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Welcome!

We like to see who has visited our site.  Please sign our guestbook at the bottom of the page.  Any comments or suggestions you want to share with us are always appreciated.  Thanks for stopping by! 

Comments:

Posted by Patrick Sanders on
Rod & Denise,
It has been a pleasure doing business with you. Your attentions to detail and your willingness
to please and exceed my expectations was far beyond what I anticipated. Your new site looks wonderful,and I look forward to the next tree. Thank you.

Patrick
Posted by Rob Gerbitz on
I am enjoying your site. Thank you for your efforts in putting it together.
Rob
Posted by Alan on
So at one point I was the first to say...." Congratulation! Awsome site! You BOTH know I love your trees and consider you artisans and FRIENDS!!" Let me add that without you two sharing this much information .... Well, I just wouldn't know!!
Alan Bell
Posted by Mike M. Brennan on
Beautiful site. Always one of the best out there, and now even better. See you in Sheridan.
Posted by Gary Winckler on
Denise and Rod, The new site looks great......almost as great as one of your new trees does on my saddle stand!
Posted by Mabel Lowry on
Thanks for keeping us in mine. Sure enjoyed seeing how a tree is made.
Posted by LES on
Very informative site....hopefully alota saddlemakers will see it...Thanks for the effort!
Posted by Pam Swanke on
Hi Rod and Denise, the site looks great. Your welcome to stay in Billings with us on your way to Sheridan! We will be showing there this year too. See ya soon.
Posted by Wilkie on
Great site!!
Posted by Julia McCormack on
Love the new website! The information is priceless, and your trees are so fine that I can only hope my saddles will live up to the quality of the trees inside.
Posted by Wyndelle Schartner on
Hey guys this site looks awesome. I stopped in at Rod and Denise's a little over 2 weeks ago and spent prob about 2 hours visiting with Rod and Denise and I got a real bag full of info. Keep up the good work guys! Wyndelle Schartner
T&H Custom Gear and Boarding
P.S I tried opening the order form on the site and it came up as a wordpad document, or is it just my computer?
Posted by Bob Goudreault on
Nice website. Thanks for the super nice tree. It came in the mail yesterday. Your workmanship is awesome. We love it. Kamloops Saddlery.
Posted by David Gieson on
Nice website. The Seminar at Sheridan was very well done thank so much. a lot of good using information that has already served me well with some saddle fit problems.
Posted by Joshua Olschewski on
Great site! Love your trees and your customer service.
Posted by Garrett O'Bryan on
Amazing site! Your trees are absolutely phenomenal!
Posted by Hanno Pilartz on
Dear Denise,
dear Rod,

about 12 hours ago (yesterday night) I stepped off my favorite horse that enjoys a saddle built on the custom tree you made for me.
It is still a little amazing and kind of mystery to me
- how we got all the details of the horse and me from Germany to Alberta
- how this saddle tree performs just two or three triffles better for the horse and way better for me, in comparison to the saddle I had built myself for this horse in 1997, based on a "factory tree". This saddle wasn't bad, I did more than 20.000 miles with it.
Butas we say in Germany "the better is the enemy of the good"

Congratulations to your new website, it is nearly as good as your trees!

By the way: Do you build mule trees? My favorite mule has a fairly good saddle but I am thinking if it should have an excellent one....

Best regards from Ol' Europe!
Posted by admin on
Hanno,
Glad to hear your tree and saddle are working well for you. Yes, we make mule trees as well and would be happy to make one for you. Just contact us and we can work out the details of what you want.
Posted by Retta on
Do you sell gaited horse trees ? I'm having a saddle custom handmade and I want a really high quality saddle tree for it.

Another question is, " Do you have a catalog or brochure that I can show the saddle maker? He wants to find a supplier for his saddle making shop.

