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Author Topic: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?  (Read 461 times)

fargos handmaiden

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What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« on: November 23, 2017, 06:27:28 am »

On another trail ride, Louisiana. Man here has a flex-tree he loves. Says he never found a horse it didn't fit. Anyone familiar with flex-trees? Any slipping problems or other problems?.Will theses give an aging horse enough back support and weight distribution?  Will they stay in place.when Speedy Gonzales does his twirlies at a world full of horse-eating innate objects? Other advantages/disadvantages? Please.share brands/models as well.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 06:35:05 am by fargos handmaiden »
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KysaSD

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2017, 06:36:55 am »

One word.

Don't

And it will never fit both horses, and will probably create a sore spot at point of flexion. 
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

kckc

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2017, 07:57:53 am »

I hear of many issues and none that can fit all horses ... I mean just spine width needs to be different with some horses.  I'd do a horse back mapping then you can take that back map with you when you are looking at saddles.  You actually turn the saddle upside down and put your back map into it (as I understand it).   IF you look on the crestridge site they have instructions for a type of back mapping.   

Poleys (Australian type saddle) and a nice cantle really help me with feeling like I'm more secure in the saddle for a spooking horse.  If you tend to slide off to the side on a spooking horse you may not find a saddle that can withstand that and not move.
  I've been looking at downunderweb saddles for a saddle and they also have fitting page with directions and assistance.  Their saddles are not super expensive.  I like it because I want alternative girthing.  I want to be able to use a front or a middle as I need it.   The issues I see with their saddles are that the saddles are meant to be more forward on the withers which I'm not sure will allow my horses to move their shoulders and apparently the stirrups are a bit forward - I want to be able to have stirrup adjustment.  I haven't asked the saddle shop about any of this because I also see endurance saddles I really really like.   No money so I have only been window shopping.
https://www.downunderweb.com/synthetic-trailmaster-australian-saddle/
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PAWalker

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2017, 02:07:43 pm »

I have an OrthoFlex from way back when R.L. Watson was making the trees.

  I bought it for Rusty many years ago when the original owner laid her TWH/Arab to rest.  It was custom made for her horse.  Her horse was built like Rusty and the saddle fit Rusty perfectly.  It still fits him, even though he has put on a few pounds but it is heavy ---- 30-something pounds and too heavy for me to even slide up the side of 16.1H Rusty, these days. 

It would have never worked on Duke who was very broad and big shouldered. 

It would never work on Joker who lost weight but still has big shoulders.

It fits a svelte-built horse That has bit of high withers.

Meaning, it is a custom made saddle and only properly fits one body style --- svelte:)

My own thought is that flex trees are a sticky wicket if they are an "off-the-shelf" purchase.  A quality custom made flex tree would be better but they are likely to be heavy. 


Rusty and Joker are my last two horses and Rusty is the only one that is ridable.   The saddle that I recently bought for him is an endurance style saddle that is partly synthetic and weighs 26 or 28 pounds --- I forget.  I don't even like slinging that up on his back - I'm a lot happier with no saddle but he is too much of a dip and spin fella for me to hang with him like I used to.  It is not custom made but fits him plenty good enough for all the more hacking around here that I might want to do.
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Walkin45

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2017, 04:54:38 pm »

Flex tree and fled panel are 2 different things. I know OF won't fit every horse.
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PAWalker

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 05:28:25 pm »

<sigh>. Thanks^^^  :)
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kckc

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2017, 07:33:28 pm »

not that you couldn't find one that fits YOUR horse but just be ready for shipping demo charges etc   :-(
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JGRanch

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2017, 09:00:43 pm »

Flex tree saddles are not one fits all. Flex panel saddles will fit a large majority of all horses. You have to be careful not to buy one that was made up special been modified.  We sold flex panel saddles for over 25 years and mine and my wife's will fit about 80-90% of the horses. Timberline saddles will give to the biggest variety and best fit. Rule is never use a pad over 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.
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fargos handmaiden

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 08:35:54 am »

Well, what do you do then when your vet tells you to use a one inch thick felt.with hole cut to go over.the one vertebrae that sticks up and then another pad over that. Fargo was really in pain in that spot. Vet said saddle and saddle.right pad hitting that spot probably irritated it.

