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Hoop Tree Saddles

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  • Hoop Tree Saddles

    Can we have a Hoop-tree-do-review? (Sorry for the corny play on the Disney dinner show, but I couldn't help it!).

    Who makes hoop treed saddles. Duett is the only one I'm familiar with. Are all their saddle hoop-treed or just some of them?

    I think my older Albion dressage saddle has a hoop tree, just because it looks like an upside-down U from the front, but I could be wrong. Can you tell by looking if it's a hoop tree?

    I've perused Trumbull mountain's website and there is a little info on hoop trees on their "fitting the wide horse" page, but it's mostly a primer.

    I'm on a very limited budget, but I'm fairly certain I need a hoop tree. Ideally I'd like to have a saddle fitter come out and bring some saddles for me to try but it's not a financial option so I will likely have to do a self-help saddle job.

    Any help is appreciated!

  • #2
    If you don't mind synthetic, look at the Thorowgood cob. Dover & Trumbull Mountain both sell them. They're flocked, so you'll be able to adjust a bit.

    Also, it's not a true hoop tree, but I have two Smith Worthington's for my wide-shouldered Arab, and they were able to adjust it pretty wide for my guy.


    • #3
      Pretty sure all of Duett's saddles are hoop treed but I'm learning that there's still a bit of variation between how particular models will fit, even if you buy the same size in them.

      I believe Thornhill also makes saddles that will work for the wide horse.
      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


      • #4
        Lovatt & Ricketts have a hoop tree (same as Arabian Saddle Co)

        Black Country QuantumX is a hoop tree

        And yes, Duetts.

        There is a line of Thornhill, Thorogood, Wintec and Bates for WIDE/BROADBACK/COB types too.

        I tried the Black Country QuantumX and the hoop tree was funky on my mare.

        And my mare is shaped like a Propane Tank with Legs!!!!!! I ended up getting a County Innovation XTR, in size XW! (Innovation runs at least one size large....so an XW is like a XXW. Not sure why that model runs sooo wide, but it does)

        I would buy a Lovatt & Ricketts if I could, but new, they are sooo expensive and I couldnt' find any good ones, used.

        I do love my County though! Good luck!
        Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
        **Morgans Do It All**


        • Original Poster

          Smith Worthington did a great job of adjusting a tree for me. Unfortunately the panels are upswept and my mare's back is very flat and the saddle is just too unstable.


          • #6
            Gah this is my issue too.......

            And I need a narrow twist, otherwise I end up with serious hip flexor pain.

            I've been looking at saddles in the UK, as they have more "cob" types and thus more XWs and trees that will fit wide/broad horses. The dollar is week, but, saddles are priced pretty reasonably over there.
            We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


            • #7
              Mostly any of the major UK saddle mfrs. will do a saddle on a hoop tree. Finding a narrow twist on a hoop-tree saddle will be harder, though. The rails of the saddle - which comprise the twist - should be at the same angle as there tree point. That means that the wider the tree, the wider the twist. And the double whammy with the hoop tree is the extra breadth across the pommel arch, which means the rails are futher apart, which adds even more to the twist width.
              Kitt Hazelton
              Saddle Fitter


              • Original Poster

                Kitt, that is interesting. I sort of wondered if narrow twists and hoop trees were compatible.

                My albion hoop-tree dressage saddle does have a wide twist, but luckily it's not terribly uncomfortable for me. It does require me to keep my hip angle open and sit directly on my seat bones, which is a good thing for me. I feel very unbalanced quickly if I don't because it tips me forward into a perch and it's instantly painful! LOL

                Also interestingly, the hoop tree albion works just fine with my wide-shouldered but sharkfin withered TB. Odd, but it does. I use a wither relief pad to get a little more wither clearance but the shape follows his back well. He's shaped like a barrel really, with a giant fin of a wither sprouting out the top!

                I've also noticed that the barebones cutback saddleseat saddle that my trainer rides in seems to fit everything in the barn. It definitely has a hoopish shape, and the panels are very thin. Some horses get more padding than others, but with a few different pad configurations, it works for all the horses. Now of course it's not a perfect custom fit, but it does seem to fit where it counts...no pinching even on the fatties, and the panels seem to rest along the back without rocking or bridging on everything you sit it on, whether they're flat-backed or a little hollow through the loins. It really is uncanny. I hate riding in the thing but I admit it does really make you work which isn't necessarily a bad thing for me. I do like how the panels seem to mold to the horses side and allow very good leg contact and feel.