Fitting the Treefree Saddles
Use a good quality thick numnah we recommend the Treefree numnah as this is designed for our saddles.
Be careful not to position the saddle too far forward on the horse to make sure that it does not encroach on the withers or the shoulder. Do the girth up gently and make certain it is not too loose.
We generally use Wintec elasticated dressage girths because horses breathe and change shape as they move. For some horses an Aerborn humane dressage girth works well - it depends on the shape of the horse and position of the 'girth groove'. These humane girths are deceptively easy to tighten. Make sure you gauge the tightness by feeling under the girth, not by how easy the buckle goes up.
Once you have used the saddle a few times, it will seem as if it automatically sits in the right place because it takes on the shape of the horse's back. It also becomes more and more comfortable for you as everything settles into place.
Use a mounting block to get on, out of respect for the horse's back. Sit on the horse with your feet out of the stirrups and your legs hanging freely. Bring your toes up and set the stirrup length. Relax into the seat, sit deep and feel secure. Give it a chance - for some people it takes two or three rides to get used to the new position, others just go for it straight away. As we have said, it is a bit like riding bareback but with stirrups.
Choosing the correct Pommel
I'It is important to choose the correct pommel size... we will update this section shortly with information on how to choose the correct pommel for your horse. For now please feel free to contact us if you have any queries regarding choosing a pommel.
Our pommels are available in normal, wide and extra wide widths, and in three different colours, black, silver and white.
Fitting the Western Style Saddle
The two cinches look more complicated than they are. Once you get used to it, it is a really neat system.
Take care when you undo the latigo knot that you remember how to re-tie it. It ties like a gentleman's tie. Again once you get used to it, and when the latigo begins to soften with use, the tie is a really neat way of tying and adjusting the front cinch.
You shouldn't need to over tighten the front cinch. Definitely do not over tighten the back cinch - you should be able to get your fingers under it easily.
Walk your horse around in the saddle before you get on. Make sure he/she is really used to the feel of the back cinch. Always make sure the connecting strap between the two cinches is in place. If the back cinch goes back under the horses belly it could act like a bucking strap.
If you need to shorten the leathers more than where they are set right now, then you will need to undo the leather tie at the top of the fenders, slide the leather down, shorten it and then slide it back up and re-tie it.
You will notice a superfluous latch on the on-side of the front cinch. I leave this on because there are other ways of cinching up that use this latch. If you are happy with the way I cinch up then you don't need this latch. Get your saddler to remove it for you.