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Tree Sizes

By: Galadriel Billington

11:27AM Jun 9, 2004

Points of saddle
Front of Saddle,
showing Points

English tree front
Front of Tree
The width of a tree is determined by the measurements at the front of the saddle. English trees may be narrow, medium, or wide. Western trees may have regular, semi-QH, QH, full QH, or Arabian bars.

In an English saddle, the width of the saddle can be narrow, medium/regular, or wide. Each of these describes the angle between the points. There is a metal "gullet plate" on the tree, at the pommel of the saddle. The size of this gullet plate determines the angle between the points.

Narrow tree
Medium tree
Wide tree
  • A narrow saddle has an 86 degree angle.
  • A medium or regular saddle has a 90 degree angle--a "right angle," like the corner of a square.
  • A wide saddle has a 94 degree angle.
Western gullet size
A Western saddle tree has two measurements:
  • the width of the fork (blue), and
  • the angle of the bars (red).
Tree Size Width of Fork Angle of Bars
Regular 5 3/4" - 6" 90
Semi-QH 6" - 6 1/2" 90
QH (also
Standard QH)
6 1/2" - 6 3/4" 90
Full QH 6 3/4" - 7" 94
Arabian 7 1/4" 86
Gullet channel
In both English and Western saddles, the *only* measurements given by the "tree size" are related to the front. The size describes only the gullet plate on the English saddle, or the design of the fork on the Western saddle.

It is important that the space between the panels (English saddle) or bars (Western saddle) remain relatively the same from the front to the back. Since there is not a standard measurement which describes the gullet channel, then each saddle must be examined individually: look at the channel, and see if the saddle is well-designed.

For more discussion of the gullet channel, see Gullet Clearance.
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2004 Galadriel Billington. All rights reserved.