Your site looks great and it's easy to use. Keep up the great work.
Posted by Jeff Keller/Medicine Valley Saddlery on
Site looks great. Jeff
Posted by admin on
Yes, Retta, we do make trees for gaited horses using the same principles for fit laid out in our Tree and Saddle Fitting section. Our website works as our catalog. The pages with pictures of the different forks have a Print This Page link top and bottom so you can print them off and take them to your saddle maker. Prices and current wait times are on our Frequently Answered Questions page. Thanks for the compliments.
Posted by Tommy Barrett on
Love your site. I am looking to buy a custom saddle,first one, and your site will help me better
understand what goes into a good saddle.
Thanks
Tommy
Tallahassee, Fl
Posted by Mike Crista on
Rod&Denise
Good looking Trees, and a good site.
Mike in Arizona.
Posted by Larry Cundall on
Very nice and informative site. Thank You.- Larry
Posted by RodandDenise on
Thanks for the nice comments, everyone. It is good to know that you are enjoying reading and learning from our website. That is our aim in having it up here.
Posted by Michael Lawson on
Really enjoy a good informative web sight such as yours.
I am going to build my very first saddle and am trying to soak up as much info as possible before I start .
I figure the more I know and the better choices I make the fewer mistakes I will make..
Your web page is a great assett to beginners like myself.
Posted by Ken Chambers on
Very interesting, in depth site, it's great
Posted by Claire on
I'm starting to build my 7th saddle and wished I had seen your site a long time ago! Now I finally realize why I was having some problems with a "factory tree". Thank you so much for all the good info, this should be a book! I will be ordering from you in the future!
Posted by RodandDenise on
Glad you all are finding the information useful. That makes the job of putting it all up here worth it!
Posted by Mike Crosby on
Really excellent site. I have a horse that is very hard to fit..So I am taking the leap. Build saddle #1, and tree #1. I love woodworking and am learning more each day. I'll send pictures when I am done.
God Bless
Posted by B. J. Nation on
Great web site, lots of good information.
Posted by Garth Holman on
Hi Rod and Denise, I enjoyed checking out your website. Nice to see you are doing well and enjoying it!!
Posted by Cliff Schrock on
Very nice site.Met you guys in Sheridan in 2011.Thanx for sharing so much info and for your unashamed stand for Christ.Hope to use your trees in the future.
God bless-CK Custom Leather,Cheyenne WY
Posted by Darrel Wilson on
Howdy Rod and Denise. You have an awesome site that is full of very good info. My girl and I enjoy horse camping, and we both have a great love for our animals. I am very interested in the dynamics of saddle fit. I have been doing leather work and stamping since I was young and I would love to build saddles (not the tree's). I think you guys will be my #1 choice when it come to buying a tree. I have a young Percheron & Quarter cross and I'm thinking he needs re-fitted as he is still growing. Hopefully his new saddle will be my first attempt at saddle making. I love the fact that you both love the Lord and aren't shy about showing it :-). May the Lord bless you, and Merry Christmas.. Darrel
Posted by RodandDenise on
Thanks for the kind comments everyone, and have a Merry Christmas!
Posted by Garry Taylor/Blackhat saddlery. on
Not sure if you remember me but I bought trees from you in 96 and 97. ben pretty busy making a living but gonna start doing saddles again so will be contacting you soon ...Thanks for always making the best tree out there. Garry
Posted by RodandDenise on
Garry, Good to hear from you again. We still have the specs on those trees. Glad to do business with you again when you start building more saddles.
Posted by stephanie on
I am an "English" rider, although "English" saddles are made in Germany, France, Switzerland, USA Canada, etc. I have a new horse and he is 7 years old and I think that he has been ridden all his life in a saddle that doesn't really fit. He is now asymmetrical and short strided. He isn't the typical "English" horse type. You understand about types . . . and I am learning. Unfortunately, these "English" (French German, Swiss, Italian, Canadian etc) saddle makers do not have "cowboy" logic. Your explanation of saddle fit and tree building was the best thing I have read so far. I think that the "Western" saddle makers understand what you call rigging and its importance. Do you have any tips for someone who is trying to buy what is called a Dressage saddle? My horse is a Quarter Horse/Friesian cross . . . wide, l-o-n-g back, broad shoulders and high withers. I care about him and want to do the right thing. God bless you and I appreciate your work.
Posted by RodandDenise on
Stephanie,
Glad to know that our information is helpful even for people who don't ride Western saddles. We sure can't speak with authority about English saddles because they are designed totally differently, but we believe the 3Ps still apply - 1) Position the saddle correctly. 2) No Poking - no pressure points. 3) Distribute the Pressure over as wide as surface area as possible,which means the shape of the panels will match the shape of the horse. I've sent you an e-mail as well.
Posted by tracie taggart on
Fantastic, informative site!! Thank you.
Posted by Shannon on
Thank you for having such an informative site!! lots of fabulous information!
Posted by Paul.c.Pepicelli on
Saw your trees a while ago. Always wanted to own one.I've spent fortunes on custom saddles and, argued with the best of them. The tree is the most important part of the saddle...No doubt you've heard no foot no horse, well, No Back no Horse.... it's extremely important to understand equine anatomy. You have gone the extra mile....hopefully i'll be able to get one in the near future. Keep up the good work ! Paul U.S.A
Posted by Kim on
You have one of the most informative websites on saddle fit I have ever found on the internet!

