..the fit of a restored sidesaddle is so very important. By fit - I mean that it MUST fit the horse and should fit the rider (in that order!) Here is a picture of a typical antique sidesaddle tree.Please notice the long forks that go down the horses side. If those forks are too narrow for the horse, it will pinch and bruise him. If they are too wide, the saddle will slip making it dangerous for both rider and horse!
When I first started to get interested in riding aside, I was told over and over just how important this is. Many people go out and buy a cheap reproduction, just to see if they like riding aside. The answer is usually no. Not because they or their horse would not have been a good candidate for this discipline, but no because their first experiences were so bad and uncomfortable simply because their cheap equipment gave them exactly what they paid for! Many very experienced ladies told me it is EASIER to ride aside than astride. I am so anxious to see this for myself..but am waiting until all my equipment gets here before I start down that road. I can't wait!!!