Originally Posted by SionTheMonster View Post
Might be a little bit of a silly question to ask, but it's been driving me crazy!
When english saddle makers are talking about tree measurements being, say, 26cm, or 32cm, or whatever number, where exactly are they measuring from? I know tree widths can be classified as M, MW, XW, but I have no idea what the centimeter measurements mean.
If someone could clear this up for me that'd be great! :)
I've been fitting saddles professionally for 12 years and it drives me mad too!
What Freia said is basically correct - it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. The 'standard' English saddle widths are Narrow(Size 1), Medium (Size 2), Medium-Wide (Size 3) Wide (Size 4) Extra Wide (Size 5). In theory these increase - across the tree points - by 1" each time, except sizes 2-3 and 3-4 which are 1/2" increases.
Metric (cm) sizes are even more variable eg. the old Stubben size 28cm was a medium but the current Fieldhouse 30cm is a medium. It's a nightmare!
In 2000, the Society of Master Saddlers approved a standard tree-makers' jig. Regrettably this did not, as many of us hoped, standardise widths. It simply made it easier to check that a newly-made tree was level and plumb. I asked a tree manufacturer (Lariot) what they'd used before only to be told checks were all made 'by eye'. As someone who spent years in the kitchen manufacturing industry, where machinery was set to produce timber parts to a tolerance of + or - 0.5mm, this came to me as a bit of a nasty shock!
Unfortunately, widths can only ever be a rough guide. Cavalrytales Blog