I bookmarked it and plan on coming back again and again to study all the wonderful information. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge! Saddle fit is such an important topic and there is so little information on it it's amazing. You guys are helping horses everywhere, not only by making quality trees but also sharing your knowledge so that concerned horse owners can fit their horses better. :)
Posted by RodandDenise on
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. We appreciate them.
Posted by Joe Jackowski on
This is real good info. I've been looking for info like this. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Peter and Lisa Maher The Awl and Needle on
We are custom tack makers ( husband and wife team as well- The Awl and Needle) ) and we breed and raise Foundation Quarter Horses. I have ordered trees from Texas but still can't get the right fit for our muscular herd.(Skipper W and Poco Bueno lines) I will be contacting you shortly and look forward to dealing with another Canadian couple with apparently so much in common.

Regards

Peter and Lisa
Posted by Caroline on
This is great information, thanks so much for sharing!
Posted by Dario Stefanati on
Thank you so much for the precious informations regarding the art of saddle tree making.Nobody
EXPLANES so well as you do.
Greetings from Italy Dario
Posted by eric craig on
Hi, will add my compliments or your sharing such valuable information. I have been learning saddle making during the past year, and am just about to complete my first saddle. The tree was provided by my friend and mentor, Spider Teller. As I will soon be setting up my own shop, I have been on a quest for more knowledge. I also have some of my own carefully considered ideas. Not only has your website provided much of what I am looking for, but you have also vindicated many of my thoughts and opinions. Seems to me that's a strong indication of who I should have building my trees!!!! Thanks for the help, and you can expect to hear from me again, Eric
Posted by Pamela J. Cross on
Hi
I've just happened across your site and am still looking through it - but am very impressed by what you have. I'm an archaeo-osteologist working with both humans and animals in archaeological contexts. I started with humans and branched more and more into zooarch, particularly horses, and am currently working on a human/horse burials project (focus Britain, 1st mil. AD). As part of this I'm doing quite a lot on equine morphology towards creating reconstructions of some of the better preserved horses from some of the more prominent sites for a exhibit in 2014. I'm rather interested in your skeleton - Arnie. Are there any existing photos and background information (measurements, use/injury history) of him while living and his age at death? Would anyone be willing to take some bone measurements from your skeleton? The T19/L1 vertebra is quite interesting - I've recently examined a Shetland mare with something similar. I suspect these dwarfed breeds may be more prone to such variation.

