Personally I do not like any of these new Adjusting and Flex Trees that Tucker Makes and Several other people Make. They do not Flex to fit various size Horses as some places insinuate, some of these adjustable western trees also have reports of pressure points. They also have a weight limit or as I call it a bounce limit, come down on the seat to hard and the tree can flex so as to pinch your Horse.
Here is a link to an independent site with some 27 reviews of Tuckers.
I used to have a Tucker but promptly sold it once I saw what it was doing to my horse's back. The way the bars sit, it's concave so it really traps your horse's back from lifting and rounding. That made sense because my horse was getting nice and muscled everywhere.....except his back. If you just trail ride, I suppose it's ok, but that's not all I did.
Thanks. The description of the individual Gen II saddles don't actually say their for gaited horses (I like the Cheyenne Springs Gen II, which is the same as the Cheyenne Frontier Gen II only it has a cheyenne roll). However, the overall description of the Gen II line says "ideal for the gaited horse".
Does that mean they're actually designed for gaited horses?...or that the trees are designed around a regular horse and because they're "trail saddles" they're trying to attract some folks with gaited horses because of the whole trail aspect?
(I just got a Tennessee Walker who needs a gaited horse tree...not just a "trail saddle", but one designed with his withers in mind and not just my butt. Lol).
Tuckers are made specifically for the gaited horse. I know a person who has 2. They are both medium trees and fit a Missouri Fox Trotter and a Tennessee Walker. These saddles are from the earlier lines when Tucker only made a medium tree. Since that time they are now manufacturing the medium tree (semi quarter) which works best with high withered horses that are not flat backed. The next is the wide tree (full quarter bars) which still works with withered horses and also the flatter backed round horses. They are flared as all gaited saddles. I have both the medium tree in a western style and the wide tree in the endurance model. The medium tree works best with my Rocky Mountain Mare and the wide works best with my Spotted Saddle. The wide also fit both of our wide shouldered paint mares. All horses are individuals and what will work for one won't work for another. Best to try any saddle on before buying nowadays.
Another brand I would recommend for walkers is the Rocking R gaited saddles. They a made especially for Tennessee Walkers that are wide shouldered and also have a flare in the gaited bar for shoulder clearance.
My opinion of the GenII endurance is a lot of money for a lot of nothing. I sat in one and I felt like I was so riding above the horse it was uncomfortable. For the endurance saddle you feel like you have no contact or feeling of the horse.
Let's not forget that Tucker is now owned by Circle Y and you need to consider their influence - good or bad. I've read all the reviews and it makes me leery. That coupled with the price and, personally, I would avoid it.
You can get a gel pad for any saddle if you need that sort of thing.
We have a Tucker Gen II Endurance model that we use on a mare for long distance and she has competed in a 30K Endurance competition with it. We use it with the Skito Dryback pads. It has the Enduro rigging.
As with any saddle you have to have it fitted to your horse. The dealer we purchased the saddle from helped us with this and we did the measuring (both horse and rider), templates and photography work. When the saddle arrived it fit both the rider and horse perfectly.
Although I prefer a close contact saddle, I have ridden in it and found it quite comfortable even though it was a few sizes too big for me. My original comment was that it felt like riding on a camel saddle as I felt I was high up off the horse's back. That sensation soon went away as you can feel the horse movements quite nicely. My husband, to whom this saddle belongs, says it is the most comfortable saddle he has ever owned and it has eliminated his knee pain and leg discomfort on the longer rides.
Positive observations about the saddle and riding it on a non-gaited horse are that over the course of the first week we saw a distinct difference in the fluidity of her movement, in particular the extended trot. After a month we did several gait comparisons, before and after tests using our GPS, and found that her extended trot speed had notably increased to the point where it is worthy off mention. The saddle fits extremely well. Our sport is long distance mountain riding with much off trail work. The substantial climbs and descents are a great way to test a saddle and it sits well with no need for a crupper but we do use a breast collar with all of our saddles. There also is the option of a wider stirrup base which please my husband.
A negative comment is that I do not like the dyed leather. I find the color runs when cleaning and when I mentioned it to the seller she told me that she had had similar feedback from other clients. There is product they sell you to apply to your saddle if this happens. I did have the color transfer to a pair of light colored riding breeches during a rainy ride. This in itself would be a deal breaker if I was in the market for a new trail saddle.
We purchased the cantel and pommel luggage for the saddle and they are absolutely wonderful. Great quality leather and very well made.
Just a note... when asked, the seller did mention her concern about the Circle Y acquisition and said that many Tucker dealers and sitting back to wait and see how their production revisions might affect the quality that is a signature aspect of the Tucker Brand name.
Hope my input makes a contribution. If you are looking for an outstanding saddle, check out the Gaston Mercier which is manufactured in France. I absolutely love mine and will never change from that brand.
As with any saddle you have to have it fitted to your horse. .
If you buy a well made saddle and a horse with a good typical back the saddle should not have to be fitted to the horses back. A high quality custom made saddle will cost more than a horse and last longer. Horses backs also change over time requiring an adjustment in the type or quantity of the pads. I ride 2-3 horse per day and there is no way I could afford to have a saddle fitted for each one so I only buy horses of a certain type and I own a saddle that is built to fit that type.
I think Tuckers are a gimmick and I hate gimmicks.