Fitting A Brand New Hidalgo Leather Tree Saddle!

Want to see what the break in process of a brand new leather tree saddle might look like? Have a look at the photos!


Photo 1: Finding the right settings for the panels. Your goal is to leave safe space for the spine, clear the withers & thoracic trapezius, leave room for the scapula/shoulders to freely move, support riders weight bearing area evenly under the saddle. The support panels are sized and sold to fit your horses individual back. Panels come in different sizes. To find more fitting details, please see this link

Photo 2: Place pad on horse (supportive pad with spinal channel, wither contour & shimmable is ideal) give the pad a tuck inside the gullet.

NOTE: this saddle is not girthed up at the moment. The saddle will appear high off the horse as the tree has not had the chance to relax down.

Photo 3: Saddle is properly fitted & NOT girthed. Seat might appear a bit "up hill" but this will allow space for the saddle to "settle" down as it flexes to the girth being added & weight of the rider

Photo 4: Saddle is now girthed up & ready to ride. Saddle panels are putting pressure on only the safe weight bearing areas. This is confirmed by simple acts of touch & feel & look. It is recommended to mark out the NON weight bearing areas while you are fitting the panels and have your saddle fitter or your Hidalgo rep verify for proper placement.

Photo 5: Saddle has had a ride! You can see how much the saddle has "Settled" down. The hotter it is outside, the quicker the tree will adapt to the horse. As the tree adapts the girth will loosen, so it is important to keep an eye on the girth. Especially, during the first few rides! It is also important to make sure the saddle is still clearing the withers. You are able to make adjustments to change the saddle balance or the gullet by moving the panels. Again, please refer to your Hidalgo rep should you have questions or want confirmation.


PHOTO CREDIT: Nicole Shoup Horsemanship