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Frustrated - broken tree!

This is a discussion on Frustrated - broken tree! within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Collegiate saddle trees breaking
  • Wintec tree cracked from stirup bar

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    01-23-2013, 04:36 PM
  #11
Green Broke
I don't consider the age of a saddle to really be all that important. If it's in good condition, it's in good condition. I have two saddles, both bought used in very good condition, and I have no idea how old either one is. I'm pretty sure one of them is at least 20-25 years old.
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    01-24-2013, 08:50 AM
  #12
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tack Collector    
^ Be aware that method can snap a marginal tree. Do that to someone's saddle that's for sale, and it might be "You broke it, you've bought it.)

Is there some way to determine the age of a Wintec? From a serial number or something?
What is a marginal tree?
     
    01-24-2013, 08:54 AM
  #13
Green Broke
LikeaTB a marginal tree is a tree that has been weakened some how and is normaly hanging on by a thread, so it will for example have a crack in the tree but not yet be fully broken. If you put increased pressure on the crack you could snap the tree where the crack is.

I certainly wouldnt be buying a marginal saddle that couldd go at anytime
     
    01-24-2013, 09:03 AM
  #14
Yearling
Ohmyitschelle - don't feel bad. It's sometimes impossible to tell a tree is broken without taking the saddle apart. Older spring tree saddles (and those with carbon fibre trees) will often flex, and twist, quite a lot, and it's easy to miss a slight creak.

One summer my daughter's horse began jumping poorly and we originally thought it was his mouth, due to previous bitting problems, but we couldn't seem to improve him. It wasn't until the following spring when I was widening his saddle that I noticed the cantle slightly off-square and when I took it apart one of the tree rails was cracked. I felt REALLY bad about not seeing that.

You just do the best you can for them, which you have done :)

PS: The Isabell has a synthetic tree, basically an injection moulded plastic plate. Apart from faults where the adjustable head attaches, which is forward of the girth straps, the only way to break a tree like that is for the horse to fall or roll on it, as far as I know.
     
    01-24-2013, 09:40 AM
  #15
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by faye    
If it is marginal then I certainly wont be buying it! There is nothing that will prove that it wasnt broken before!!

If a seller isnt happy for me to test the tree on a saddle then I will assume that it is broken.
I meant, don't be so stupid about it and you or the boyfriend or whomever put so much force on it when you "test" it, that you end up breaking what was not actually broken before. Dig? Because if I were a tack shop owner or a nearby shopper and that happened and I witnessed it, I would be testifying and hopefully the tack shop owner is charging you or else calling the police when you try to just walk away.


Plastic in saddle trees vs. old saddle trees that are wood: Here is where the kiddos need a history lesson before dissing "old" saddles. I worked in plastic engineering design for 15 years. We made plastics and we also designed plastics manufacturing plants and sold those design packages to licensees. (Just so you know that I am not a housewife and mamma talking out her posterior...) There is an adage in the plastics industry that the maximum usable lifespan of plastic is 10 years. Sometimes it's more, sometimes it's less, but that's a good average number. What happens is that plastic becomes more brittle and loses strength over time. "Carbon fiber" is probably going to be no better, imo, but time will tell. So, since all of your Bates/ Wintec / Collegiate Convertibles use the same trees, this tree problem could happen to any one of those brands. Or to any others that have plastic or composite trees. The Ralide trees in western saddles seem to be the longest-lasting of plastic saddle trees, lol. That won't help English riders any.

Many "old" English saddles have trees that are made of laminated layers of wood, with steel reinforcing the arch of the gullet. Those saddles, if they are European, can probably be used for 50 years or more and not break a tree. Some of the saddle seat people have snapped some heady-duty trees on their "low backed " (swaybacked, lordosis) horses because of the saddle being 22"-24" overall length plus it is bridging and thus it's easy to see why those snapped. But people all over Europe and American are using some very old AP and hunt and polo saddles that have stood the test of time.

Argentine-made saddles, I suspect won't have that longevity, even the ones from Collegiate that have "Plybond" tree. The Argentine saddles are less expensive than European saddles for good reasons. What I've seen happen with them is the arch of the gullet spreads wide with age/use. Or the stirrup bar(s) pulls loose from the tree. At one time, back in 2000-2002 or so, the last days of Miller Harness Co., there were many complaints about the trees breaking in the Collegiate cc saddles. Now, those RD (Ruaz Diaz) Collegiate saddles are praised and sought after as being better saddles than the current Collegiate line.

