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Kieffer Adjustable Tree?
I was looking to get a Kieffer Munchen Dressage saddle, and I found a nice one for a good price. I don't have my own horse and I'm not really sure how to check what size English/Dressage saddle the horse needs. Most of the time I ride an OTTB, would a narrow tree fit her (the saddle has a narrow tree)? I have also heard about the Kieffers having adjustable trees? Is this true/do the Munchen dressage ones have the adjustable tree? Thanks!
Also: How do you tell what size tree a horse would need? Thank you!
To the best of my knowledge Keiffers have an all plastic tree (no gullet or head plates) so are factory or main-dealer adjust only.
IME there are few narrow fit horses nowadays, certainly in the UK. OTTBs often have muscle build up on the back of the shoulderblade, depending on age and how much they've raced, which makes them wider than you might think.
The only way to get a proper fit is to match a tree width adjustment to a template (and make sure whoever is doing the adjustment knows what they're doing - unfortunately this is not always the case, I've found) and have the panel flock professionally tweaked to suit.
Best of luck with your horse. I see lots of ex-racehorses in unsuitable homes -its obvious you care about yours :)
Thanks! The company has a 3 day trial and a return policy (it is St. Croix Saddlery). I emailed the company asking for more pictures, especially the gullet, I've heard the Kieffers can so etimes have a tapering channel. I was thinking if doing the trial and bringing the saddle to the barn to see if it fits, and maybe just walk around in it a little or just sit in it to feel what it is like. I ride western but I like the freedom of english saddles, and my barn doesn't have any english tack except for an old english saddle in the tack room, they don't have any english saddle pads, so would I need to get a dressage pad to use that saddle? Thanks!
If they do a trial period you should be able to email/fax them a template, which ought to give them a good idea of your horse's shape and whether the saddle they have is likely to fit. There's no benefit in them sending something completely wrong.
If you're only trying a saddle and need something to keep it clean don't buy a pad specially - just use a clean bath towel. It'll be thin enough not to mask any fitting problems and absorbent enough for any sweating. Plus if you use a plain, pale colour with a bit of nap you ought to get a decent contact mark on the towel :)
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