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View Full Version : Info Needed on Flex Trees (Big Horn Endurance 807)



jengersnap
Mar. 17, 2010, 08:45 AM
There is a lovely Big Horn endurance on consignment at a local tack shop. I sat in it this past weekend, and it was as comfortable as an easy chair for me. I ride with western gear on trail or cow work in an old equitation seat ranching saddle, and school dressage, so the feeling was a lovely combination of the two for me. But in describing the saddle to friends, I've had mixed reactions to a flex tree. I've no experiance with flex trees, so I'm hoping to gather as much info on them as I can.

I have a compact 15.2 thoroughbred with an arab-y build, some wither, and a 15 hand short coupled standardbred, wide backed with just a little wither. While both horses by glancing at them seem similar, the TB needs more withers clearance and the STB needs a shorter skirted saddle as full skirt would jab her hips. The TB has a high withered QH bar saddle as well as a wide tree cut back Jeffries dressage saddle. The STB has a Big Horn half synthetic in QH bars, as the cordura is soft into the hip area. That saddle lays on the TB's withers. This saddle looks like it would meet both needs with the extra high clearance in the front and the rounded skirt.

Here's the info on this Big Horn:

Center Fire Rigging Equi-Flex Endurance Saddles
Double Comfort Visco-Elastic Seat No. 806-16" Seat

Standard Width Endurance Bars. Deep rigged front end.

High Endurance Front end for more clearance in the withers.

Deep set front rigging for close contact and security.

Double Comfort padded seat.
Tree: Equi-Fit flexible saddle tree, 12" endurance front, Endurance style Quarter Horse bars.
Rigging: Western Style 3/4 "Center Fire," Brass ring and dees.

Cantle: 5" with 1 1/2" Cheyenne roll cantle binding.

Seat: 16" or 17" Grainout, Double Comfort Visco Elastic padded.

Trim: Brass Hardware. Smooth leather all over. Saddle strings attached to brass rings. Rear dee for attaching back strap and crupper. Cantle brackets on rear of cantle.

Skirts: 23" x deep front", Round. Wool Felt lined skirt offers natural shock absorption, padding, and moisture absorption.

Fenders: 17 x 8", 2.5" leather stirrup straps with stainless steel buckles.

Stirrups: Aluminum Rubber padded, Endurance style.

Finish: #2 Brown (Dark Medium Brown)

Weight: Approximately 27.5 lbs.

There is a picture of it at the very bottom of this page:

http://www.culturedcowboy.com/saddles/bighorn/pages/bh_804.805.806.807.htm

Are the couple of horror stories about sore backs I've been told the usual experiance with this flex tree? That is definately the last thing I want. We ride several hours on the trail, with some hills and forging, so comfort for both horse and rider are my primary interest.

Thanks!

SouthernTrailsGA
Mar. 17, 2010, 10:36 AM
Are the couple of horror stories about sore backs I've been told the usual experiance with this flex tree? That is definately the last thing I want. We ride several hours on the trail, with some hills and forging, so comfort for both horse and rider are my primary interest.

Thanks!

The Bighorn uses a Medium-Plus 6.75" Gullet Steele Equifit Flexible Tree.

I have heard and know of many, many problems with some of the Flex Trees by other Companies, but cannot remember one from Steele Brand or Ralide Brand. A couple of Companies have actually had to take their Flex Models off the shelves over the years and once again one brand is taking over the 2nd generation Flex off the shelf.

With the Steels Brand as with any, a good fit is important, any brand can cause a sore back if not a good fit.

The only other problem with any Flex Tree but a Ralide brand is Rider Weight Limit. While no manufacturer will print this or tell you this, it is the law of physics.
Most Brands have a rider weight limit of 180 to 195 lbs. Also another problem is not just weight, but bounce; if a rider say weighs 160lbs and cannot ride well they bounce in the seat and cause just a much pressure possibly as a 220lb rider, with these scenarios the Tree will over-flex cause pinching and a sore back or a number of other things.

Just to clarify, I know of a lot of people that have Steele Brand Flex Trees in their Saddle and have the happiest Horse in the world, it is mainly the other Brands that have caused the horror stories out their, so if the Bighorn 807 has a good price and fits, I would not worry about it :)


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jengersnap
Mar. 17, 2010, 12:04 PM
Thanks Kevin! I loved the fit for myself, but there are always two in the equation when it comes to fit, right? :winkgrin: The shop has a generous return policy.