Arabs, typically, do not have well defined withers and often provide the saddle fitter with a challenge in as much as they often have broad, flat and short backs backs. A forward girth line can be another problem and all these issues are dealt with under the different links as is saddle moving forwards.
The tree needs to be fitted very carefully for this conformation – a flatter tree with flatter rails which is wide enough at the top of the arch to let out across the withers and with long enough points to get some purchase either side of the wither. Otherwise the saddle will sit too far off the back, and the saddle will slip forwards or to one side.
A wider gullet in the saddle that fits a horse with higher withers rarely works. If the fit looks right across the front, the back of the saddle will be off the horse’s back, causing all the rider’s weight to be taken across the points and the stirrup bars. Likewise, if the rails of the tree are at too great an angle, excess pressure will be taken on the outside edge of the rail. This can happen however flat the panel looks.
|This is a “curlier” tree with a higher head and longer points: suitable for horses with a higher wither and more shape to their backs.
This is a “flatter” tree with a lower head and shorter points: suitable for horses with low withers and broad, flat backs.