XW trees- HDR, M. Toulouse vs County- Which is widest?
I currently have a County saddle with a #5 tree. I emailed with a county rep before purchasing and confirmed that this is what they used to call their XW tree size.
The saddle was one of my favorites of the ones I've tried , but it's once again giving me and Mr. Horse fits. It's just not wide enough for him, and it annoys me. I was playing with the idea of sending it to Schurer to strip reflock and widen the tree, but I'm just not sure that I like the saddle well enough to do that and risk the tree getting warped or broken. I think the fit could be eased a little by removing some flocking at the front, but the seat's balanced for me right as it is- less flocking up front would make it sit downhill on him, and put me even more on his forehand.
the people at Duett think Mr. Horse needs a 38 tree... which I can afford, but just dont' like the look of any of their hunter type saddles- they're all deep and full of knee rolls....
I want to show my gelding hunter pleasure- at this point in his life, he's not up to being a saddle seat horse, thought that's my seat of choice. My issue is that I hate intrusive saddles. I want as close to ZERO knee roll and a flat as a board flat seat- I want the hunt seat version of my cutback. My horse doesn't like me perched up over his withers at all. He does BEAUTIFUL, relaxed canter work in my flat as a pancake Barnsby cutback saddle. It's soft, it it doesn't toss you around the saddle- he just rolls, and you just sit. he's so organized in it, you can do canter lead changes through the halt every three strides. It's the easiest thing in the whole world I CAN NOT duplicate it in any forward seat or dressage saddle- they all sit me forward of his "happy spot" and have a negative effect on my form- either I have to brace and clutch to stay in the right spot in the saddle, or do what the saddle says to do and rock and slide like crazy and forget any collection. His slow canter in those saddles is at least half again as fast and on his forehand and much more "in the bridle"- not pulling, but a much heavier contact which doesn't do well with his breathing impairment. He has got to stay light and easy or he gets wheezy.
Whew... ok. I digress...
Right now I'm thinking of trying one of the Avalon saddles on super clearance at Smith Worthington. It has one of the more open seats I've seen, and it's a plain flap model.... Plus they will adjust the tree to fit his royal superwideness....
A friend is also recommending that I talk to Classic Saddlery. The M Toulouse and HDR models fit my budget and there are a couple of models that look like they *may* be non-obnoxious enough for me. And some do come in XW... but I hate to waste a store's time if there's just no chance in heck that the tree might fit...
Has anyone tried those three brands- County- HDR- and M. Toulouse and what one seemed to be the widest?
My mare has a XW County Stabilizer. HDR, Toulouse didn't even come CLOSE to fitting her - much too narrow. Same with the XW Pessoa, just as a FYI.
Before finding the County as a steal of a deal used, I was seriously looking into Black County through Trumbull Mountain Tack - practically custom, starting at around $2500 for the Quantum. Available in a regular tree or a hoop (think they call it freedom?) Tons of options too.
Defiitely talk to the nice folk at SW - if they think they can't fit your horse, they will tell you
If possible have some fitters/reps out - just ensure beforehand that they have suitably wide saddles that will also fit you (at least half decent).
County can do a very wide tree BUT if they don't have something in their demo kit that fits, it's going to be very difficult to find something used that would work; some of their trees are much wider than others (eg Innovation: it's available stock with an XXW tree - I'd be surprised if this was too narrow - also "custom" width).
County, Black County, and Killington would be where I would look. Black Country is excellent for the very wide, since they have the hoop trees, and those are REALLY wide!!! The County Innovations also are quite wide, at least a couple sizes wider than most, and the Killingtons are very similar to both brands.
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