very best regards,
Pam
Bioarchaeology, Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, UK
Posted by Philip Judkins on
Hello from Oklahoma USA. I was on a leatherworker site and somehow ended up on your pages. Thank you for all your information, i might not ever need to buy a custom tree but i sure have enjoyed reading all about them!!!!! I love the internet and people who take the time to tell about the things they do and love. Also very pleasing to me is when i can tell we have a great connection between us even though we live so far apart: GOD!
Posted by D.J.Wright on
Rod and Denise, Over the years i have followed your site with great interest . And over the last few years have started building a few trees for myself as a bit of a hobby. I have a passion for building saddles in my spare time so this was the next step.We are blessed with the wealth of knowledge that you both have been willing to share with people like myself, who look forward to each bit of information you pass on.It helps answer a lot of the questions that you come across when building trees.Although i have a pile of questions built up waiting for answers, but im sure over time these will be worked out through trial and error and continued reading from your site. Great to see two people who have a passion for what they do.Keep up the great work.
Posted by RodandDenise on
Thanks, everyone, for the great comments. We are happy that the information we present is helping people better understand saddles and trees and how they work on horses.
Posted by Don Abbott/Hancock Saddlery on
First time visitor. Very nice and clean. Looking forward to doing business in the future.
Posted by Sandy Carr on
Hi there..new to custom saddles, even newer to the basis of them all, the tree. Gonna read everything on your site and get very educated before I attempt to 'speak the language' and learn what I must to have a great custom saddle made for me...and my horse. Thanks in advance for all the education!
Posted by TREVOR SCOTT on
HI Rod and Denise, great site,know Dennis, David,and Hank. Spent couple of hours browsing . Will return for another look.
Posted by Donna Van Pelt on
Thank you for sharing saddle tree information.
Posted by Leora on
Hi, I have saddle fitting nightmares and am researching my options and gaining more knowledge. Thanks so much for offering the information you offer. I may have to end up investing in a custom made saddle for my mare. At this point I will have to save save save but I will definitly think about you making the tree! Thanks again
Leora
Posted by Jeff Roberts on
Nice site!! I will be in the market for my first tree this coming year and you guys will certainly get my order. I am a horse owner here in Ct.USA with a paint QH, an Appy/mustang and a morgan cross. I have decided that my first will be a 1880 half seat loop saddle as I am in love with the late 1800 tack. I was blown away when I got to the "most important part' page as We are believers as well!!
Jeff and Laurie Roberts
Posted by Roland Connors on
Love your site. Steve West is building me a saddle on one of your trees. Can't wait to see the tree; can't wait to ride the saddle.
Posted by Erik Weis on
Thanks for all the details and pics on what goes into making a quality saddle tree!
Posted by Carl Spangler on
Thank you for taking the time to put all this together to help educate people so they can help their horses.
Posted by Mitch Chyczewski on
Hello Mr. Nikkel, My name is Mitch and I attended Pedro Pedrini's saddle school. I've been working in custom leather products for four years, and building saddles the last few months. I want to thank you for the very informative web page and aiding us new to the business. I look forward to doing business with you soon.
Posted by Ronny Chumley on
Hi Denise,
I think you are amazing and very talented and so nice to help me on my first order, I have a lot to learn about every aspect of saddle building, I want my saddle shop to be top quality workmanship and top quality materials, great saddle tree's make a horse work better and a lot more able to do the job of ranching. Thanks for getting started on my first purchase and hopefully will get many orders for custom saddles in the future.
Posted by Anne-Lie Höög on
Hi! I found your website thrue a link on facebook, I live in Sweden. It´s obvious that the both of you are great at what you do and that you have a passion for the horse! Beautiful work, and your site is one of the most informative I´ve seen =) Thank you for all the work you´ve put in to it.
Posted by Troy Lockhart on
Hello Rod and Denise,

I wanted to type a note and thank you for your time and patience you have given to my wife and I. Every interaction we have had with both of you; from taking the time to measure my mare, show us your shop and processes, returning numerous e-mails, posting valuable information for all of us learn from and just being great people to talk to, has been a great experience.

You should add one more reason to buy a custom hand made tree. It is cheaper in the long run!

I look forward to ordering and receiving the finished product.

Thank you both!
Posted by steven hofer on
Awsome site guys helped me out quite a bit......cant wait for my tree..
Posted by Foom on
I want to say "Job Well Done". I really enjoy looking through your website. The amount of information here is superb. It has help me get a better understanding of the different type of trees that are available. Your thorough explanation using photos is an example of the detail of work you put in to your craft. I just wanted to say that I appreciate the effort.