Thanks all. Kysa I will heed your advice. Thanks.
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kckc

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2017, 08:43:08 am »

hey fargos, where exactly is the bump?  would a shimmed pad help avoid the area?
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fargos handmaiden

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2017, 03:26:39 pm »

Typical spot for roper's bump, just about where the saddle and,saddle right pad ended, just a few vertebrae before descending into the hips,
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kckc

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2017, 05:17:37 pm »

there are some pads that don't sit on the spine at all - or contact skito about getting one with shims that lift around the bump and cut out in that area? 
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kckc

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gallatingal

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2017, 09:25:38 am »

Flex tree and Flex panel are different. Circle Y and Steele make a flex tree saddle, that is made out of plastic that has some, but very little movement to it. I have owned a couple of Flex trees and I did feel like there was some movement in the Steele tree, which I didn't really think was such a good thing.  (I am a saddle junkie). They don't adjust enough to fit many different horses, but maybe enough to allow for weight fluctuation.  The flex panel saddles like the Watson, Orthoflex and Timberline have panels that actually move, like they are hinged.  A lot of people love them. I don't like the way they seem to sit you high off the horses back, so I felt like I had less feel, and I really didn't trust the hinged panels to move with the horse in always a positive way. I have heard of horses being sore, although I have yet to meet someone with a RL Watson that would trade it for anything.  I admit I use the Protector pad (Corrector) pad with my AMT saddle and it fits both horses I am riding right now pretty well. It has shims and the AMT saddles fit my very short backed horse better than most saddles so I don't think they would irritate the hunters (ropers) bump. The Saddle right pads are neat, but they are HUGE and that is why I didn't keep one. My little guy looked like he had a winter blanket on. LOL
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MyBoyG

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Re: What About a Flex-tree Saddle for Old Fargo and the ADHD Kid?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2017, 05:31:14 pm »

Well, I never thought I would own a flex panel saddle until this year.  I looked at the DP Saddlery saddles last year at Equine Affaire and was intrigued by them. After speaking to the owner of the company at length and trying out several models on their stationary stand as well as their 'rocking' style stand, so you can see what it feels like in movement, I went away from their booth for a few hours to think about it. I ended up having a conversation with Timothy Harvey, who is the owner of Western Safety Stirrups and the Merry Round Go Round Pen companies, whose wife bought him a DP Saddle last year.  He's a big guy, and we talked about how the saddle has worked for him and his horses.  He didn't have one bad thing to say about it, in fact he loves it. I also talked to someone whose opinions I trust greatly and was told good things about customers experiences with these saddles.  So, I went back to their booth and sat in the saddle model Timo has and tried the original one that I fell in love with.  It's in their Baroque line, called the El Campo, which is based on a working equitation saddle.  Looks like a dressage saddle, but it has a western cantle.

It's a carbon fiber tree with wool flocked panels that attach at the pommel and cantle, but are flexible when the horse bends.  They also make a tree for riders over 200# and a leather tree. The gullet is fully adjustable in width by fractions of an inch, with an Allen wrench that comes with the saddle.  The gullet is wide enough through the length of saddle allowing plenty of spine clearance. If needed, the flocking can be adjusted by a saddle fitter. It seems to fit well, but I'll give it time to see how the wool flocking compresses.  I've ridden in it four times since I brought it home, and I've found G is more willing to work long and low and when we cantered all I could think was "WOW".  I've never moved so fluidly with a horse before, it was like we were one.  I've never felt that before, even in my all time favorite ATH saddle.  No soreness, no pressure points.  The longest ride was just over an hour, and neither of us was sore, yay!  It certainly wasn't cheap, but in the world of dressage and equitation saddles, I'd say it falls in the mid range for a new saddle and I got a reduction of $300 as it had a slight scuff on the back of the cantle, otherwise its brandy new.

Kysa, does the saddle pad look familiar ;)
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