Saddle fit for The Horse and
A successful partnership between a rider and their horse
relies on correct saddle fit. One saddle will not and cannot
be expected to fit every horse.
Each horse is different as is each rider and comfort is of
priority, therefore we employ a unique system developed by our
Our Fit Forms, which are an exact copy of the bearing surface base
of a saddle tree’s bars are used to determine which fit is going
to be the most comfortable for the horse.
As it is not possible to carry every different shaped saddle tree
having the range of fit forms, seven in all is the next best
Once a saddle order is in place then the fitting of your horse is
next. Horses can be fitted here at the Old West saddle Shop
or the Fit Forms can be mailed to you. Alternatively I can travel
to you depending on your location.
I am willing to travel both intra and inter state at customers
expense, however with the fit form system this is not generally
Fit Forms are very easy to use to determine the correct fit for
your horse and if done remotely I can assist via a phone
conversation to ease any confusion.
This also allows the customer to be able to see exactly how the
finished saddle tree will fit on his or her horses back. There is
no hit or miss with the system and when your saddle tree arrives
from the tree maker it will fit exactly as the Fit Form did.
This is a system that would have had much merit over the years and
many horses would have benefited greatly, however it wasn’t
and a huge percentage of horses lived their working lives in
discomfort to bordering on excruciating pain resulting in a range
of behavior problems from a lack of freedom in performance to
being downright dangerous, all because of saddle fit and comfort.
A rider cannot see what tree is in their saddle but a horse can
feel and respond accordingly to both a comfortable and
uncomfortable saddle which they have no choice but to accept.
Generally a horse can only put up with an ill fitting saddle for a
very short time, as would you with ill fitting shoes. Horses
can be expected to carry a rider for many hours.
It is owed to them that they have the best comfort experience
There is no industry standard therefore saddle tree’s are made to
each makers designs, resulting in differences from one tree
maker to another in terms of bar shape and fit. This isn’t
the best approach and can serve to ruin a saddle makers
As each rider is different so are the seat sizes required. A
saddle tree comes in half inch seat length increments, so to have
a proper and balanced seat for the rider a correct seat length is
A finished saddle will reduce a seat length by a little over
half an inch [ aprox 12 cm ] and a saddle tree is ordered
accordingly to accommodate the difference.
It must be noted that a too short or too long seat is not
preferable to a correct riding position, control or
comfort. Therefore an enjoyable safe riding experience will
not be achieved.
We have a huge range of timber tree’s at our disposal, single
fibre glass covered for general riding, double covered for light
roping, rawhide or bull hide covered for heavy roping.
Our saddles suit every riders styles and demands.
Saddle tree’s come in a wide range of fork shapes and designs,
horns, bar designs and cantles so every desired finished saddle is
Our tree’s are made in Tennessee USA by the same family company
since 1848. They are proven leaders in their field of
exceptional quality and innovation for the changing times of the
A pic of a Fit Form is shown below to let you see how and why this
works so well.
The saddle must be the best friend between you and your horse and
it all starts with the fit of the tree.