- From California "God Bless"
Posted by Candee Read on
Great site very informative.
Posted by Stella on
Good to meet you at Oaklands! really enjoyed talking with you and surfing around your site. VERY helpful information. thank you
Posted by Gary Jackson on
Kia ora from New Zealand really pleased to catch up with your great site, I am about to make rawhide for the first time and will be using you as my Mentor, I make chaps and bits n pieces of gear . Your tutorial is easy reading and practical. Thankyou and Best Wishes to you both I will keep in touch, we are into late Autumn down here and I guess things are getting warmer for you two. Regards Gary.
Posted by David Mullins on
I am very impressed with how you all show your work. I am just learning about making saddles and am interested in learning how to build my own saddle tree. I am in the market to buy one but am not sure what size. I am 5'9" tall and weigh about 155. I do not own a horse at this time but would like to move forward with my project. If it helps to know what breed of horse I am interested in it would be a Mustang. I can not afford to9 go to any saddle making school and am trying to learn on my own. I have bought Ann and Al Stohlman's first two volumes The Stohlman Encyclopedia of Saddle Making and have been studying them. I will be making saddle no. 1 to start. My father made saddles before he died but because of distance and his age we never got a chance to work together. I got all hid tools after he deceased and have got it set in my mind to learn how to use them before I die. Thank you.
Posted by Kevin Glenister on
Great web site ! Question have you ever sold a tree to a saddle maker in my area by the name of Bill Watt ( brother of Jeremiah Watt) we have a couple of his saddles and one of ours has a tree from a guy in Alberta, is that you? I hope so as we want to get another one built with that same tree:)!
Posted by RodandDenise on
We haven't sold any trees directly to Bill Watt. We tried to e-mail you with some more information, but our computer tells us your e-mail address doesn't exist. Please feel free to call and we can give you a phone number of another tree maker in Alberta who may have built your tree.
Posted by Tommy on
I really enjoyed your website and the beautiful saddle trees that you folks make. I especially liked your, "Most Important Part" link. For it truly is the most important part to life and after.

I've been put into a challenging situation from being thrown off of a ten-year old Mustang while training it. I ended up with a Traumatic Brain Injury and I've never given up for the last five years of trying to make a living doing something else with horses.

Do to my injury, though not crippled, I have physical limitations and have been pushing them by doing Therapeutic Riding, which has helped, and assisting with doing farrier work with my friend. But, I've notice like you have the inferiority of many saddle trees and was also considering learning to be a saddle-maker who makes trees too. I'm just thinking of longevity and I don't have the money to pay to go to any farrier school or saddle-making school and the state and feds here is the US don't consider any of these trades as viable for monetary assistance.

Do you recommend or know of anyone good here in the states that might take on an apprentice as a saddle-maker from tree up? I figure I can do it longer than being a farrier.

Thank you for your time and help.

God Bless You!
Posted by RodandDenise on
Thanks for your comment, Tommy. We have sent you an e-mail.
Posted by Clinton Rich on
Very informative and interesting website. I enjoyed going through all your pages and have bookmarked your site for further reference. Thank you for taking the time and putting together an enlightening website! Clinton
Posted by David on
Interested in an Ashley contract tree, circa 1825.
Posted by RodandDenise on
We have done a number of reproduction type trees in the past. We sent you an e-mail, David.
Posted by Doug Fielding on
Glad to see a couple living the true exoerience and building excellent Canadian products.
Enjoy your knowledge and spirit.
Posted by Phil on
super information on your site - thanks
Posted by Rebecca Myers on
Your site was recommended to us in our search for a saddle for our 3 year old Morgan filly. We have decided to buy a shim pad and make do for another year until she develops more.
Posted by RodandDenise on
Rebecca, You are correct in recognizing that your horse will change a fair amount before she gets to her final size and shape, which may not be till she is over 5 years old. But you will know more in a year than you do now, for sure.
Posted by Fred Debulois on
Living in France it is difficult to find accurate infos about western saddles !! Your site helps a lot .. thank you for sharing all these informations.
Posted by Lee McLean on
Rod and Denise, once again I've found myself at your website looking for practical information on saddle fit. Please keep up the good work! Your website echoes the same spirit of care and hospitality that you extend to people who haul their horses in to the far north and then crash on your couch for days. (Well, I couch crashed - the horse stayed in your corral...)

