New County Innovation- how much will the tree spread with use?
I feel like my new saddle is too narrow for my horse, but have been told that it takes 20 hours riding for the tree to settle and spread. Has anyone else dealt with this? And if it does spread how much are we talking here?
I am probably not the norm (at least I hope not!) My Innovation was also a narrow and seemed way too narrow for my horse at first. The rep never said anything about the tree settling or "spreading" but did say after about 20 or so rides she needed to come out to check the flocking. About three months later it did spread so much so that the saddle laid completely on his withers. They reflocked and reflocked, but they never could get it to fit correctly. Fortunately, the company has great customer service and took the saddle back.
My new Innovation also needed a reflock after about a month of use. But mine didn't change much (if at all) in that time. The rep just ended up adding a little more wool and calling it good. But take that with a grain of salt because I bought a demo saddle, and while I don't think it had anywhere near 20 hours of rides on it, I do think that being thrown on a bunch of different horses probably accomplished any "break in" that was needed.
My Stabilizer was the same story when new, though, and I pulled that one out of the box brand new. The tree didn't change noticeably, well, ever. I've had it for 8 or 9 years now and it's still the same width it's always been (as much as I can tell at least).
I would give your saddle the 20 rides (assuming it's not so narrow that it's making your horse sore in which case I would ask for a new saddle) and see where you're at. If it's truly the tree that's too narrow (and it's REALLY too narrow, and more than just a hair so), you may have a problem. But I would imagine that the flocking is contributing, and that will definitely change with those first 20 hours of riding (and usually in less time than that). I agree that the company has great customer service and will help as needed if it doesn't fit your horse in the end.
My new Innovation fit perfectly right out of the box, and didn't change at all; have only had a minor flocking adjustment after the first three months, and it's still fine three years later. I've never heard about the tree spread before.