Racing exercise saddle

Joined
3 May 2018
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4
I bought a Gibson’s half tree exercise saddle for riding out in everyday. It’s comfy and had little use before I bought it. My boss checked the tree and says it seems okay. When I get back from a lot it sometimes dips right down in the middle and has raised at the back, kind of like you’d expect in a dressage saddle. I usually have 2 poly pads and a gel pad under it and recently have added a foam pad too. It seems to be worse if I’m on a wider horse and the more I pad it out incase it’s causing pressure points on their backs the more it dips. Has anyone else had this issue with a half tree saddle? I don’t know if it’s just the saddle or if there is an issue with it!
 

sbloom

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14 September 2011
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Half tree saddles are arguably the work of the devil, the tree should be wide enough for the horse for them to remotely fit, and half (most?) of the TBs that come out of racing have pretty bad backs. Adding pads will just make the saddle tip back even more on wider horses, however much padding it adds at the problem area. The saddle is bridging which means the back of the half tree, and the points, and then your seat bones, are all really digging in. I have no more idea about half tree saddles than that but I would recommend a wider full tree race exercise in almost all instances, and pad up the front if it's too low on narrower horses.
 

bouncing_ball

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30 October 2012
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990
Half tree saddles are arguably the work of the devil, the tree should be wide enough for the horse for them to remotely fit, and half (most?) of the TBs that come out of racing have pretty bad backs.
Do you know if most of the flat race horse work riders exercise in full or half tree exercise saddles? See lots of race horses being exercised locally and wondered.
 

sbloom

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Do you know if most of the flat race horse work riders exercise in full or half tree exercise saddles? See lots of race horses being exercised locally and wondered.
I'm afraid I have no idea. The racing saddle industry is entirely removed from saddle fitters in the normal saddle fitting world.
 

Steerpike

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The majority of race horse trainers in my area use full tree saddles, I've known a couple which have banned the use of half trees.
 

zaminda

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26 August 2008
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Somerset
The last few yards I've worked on all the horses have been ridden in full tree saddles. I have a saddle company one, and it's great. I've also done endurance in it, up to 50 miles with no issues.
Personally I would no longer use a half tree.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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28 February 2011
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12,678
We use full trees for the majority. Half trees do bend in the middle because they don't have anything to stop them bendings and folding in half. They are super comfy but not great for the horses.

To be fair exercise saddles were designed for standing up galloping in not sitting down on for any length of time.
 
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