I'm so very excited to have been in collaboration with you both in this venture towards the best ever western sidesaddle tree! Here's hoping that women and horses the world over will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labours - and I look forward to seeing a new spot on your website dedicated to this very special tree.
Posted by Ian Burnett on
Hello Rod
Thanks for such a very informative site full of information about many aspects of saddle trees .
It is very easy to follow through the process of the correct fit and measuring , so much information very well set out. Thanks Ian
Posted by Jolene MacFarlane on
Thank you so much for such a comprehensive site regarding saddle trees. I am doing research regarding what type of saddle I will be having made and your site has been one of the most helpful things so far. I appreciate the time and effort you put into this.
Posted by James Dennison on
First time on your site , Loved it so much information looking forward to measuring and ordering tree . Thanks, James
Posted by Patrick A Corrente on
Wow! Thanks for the education - guess deceiving, poor workmanship & greed have filtered into what is thought of as the backbone of America. Sad. But you help restore confidence! Keep it up - we need strong voices to drown out 'snake oil' businesses.
Posted by Jim Townshend on
Howdy; What a tremendous body of work you have assembled on this site, in your shop, in your trees, in your place and home,and in the good will you have obviously generated over the years. Thinking back to Weyburn in 1996 you have clearly made a level of commitment to your craft that is to be greatly appreciated and admired. Thank you for all the years of great business, support, consultation, and openness to new ideas. I am very grateful.
Posted by Matt Louthan (Louthan Saddlery) on
Thank you for all the break downs it makes it easy to explain to the customer when ordering
Posted by Mike David on
Appreciate you displaying your craftsmanship for us saddle making neophytes to enjoy. Thank you.
Posted by jose romo on
amazing work, hope to be ordering a charro tree from you very soon.
Posted by vera ford on
I have enjoyed looking at your site. I am a sports therapist and wanted to see how the horses skeleton compared with the human kind. Its good as a team for you that both your skills complement each other, saddle tree maker and vet. Thank you for a good web site.
Posted by Ron Garcia on
Thanks for all the great information
about saddle making. As an artist
sometimes working on western
themes, your site gives me the
kind of authenticity I seek in my
drawing/paintings. Thanks again,
Ron
Posted by Bryan Cleveland on
Just started looking for trees and saddles for my 2 year old mule. Amazing to see what really goes into a tree. Now I have an idea what to look for. Great website. Thank you.
Posted by Sue Buerge on
Looking into a custom made saddle and my saddle maker suggested I look through your site. Very informative - thank-you.
Posted by kermit van hoose on
i like your site its full of information i have learnt alot from it i will be ordering a tree from you in the future
Posted by william hagerty on
i am learning to build and repair saddles your web site is great information thanks
Posted by Julie Franck on
Thank you for this information! I have a wonderful Arabian gelding I got when he was 7. He came with bulges the size of a large cookie on each side of the top back edges of his shoulder blades. His job is Western Pleasure show horse, and he is very good at it. I am getting a new show saddle soon, and have always been concerned with his comfort and fit. The one I just sold had a wide tree, but it would always slide back quite far when I rode him in it. I tried different ways to pad it, and yet it would slide back. I hope I can get one that wont, but I don't want a narrow one that may pinch his wide shoulders. What to do? Thanks Again!
Posted by Julie Idahonaturalhorsemanship on
What a fun site! Loads of great I formation! Thank you for taking the time to help educate horse owners and saddle builders alike on a good tree.
Posted by Kris H on
Absolutely love this site! Thank you, for the knowledge. What do think about casting a back to make a tree?
Posted by RodandDenise on
Thank you all for your great comments on our guest book. It is fun reading them! We have sent e-mails to those asking questions.

