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"Why do the HT saddles have wings?"

This and a lot more interesting questions will be answered in our FAQs!

  • Why do the HT saddles have wings?

  • What does the sweat mark after riding tell me?

  • Do I really need a bespoke numnah with pockets for shims?

  • Can HT saddles build a bridge?

  • Why can't I buy an HT saddle in an online shop?

  • Can I fit my HT saddle on my own?

  • How can a gullet-free saddle keep the shape?

  • Can an HT leathertree saddle cause hot spots under the stirrup bars?

  • What can the "Carola" impression pad tell me?

Why do the HT saddles have wings?

The "wings" of the HT saddle are bigger skirts in the English models which cover the extra big panels. HT panels provide a extraordinary big area of contact to the horse to spread the weight better than traditional panels. The panels are changeable and fixed using velcro. If the skirts are too small this velcro side of the panels can partly be seen under the skirt and the velcro catches hair and dirt which makes them looking ugly. 

We from HT are sure that big panels are important for the horse. Designing under the motto "form follows function" we made the wings and recognized that they are unique and offer a lot of space to personalize your saddle. We use the space to print the HT logo but if you like you could also have tooling, pinstriping, conchos or other design elements.

What does the sweat mark after riding tell me?

Nothing and a lot at the same time. The sweat mark can - like the dust mark - give hints about fitting and issues. But only if you are able to "read" the sweat mark. It is comparable to thermography images and impression pads - they are only as good as the knowledge of the people assessing them. There are lots of mis-interpretations possible and regularly made. If you are un-experienced or unsure please ask a saddle specialist to help you with assessment.

In general, the more sweat you can see the less pressure has been there when riding. Wet patches usually develop by friction, not pressure. Dry areas show that there was almost no movement which means the numnah was pressed to the hair. One of the most common missinterpretation with leathertree saddles is "bridge-building" as the sweat mark usually show a dry area under the rider. But this is not a bridge - it just shows that the saddle is not moving in this area because of the rider's weight.

Please be aware: There is always pressure on a horse back as the rider's weight needs to be spread. It is important the the area of weight distribution is as big as possible.

Do I really need a bespoke numnah with pockets for shims?

There is no clear Yes or No to this questions. Bespoke numnahs with pockets for shims are not mandatory for HT saddles. They are often used and recommended because they help to spread the rider's weight more evenly. The leather tree saddles from HT do not need this support because of the leather tree and the panels. But we still recommend them because the can be used to optimize the fitting to the horse and the meet the horses needs to 100 %.

A lot of people believe a saddle must fit without this support - this is true for the perfect standard shaped horse with fabulous back muscles and an easy-to-fit-back. How many horses fulfil this requirement? In real life horses struggle with imperfect confirmation, muscle atrophies, fat depots and other specialities which require special attention in saddle fitting. The advantage of a bespoke numnah with pockets is that you are able to optimize the fitting when necessary, react immediatly to small changes without waiting for a saddle fitter to help and make substantial changes to the saddle.

Can HT saddles build a bridge?

This topic comes up regularly and leads to confusion for riders who are not used with the leather tree concept. Answering this question is not so easy: "No, but..."

To keep it simple: New leather tree saddles can build a bridge. That is not surprising because we all know how strong and stiff new leather is. These saddle need to adap and settle - which needs pressure, means it needs a rider! If the saddle gets enough pressure by the rider's weight it will bend and fit to the horses back.

So YES an HT leathertree saddle can build a bridge WITHOUT a rider. And NO an HT leathertree saddle can't build a bridge WITH a rider.

And as we all know there is an exemption from the rule: If a new and stiff leather tree saddle is used on a horse with a very curved back and by a very light weight rider - the saddle can build a bridge. This can be solved by bending the tree before usage or by using the saddle with a heavier rider on another horse first to soften the leathertree.

Why can't I buy an HT saddle in an online shop?

We love horses. And we like their riders. Because of this we want to avoid that horse and rider are left alone with one of the most important pieces of tack: with the saddle. General, impersonal online instructions are helpful but usually do not reach more than an average result. We want a best possible result. Our fitting specialist do more than just fitting the saddle: They explain the fitting and answer all your question while fitting the saddle with you.

We are interested in your and your horse's wellbeing. Therefore we decided to reduce the risk of expensive and maybe even health-imparing experiences by not offering our saddle in an impersonal online shop.

Can I fit my HT saddle on my own?

Why not - if you manage to buy one without a fitter coming to you and if you know how?! That might be a provocative answer but it was made to show how we think about it.

We recommend to get the saddle fitted by an HT specialist. But the concept allows to fit it on your own if you manage to buy an HT saddle. We just think it is better to learn how to do that and how to use all the advantages the HT concept offers. Once your saddle is fitted and you have got your fitting-tuition you will be able to check your saddle on your own and do some optimization if necessary. Our fitting specialists support you gaining this knowledge to re-fit on your own.

For clients being to far away from a fitter we offer the option of "remote-fitting" with personal support basing on pictures, videos and lots of emails.

How can a gullet-free saddle keep its shape?

Our saddles are called leathertree saddles and the main component of the tree is leather. But the leather is supported by semi-flexible materials which support the character of the leathertree and provide an extra of long-term stability at the same time.

Can an HT leathertree saddle cause hot spots under the stirrup bar?

Yes, if the saddle ist not fitted correctly or if the panels are too old and soft. Only in the case of these big mistakes of fitting an HT leathertree saddle can cause hot spots under the stirrup bar. One more reason why we dont sell HT saddles in an online shop but recommend professional fitting by a specialist.

What can the Carola impression pad tell me?

Like the sweat mark the impression pad can tell you a lot - or nothing. A Carola or impression pad can show you the pressure ratios of a ridden test. It can show severe fitting issues. But not more than that. The result depends not only on the saddle but also on the rider and the horse. Two different riders can cause completely different result with an impression pad depending on their posture and riding abilities. An impression pad test can give you hints and show how one special system of horse, saddle and rider suit together.

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