Interesting saddle fit video.
Sycamore Creek Saddles
Click on "click HERE". Half way through he talks about the twist of the saddle tree, and demonstrates how a gaited horse's back doesn't need the twist of a trotting horse's back. Anyone ever heard about this?
I tried this on my Icelandic, a racking pony, racking horse, and TWH. My hand angle was the same on all of them. I tried a few trotting horses and the hand angle was different. Not sure what to think of this, it's new to me.
The twist is the narrow part of the tree where the thigh settles. Women, because of the way our legs fit into the hip socket are more comfortable with a narrower twist than what a man needs. A gaited horse saddle doesn't need as much rocker as the quarter horse tree as the qh tree may inhibit the horse's lateral movement. The rocker is exactly that, like rockers on a chair.
Hmmm. Interesting. I hope I remember this if/when I get an opportunity to check out other horses. My mare is a pacer by birth but also learned to trot undersaddle. She's not considered gaited though - she's a stndbd.
Hmmm, that's interesting. I'll have to try that.
I find that partially true, but the higher the withered a Horse is, the more Twist any Tree has in it, regular or gaited style. Tree maker call this rafter angle.
A narrow gaited tree has more twist in it than the wide gaited tree, thus the partially true statement.
The main thing a gaited tree has in it is the flair in the front of the bar, this allows for less binding in the shoulder area which in turn lets a gaited Horse be more comfortable in the higher steeping gaits.
Just a note, I have seen many Quarter Horses benefit from a gaited tree because the have unusually large shoulders.
That's what I've always been told was the twist part of the tree. This is saying it's something different. I assume it would matter when fitting a saddle to a horse.
I've seen other videos for regular saddles, especially dressage, and they are now talking about the flair of the tree to free up the shoulders. It's probably good for all horses.
I have to admit I'm saddle shopping and his look interesting. Don't know if I should get another Duett (what I'm currently riding), or try one of his.
Looked at the link but they're calling paso finos gaited, which they aren't
Interesting, but more marketing than science.
Gaited horses range in way of going from a broken trot to a broken pace. And I have multiple examples of multiple ways of going. To postulate that the adjective "gaited" can then be defined by one, very specific, tree design is not supported by the evidence in my pasture.
I am not unique. Some breeds, like the Paso Fino and Peruvian Paso, have a fairly tight breed standard and a relatively narrow range of diversity in conformation and way of going. "Narrow diversity" does not equal "no diversity." A breed like the TWH, which has no breed standard, has incredible diversity in conformation and way of going. The breed standard of the Marchador is clear and even when you've got a high degree of confomity to that breed standard will also have a some diversity in conformation. Three different ways of going* are permitted. Saying that one, "gaited", tree design will for work for all is not supported by the reality in the paddock.
The back of a pacer and a trotter will work somewhat differently. I'm not sure that difference is sufficient to justify the claims for "unique" tree designs. Further, the padding system one uses is an integral, and important, part of the puzzle. Some say that you don't correct a deficient tree fit with a pad. As a broad statement this is true. But the back of a horse is a dynamic, not a static, environment. Way too many "saddle fitters" don't seem to understand this. The pad, as the interface between the back and the tree, accommodates the motion of the back and keeps weight effectively distributed.
There's nothing wrong with having a custom saddle built for a specific horse. That will normally give a very good fit across a range of motion. But even here there is no guarantee of "perfect fit at all times." Horses gain or lose weight; their weight can shift about as they either "harden" with exercise or "gain condition" in a pasture. A rider whose seat is defective can cause the most perfectly fitted saddle to have pressure points and sore up a back.
The correct fit of a tree is important as it's the "foundation" of the process. But as a foundation is not house, neither is a tree a saddle. There is MUCH more involved.
*Marcha Batida, a broken trot; Marcha Picada, a broken pace; Center March, an insochronal four beat gait.
A gaited horse possesses a gait other than a traditional walk, trot, and canter
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