Kris, the quick answer is the Dennis Lane system is simpler, faster, cheaper and repeatable. We have used casts but they have their drawbacks. E-mail sent.
Posted by Diane Cappel on
Love your web site! I've learned more about saddle trees today than I ever learned in years of researching saddles!
Posted by Zach Sessions on
A lady friend of mine asked me to make a saddle tree for a her, that she won. So I was looking at some of yours and other saddle maker sites to get a few ideas of my own.
Posted by luke Hamilton on
such a wealth of info. Thanks for your dedication.the rawhiding is my particular interest. I hope you can answer my question what is the chemical you mention that goes into the mixer with the hide?Quantities?
Thanks for your dedication to what is most certainly an art!
Luke
Posted by Crystal Logan on
Very interesting web site, Thank you for the info.
Posted by Clay Causey on
Great information!
Posted by Smitha280 on
A big thank you for your article.Really thank you! Cool.
Posted by Smithc177 on
Surely together with your thoughts here and that i adore your blog! Ive bookmarked it making sure that I can come back & read more inside the foreseeable future. ebbddfgggecgdddc
Posted by matt louthan on
Thank you for all the explanations!
Posted by Michael rubio on
You guys have one of the best web sites I have seen in a very long time. There is a vast amount of information about trees. My favorite part of your site is about your fellowship with the Lord thank you guys so much it made my day. God bless you.

Michael Rubio
Posted by Mary Beth Bates on
What a great website! So glad to see a husband/wife team working together. Your saddle trees are a work of art! From Lee's Summit, Missouri (just outside of Kansas City, Missouri, yes K.C. is in MISSOURI, not Kansas :)
Posted by Aryana on
What an fun find. Saddles are just a mystery and so important. I bet i can learn alot here, love to come across such a great display and sharing of knowledge. Maybe even steer me in the right direction for a saddle for my new horse. Thanks, and thanks for responding to my posts on your blog!
Posted by Christine Farwell-Short on
Wonderful site, hope to have the pleasure of riding on one of your trees soon!
Posted by Alan Townley on
This is my first time to your website! Kudos on a great site! I really appreciate your knowledge and passion which is evident in your explanation of every detail of tree making! It's obvious you care enough about the consumer to fully explain all of the different aspects of the tree and how it affects the proper fit and finished product! Thanks a lot!
Posted by Pat Pace on
What an education you provide! A friend referred me here as I am having a nightmare fitting my KMSH mare. LONG back, wide shoulders (draft size) and she's a former brood mare that at age 19 is just beginning to show some swayback. We are doing horse yoga and butt scrunches, but finding a saddle for a gaited horse with draft size shoulders is a true nightmare. There is NO twist between shoulder and loin. I'm about to pull out my hair!!!
Posted by Bob Cooper on
I am a saddle fitter for mostly English saddles. I do consultation on the fit of western saddles as well. I stumbled upon your website today. The information you present on the horse's anatamy and the dynamics of the saddle to the horse and rider is absolutely brillant!!!! I will devour the information until it is merger with my prior training and my own 15 years of experience. Thank you for present this amazing collection of the whys and hows of saddle trees.
Posted by Bob Tebbe on
Like all who have commented, your site is awesome. I found you as I was trying raw trees sent to me for a new saddle to be made out of state. Your information gave me the confidence to focus on one and then mark on it for slight wood adjustments. After the tree traveled back & forth, there is now another horse who says God Bless You!
Posted by Chuck Netherland on
Liked your Saddle Tree Making article. Very though with descriptive explanations on the various stages on making a saddle tree.
Good read and reference.
Posted by Taylor Accettura on
As an aspiring saddlemaker I was looking into where I could find well made trees near me. I am so saddened that you will no longer be building trees. Reading your site has really opened my eyes as to how much of a science and art it is. Thank you for putting so much of your time and knowledge into this site. Will you still be passing on your knowledge and skills by taking on any apprentices?
Taylor Accettura
Tomahawk, AB
Posted by Robyn on
Very informative reading. I have a new QH mare that I have been trying to find a Western Saddle to fit for nearly a year now. Have been hesitant to buy as it needs to fit her. Reading your articles has confirmed the need to purchase a well fitting saddle. Thank you.
South Australia
Posted by Sharolyn Schuler on
I just stumbled across your website...through a post on the Western Legends Ranch Facebook page and I must say (rather embarrassingly) in the years I have been riding horses I never truly understood how a saddle should fit. I just got a mare that has been in a pasture as a broodmare for the past 10 years. I dont feel like my favorite saddle fits her quite right. You have explained how it SHOULD fit better than any other site I have found...and I have looked at a lot of sites!! Thanks for the detailed explanation!
Sharolyn
North Dakota
Posted by Dan Miller on
Very good information on your site.
Posted by Kevin Henkelman on
Found your site to be a wealth of information. Wish I'd of came across it years ago and been able to get a custom built saddle on one of your tress. I know now my past horses would of appreciated it. Any horseman can benifit by the time spent on your site and I'm sure alot of horses will be better off for it in the future. Thankyou for the info I'm sure alot of unpaid hours went into making this site.
Posted by Geoff Lowe on
Greetings from hot blood country (Kentucky) from an old retired cowboy.

