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Trying To Educate Myself On Tree Styles(Will James, Assoc.)Etc. How Can I Learn More?


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#1 Huntet02

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:45 PM

I can't seem to stay off the "Saddle gallery" love looking….just a buyer/user thats interested in learning what to look for in the way of "quality" trees/styles. My main interest is "ranch roping/wades" I think the Will James tree design is my favorite but want to learn more on the association, mod assoc etc. Am I correct that these are the "tree" name and or style of maker?
Not sure I nderstand all the intricacies involved. Where can I go to learn more on the different styles/trees of wades?

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Edited by Huntet02, 27 August 2010 - 02:54 PM.

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#2 Tkleather1

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 07:23 PM

Well a Wade is Not the same as an Association and an association is not the same as a will James. those I do know. An association has large swells and a wade is a slick fork as far as the others I dont have the answers and I am sure that there are other differences as well but I am not a saddle builder, but I ride both a wade and an association.
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If you don't ask and dont try how are you gonna learn anything?

#3 jwwright

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 07:35 PM

Huntet.................The names you mentioned are just names given to types of shapes of swells / forks. A Wade is one type of slick fork. A Will James, Assoc., Mod Assoc are all swell forks. Most tree makers make their own version of all the fork styles you mentioned, and many more. The quality of the tree has nothing to do with the "style" of fork.....................a good tree maker, such as Rod / Denise Nikkel, or Jon Watsabaugh, or any other handmade tree makers visiting here (I don't intend to slight anyone) can make a very high quality tree in just about any style a person wants. JW
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#4 bdt46

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 08:52 PM

Huntet- go to Bowden Saddle Trees website and look at their tree catalog and you can see the names and styles of some popular trees. They can be made to whatever specifications you want

#5 Rod and Denise Nikkel

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 09:15 PM

Some people have the idea that a certain name equates to a specific fit or use. Maybe the original company who named the tree did but once other makers started copying that type of fork, the name simply goes with the shape of the fork. It has nothing to do with how the tree fits on the horse. Our gallery http://leatherworker...album&album=112 has pictures of some of the common tree styles we make. If you google images of the different fork names, you will get an idea of the variety of shapes people call by one name...
There are a few good threads on Wade saddles here on LW. Check out:
http://leatherworker...?showtopic=1907
http://leatherworker...?showtopic=8781
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#6 Huntet02

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 12:13 PM

:wave:
JW thanks... Ok let me see if I can somewhat reverberate in my own way....Association, Will James etc are different types of Swell/ Forks on trees, with a wade being a slick fork. Wade as I see it is lesser to stay out of the way of roping ... baby steps but I think I was on the correct track.

Thanks Rod & Denise and all yes I tried to read everything on here before posting but knew I would miss some... WOW your tree gallery really helped especially a visual person like myself. We love to read "Eclectic Horseman" mag and view the beautiful saddles on "Ranch World Ads" so this is where some of our questions are coming from. My husband and I argued about the association I said it wasn't a wade tree..... and my cousin was looking at the used "Hardwood" listed.

Edited by Huntet02, 01 September 2010 - 12:14 PM.

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#7 jwwright

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 09:56 PM

Huntet.................you're headed in the right direction.........a Wade is one type of slick fork. As for a Wade being out of the way for roping / as opposed to a swell fork ? Not in my opinion. It doesn't have anything to do with it. If the fork was getting in my way roping...........I'd know that I wasn't roping very good and needed more practice. Swell fork...........slick fork..........it's all about personal preference. I don't like a slick fork of any kind. I've had a couple (wades) over the years..........one of which I made. They rode just fine...............but I just couldn't get to liking how they looked. Too buckaroo for me, probably. JW.
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#8 Huntet02

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:56 PM

what exactly does "Slick" fork refer to ? I compared Rod & Denis'e swell tree vs. wade and trying to understand the different, I always thought the wade saddle (tree) was much smaller in the pommel or swell area meaning not much to hit your knees on if bucking ...well I was going to also put the other pic on here but now can't get back to their gallery without losing all this.
file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/txp5392/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.png
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#9 jwwright

