The Saddle Tree


Functionality, Advantages and Quality Structure

Kieffer saddle trees are made of high-quality, glass fiber reinforced synthetic material and fitted with a soft, permanently elastic seat covering. In case of emergency, the recessed stirrup bars ensure safe opening even after years of use. 

As a basic principle, all current kieffer saddle trees are adjustable. Depending on the model, the width of a kieffer saddle tree can be adjusted either thermal by heating in an infrared process or by cold adjustment of the gullet plate using the kieffer alteration bench. This can be done by a kieffer master saddler.

Quality Characteristics
  • Individual adjustment & optimal fit
  • Comfortable Medico seat & innovative gullet plate
  • High elasticity & flexibility
  • 5-year warranty against breakage


PPH-synthetic saddle tree – Standard

For over 40 years, the standard saddle tree has been popular  with and favored by riders, and is characterized by its distinctly cut back pommel. This offers the horse freedom of withers. Thanks to the design of this saddle tree, the rider feels safe and comfortable in the saddle at all times.


These synthetic saddle trees – without gullet plate – are adjusted in an infrared process on the kieffer alteration bench to the previously determined size. The saddle is clamped onto the bench and the front part heated. After adjustment of the tree, the saddle must remain fixed on the bench to cool off for at least 12 hours.

Exclusive w/integrated gullet plate 
Saddle tree

This advancement in the field of saddle trees increases safety as well as riding comfort, particularly with regard to the seat.

Gullet plate and stirrup bar form a unified whole made of high quality steel which is inset in the upper area of the saddle tree. This system exclusively patented by kieffer leads the stirrup bar closer to the saddle tree – the result is a narrower pommel and more seating comfort in the front part of the saddle. Another advantage of this construction is that an escape of the stirrup bar is in actual fact impossible. The gullet plate is located above – and not below as usual – the saddle tree so that sharp corners can be avoided. In case of a saddle tree with a narrow setting fitting for a horse with a slim body shape, the gullet plate does not deform in a V-shape but remains in a rounded shape to prevent jamming the withers.

Of particular importance is the fact, that because of the seamless connection of gullet plate and stirrup bar the pressure caused by getting on horseback is distributed evenly on the whole saddle tree – this prevents a deformation of saddle tree. The recurrent circumstance – a deformation of the saddle tree – may cause a fatal tilting for the rider as well as for the horse.

The Medico seat, a V-cut in the saddle tree, sways with the movement, thus relieving the rider’s spinal column and seat muscles. In particular, the sensitive area around the ischium and the pubic bone are protected by the increased flexibility of the saddle tree. To achieve an even better seat sensation for the horseman or woman, the stirrup bar is mounted closer to the saddle tree.The pommel thus becomes narrower for a more comfortable seat. Because the gullet plate is recessed into the saddle tree, it does not constrain the rider in any way.


With its integrated gullet plate, the saddle tree model “Exclusive” greatly facilitates adjustment of the saddle tree to the horseback – for example when purchasing a new saddle or as required due to muscular or nutritional changes of the animal. In order to fit the saddle tree, the saddle is simply mounted onto the kieffer alteration bench and adjusted by cold processing to make it either narrower or wider.


Kieffer Easy Fit System

The innovative “kieffer easy fit system” is a development which works like a kind of flexible hinge fixed to both ends of the tree tips to adapt to the angulation of the horseback automatically. This vernier adjustment in the area of the tree tips may adapt to slight fluctuations in the muscle conformation in the horse‘s scapula due to training or seasonal changes independently. The muscle growth in the area of the trapezius muscle may be encouraged by the anatomic pressure distribution of the “kieffer easy fit system”.

The same positive effects could determined by changes of coat.

The “kieffer easy fit system” is an additional option exclusively available in combination with our saddle tree “Exclusive”. 
The ”kieffer easy fit system“ however does not replace the basic adaptation of a (new) saddle to the horseback, requiring adjustment of the gullet plate and saddle flocking by a master saddler. The ”kieffer easy fit system“ is available only with an ”Exclusive“ saddle tree and cannot be retrofitted. 


The “kieffer easy fit system” in combination with our saddle tree “Exclusive” is adjustable by cold processing with the help of the kieffer alteration bench


Panel Types


Standard Panel

This panel is suited for horses with a usual rounded back. The musculature is bulked up adequately and provides an even contact area for the panel without building cavities or point loads.




Drop Panel / DP



The innovative Drop Panel cut provides a significant bigger contact area and more voluminious cushion behind the shoulder in relation to our standard panel. n particular, horses with problems in the trapezium muscle area or with hollow shoulders will benefit by the extra support from this new feature. The contact area on the horseback is optimized to prevent building cavities. The twist – or the possibility of the saddle to resonate with the horses movements – is not influenced on a negative way by the Drop Panel.

The Drop Panel features a flocking volume that is approx. 2 cm higher in the rear saddle section than is usual with standard models. It makes for a particularly comfortable panel flocking, while providing a greater adjustment potential for reflocking when needed. This offers many adaptable for the saddler for the adaption of the panel for a soft and perfect fit on the back.

Because of its various adaptabilities, its softness and its supportive effects on muscle growth, the Drop Panel became one of kieffer´s most popular panels.

This variant is optionally available for all saddles in combination with a wedge pillow in the rear.

Compact Panel

The Compact Panel is a shorter saddle panel at the front and rear in relation to our standard panel and features a shorter, French style panel in the front area.

Because of the special panel construction, the horseman or horsewoman enjoys a spacious seat area despite the short panel design.

More and more horses have a relatively short back or a distinctively raised lumbar region as the result of selective breeding. The newly developed saddle panel Compact is ideally suited for this type of horses.

The saddle models Young Profi L-Pony and Wellington are provided by default with Compact Panel. For dressage saddles like Bavaria or Lusitano EVO this panel variation is optionally available.


 Short Panel

Our shortest saddle panel for horses with special needs

One problem on horses with a short back is that the saddle may actually be positioned over the kidney area. We have developed this special shortened panel a few years ago to solve this problem and support horses with a short back.

The dressage saddle models Inzell and Salzburg, which is also available for general purpose, are available with a short panel by default. For dressage saddles like Bavaria or Lusitano EVO this panel variation is optionally available.

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