Just ran across your site, and it is impressive! I worked leather, but never tried a saddle, just figured there were others who were - and would always be - much better at it than I. The horse deserved better than I could do.

Have you considered putting all of this great info together into a for-cost e-book?

Thanks for a great site.
Posted by David L Dunbar on
Hello Rod & Denise, I just came across your site and am impressed with the explanations you provide about "trees" and the making of them. We raise Gypsy Vanners here in SW MO USA. We do have problems with fitting as some have a much more prominent wither than the rounder ones. I guess we have to decide on which of our youngsters we want to start showing in the next couple years, those that have reached their mature size (around 5). If you are aware of the breed type you are aware of how the large skirts most Western Saddle makers interfere with the hip action. Your saddle style, maybe could be called "Barrel" saddle style, is perfect for them. Will be keeping your info at hand and hopefully contact you for a saddle(s) or at least tree(s).
Regards, Remain Blessed. David & Carol Dunbar, Chocolate Horse Farm.com
Posted by Lindy Hilton - Meridian Idaho on
Just followed a FB post to your web site. I'm always looking for and reading any information on or about horse. I'm a western trail rider. Enjoyed your article on proper saddle placement. Saved you to my favorites. Over the years my horse (17) my quarter horse has gotten more sway backed. Any suggestions on saddle pads to use on him for his comfort? Thanks for a wonderful informational site.
Posted by Martha Parks on
exploring saddles for my mule...I ride English looking for endurance type saddle...but that is beside the point..the point is the most important thing is indeed the most important thing. Thank you for being bold in your faith, may the Lord bless you in all that you do.
Posted by David Jackson on
A wealth of great information. Thank you
Posted by Emily Clark on
I'm having difficulty fitting a thoroughbred with a western saddle. My head is swimming with information that I couldn't put together to help me understand the whole picture. Your website is exceptional --- your explanations are clear yet detailed. Thank you for the great effort you have put into sharing your knowledge with horsemen and women who want to understand saddle fit. Best wishes
Posted by Barbie Beckford on
Wow what a great website. I'm wading through learning about hoof trim and now saddle fit after trusting someone else got us in trouble. I'm just getting started on your biomechanics and anatomy blog posts. I'm already wishing you made english saddles. I'm sure lots of this will be applicable. Thank you!
Posted by Sean (Howdy) Robinson on
Rod & Denise,
Just a quick note to thank you for teaching me how to build saddle trees. Your willingness to share your knowledge, combined with your teaching style and ability (both Rod & Denise), and your hospitality while I learned are impressive & very much appreciated.
I hope to be set up to build trees for other folks within the next year.
Thanks again, and best wishes for all your future endeavors.
Sean (Howdy) Robinson
Acme, Alberta, Canada
Posted by Elana MacFarlane on
I love the website/tree structure
Posted by Elana MacFarlane on
I am learning a lot and i am only 10
Posted by Tammy on
What a wonderful site ! this is really helping explain why the saddles I purchased don't fit my horse.
I really appreciate the fact that you're willing to keep this up and keep us educated for no other reason that you have been blessed and are willing to bless
Posted by mike corsello on
Thank You for all of the great information
Posted by Rosemary Patrick on
Thank you for leaving the site up.
Great information !
Posted by Larry Lorang on
I have been building saddles for several years but find myself always trying to learn more about saddle fit. There are so many different opinions regarding this subject it can be hard to really understand. I have spent the last few days going back through all the blog posts and studying up. What great information you guys have put together over the years. Most of these should be put in a book that it required reading for anyone involved in our industry. Thanks so much.
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