Fiberglass trees? Would love LOTS of answers/opinions.
 
 

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Fiberglass trees? Would love LOTS of answers/opinions.

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  • Fiberglass composite blend saddle tree
  • Fiberglass saddle tree reviews

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    04-23-2013, 06:46 PM
  #1
Banned
Fiberglass trees? Would love LOTS of answers/opinions.

Okay, I would love everybody's opinions on fiberglass trees. I've heard of hollow fiberglass trees (for light weight barrel racing) and rawhide wrapped fiberglass trees (for sturdiness and strength). Also fiberglass coated wood trees. (for water-proofing and strength) In my own opinion, I want to stay away from getting a saddle with a fiberglass tree. Whether it's any of them stated above. But getting a nice saddle with a tree worth buying is probably going to cost me a good chunk of change. I only have about $500 to spend on a saddle, if that. But anyways (I'm straying from my point) I just want to know what people think about trees with fiberglass. Whether it's hollow fiberglass, rawhide-covered fiberglass, or fiberglass-covered wood. What are your experiences? Would they even be worth a try? Thanks!
     
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    04-23-2013, 06:54 PM
  #2
Green Broke
I have one that I use for initial saddlings. But just for the part of that process where I'm am putting it on and off with one hand over and over. I will cinch it up and do some long line driving or lunging if a particular horse needs that.

I used to use it for guests, but after several years and many miles, the tree did not hold it's shape and I no longer will have anyone with in it.

Other than a good rawhide covered wood tree, the only type I like is the LaPort trees that are made of a composite material. They are lightweight and hold up to heavy roping.
COWCHICK77 likes this.
     
    04-23-2013, 07:26 PM
  #3
Green Broke
I thought fiberglass covered wood trees were pretty standard.

I know bullhide covered wood is top-of-the-line, but I didn't think there was any reason not to own a fiberglass covered wood tree for just about anything except maybe heavy roping.

Anyhow, I have several saddles with Steele Equi-fit trees. They are fiberglass covered wood and I've never had a problem with them and they fit my horses GREAT. Much better than the Ralide trees I owned previously. I don't rope but I trail ride pretty heavily. Never had a tree fail yet, and I have a LOT more faith in fiberglass covered wood than Ralide. So I think fiberglass covered wood is pretty good.

If your budget is $500 and you want a rawhide/bullhide covered tree you are going to have to go used. You can't hardly find a decent saddle for $500 new. I've bought a few in that price range, but they were "like-new" used saddles. And you are for sure not going to find a high quality tree in a new saddle in the $500 price range. They will more than likely be a Ralide tree. Which isn't necessarily bad, I've never had one fail. But I consider them a cheaper tree. And for some reason I never get a good fit with Ralide.

I have been told that all the cheap import saddles have "fiberglass" trees that are hollow inside. I would definitely stay away from anything like that.

But fiberglass covered wood? I thought those were good for practically any purpose other than heavy roping. Any saddle experts have an opinion on that?
     
    04-23-2013, 07:42 PM
  #4
Started
The only tree I've ever fixed was a fiberglass over wood. It was a fairly high end saddle and if I recall it got flipped on. Not much help I suppose.
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    04-23-2013, 07:44 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftDreamer    
Okay, I would love everybody's opinions on fiberglass trees. I've heard of hollow fiberglass trees (for light weight barrel racing) and rawhide wrapped fiberglass trees (for sturdiness and strength). Also fiberglass coated wood trees. (for water-proofing and strength) In my own opinion, I want to stay away from getting a saddle with a fiberglass tree. Whether it's any of them stated above. But getting a nice saddle with a tree worth buying is probably going to cost me a good chunk of change. I only have about $500 to spend on a saddle, if that. But anyways (I'm straying from my point) I just want to know what people think about trees with fiberglass. Whether it's hollow fiberglass, rawhide-covered fiberglass, or fiberglass-covered wood. What are your experiences? Would they even be worth a try? Thanks!
Hollow Fiberglass - 100% Junk
Hollow Fiberglas with Rawhide wrapping - A Lie and 100% Junk
Theses are found in Junk Saddles from India

Ralide uses a Plastic polymer and are solid.... not to be confused with the above fiberglass trees.
Ralide are found in many US made Brands, even some models made by Circle Y in their High Horse Lineup.

Most trees in Better Saddles are Solid Wood with a Fiberglass and Resin Covering.
Some model use a Solid wood tree covered first with fiberglass and then with with a rawhide or bullhide covering, but they are heavy and expensive.

If 500.00 is your price range, look for a used saddle. The 400-500.00 New Saddles are 99% of the time Junk.


BTW, here is a picture of a Fiberglass tree with what the imports call rawhide wrapping, notice the purple looking stuff around the edges of the bars in the Tree? Yup, it is as thin as it looks and is useless, thus the reason for calling it a lie

Also notice the circled part with the arrows pointing to the cracks in the tree, this saddle was used 1 time by a 105lb person and taken apart to find out what happened...



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    04-23-2013, 08:05 PM
  #6
Banned
Thanks for the input! I have no clue what trees are best and such. And yeah, I have NO plans on buying a saddle new for $500. I've been searching for a good saddle all winter and have been doing lots of research. So I know that new for under $500 is bad, bad, bad. I am definitely planning on buying a used name brand. I just never seen much for reviews on fiberglass trees. I've only had four saddles in my lifetime and one was a hollow fiberglass tree. (Yes naughty me) But I ended up doing research before I rode in it and got rid of it.
SouthernTrails likes this.
     
    04-23-2013, 08:06 PM
  #7
Showing
Here I go again, waiting, waiting for pics to download on HF.
     
    04-23-2013, 08:20 PM
  #8
Showing
I've dismantled more than a few saddles but that is the first time I've seen one of these trees. I was sent pics of a hollow fiberglass tree and after only a few uses the swell had two crack, one on either side of the horn and another beginning. Another gal emailed a pic of a h.f. Tree that didn't survive the first ride. The horn flopped over and soon after the horse got so antsy she got off and walked. The tree had cracked near the base of the cantle.
     
    04-24-2013, 10:04 PM
  #9
Trained
Glad SouthernTrails cleared that up for me, I was thinking fiberglass & ralide where the same things and I was scratching my head thinking, hmmm, I have used one for ages with no problems.
     
    04-24-2013, 10:43 PM
  #10
Trained
I've never bought anything from this website, but I like their easy to understand stuff on saddles:

Differences between Saddle Trees

What is a Flex Tree?
     

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