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:36 PM

A slick fork is one without (at least not much) swell to it...........................Wade, 3B, Weatherly are some examples of a slick fork. Yes, not much to hit your thighs on if riding a bucking horse..............not anything to catch you either................which is why many people put buck rolls on their slick fork saddles. Here a couple photos of saddles I've made. One is a Wade (slickfork), the other is a Heavy Buster Welch (swellfork). JWAttached File  2910-5.jpg   191.32KB   73 downloadsAttached File  2609-14.jpg   313.34KB   67 downloads
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#10 Denise

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:54 PM

Tina,
A "swell fork", in general terminology, will be wider across the middle than where it joins the bars. It "swells" out and then comes back in at the bottom to join the bars. A slick fork is widest at the bottom where it joins the bars. The narrower they are on the way down, the "slicker" they are. Our widest "slick forks" will go out and then pretty much drop down straight to the bottom so they still classify as slick forks even though they aren't very "slick". When a lot of fork styles were first made they had a specific width, stock thickness, etc. etc. Over time others look at the basic shape and say "I like that" and copy it, but they make slight changes. Others say "I like that but I want..." and change it some more. So over time the name simply refers to the basic shape, and even that varies between makers. All the other specs are changable. Fortunately, there are some people still around who can give us the history on some of the originals.

#11 Billy H

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 02:55 PM

JW, I sure like the looks of your saddles!!
One of my all time favorites is one you did for wife. Billy

#12 TroyWest

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 09:21 PM

Another term for slick fork is an A-fork. When looking at it from the front or rear it is shaped like the letter "A". An A-fork is a slick fork. A swell fork "swells" wider than an "A".

#13 Huntet02

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:16 PM

Huntet.................you're headed in the right direction.........a Wade is one type of slick fork. As for a Wade being out of the way for roping / as opposed to a swell fork ? Not in my opinion. It doesn't have anything to do with it. If the fork was getting in my way roping...........I'd know that I wasn't roping very good and needed more practice. Swell fork...........slick fork..........it's all about personal preference. I don't like a slick fork of any kind. I've had a couple (wades) over the years..........one of which I made. They rode just fine...............but I just couldn't get to liking how they looked. Too buckaroo for me, probably. JW.



This may seem a bit intrusive but JW would love to see what you ride and rope in everyday.
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#14 jwwright

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:28 PM

No problem, your question is not intrusive to me. Here is a link to a post I put up a while back showing my latest personal saddle. http://leatherworker...showtopic=25374

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#15 Huntet02

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:33 PM

In reviewing all these pics its opening my eyes some thanks all. I originally started out looking to buy "Wade" but I have always liked swells and adding bucking rolls seem to be redundant "Why get a Wade if you have to add bucking rolls"? But maybe there is an answer I haven't discovered yet….
Unfortunately I tip forward when I get unbalanced say at a uncomfortable high speed and Denise and I were talking and she also made me aware of some of the seats that can worsen this bad habit like some saddles designed in a way that will always push you forward, that don't have much of a flat spot ahead of the cantle to sit in etc.

So if I'm allowed to ask another question in this same post I'd like to ask... "Which roping saddle seats/forks/ trees would help with a person that tips forward"?

I rode a neighbors old Circle Y the other day it's a western pleasure looking saddle but that seat put me right in the middle every time, my feet/legs could give clearer ques seemed like plus I think it had magic "soft dust" in the seat seriously it felt like nothing me or my husband had ever rode before (he made both of us ride it). My neighbor said that's why he'd never ever sold it even though he didn't have horses anymore it was just way too comfortable...

Bottom Line I think I need to look at a more "well balanced" flatter type Ranch roper saddle…but just thinking out loud. :blahblahblah:

Edited by Huntet02, 08 September 2010 - 12:55 PM.

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