The tree is the heart of any saddle. What it is made of,
and how it is shaped, determines how it feels for both rider and horse. Wood and Steel are
two of the oldest ingredients used by saddle makers. Attila the Hun was the first to make
a tree of wood around the year 340 and because of this ruled the world from the wall of
China to the Danube. Medieval Knights introduced steel and thus the world's first
wood/steel tree was born, around 1640.
For the rider, this tree offers unique comfort. Webbing pulled up in the gullet and across
the seat forms a hammock, which mean the rider's rear bones never hit anything hard. They
are in a sling! This fact also helps the horse because when a descending backside collides
with an ascending saddle the energy of the impact is lateralized!
Wood/Steel offers unlimited possibilities in fitting the horse. The gullet can be easily
spread in a press or narrowed with a come-along. (Only experts Please!)
For many complex and various reasons they are also easy on the horse for the horse to
wear. They give slightly to accommodate back movement.
These trees are also relatively easy to repair.