When you first start to shop for a saddle...we know it can be confusing. There are so many saddles for sale online and through local tack and feed shops...how do you know how to get the RIGHT FIT for YOUR horse? Very few online stores or local shops offer help in getting the correct saddle fit for your horse.
Just because a saddle is called a "gaited saddle", "draft saddle", "Arabian saddle" , "mule saddle", etc. etc...doesn't mean that it fits every equine of that description. Nor are all of these saddle the same standard size. That's why we offer our tree fitting program, so you can be sure you get the best possible, most comfortable fit for YOUR horse.
Recent customer testimonial:
"Thank you so much for all of your help. The tree fitting evaluation is really helpful and educational. It helped me see a few things I was overlooking. It should be a part of every saddlemaker's process."
You can choose to have a actual saddle tree sent to you! You then put the saddle tree on your horse, take pictures (instructions will be sent to you), email the pictures and expert saddle fitters will evaluate the fit for you. From the pictures, the saddle fitter and maker can tell what tree is needed to ensure that your horse has the most comfortable fit.
Why tree-fitting instead of other methods?
Coat hanger and wither tracing measurements can be very inaccurate and unreliable. Coat hanger measurements just measure 1/4" of your equine's back. You cannot see gullet width fit, bar fit from front to back, or if the saddle will sit on the horse's spine. Coat hanger measurements are a guess at best. You can have confidence that the saddle you order fits your equine correctly when you use our tree-fitting program. We can see what modifications, if any, need to be made to the tree and suggest the best type of saddle pad to us with the saddle to get the best comfort and fit for your horse.
Several saddle trees are available for fitting purposes:
6 ½" flex tree (semi QH). This saddle tree flexes to about 6 ¾" when pressure is applied (rider in saddle).
7" flex tree (full QH). This saddletree flexes to about 7 ¼" when pressure is applied (rider in saddle).
6 ½" gaited wood tree*
7" gaited wood tree*
ONE SIZE ONLY--Gaited FLEX tree in a 7" gullet (Seat sizes are called 16" and 17", but actually fit like a 15.5" and 16.5")
*Gaited trees are specifically built for the gaited horse breeds, but fit most horses that have a lot of angle to their topline. Bars on these trees are flared outward at the shoulder and the gullet is taller so they do not pinch the shoulder and they aid the gaited horse in comfortably moving into their natural gaits.
Draft wood tree**
**Draft horse wood trees are specifically built for your draft or larger horse. The bars are flatter to fit a broader back. We can build this gullet in a 7", 7.5" or 8" width (wood tree)...we should be able to tell from your saddle fitting pictures which gullet size is needed.
6 1/2" mule polymer tree
7" mule polymer tree
6 ½"(semi QH) or polymer tree
7" (full QH) or polymer tree
Have a saddle tree shipped to you today
Shipping a saddle tree requires a $150.00 deposit plus shipping. The $150.00 deposit is applied to the purchase price of your saddle. We request that you do not order a saddle tree unless you are serious about having a custom saddle built.
We will ship you instructions with the trees as well, but here is the overview of our saddle tree fit instructions:
With the ideal tree fit the tree will sit flat on your horse’s/mule’s back. The sides should be flush against the horse’s/mule’s ribs – not bend inward poking the horse/mule. The gullet area should have about 2” to 3"of clearance between top of horse’s/mule’s withers and the underside of the gullet.
Tree should be tried on the horse/mule with no pad, no blanket, no towels, etc. Please sit the tree about 1 1/2'” to 2” back from where you would normally put the front of the saddle. We can help you determine a good fit if you have a digital camera. We would need to have just three photos
1) profile of side showing how the bars fit over the horse’s/mule’s back and
2) shot from the front showing clearance between horse’s/mule’s withers and underside of gullet and how the bars are on the shoulders
3) shot from the rear so we may see how far the tree comes down over the horse’s/mule’s spine.
We need to see the whole Horse so we can then know how the horse is built
The pictures from the front needs to be at enough angle to show how the front of the bars are making contact with the horse. The one from the rear must be high enough to show the bars contacting the back and to see the clearance of the cantle over the spine.
PLEASE NO CLOSEUPS We need to see the body of your horse in order to make the right adjustment.
Please know that most of the time a different tree is needed besides the one we sent. and the tree we send is just a reference point, from that we can see how much and where we need to adjust. From that we then make the decision on which tree is best for your horse.
If your tree fit doesn't look exactly like this...that's okay :) This is to show you what angles we would like to see in the pictures.
The picture below shows excellent fit along the bars of the saddle tree. Bars fit the back evenly without poking in. They lie flush with the horse's back so the bars can evenly distribute the rider's weight comfortably for the horse. (Don't be discouraged if your tree fitting is not exactly like this...the best possible, most comfortable fit can be found for your horse)
The picture below shows a shot from the rear. There is space between the tree and the spine of the horse. Spine clearance is necessary for the health and comfort of the horse/mule.
The last shot is of the gullet or front of the tree. There is good spine/wither clearance in the front with a good bar fit at the front as well.