I see a lot of talk about what makes a good saddle, what saddle brands are cheap, imported, etc. And of course the heart of the saddle is the tree.
I was curious about what people thought about a couple of saddle tree brands. For instance, I have heard negative things about Ralide, especially years ago when they first came out, but it was more of "they can't be any good because they are plastic" sort of thing. Not actual reports about them being bad trees. And here we are years later and they are still being used. What do you guys think?
Personally I have had a few Ralide trees and never had a problem with them durability wise. I have had a couple not fit well, but that is the shape of the tree, not the material. That happens with any tree. But durability wise they have done well for me. What are your guys experiences with them?
And while we are at it, what about Steele trees? They are wood with fiberglass wrap. I have found them to fit my horses very well, in my small sample of two.
Are they considered pretty good, or just "okay" as far as trees go?
I know it was always said that bullhide wrapped wood trees are the best, but even they come in different qualities I would assume.
What makes a good saddle tree? What brand or style is most likely to fit the most horses comfortably? I know horses are all different of course, but I would assume the better the tree, the more versatile it should be, at least in a mass-produced saddle. Thoughts?