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We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com websiteWestern Saddle Fit - The Basics, aimed at riders, is available either on DVD or streaming on Vimeo while the six hour series Well Beyond the Basics, aimed more for professionals but understandable by anyone, is available by streaming on Vimeo. (We left this website up because we have had many requests to keep the information available.)

If you have it sitting in the shop…

Posted by RodandDenise on February 9, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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We shipped off the itty-bitty kiddie tree on Tuesday.  Here is a picture of it and its partner finished.  I’m really looking forward to pictures of the finished saddle.  But while it was still here, we had a customer come to pick up a couple of trees we had ready for him.  (The ones with the Taylor and regular cantles I talked about earlier.)  Anyway, turns out he has an 18 month old grand-daughter.  Yeah she’s small now but she’ll grow, and you know, she'll need a saddle to ride with Grandpa…  Seeing that little tree sitting there inspired him and sure enough, we have an order for another one of these with some slight modifications.


Taylor versus regular cantles – see the difference

Posted by RodandDenise on February 7, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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We recently built two trees that were almost identical.  Forks, fit and seat length were all the same.  The cantles had the same specs too for height and width and angle.  But there was a crucial difference - the amount of dish.  One tree had 1 ½” of dish.  One had ¾” dish.  And that difference changed the cantle from a “regular” to a “Taylor”, which affects the look of the cantle, the slope of the dish, the slope of the back of the cantle, the angle of the cantle cut on the bars, and even the bar length.  All for ¾” of an inch of dish…  Here are pictures of what I mean.

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Today in the shop

Posted by RodandDenise on February 4, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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Today was just a normal day in the shop for us, and I thought I'd show you pictures of what all is happening in a normal type day.  I know it is Saturday.  We take Sunday off, but we pretty much always work in the shop the other six days of the week.  Rod is out there by 8 am, takes an hour at lunch and quits at 6 pm, six days a week.  So if you are wanting an easy job with short hours and lots of holidays, don't be a saddle tree maker...   


How does pressure cause tissue damage?

Posted by RodandDenise on February 3, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

We all know that too much pressure between a saddle and a horse can cause pain and damage to the horse.  In a previous post I explained why we don’t really know how much pressure is too much.  Another commonly asked question is “How does pressure cause damage anyway?”  And the answer to that is the same:  We don’t really know for sure.  But there are a number of things going on that could be causing, or contributing to, the damage.  And the number one culprit discussed is lack of oxygen (ischemia).


Is this what a horse feels?

Posted by RodandDenise on January 31, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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A few years ago Rod surprised me with a very nice desk chair as my birthday present.  It is great.  It goes up and down, spins around, tilts back and forth, and rolls around the office wherever I want to go.  But, it has a problem…


The basic design of the vertebrae

Posted by RodandDenise on January 28, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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Although the vertebrae of the different sections of the spine may look a lot different, they all have the same basic design.  There is the body.  There is the vertebral arch above that, and then there are the stickie-outie-thingies, for which the proper term is “processes”.


Taking the shoulder to hip measurement

Posted by RodandDenise on January 25, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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If people are concerned about bar length, one of the things we often ask for is the shoulder to hip measurement on their horse(s).  It can be tough to tell size and length in a picture, so getting this measurement gives us a good, general idea on how long the horse’s back is.  This isn’t going to be a precise number.  A 27.85324959843" horse does not exist.  The measurement changes as the horse moves of course, but when we use this measurement as a general comparison between horses, it is useful.


To be sung to the tune of Hockey Night in Canada…

Posted by RodandDenise on January 25, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

Wade Wade Wade Wade Wade Waaaaade
Wade Wade Wade Wade Wade Waa-aaaaade
Wade Wade Wade Wade Wade
Wade… Wade Wade Wade
Wade… Wade Wade Wade
Wade… Wade… Wade…
etc.

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OK, so sometimes being in the shop too long can lead to "interesting" behavior - and songs.  But in looking through the orders coming up, I found something that was unusual.  They are all Wades!  Now, we do have some “holes” for customers who have ordered but haven't completed their specs yet so we may build something different in the middle of these.  But for now, we have quite the string of Wades coming up.


Itty Bitty Kiddie tree

Posted by RodandDenise on January 20, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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We have built a few kids’ trees over the years (primarily for saddle maker’s kids, interestingly enough), and quite a few half sized trees for display saddles, but this is the smallest riding tree we have built to date.  Again, this is going to a saddle maker’s family.  They are also a ranching family and grandma wants a saddle for the grandkids, who are still pretty little, but who will grow and will use the saddle on the ranch.  They ordered the Wade in the picture too.  It has a 15 ½” seat length, so you get a perspective of size here.


Rawhide Soup, anyone?

Posted by RodandDenise on January 19, 2012

We are no longer building saddle trees, but we have two videos about how Western saddles fit horses available on our westernsaddlefit.com website.

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It's home made!!!  Yes, Rod had another fun day this week making rawhide.  Tomorrow, we return to normal, non-gross programming...