flex trees - your opinions ?

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flex trees - your opinions ?

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    02-21-2010, 04:58 PM
flex trees - your opinions ?

My husband needs to buy a new saddle. When his horse was four his saddle fit fine, but the horse has definitely broadened and the saddle pinches. It was a very old saddle, I think made when horses were more narrow.
My husband will not buy one off the internet. He wants to see it and try it on the horse before making a decision.
All he does is trail riding and he is looking for maximum comfort for his horse. Some people swear by the flex tree and then we hear they are awful.
Can anyone give me the true scoop?
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    02-21-2010, 05:12 PM
I don't think there is a "true scoop." Like everything else with horses, some things work well for some people and horses and some don't.

See the other thread a couple posts down on flex trees.

I had a Reinsman flex tree saddle and it hurt my back and wasn't really secure on my horse. No one else seems to report back pain, so I think it just aggravated a back problem I already had. But I do think they are less secure on a round/wide horse than a rigid tree. It was really insecure on my Mustang and I know of a couple other folks with Circle Y flex trees and they seem to have trouble mounting and with the saddle turning if the cinch isn't super tight. But they really like their saddles and that gal that bought my Reinsman loves it too.

I also know a gal who loves Ortho-flexes. It uses a different technology where the panels flex instead of the whole tree. She loves them, but they are pretty pricey.

So it may be worth a try.

I personally have gone back to regular trees.

I think a lot of people turn to flex trees because the saddle they are using doesn't fit their horse properly. (I know that is why I tried a flex tree anyway). But I finally sent a wither tracing to a saddle company, they took an educated guess on the best fit of the trees they had, and what do you know, the saddle I bought fits great! But I went through saddle fitting HELL before I found the right saddle.
    02-21-2010, 05:47 PM
I am hoping to avoid that saddle fitting hell, I have heard so many people say that. What company and type of saddle did you end up with that you like?
I will look for that past thread thanks
    02-21-2010, 11:21 PM
I used "Rider's Choice" on eBay. They are in Alabama. I hesitate slightly to recommend them though because the quality seems inconsistent.

The saddle I bought was one of their "GW Crate" Wades (see picture below). I loved it so much, and it was so well made that later on I bought a second one.

The second one wasn't quite as nice. It fit the same and everything, but it was like the person who built the first one was a pro, and the second one looked like it was made by someone less experienced. There were some nails that went through the tree and were pushing the skirts out a bit, the seat leather had some small wrinkles, etc. So I was disappointed in the second one. I still kept it and I like it, but it just wasn't made with as much care as the first one. The first one was awesome!

They are really nice to work with though and will help you find a saddle that fits.

I would start by making a wither tracing of your horse, then if you look at used saddles, new saddles at the store, or decided to go mail order, either way, you can have the wither tracing checked against the gullet of the saddle to at least get an idea if it looks like a good fit. Just take the wither tracing with you everywhere you look, or if you go with an online dealer, see if you can send it in. I have never used this store, but they sound like they have good customer service and will help you find a saddle that fits. I believe they have wither tracing instructions there too.

Western saddles Sold; Billy Cook saddle, Circle Y , Tucker, Crates & used western saddle
Attached Images
File Type: jpg john wade saddle2.jpg (86.6 KB, 110 views)
    02-22-2010, 01:54 PM
That is a beautiful saddle. Looks like one my husband would like as well. I showed him some websites last night and he will not consider getting one online. Oh well. We do not have a whole lot of choice around here. He likes the sound of the flex tree because he very much wants the horse to be comfortable and they have some nice flex tree trail saddles, which are on the lighter side, which he thinks would be better for the horse on long rides as well, for sale at the shop but you get such conflicting opinions on their merit. I read a bunch of the previous threads. Too bad the horses can't talk.
    02-22-2010, 01:59 PM
I like that website a lot. Good information on fit. I may talk him into saddle by mail after he talks to them.

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