Time, Money and Other Frequently Asked Questions
We need to announce that as of October, 2015, we have closed our book and no longer taking orders. We will be finished building trees as of July 2016. Thank you very much to all our customers over the past twenty years. It's been fun and we appreciate you all.
How much are your trees?
We are now limiting the number of trees we build per year to attempt to alleviate some of Rod's issues with his hands. Therefore, we are now charging $1050.00 Canadian plus shipping (and GST in Canada) for all our regular trees. If you order something that takes a lot of extra time, such as cantle slots, stirrup slots, duplicate trees, etc. we will quote you at the time of order. The US price is whatever the equivalent is at our bank at the time of payment and we will quote you on that as well.
How long will I have to wait to get a tree?
That all depends on how many orders we have in front of us and we will give you an honest estimate when you call to order.
How do you want to be paid?
We ask for $100.00 deposit at the time of order. We will contact you when the tree is rawhided and ask for the remainder. We ask that all trees are paid for before we ship them out. We do take US dollars and deal with conversion on this end. We ask customers from other countries to pay in Canadian dollars. We take cheques, cashier’s cheques and money orders and we also have a PayPal account. We are not set up for credit cards at this time.
How much is shipping?
This depends on where you live. If we know your province, state or country, if it isn’t Canada or the US, we will give you a quote.
How do you ship your trees?
We ship via the post office unless requested otherwise. This is the most economical way we have found with decent delivery times and no brokerage fees crossing the Canada/US border. If you wish us to use another method, please feel free to discuss it with us.
I’m in the US. What extra fees are there on trees shipped from Canada?
None. There are no taxes or duties on Canadian made saddle trees delivered to the US and shipping by the post office means no brokerage fees as there would be if we shipped via couriers like UPS.
What wood do you use in your trees?
We use a variety of woods in different parts of the tree. We explain why and how in our Construction Materials page.
Where do you get your rawhide?
We make our own rawhide from hides we get at a local slaughter house. We use full thickness hide from mature bulls. We use cows on request if you want a lighter weight hide. With this hide, there is no need for double rawhiding.
Do you fiberglass trees?
No. We use the traditional rawhide covering on our trees. Rawhide has a lot of durability and strength plus some flexibility that we don’t think fiberglass has, so we stick to what we know works well.
What guarantee do you give on your trees?
We don't say you can't break one of our trees but we do want to hear the story if it happens because it will be a good one! We don't have a set time period guarantee, but we do stand behind our work. If you have a problem with one of our trees, please tell us first. We will do what we can to to deal with the problem.
What bar types do you make?
We have two outline patterns we use - Wade and regular. Both are similar to the North West bar outline, with the Wade being slightly larger. All the other factors built into a bar – rock, twist, crown, length, thickness, even the shape of the seat – are variable and based on measurements and patterns, so we don’t label them with names. One thing we won’t build is an Arizona bar which does not have a back stirrup groove. With the quality of wood, rawhide and construction we use, we are not worried about breakage (which was the original reason the Arizona Bar was designed) and we won’t compromise on the fit the way the Arizona bar design does. Please see the Factors That Affect Tree Fit page for more information on the variations in shapes in our bars.
If you don’t use duplicating machines, how can you make a tree symmetrical?
By using careful measurements and patterns consistently. A pattern drawn with a 0.5 mm pencil lead and measured at key points to 1/32” symmetry side to side, then carved with a careful eye and hand makes things very symmetrical. Here is a blog post showing how we make cantles symmetrical and we do it the same way for the rest of the tree. One of the comments we regularly get from new customers is how they like the fact that when they make a pattern for one side of the tree, they can just flip it over and it fits the other side. These are hand made trees (see the Building a Saddle Tree section for lots of pictures of how we do it) so we won’t claim they are symmetrical to the 1/1000th of an inch, but we will put them up against any machine made tree and expect them to be at least as good if not better.
Do you make a (pick your style) tree?
Yes. Everything we make is individually made for a specific order, so we make what you want. We can send you pictures to show you what our current pattern of that type is like but if you want it modified for your tree, we can easily do that. We have built reproduction trees. We will work off pictures to make something look like Grandpa’s old saddle if you want. If you have an idea of something you have never seen before but would like to try, we will give that a go too unless we feel there are safety or functional factors involved. We are willing to work with you to make what you want. Please see our Special Request section to see pictures of some of what we have built in the past.
Do you build trees for (pick your breed or category) horses?
Sure. While most of our trees still go for Quarter Horse types, we have built for Arabs, Thoroughbreds, various breeds of gaited horses, Andalusians, Spanish Mustangs, Icelandics, Fjords, etc. A horse is a horse, and while the combinations of the factors that affect fit change with the shape of the horse, the same factors are involved no matter what the shape. Please see our Tree and Saddle Fitting section for more information.
Do you build trees for mules?
Yes, and we have had positive feedback on the fit from the people who built on them and those who use them. We have even built a donkey tree!
Do you duplicate trees?
We will make a tree so that the old leather fits back on properly. We don’t have duplicating machines that copy the old parts - we build the parts by hand. We ask that you send us the old tree plus any leather that goes on the tree, basically everything except fenders and strings. We measure and usually take apart the old tree so we get the shapes correct. We generally charge an extra $150 for duplicates, but reserve the right to change that depending on the tree. Here is part one of a discussion on how we make them. Part two is here.
Do you make pack trees?
Yes. We build both sawbuck and Decker pack trees. The underside of the bars are shaped like our normal tree bars so the fit is the same as a riding saddle. We charge half the price of a regular tree for a sawbuck pack tree and half price plus $50.00 for a Decker pack tree. Please see our Pack Trees page for pictures.
Do you build miniature trees?
Yes. We can do them exposed in special woods or rawhide covered to build on. Because they take just as long to make as full size trees, the cost is comparable for the miniatures. Please check out our Special Request section for some examples.
Do you make side saddle trees?
Yes. We started building side saddle trees the summer of 2009. They are definitely different to build but we enjoyed the challenge of figuring them out initially and then refining them as we built more. Our side saddles cost $150 more than our regular saddles. Please see our Side Saddles page for some pictures.
Do you make exposed rawhide cantles and forks, or exposed wood forks, horns and horn caps?
Yes. Please see our Special Request section for some examples of past work. Specifics and quotes can be discussed when you call to order. We have even built a tree totally of walnut for a saddle which will have most of the tree exposed.
Will you teach other people to build trees?
We have set up short course to teach individuals who are serious about building trees as a business or for saddle makers who want to make their own trees as well. The equipment costs alone mean this is not something you do as a hobby or in your basement in the winter. During the course you will build and rawhide two trees. Besides the teaching we give, you will receive full written instructions on all areas of tree making and will have access to all our charts, patterns, etc. The fee for the course is $8000.00, including room and board if wanted. If you are interested, please contact us and we will give you further information.