I recently bought a gorgeous vintage Hereford saddle online. Seller said saddle was solid, good all-round condition etc. It arrived and I was curious as to why the right side seemed strangely squeaky. Well, after a bit of investigation I found a crack in the tree. It runs nearly from almost right at the front to halfway down the back, the length of the skirt. It's not broken off, still attached, but it's definitely cracked good.
It didn't show itself when I did the typical 'stand saddle on the horn and push/pull' tree check but the damaged side of the saddle did have more give than the solid side when I flapped the skirts around. And, like I said, it was extremely squeaky.
So...is the only option here replacing the tree? Or is this something that can be fixed some other way?
Unfortunately the saddle doesn't fit my horse so I need to resell it--and I can't resell it for what I paid with a broken tree. But, if I replace the tree will I ever be able to recoup my investment?! It is a very nice saddle, great quality, but since it doesn't fit my horse I don't really care to invest a fortune into it. (I know this is the risk of buying online--which I've done a lot of without one problem.)