When Larry Wilson comes to build a tree he starts with his foundation tree he's made by laminating eighth inch plywood together. Now this looks pretty rough because he puts plenty of wood together so he has ample material to shape to the horse and rider. Here he is placing the tree on Molly for the first time for inspection. Throughout the fitting process he'll do this many times.
|First fitting for Molly of Larry's hand made tree|
|Shaping the tree to perfection ...|
|One of many "fittings" to get it perfect|
|Final check, after installing the rigging to fit Chris' needs|
One last inspection proved all was perfect with the rigging (attached temporarily with only one screw at each end) and stirrup leathers in place, then saddle … or "tree up" time.
|Molly all treed up ready to ride|
|While riding the tree Larry asks a lot of questions, and looks at everything.|
|Chris and Molly float on air with freedom and comfort|
Now Larry will finish Chris and Molly's new saddle to all Chris's specifications for color, design and placements off accessories and in no time Molly and Chris will be all set for years of trail adventures, both comfortable in a saddle that was made just for them!
It is my hope that this little story will help folks understand the importance of correct saddle fit. In my travels working with therapy horses I see very many sore backs, necks and hind ends brought on by improper saddle/tack fit. Many temperament/discipline issues are caused by ill fitting tack. I thought perhaps sharing the fitting of a tree may help folks have a new way of looking at saddle fit.
To see the finished saddle read "Molly's New Saddle" Pt 4 in saddle fit series HERE