacRiders. Ugh......

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Re: Saddle tree widths?

Postby StraightForward » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:28 am

Sometimes a change in saddle fit can provide relief for a sore area, but then the horse gets sore in another area over time. That is to say, just because the horse seems better right away, that can change over time.

I think MacRider is a pretty new brand, which is why not too many people are familiar with them.
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Re: Saddle tree widths?

Postby Hayburner » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:29 am

Had a lesson tonight and we were chatting about saddles, fit etc.

I asked trainer what she thought of the fit with extra wide gullet, when we felt around and down from her withers the saddle is very tight and as you move your hand down it becomes a lot wider. I don't think the extra wide is right at all. The fitter took her from a medium wide to the extra wide. I thought it was right until I felt where the trainer showed me to, even when I dismounted it still felt tight.

I think I'll pop my wide Baines on her and see how that fits.

I wish I had more of a selection of fitters in my area.

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Re: Saddle tree widths?

Postby Tanga » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:45 am

I've been going through this, too. There is no clear way to measure width, and even the experts can't seem to explain it.

As for your legs, I don't think a big thigh block will help much of anything. If you try to push your leg there, I foresee a lot of pain. If your saddle doesn't allow you to put your leg there, than maybe the seat is too deep and putting you in one position? That's why I like flatter saddles. They allow you to move where you need. Otherwise you need the perfect fitting saddle.

I've been using a Wintec Pro forever, and despite everyone's snarky remarks, think it's a good saddle. I did finally discover it was hurting my back, though, and didn't allow me to sit well. I found the most amazing deal ever on an Albion and it has the same very flat seat, but doesn't hurt my back, so I can sit better. Neither have much of any thigh blocks. When I bought a Bates Innova for an amazing deal with huge blocks, I figured out they were putting mu leg just back enough that it was killing my back. Not good.

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Re: Saddle tree widths?

Postby Hayburner » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:08 pm

Thanks Tanga. There is no shame in riding in a Wintec, LOL. I really love mine ! But my legs do wander in front of the girth and I'm sure part of that is my fault for not working harder at my position. It's hard to work on yourself when you have a wiggly worm and a quick horse between your legs, LOL. I was hoping exterior knee/thigh blocks would help me a bit. It's mostly when I have to do a strong half halt or halt that my legs creep forward. When she's going nicely Which isn't often enough, I can concentrate on my seat.

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Re: Saddle tree widths?

Postby silk » Sun Nov 10, 2019 7:10 pm

Hayburner wrote: But my legs do wander in front of the girth and I'm sure part of that is my fault for not working harder at my position.


This is not necessarily anything to do with how hard you work on your position. The way the saddle is shaped and the place it sits you (where the deepest point is, the rise, the width of the twist, etc) will affect how your leg hangs from your pelvis. Thus, a saddle needs to be the right size and shape for the rider also.

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Re: Saddle tree widths?

Postby Hayburner » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:10 pm

I think I will be joining the ranks of people in saddle fitting nightmares! Lol


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