Adjustable Trees. Are they worth it? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Adjustable Trees. Are they worth it?

Hello everyone! My horse outgrew her saddle so I am in the market for a new one. The idea of an adjustable tree sounds really nice to me, if almost too good to be true. My horse has a round, muscled back and tends to change shape with the seasons so Iím worried that a normal saddle wonít fit her for very long. Right now I am trying to gather more information and I would love to hear your opinions and experiences with adjustable trees.

After much research, this is my conclusion so far on some of the brands:

M. Toulouse:
The saddles are cough-ugly-cough, I don't want a seat that deep or panels that huge. Plus, it seems to me that the tree would be very V-shaped by design when my horse probably needs more of a U-shape.

Courbette E-Motion tree:
From what I can gather, it is a nice idea in theory but not in practice. Plus I read that recessed stirrup bars can cause pressure points.

It seems that people either love them or hate them. Their customer service is supposed to be inconsistent, but I donít think that there are any representatives near me anyway. The flair panels are supposed to make the saddle heavy and ride like a beach ball. I do like that the bars point backwards, and I like the wide gullet channel.

These were the only brands that I was able to find a lot of information on. Rembrandt, Kieffer, and Prestige are supposed to have some models with adjustable trees too. Does anyone know about how they work or whether I should consider them?

I guess what Iím asking is if itís worth the extra time and research to get a saddle with an adjustable tree. Iím trying to solve a problem but I donít want to create even more trouble! Should I just get a normal saddle and trade it for another when my horse gets wider? Iím worried that if I do that, even if I buy used I will still lose money (and time) in the process. I do have my eye on some Duetts listed on E-bay.

Thank you in advance everyone!

I am here to learn! :)
WalnutPixie is offline  
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 12:05 PM
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There is a saddle on the back of my September issue of dressage today that seems amazing. I have no personal experience with it and no idea the cost, but I'd love to try it, here is the website Laser Equestrian Products

ETA: the saddle pictured on the magazine if called the flexor LE
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 12:12 PM
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Umm, I have an M.Toulouse and I couldn't be happier! What do you mean by V shaped vrs U shaped? *sctaches head*

My suggestion is to get a Professional Saddle Maker/Fitter to help you out. My TB changes shape all the time as well, as well as being very difficult to fit and A symetrical - I go with a wider saddle, and pad up.

He is narrow in the withers, but has broad shoulders and a broad back, so I cannot get a saddle to accomodate his withers, because I'll no longer be accomodating his back and shoulders and I'd be hindering his mobility and movement. So I have to go wider to accomodate his broadness below, and pad up to accomodate his withers.

Right now, he has muscle atrophy behind his shoulders and eventually I'll beable to take away the shims, once those fill out, and his topline is in the process of developing and becoming stronger, eventually I'll beable to take away the 1/2 pad, but for now, it's serving its purpose.

I love my saddle! Puts me in a perfect position the moment I sit in it, I am instantly balanced over my feet and I feel solidified in my tack. To boot, it fits my horse beautifully.

I personally do not like adjustable tree's. Their advertisements are about being able to fit a wide variety of horses, which is a load of phtphthp as far as I am concerned. You cannot change the shape of the tree, the angles of the panels, the gullet channel width - all you are doing is changing the width of the tree from narrow to medium and etc, etc.

My suggestion is to go the route I am. A wider tree that will accomodate your horses shape when they are developed and full, and pad up for now until you reach that point. Overtime, you can remove the shims and remove the half pad all together, until that point, you are protecting the back and allowing it to develop.

I'd still contact a saddler. You can contact Lynnda at Classic Saddlery. She is very helpful and knowledgeable. and will help you via phone and e-mail.
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MIEventer is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 07:08 PM
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I have an M. Toulouse as well with the adjustable tree.

Honestly, I love the option of millimeter by millimeter adjustment. I got tired of my horse outgrowing tack as he changes through the work loads.

Plus the adjustment on it, is 100x easier than the gullet plates (Bates, Pessoa).

It doesn't have quite the sleek look I prefer, but it's also the only saddle that matches my shortness, and fits my horse so..

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-09-2011, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your advice! Rachel, I will look into the Lazer saddles, thanks!

Umm, I have an M.Toulouse and I couldn't be happier! What do you mean by V shaped vrs you shaped? *sctaches head*
Perhaps I could have worded that better! I am looking for a dressage saddle so I only looked at those. Your saddle is very elegant though, so I'll take back what I said. By v-shaped and U-shaped I was refering to the bars of the tree, I meant that my horse could probably benefit from a hoop tree because of her huge shoulders.

I would have a saddle fitter help me but there aren't -any- near me. I searched for months but as far as I know there is only one person in the whole state! That is why I am studying saddle fit myself. I will keep Classic Saddlery in mind, thank you! I was wondering if there was anyone online who could help me.

MIEventer, does using a wider tree and padding up make the saddle less stable? It sounds like a great idea, but my horse has no withers and a round back so I have to be careful.

Thank you, everyone! There is just so much to consider; I really appreciate your advice.

I am here to learn! :)

Last edited by WalnutPixie; 10-09-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-10-2011, 12:36 AM
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-10-2011, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by WalnutPixie View Post
MIEventer, does using a wider tree and padding up make the saddle less stable? It sounds like a great idea, but my horse has no withers and a round back so I have to be careful.
I don't think wide saddle + padding is a great idea. I don't have adjustable tree, but I wonder if changing tree would help with every body shape change. Personally I'd highly doubt it. I was going through similar issue just last month: my horses changed a lot after being 6 months in work. But the tree shouldn't be changed: they grew up in withers, so my fitter had to add flocking on front (weird, I know).

You can look for the saddle designed for wide horses (like Thornhill or Duett).

MIE, I thought you are using HDR now...?

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