Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Wales, UK
• Horses: 0
You can see the main problems with this tree are the thinness of the front gullet plate (the headplate, which fits above it and which can't be seen, is probably similar) and the small size and poor quality of the rivets which join them together, through the wood of the tree, to make the front arch rigid.
A combination of these faults allows the arch to flex, loosening the rivets (you can see the heads have lifted on some) and allowing the arch to stretch. Eventually it would have failed completely.
At least in this example the girth webs run over the top of the tree. Some examples I've seen have them tacked on underneath (scary!)
PS. The bits of half-round section wire are tails from the head nails and fall-down staples. You'll find those, and tacks, if you dismantle a quality saddle, though the head nail shafts are more commonly square-section and heavier gauge.