British Standard for Wooden Saddle Trees
is the main feature of the new British Standard for wooden saddle
trees launched this week at the Walsall Leather Museum.
idea for BS6635:2003 arose from a meeting called by the Worshipful
Company of Saddlers, involving remedial saddler Kaye Humphries,
the Society of Master Saddlers, the Walsall Equestrian Society and
BETA, together with representatives of the veterinary profession
and the saddlery manufacturing and retail trades.
agreed that the symmetry of saddle trees should be emphasised at
every level from training to manufacture as an important factor
in producing a well-fitting saddle.
tree makers took on the challenge of identifying the symmetry criteria
- what should be measured and how. And a prototype measuring jig
to test trees for symmetry was developed to very demanding tolerances.
Saddlers' Company approached the British Standards Institute (BSI)
with a view of incorporating this information into a new standard
which has now been authorised and published.
to Right: Jacqui Poutney, WES; Claire Williams, BETA; Kaye Humphries,
saddle fitter, Norton & Newby; Steven Brereton-Martin, Clerk
of the Worshipful of Company of Saddlers; Richard Brown, Abbey Saddlery,
President of the SMS; Hazel Morley, SMS; Paul Belton, Albion Saddle
Makers; Edward Pearson, Past MAster of the Worshipful COmpany of
Saddlers; Oliver Moreton, Jabez Cliff. Seated in front demonstrating
the jig designed to check symetry is Michael Heath from Lariot.
will enable all saddle makers to identify trees which have passed
the tests for symmetry.
really is an indication on just how far the industry has come in
a relatively short space of time, and the new British Standard will
be recognised around the world as the benchmark for quality and
reliability on saddle trees, " says Ian Rae from Lariot Equestrian
Supplies who manufactures wooden laminated saddle trees.
tree making has truly entered another era and our congratulations
go out to all concerned for moving the industry forward in such
a positive and forthright way."
Poutney, Chief Executive of the Walsall Equestrian Society added
"This shows how all the Walsall Tree makers are working together
for the betterment of the industry and for the end users- both horse
Brereton-Martin, Clerk to the Saddlers' Company said: "The
Worshipful Company of Saddlers has been delighted to be able, once
again, to play a central role in the development of such an important
assisted at the birth of the first British Standard 6635 for wooden
saddle trees in 1985 and have been closely involved in this next
stage of its development, with its new, and vital element - the
incorporation of demanding symmetry standards.
continued high quality of British saddlery demands the best foundations
and this new British Standard helps to ensure it. But the new Standard,
on its own, will not eradicate all problems.
is now up to the saddle makers to ensure that they demand the new
Standard - BS 6635:2003. It is also up to the riding public to ensure
that the saddle they buy is built on such a tree. And it is up to
all to ensure that a saddle is correctly fitted to the horse."
Morley of the Society of Master Saddlers added: "We are proud
of the trade for the hard work and dedication which has been put
into the development of the new tree standard.
'raison d'etre' is to improve and maintain standards and this new
tree standard is proof that the saddlery trade is willing to address
problems, embrace new technology and work together for the common
the manufacturers and retailers have an excellent marketing tool,
being able to assure the riding public that the product which they
are purchasing is of the highest quality and precision.
Chief Executive and Secretary Claire Williams says: "It is
wonderful to see the industry working together to produce a symmetrical
and well-fitting saddle which will benefit both horse and rider
of the revised standard cost BSI members £20 and non-members
£40 from BSI Customer Services on 020 8996 9001.