rktaylor

Tree Suggestions

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I am getting ready to build a saddle for my daughter. It will be used for general trail riding. This will be my fourth saddle and I am looking for tree suggestions. The saddles I have built are:

SF Bowman with a flat plate rigging

BWBR with an in-skirt rigging

Will James with a flat plate

I would like to do something a little different (but probably not much) just to learn something new while also practicing some of my weak points. Per her request, it should have some swells and probably a 4" cantle.

Suggestions are appreciated,

Randy

Edited by rktaylor

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If she's looking for something with a little more pronounced or pointed swell than the BWBR, an Ellensburg might be a good choice. Nice amount of swell without being extreme. I love an Arizona Roper, and if my customer wants a lot of swell, that's usually what I build them. I've had two different Az Ropers for my personal saddles, and they are absolutely great for riding in the mountains. There's the Little Wonder, Low Moose. Tipton has a lot of swell, I think it's a little wider and has more undercut than the Az Roper. Depending on how big your daughter is, and which swell you choose, you might want to have it scaled down.

Edited by Big Sioux Saddlery

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Louellen's and Packers are both nicely shaped forks. They have side cut similar to a Modified Association but their tops slope off more than the Mod Assoc, the Packer sloping more than the Louellen (regardless of the spelling, which varies depending on the maker). A 12" wide fork is my personal preference as it gives enough swell but not a lot extra that can add weight, which you usually don't want for a woman's saddle which is basically a trail riding saddle. It is all personal preference anyway, and there's mine!

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Big Sioux and Denise,

Thanks for the feedback. My daughter is a young woman of average build, so I am not sure I need the tree scaled down (unless I don't understand what you mean). While weight is certainly a factor, it's not as high on her list as it was for her mom. I personally like the AZ Roper, but she might think it looks too much like my Will James. I like the slope on the Packer and Louellen forks. Just a little more to think about.

BTW Denise, I hope your web site stays intact or at least archived. If not, let me know so I can download a bunch of your material.

Randy

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post-8161-0-69071200-1457451177_thumb.jpAs always the advice from Sioux and Denise is spot on. Just to add to the mix, I have built a lot of Bomans ( very popular around here) also, I have a couple that I built several saddles for who own a livery stable, and they are riding all day six days a week, and on the seventh, they rest and go trail riding! Their choice is a C.S.Roper tree with 4" cantle. Like I said I have made several for them and ride more than anyone else I know. They have a whole stable full of saddles to choose from, but; C.S.Roper is their saddle of choice. Here is one.

Bob

Edited by BondoBobCustomSaddles

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Randy, At this stage we have no plans to pull down the website. We are also working on a video about how western saddles work on horses - fitting information. And who knows, maybe the info will be put into a book some day? We'll see...

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My vote for girls or young ladies is for a wade, weatherly, or 3B type with buck rolls. Buck rolls can be placed in several positions, even moved a little with time to accommodate growth; plus the result can be quite a bit lighter than a swell fork. Another alternative, if you are using trees from Quality Manufacturing would be to ask for Chuck Reed's Sweetwater. It is a Sid Special thinned down or a Little Wonder beefed up a little and the gullet is configured to give a handhole that will accommodate a gloved hand.

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Hello Randy,

I'm with Oltoot - I really enjoy slick forks and they can be made a little more secure with buck rolls as needed - Also, I've always liked the looks of this saddle by Steve Mason: I think it's been referred to as a 'swade' - Might be a neat consideration.

http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=27756&hl=swade#entry174515

Regards,

R

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Thanks for the added comments.

I really admire Julia McCormack's saddles, so I was thinking about a 3B. My daughter wanted a swell fork and vetoed the buck rolls right off. Evidently, I am not a good salesman.

Bob, I am sending her the picture of your C.S. Roper.

Oltoot, I had planned to call and ask about trees. You have inspired me to do it sooner rather than later.

Randy

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