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Broken tree: WWYD?

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  • Broken tree: WWYD?

    Found out the reason my saddle is squeaking and fitting NQR is because the tree is broken. It looks like a rivet at the front has given way. I bought the saddle second hand and have had it about 4 years.

    It is a Barnsby Skelton. I love the saddle.

    Is it worth replacing the tree? Would you order a tree from Barnsby? Has anyone ever done this?

  • #2
    I don't know about that particular saddle, but the same thing happened to my butet. It's "only" about $400 to fix that. For $1200, I did that plus all new billets, new knee pads and new seat.
    When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager


    • Original Poster

      Thanks! I was quoted about $300 - $400 for the tree, so that sounds the same. I am also having the billets replaced. Everything else on the saddle is in good shape, so the bill shouldn't be too high. Thank goodness.

      It's weird but the saddle started creaking and both my coach and I checked to see if the tree was o-kay. It was solid front to back, no wrinkles, and no reason to think it had been broken - it had never been dropped, rolled on, etc - so we just thought it needed some re-stuffing.

      We had our saddle fitter out (who is amazing!) and I literally rode in it one lap before he said the tree was broken. He twisted it a certain way and, wow, yup, not good. I feel really badly for my horse that I didn't know.


      • #4
        Same exact thing happened to me. The rivets I guess are like screws and over the years they get rusty and the heads break off. No trauma needed.
        When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager


        • Original Poster

          Well, I'll certainly be much more proactive if I have another saddle that develops a twist. Glad to hear someone else has had the same experience, I had never heard of that before. We knew something was NQR and tried a sheepskin pad, Cashel pad, Thinline pad, etc. waiting until the saddle fitter could come out. However, had I thought the tree was broken, I wouldn't have used it.

          Lesson learned.


          • #6
            I was just cantering and heard some squeaking that was new. Then the next day I thought maybe it was sitting a little lower. like the pommel was closer to the withers maybe? I thought I was being overly paranoid but then the saddle guy told me that about the rivets.
            When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager


            • #7
              I had the same experience with my butet. It started shifting and creaking slightly. Everyone I asked to check it, all of whom were experienced, said it "seemed fine" but I had a feeling it was NQR.

              I took it off to Journeymans and yup, broken tree.

              I was quoted $320 to fix it and figured it was well worth it, since the saddle is worth a lot more than that.
              They're small hearts.


              • #8
                my beval natural had 3 rivets shear off. the only thing that made me suspect something was wrong was i heard a squeaking noise. but nothing else seemed wrong with the saddle. bevals replaced the tree for free, but it took 2 months to get the tree from england.
                i am really wondering why all these saddles are being made with rivets that do not hold up. it seems to me its like building a building with welding that will not withstand the conditions the building is subjected to. my company builds buildings and every corner of the building is inspected by a inspection company. therefore we have thousands of bills for each one of these inspections.


                • #9
                  Major surgery?

                  To replace a tree sounds like a "skeleton transplant" to me. Sounds hard right?

                  If you do it (and your saddle even survives the anesthesia), will you let us know the outcome?

                  How cool would it be to have a bionic saddle?
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat


                  • Original Poster

                    mvp: LOL! I swear it is just as bad. I am worried about my baby coming through surgery. Although I feel somewhat better hearing that it has been successful with previous patients.


                    • #11
                      Once I had a saddle for only a year when its tree broke. I called the company that sold it to me and they replaced it immediately even though I'd lost the receipt long before it broke.

                      Even though you bought yours second hand it may be worth calling the company and discussing it with them. It could be that others have had that problem and the company might be willing to stand behind their product and provide you with a new one, or at least repair yours.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks SEPowell. I bought the saddle second hand and have had it about four years. It is definitely older. It does have a stamp on it though. Do you think calling Barnsby would be helpful at this point?


                        • #13
                          Definitely call Barnsby. They make a good product and I'd like to think they'd be eager to help you with your unusually sickly saddle. Your surgeon will probably need to buy the same tree from them, and the company might want to know which ones aren't holding up.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat


                          • #14
                            Definitly call them...

                            An old reputable company like that may just send you the tree for nothing.
                            You love the saddle and I would certainly make that known.
                            One never knows, there are companies out there that want customers for life and stand behind their products and exceed expectations.