View Full Version : wide Albion
Mar. 4, 2011, 08:22 PM
Does anyone have an Albion wide or extra wide? Do they fit wider than other saddles with hoop trees?
I am trying to buy off ebay. I have never seen an Albion so have no frame of referrence for how they fit.
Mar. 4, 2011, 09:06 PM
I am no expert on saddles, but my friend did order an Albion wide tree from the local tack shop to try. I remember it being quite wide from the looks of it. However her horse had a true table top back and most likely needed an XW tree as the Wide was too narrow. Just how wide is your horse's back?
Mar. 4, 2011, 09:45 PM
Well that is hard to answer. I know her back is fairly flat. Many saddles rock on her.
I have a 32 Stubben and a wide Passier that are too narrow.
But I have also tried a wide bl country that I think was a tiny bit too wide.
Mar. 5, 2011, 09:37 AM
Well I have had Passiers and Stubbens before and IMO a wide Albion would definitely be wider then those brands. The wide Albion my friend had was not absurdly wide though, so it may be worth a try.
Mar. 5, 2011, 09:44 AM
My experience with Albions is that width is pretty inconsistant from saddle to saddle. My trainer & I have what should be exactly the same saddle, SLK MW, yet hers is enough narrower than mine that it rubs slightly on my gelding, yet mine does not.
When trying them, I found a big difference from M to MW to W.
Mar. 5, 2011, 10:02 AM
Yes, in general, they fit wider than most other makes. It depends on the age of the saddle, too. I have an old Albion Original comfort Medium Wide that is about as wide as my Neidersuss Wide and fits the same horse well. I've been told that the older Albions were built on wider trees than the present-day ones.
Wide saddles are popular as people have figured out that they're more comfortable for horses. Even if it turns out not to be quite right for your horse, it's easily resellable as long as the tree is sound and straight.
As rothmpp says, there can be inconsistencies between saddles that appear to be identical. Flocking and individual trees can make a difference. Ebay's a crap shoot sometimes. It's best (if you can) to try before you buy.
Mar. 5, 2011, 10:07 AM
My experience was that an Albion XW SLK was nowhere near wide enough for my table-top flat back horse. We needed a true hoop tree.
Mar. 5, 2011, 10:24 AM
Albions ARE hoop trees. Duetts run even wider, though. The SLK is one of the "modern" Albions, right?
My old med. wide Original is wider than a friend's present-day med. wide Albion. Obviously the trees have changed over the years.
Mar. 5, 2011, 10:54 AM
I have an XW Albion, I sent you a PM.
Mar. 5, 2011, 04:50 PM
The Albion of 15 years ago was a wide saddle and was built on a more hoop-like tree. The old Original Comfort is one of the widest saddles I've ever seen! Even the "modified" OC is unbearably wide to all but those who prefer a very wide twist. Then the Style model came out, and soon after the SL and SLK models. While Albion will still make a hoop tree for horses that require it, your garden variety SLK or SL is definitely NOT a hoop tree.
The reason that people think there is inconsistency in Albions' tree sizes is due to the different fit of the different trees. The SLK (high head and low head) are built on a "keyhole" tree which makes for a higher pommel/deeper seat/narrower twist. The SL head is a bit more like an upside down "V" and the old OCs and Legends an upside down "U." To complicate things further, Albion added the new Genesis trees to the Platinum and K2 line, whose description would take hours to write. ; )
The SLK would not be my first choice for a very wide, table-backed horse. The SL or the Genesis are usually my go-to trees for those horses. Or, if the rider can stand it, an older Original Comfort or Style.
The inconsistencies you see in seemingly "identical" Albions could be custom alterations such as flared tree points or modified panels.
Mar. 5, 2011, 05:24 PM
Very informative, thank you. Are you saying that none of the slk's are hoop trees?
do you know if there is a way to tell from looking at the serial number or why??
Mar. 5, 2011, 05:25 PM
lwk, what saddle did you end up with?
Cold Spring Farm
Mar. 5, 2011, 06:36 PM
I have a wide Ultima with the SL tree (NOT the SLK) and it is a great fit for my VERY wide, flat backed gelding.....
Mar. 5, 2011, 11:15 PM
Could you explain the difference between an slk and an sl?
ah I see you already did.
Mar. 6, 2011, 11:57 AM
Wow, thanks, NCSaddleFitter, for the info!
I thought ALL Albions were hoop trees. Whoops!
Mar. 6, 2011, 02:20 PM
I have 2 Albions - Ultima GP and SLK dressage. The Ultima GP was ordered directly from an Albion dealer/saddle fitter about 4 years ago. I got the SLK on Tack Trader. It's about 7 years old. Both the Ultima GP and SLK have an identical tree - confirmed by the Albion dealer/saddle fitter I was working with.
Both of my Albions are Wide with the low-head option. They are the only saddle the seem to fit my foundation QH/Paint. I've also tried a Stubben 32 Siegfried and Wotan - neither were wide enough. The only other saddle that fit my mare reasonably well was the Thornhill Jorge Canaves with a 34 tree.