Tucker Saddle - Strange Fit and Too Narrow? What's going on?

I finally got an opportunity to try a Tucker River Plantation, in a wide tree tree. My dream saddle. My horse is large SSH that has a wide back. I’ve ridden this girl in a new, wide tree Circle Y Flex2 and it rolled so bad I couldn’t mount from the ground. I also tried am older reg QH Flex2 and it didn’t roll, but left dry spots behind the withers. The Tucker feels great to me, but it doesn’t seem to sit just right on the mare. She was extremely pissed to have it on her…but she is most of the time anyway so I cannot go on her attitude alone. The saddle seemed slightly elevated in the front…almost “perched”. Is this the norm for a Tucker? Some of the felt is not making contact with her at the top of the bar. And the sides…I could barely get my hand under the front of the bars…not cinched up and with no pad. The wide Tucker isn’t as wide as the Reg QH bar Circle Y it seems. What’s up with these saddles? Is this one too narrow for her or does it look ok? Or is Tucker just plain not gonna work? Thanks in advance for any advice!

Here’s a link to the photos that I have, they are not the best and she was standing downhill on the full body shot. I can get more if this weather EVER breaks! I also have pics of her in the Album “Molly”. I know she is overweight. Her previous owners had her on 2 scoops of sweet feed a day…ridiculous.


What is an SSH? If you go to horsesaddleshop.com, they have templates you can use to get a good feel for exactly what tree your horse needs. You can online chat with them or call, but they are very very helpful and can make lots of recommendations. A saddle that rolls is usually too narrow, I have a 13.3h pony that wears a Circle Y xwide, and it fits like a glove. Anything more narrow and you get seasick.

She’s a spotted saddle horse. She’s got a wonderful running walk and one of the smoothest, shortest little horses I’ve ever had. I have tried the templates on horsesaddleshop. She does fit the xwide/draft template best. The edges of the wide seems to poke down into her flesh. I was really hoping not to have to order an xwide…cause I could purchase the one I tried on her VERY reasonably. But…I have to get what fits my mare. I actually had one on order that was xwide, but the wait was going to be about 2 months! So, silly me cancelled the order. Guess I’m just lucky it isn’t prime riding season and I can wait it out. Thanks!

I have a Tucker Gen II endurance for hubby’s TWH, and in my experience, the trees run narrow compared to many other brands.

He’s in a wide, and I went with the GII because they have more room in the shoulders. You probably know this already, but the Gen I and Gen II trees are different shapes. The Gen II is typically better for a broader shouldered, flatter backed horse.

happytrails, where are you located? If you are near me (MD) I don’t mind letting you try my saddle on her to see how the xwide tree fits. I also have a 38 cm Duett English saddle.

I’m in MS. Too far to try your saddle, Flash44, but I do appreciate the offer :slight_smile: I didn’t realize that the Gen II was better for broader shouldered horses. I MIGHT know where I can get my hands on one of those to try. Thanks everyone!

Have you sent wither tracings to Tucker? There are instructions on their website. They can tell you which tree (classic or gen 2) and what width will fit best. My understanding is that the difference is how much rock they have; Classic fits more contoured toplines with withers, and Gen 2 fits flatter backs with minimal withers better.
I did it, and the recommended tree fits my horse great.

Any saddle that “perches” or irritates the horse is likely an ill fitting rig.

First, talk to Tucker. Explain the problem and see what they say. I don’t know much about them beyond their general reputation as a good quality maker. If that reputation is real then they will have some advice for you.

Second, you could engage a “saddle fitter.” This can be a help, but there are a lot of “wannabes” amongst the ranks of “saddle fitters.” A surprising number don’t understand the basic concept that a horse changes shape when it moves and that means that a saddle that fits perfectly at rest will, by definition, be imperfect in movement. The good fitters fit for the moving horse.

Third, a good fitter might be able to help out with saddle padding, flocking, etc. to make minor adjustments in fit (but see the caveat, above).

Fourth, you may have to look for another brand if Tucker does not make a tree that will fit your horse.

Good luck in your project.


“A surprising number don’t understand the basic concept that a horse changes shape when it moves and that means that a saddle that fits perfectly at rest will, by definition, be imperfect in movement. The good fitters fit for the moving horse.”
And this sums up saddle fit! Well said!

Thanks everyone. I have not sent wither tracings to Tucker. I did use some “general” templates from a saddle shop I usually do business. I am learning alot about saddle fit, sweat patterns, and the HUGE difference in trees of different brands of saddles. Good grief…it’s enough to make anyone go mad! I am going to try out a Gen II wide soon. Based on what some have said, that shape tree might work better than the traditional Tucker. I’m afraid I will have to resort to a saddle fitter soon. I just wish that some variation of a Tucker will work…for my booty’s sake! But, I must make my big ol mare happy first :slight_smile:

Where are you located? It’s likely somebody on COTH near you can give you information of fitters.


Did you buy the saddle new? I bought a Gen II flex tree Endurance Equitation Saddle and had to wait 3 months for it. Then after 1 month, strange creases formed in the saddle pad area. After sending photos to Tucker, they replaced the saddle.

My point is, Tucker may be willing to work with you on your saddle situation. I had a saddle fitter come out and he ended up adding extra padding to my Equipedic pad but didn’t think the saddle itself was too terrible. He did say, however, that trail and western saddles all have the same two pressure points on either side, which must be dealt with in some way to ensure the horse is comfortable.

I now ride in a Wintec Isabell dressage saddle with a wide gullet and my horse not only moves more freely in his gaits, but is overall more comfortable and I am in more balanced position. (Can’t get that with the Tucker’s design.)

Good luck!