A question about measuring
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! :)
That one confuses me too, but I am a western person, I do know a Courbette 32cm fits our wide Thoroughbred the same as a Full QH bar which is a 7" Gullet
The Gullet Plate in our Wintec English which is called a Wide fits the same also.
Still have never found where the 32cm is measured at ....lol...
I'll join the "I don't know and am waiting for answers" group
I found it, now I am really confused.... think I will stay with Western ....lol....
Aaaaah! That article actually helped quite a bit, SouthernTrails. At least now I have a sweet clue what they'll mean and roughly what the measurement is of LOL. Thanks!
English tree widths are measured from the tip of one tree-point to the other. Since different manufacturers use different lengths on their tree-points, this measurement doesn't mean much unless you're familiar with each specific manufacturer.
Geometry: Here's a tracing of my Passier Medium width tree (as close as I could get my flex-curve to follow the tree)
Let's say you have a saddle with tree points that come down 15 cm from the top of the gullet instead of the 11.5 cm that I have. If that saddle still has a 27.5" tree width, then obviously the angle of the tree is going to be much narrower than mine. so when you have a measurement for tree width in cm, it means absolutely nothing unless you know the shape and geometry of the tree itself.
In general, a medium English tree is going to have about a 90° angle, while a wider tree has a larger angle and narrower has a smaller angle.
Not only the tree angle, but the length of the tree points will affect the fit at the front of the saddle. And also remember the the profile of the saddle (along the length), which is the tree shape, not width, also affects the fit.
fun, huh? :wink:
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.:-(
OP, one thing you have to understand is that english saddles are really designed to fit a horse WITHOUT a pad, unlike western saddles where it is assumed that the saddle pad or blanket will be used. That's why english saddle measurement and fitting is more complicated.
Mildot: Well aware of that! :) I'm an English rider, but I was just browsing on used saddle places and saw the "32cm tree width" pop up everywhere...couldn't really understand it so I figured I'd ask!
Holy smokes...thanks everyone for your input! Still seems like a pretty confusing thing but at least now I've got some clue, LOL.
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