"You pays your money, you takes your chances," as the saying goes.
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    01-24-2013, 09:51 AM
  #16
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tack Collector    
I meant, don't be so stupid about it and you or the boyfriend or whomever put so much force on it when you "test" it, that you end up breaking what was not actually broken before. Dig? Because if I were a tack shop owner or a neqrby shopper and that happened and I witnessed it, I would be testifying and hopefully the tack shop owner is charging you or else calling the police when you try to just walk away.
Sorry but a normal person should not be able to snap a tree on a saddle unless the tree is already badly damaged and therefore unsafe.

You could tell the owner all you wanted, infact i'd be telling the owner myself to prevent the saddle being sold to a non knowlegable person. However I would not expect to pay for damaged goods and if they tried to make me pay i'm sure trading standards would be VERY interested in a saddler selling DANGEROUS goods! (Trading standards HAVE closed down businesses before for selling dangeorus goods, and can issue unlimited fines!)

Any reputable company will have already done this check on thier saddles and will not mind you doing the test either. Any reputable company would be horrified by the fact that they were stocking dangerous goods.

I always ask before checking the tree anyway and if they say no then they are not getting my money as I will assume the tree is broken.

Spring trees will have a very very small amount of give in them but they should not twist. If they twist then they are likely broken.
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    01-24-2013, 10:03 AM
  #17
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy1356    
Is CAIR even 12 years old? I thought that was a fairly recent along with the Isabell, didn't think that was 12 years old either.
CAIR's been around at least that long. I remember looking at an Isabell at a tack shop back when I lived in southern Maryland, and that was at least 12 years ago, maybe more.

I have a Wintec 2000 AP with CAIR and I like it just fine, but I'd never deliberately change out wool flocking for it.
     
    01-24-2013, 12:59 PM
  #18
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
CAIR's been around at least that long. I remember looking at an Isabell at a tack shop back when I lived in southern Maryland, and that was at least 12 years ago, maybe more.

I have a Wintec 2000 AP with CAIR and I like it just fine, but I'd never deliberately change out wool flocking for it.
Thanks for clarifying. I guess I hadn't really heard about cair until recently. So it seems the easiest and fastest way to know the age would be to compare it's looks to others? I have no idea how old mine is, and I don't particularly care. Bought used and it was in excellent shape.
     
    02-10-2013, 08:30 PM
  #19
Yearling
My apologies for the EXTREMELY late response.

I have literally had the worst nightmare over my saddle.
So as I mentioned in the first post, I received a message regarding my saddle and the broken tree. They suggested I came in and saw it.

Went in with a friend, was shown the tree was broken on both sides (one worse than the other) by the stirrup bars/girth area. We stood there talking about the saddle, and I mentioned the hard ball in the back panel, where my first issue was and had prompted me to get it checked. We had found that someone had repacked it, but wasn't with correct packing but cheap broken down cloth and this had balled up badly. Not only had it been over-packed but it was packed higher on one side - which the saddler believed was the reason there had been stress on the tree. Here I was at my tethers, but the saddler who is one of the best in the area, was awesome and gave me a deal to get it fixed.

Hooray, we see the end of the tunnel... or NOT

Get a phone call the other day about the saddle. The saddler mentioned every time she touched the saddle, she seemed to find more things wrong. She replaced the tree, and pulled out a bin full of the crap packing. And then she checked the CAIR panels only to find my saddle isn't CAIR at all! Someone had cut the pockets and filled them too. She was absolutely disgusted with it, and the saddle was pretty much a shambles - cue my break down once off the phone over my six year wait going to waste.

In the end, thanks to my wonderful brother helping me financially, we've removed the CAIR panels, made it a fully flocked saddle, it has a new tree, correct flocking and they even gave me brand new girth straps - which were a nice surprise.

So minus the outer fabric I have a brand new saddle. And after everything I've spent (with original saddle price included), I'm $350 off of a brand spanking new Isabell.

I'm praying it's now all over, and I can finally get back to riding happily!
Thanks everyone, I'm never buying sight unseen again!!
     
    02-10-2013, 08:53 PM
  #20
Super Moderator
Ok, I am now wondering about a saddle that I got at a garage sale. It was old and the leather was torn, but it was a Crosby freestyle dressage, for US 10$. Can't beat that. Took it in and asked the saddle shop if tree broken. They said yes. Ok, packed it away for "training purposes", if and when that ever came up. You know, meaning I dont' care if horse rolls with it on, or whatever.

Then, when saddle fitter came to our barn I asked her to test it. And she said, No, it isn't broken. It flexes some but this is normal for the tree. OK? Ok. I end up keeping it and lending to a friend who needed something now. She loves it and gave me 20$ for it.

So, is some flexion when you pull on it like Faye described acceptable, or does some flexion , any amount, def. Mean it's broken?
     

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