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Crosspost: Speak to me of Circle Y flex tree saddles circa 2001

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  • Crosspost: Speak to me of Circle Y flex tree saddles circa 2001

    I'm researching a saddle I'm interested in for my horse and finding a few conflicting opinions but not much to back them up. Since I wasn't even thinking about western saddles until recently, I guess I missed the stir-up. So can anyone here help me?

    There are reports that Circle Y's early flex trees were defective and hurting horses, but I can't find much about it other than a few anecdotal responses in other forums.

    There are also anecdotal reports about whether one should use a flex tree on high withered, [slightly] swaybacked horses, which, of course, mine is.

    And then there is the weight factor. Although I can't seem to find anything "official", some of these anecdotal responses state that someone over 185# shouldn't ride in the original flex trees. I'm not near that, but I'm still curious.

    So I've read what I could find here on CoTH, at least from the first two pages of my search, but I'm still not sure which way I'm leaning on this saddle.

    So speak to me of the original Circle Y flex tree saddles, the good, the bad, and the ugly. . .

  • #2
    My daughter has put a ton of miles on hers. We both like riding in it in terms of where it puts you for forward (e.g. hill) work. Hers fit her Appy with a great back and low to moderate withers, and now fits her warmblood mare and my NSH both with moderate withers and strong backs well too. It doesn't fit horses with higher withers - maybe they make one in that size?

    The pommel cracked last year, which was a big disappointment. We are not gentle on tack and might have caused it. Anyway the really good news is my daughter found a local dealer who mailed it back to the company. The company replaced it for free and the saddle lives on. A screw holding down some of the trim came loose once as well - was stripped - and had to be replaced by a local saddle repairer.

    I actually always have my eyes open for another one but when I see them they are priced out of my range. But I would definitely recommend them for both rider and horse comfort if it fits. They are a quality product, "high end" in my world.

    I have never heard of them being defective and hurting a horse. Saddle fit is saddle fit - you need to be sure of that with any saddle. And I have never heard about the weight factor. Of course I don't get out much to hear things but our experience with our saddle has been pretty good. We've added a Lady Godiva saddle cover and hinges to make the stirrups hang perpendicular to the horse and will be very sad if it wears completely out some day. Very comfy saddle.

    If you go to the circle y website you can figure out the serial number code.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for replying, Prudence. It's good to hear some positive. I can't tell you how many negative comments I found online last night. It's put me in a quandry regarding buying this saddle.


      • #4
        I can't be sure it was a 2001 flex tree -- but I bought a beautiful, new Circle Y flex tree saddle some time between 2000 and 2002 (sorry, I just can't remember when) and was so psyched about it. My slightly sway backed QH who usually wasn't that particular about saddles hated it. No problem, I have four other horses, I'll used it on my Appendix. Nope, he hated it too. I sold it, at a loss , for a Circle Y park and trail with round skirts and a standard tree. I still have it -- it's an awesome saddle, and works on almost all my boys with the right padding.

        Around the same time a good friend of mine basically went throught the same process. Her horse also was not happy at all with the flex tree.

        So based on my personal experience, I am not a fan of flex trees.
        "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
        <>< I.I.


        • #5
          Well, I've got a Circle Y flex tree, circa 2004, and have used it on two of my horses with no problem. They're both stocky built QH types, and I like it because it's much lighter than my other saddles. I'm hard on my saddles, use them for hours at a time, several days a week, and have no complaints.


          • #6
            I have rode in a couple of flex trees (none mine) all the horses were uncomfortable with them. The horses went from free moving and flowing to short and choppy.