Size and bars
There are a number of different sizes of trees commonly found in saddles. Trees differ in the width of the gullet and bars, the pitch of the bars (Steep to Flat- usually somewhere just above or just below 90 degrees). The tree of a saddle is responsible for shaping the pommel and cantle of the saddle while the actual seat can be manipulated through padding and leather work. A horse with a flat back and widely-sprung ribs will require bars with a flatter field than a saddle made for a narrow horse, where a steeper field to the bars will keep the saddle positioned properly.
|Saddle trees size||Gullet Width||Bars||Breed it fits|
|Regular||5¾” and 6″||90 degrees|
|Semi Quarter Horse||6½ inches||90 degrees||Fits many horse breeds|
|Quarter Horse /Full Quarter Horse||6¾ inches, but may be up to 7 inches||90 – 94 degrees
|Arabian||6½” – 6¾”||Shorter bars||Arabian
|Haflinger||7½” gullet||>94 degrees||Haflinger Horse|
|Draft||8″ gullet||>94 degrees||Draft Horse|
Saddles trees were traditionally made from wood and rawhide with the later combination of fibreglass. One of the major disadvantages of wood trees is that different segments have to be pieced together and causes the saddle to have different stress levels which cannot always be handled in the same way. This causes failure in saddle trees which in turn causes concentrated stress levels on the horse, thus limiting its performance, causes pain and makes it uneasy.
RALDIE saddle trees, manufactured in Tennessee USA, annually sells up to 100,000 saddle trees, making it the number one saddle tree manufacturer in the world. As these trees are sold to saddle makers all over the world, it should say something as every saddle makers name hangs in the balance as the tree is the basis of a good or poor saddle.
The Ralide Tree
The term Ralide refers to both the material and the U.S. trademarked manufacturer of the material. Ralide is a synthetic, polyethylene. The trees are manufactured using a moulding process, which lowers production costs and makes Ralide trees more economical and proves to be durable, flexible, and strong.