We are no longer building saddle trees. We have two saddle fit videos available on our westernsaddlefit.com website. Western 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.)
Following are pictures of different things customers have asked us to do for them on their trees. Because we hand make each tree individually, changing something for your order is generally quite easy. We don’t charge extra for some of the changes, but if they take extra time or materials, that cost will be quoted to you when you order. So if you have a special idea you want us to build into your tree, talk to us about it. If you are willing to work with us so we get the idea that is in your head into our heads, we will give it a go unless we see a functional reason why we can’t or shouldn’t.
Changes to normal trees
We often get asked to do something a little different. Changing the amount of rise in the seat is an easy modification to make. Modifying what is normal for a particular fork style by changing width or fork angle or adding leg cut to the fork or the cantle are also easy changes.
|Flatter seat (on stood up fork)||Our normal seat rise||Bar risers added|
|Leg cut added to High Country tree to make
more room for large rider
|Special shape to 16" wide fork|
Copy trees from pictures
If you want to make a saddle that isn’t a common style but you have pictures or drawings, etc. of what you envision it to be, we will work with you to build a tree as close to what you imagine as we can. Here are a couple examples. We worked strictly from the pictures and specs the customers gave us.
|One of the pictures sent to us of an old tree the customer wanted to replicate. The rawhide was pulled away from the back of the fork.||The finished tree based on the pictures and specs sent to us.|
|One of the pictures of a Lichtenberger-Ferguson
saddle sent to us.
|Our replica tree based on the pictures and specs sent to us. The different camera angles affect how it appears.|
We are not uncommonly asked to build a tree so leather from the original saddle can be reused. Sometimes the tree has broken. Sometimes it just doesn’t fit. Depending on how the original saddle and tree was made and what changes are wanted in the new tree, you may or may not need to rebuild the groundseat or some other pieces. We ask you to send us the old tree and all the leather that goes on it – basically everything except fenders and strings. When we get it we can discuss with you how think the project will go and make final decisions then. Yes, these ones cost extra!
|What we need to be sent to duplicate a tree.||A finished duplicate beside the glued up broken tree it replaced.|
We’re always up for a challenge! We have done some reproductions of historical trees, some styles from other countries and times, Side Saddle Trees, and even one to fit a couple of donkeys. We are willing to work with you to build what you envision. The more information you can give us on what you want, the easier it is for us to make it.
|Hope style tree||1859 McClellan tree|
|Old style Taylor tree with beveled cantle and horn cap.||Reproduction tree with no dish in the cantle and lace only, no nails.|
|Portuguesa style tree||Side saddle tree|
|"Fernandez tree" based on the saddle ridden by the main character in the movie "The Missing".||Native American style tree based on pictures, specs and requests sent by the customer.|
|Front view of the donkey tree.
3 1/2" width and narrow angle.
|Back view of the donkey tree. Little twist in the back means a very steep angle on the back of the bars too.|
We can make scale model trees of any tree style you wish to order. We cover them with deer hide if you like the authenticity of rawhide covered trees. We have also made them as decorations, both with the same woods we use in our full size trees and in fancy woods. We build our to-scale trees with the same techniques and care we take in our full size trees and they take just as much if not more time than the large ones.
|Half sized rawhided tree||Matching full and half sized trees|
|Half sized tree made with our normal variety of woods.||Half sized tree made with bird's eye maple.|
We make fancy exposed wood horns or horn caps, and can use polished metal horns to be left exposed as well. Please see our Special Wood Post Horns page for more pictures.
|Exposed Jarrah wood horn cap||Exposed Jarrah wood horn cap on Peter Mayer saddle with Richard Tenisch silver work.|
|Exposed Padauk wood horn||Exposed polished bronze horn|
We put different size bevels on the cantles based on your specs. Small bevels are useful to move the cantle binding back a bit to avoid rubbing and are not seen in the finished cantle. Larger bevels are made for aesthetic purposes. We have also made a number of trees with cantle slots.
|3/8" bevel on 5" high by 12" wide cantle at 37.5 degrees||1/2" bevel on 5" high, 12" wide cantle at 40 degrees|
|Cantle slots||Cantle slots on large bevel cantle|
We have made stirrup slots on a few trees. We can attach English stirrup hangers or other hangers to any type of tree as well.
|Stirrup slots seen from the top side of the bar||Stirrup slots seen from the bottom side of the bar|
|English stirrup bar||Straight stirrup bar||McClellan style stirrup hanger|