Im getting back into riding western and my current saddle doesnt fit my horse very well. So Im saddle searching. What's your thoughts or experience with flextree saddles, specifically the Circle Y brand?
I have flex-tree rough out training saddle by Silver Royal. It's a cheapy but it's fit everything I've tried it on...from a shark finned TB to a Thewell fat Appy mare. I personally love it and know 2 other people who have the same saddle and feel the same way.
The greatest gift you can ever give is taking their pain away and making it your own. Wear that pain like a tribute to the love you shared. Laurierace
Google it. It seems to be love or hate relationship.
Some saddle fitters dislike them (mine does). Many believe there should be rider's weight limit on them. They definitely do not fit any horse! I wished, people stopped looking for one-size-fits-all saddles. They do not exist. This includes treeless.
I saw a merchant stepping on one (just the tree) to present, how great it flexed. It was actually kind of troubling to watch, because what you saw was the tree sinking to the ground... ehm, would be horse back...
A couple of years ago, I used to have Circle Y, Flex tree (Velocity barrel). Did not fit. Btw., watch out with Circle Ys- they run narrow.
I was trying another Circle Y barrel saddle this year, wide tree. Well, it did not fit my wide horse either. For other conformation reasons, I stopped searching western and finally went with English saddle, had it adjusted, and it fitted like a glove (fingers crossed).
One more thing. Get tracings of your horse and take them out to whoever you are going to buy from.
If you do not know, how to take tracings, go on Trumbull Mountain website. They are great! They mostly do English, I think, but are very knowledgeable and have a good info about saddle fit and tracings.
Conformation of your horse is the key. If you have a freak, like we do, then Good Luck!
The circle y flex tree saddle they have now tend to be better. Or so I'm told. The one I had, purchased about 2001, made every horse it was put on buck. So personally I'm Not a fan. But I do love the feel of the circle y saddles, comfortable for the rider. I have my doubts about flex trees in general tho.
I had a Circle Y Flex Tree for about a year, and liked it well enough until the horse I bought it for outgrew it. Can't say the Flex Tree knocked my socks off in comparison to 50+ years of regular trees. I replaced that with a McCall Wade that the horse loves, and since acquired a custom saddle, High Quality Saddles in Utah, that yes, saddle maker says will fit every horse, so far he's right. But more important to me my horses like it.
I had a Contintental flex reiner saddle. I liked it, and it seemed my horse kinda liked it, but he had a bit of a bow in his back (hence why I got it, to flex with that issue).
Now that I think of it, the flexing motion will put stree on the front and back point of the saddle...picture a flexible tree branch resting each end on two different things, like wood on work stands...when you put weight on the middle of it, the weight has to put pressure on the ends to allow the flex to happen.
That doesn't seem like a great idea to me. The firmer old timey trees at least take up more of that pressure along the length, not just the ends.
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I have a two year old Circly Y Flex barrel racing saddle and I love it. The mare who hated to pick up a left lead and would buck and snort in circles, picked up that lead and cantered for a half mile happily the first time I put it on. Every other horse I have put it on has been very comfortable in it as well.
Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse! Anonymous Bedouin legend
Flex tree saddles have been around since at least the 1840s (when the first patent for such a saddle was issued). It's not a new idea!
It's not been a successful idea, either. During the Age of Horsepower they were not in widespread use. The U.S. Army and the British Army tried them in 1912; both abandoned them fairly quickly as they found they sored up horses' backs regularly and frequently.
Perhaps modern designs and materials can make them work, but I've got my doubts.
When I was saddle shopping my chiropractor told me to stay away from the Circle Y Flex Trees because they did more harm to their back than good. He said that they don't hold up as well as a regular tree saddle too.