Which Circle Y? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-28-2013, 09:44 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Valley of the Sun
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A flex lite isn't a treeless saddle. It still has a tree, but it isn't a solid tree and is designed to give. My friend has had hers for about 7 years and loves it. You do feel a lot of the horse's movement in them. They are comfortable to ride in though.
I personally like the one without tooling, but it depends on what kind of riding you are going to do. If you are going to do a lot roping or ponying then I would go with the solid tree.
If the tree on the tooled saddle is wood wrapped in bull hide or rawhide, it will last forever as long as you take care of it. If it's a newer saddle it probably has a ralide tree which is fiberglass over wood. That's what mine is and it only had a 5 year warranty on the tree, but I've had it for 8 years now no issues.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.

Last edited by flytobecat; 10-28-2013 at 09:48 PM.
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post #12 of 21 Old 10-28-2013, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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There are so many variables.....horse fit, rider fit. I normally would choose the solid tree. It looks like a fantastic, high quality saddle.

But in this case I could choose the flex tree because I hate a rise in the seat. Saddlebag mentioned pelvic support but I have found the opposite to be true.....the rise in the seat bothers my crotch area and my lady parts get uncomfortable and go numb! Really, that is my #1 pet peeve in saddle fit for me as a rider.....I can't stand a sharp rise in the seat.

The flex tree should in theory fit a wide variety of horses too. Although I had a flex tree once (a different brand) and it gave me back pain. I ended up selling it for that reason. But the lady that bought it loves it.

So, pros of the solid tree:

High quality, tooled saddle with with a proven reliable tree style.

Cons: rise in the seat; it could be an older saddle with more wear (but (I don't know that for a fact).

Pros of the flex tree:

Newer saddle that should be comfortable on long rides and fit a wide variety of horses.

Cons: Flex trees are a newer technology so who knows if they will last a lifetime like a regular treed saddle. Also, I find flex trees to be more likely to roll and slip on the horse. But my horse that I used the flex tree on was built like a barrel. If your horse has decent withers it should hold fairly well. But I do think they don't grip the horse as tight as a rigid treed saddle.

They are so different, that you really need to sit in both and see which feels best to you. And if you can try them on your horse also, that would be even better. I bet there will be a clear-cut winner for either the rider or horse.
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post #13 of 21 Old 10-28-2013, 10:34 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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Originally Posted by Kdoconnell View Post
The seats are the same size. Both are 15". As far as the stirrups go, I can turn the stirrups on the tooled saddle. Would rather base my decision on which saddle will hold up better in the long run.
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It's not just the turned stirrups, but on the tooled saddle the stirrup bar (that the fender hangs from) seem to be a fair bit in front of where the rider will be sitting. Where as on the untooled the stirrups hang further back more under the rider.

Saddles last a long time. I wouldn't be that worried about it holding up in the long run. I'd be more concerned about it being suitable for the riding you're doing now.

If you have the opportunity to ride in them both I think, either way, the decision will be easy. They're very different saddles and it's likely you'll prefer one to the other pretty much immediately.
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-29-2013, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I have an older Circle Y that is similar to the tooled saddle you have listed above. I am finally breaking down and getting a different work saddle b/c I find myself fighting with the fender/stirrup placement so much. They are set further forward and I find myself in more of a chair seat. The saddle is very comfortable, but I am tired of fighting with my stirrups - I end up kicking my feet out and going stirrup less half the time.
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post #15 of 21 Old 10-30-2013, 11:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
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I have Saddle #1. Mines the Circle Y Trail Saddle Flex2. I love it. It's so comfortable and you can really feel your horse moving under you. If you are looking for a nice trail saddle I would go with that one. I've only had mine for a couple months but I haven't had any problems with it.

~Every Ride You Teach A Horse~
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post #16 of 21 Old 10-30-2013, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Thanks for all the input. I decided to go with the flex tree saddle due to stirrup placement and the fact that it seems to be the better trail riding saddle. Also, I think I can easily get my money back from resale if I don't like it. Just picked it up and am looking forward to trying it out. I'll let you know how it goes.
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post #17 of 21 Old 10-30-2013, 03:28 PM
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I think you made a good choice. I would have gone with the first one too. The stirrups were the first thing that jumped out at me, hands down. Also, if you are a true 15in seat, then the slope on the older saddle could be tight for you even though they are both 15 in. I usually ride a 14in barrel saddle, but got away with a 15in on a saddle that was very sloped like the one in your pic. I LOVED it because it does put you in a nice snug and more upright position, but I would think that's more for competition type riding. If you are trail riding, you might want a little more room which the first saddle seems to have. Congrats on your purchase. Hope it works out for you and your horse. :)
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post #18 of 21 Old 10-30-2013, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Indiana
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Excellent choice!!!! That's exactly what Im looking for!! Soooooooooo if it doesn't work for you, let me know!! hehe But I really hope it works out for you and your horse!! Beautiful saddle!! Show us pics of it on your horse!! :)

Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy horses, which is pretty much the same thing. ��
Trader, 7, AQHA Palomino; Mac, 8, APHA solid black Paint; Sisco, my angel AQHA Palomino.��
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post #19 of 21 Old 10-31-2013, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
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Ya, as MammaKatja said, the 15" seat on the trail is great for trail riding. 14" was would of been way to small for me in the trail. You want a tad more room for trail. The twist on the seat on this saddle is great to. Conforms to your legs and butt. I really love mine. I went on a 4 hour trail ride and my butt didn't hurt one bit.

~Every Ride You Teach A Horse~
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post #20 of 21 Old 11-02-2013, 07:35 PM
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Location: Ontario
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I just had an email enquiring about a saddle I have for sale and if it had a solid tree or flex tree as 5 horses at her stable have sore backs from flex trees.
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