To watch the video explanation of the Imus 4-Beat® and Legacy Saddles' Tree CLICK HERE
Our saddle trees are made by Steele Saddle Tree Company, who make trees for many saddle companies. In some of those saddles’ trees, the same material and general model of the type of saddle tree called Steele Equi-Flex® is used. However, with our saddles, that’s about where the similarities end. We have our own tree bar specifications that are used only in our Imus 4-Beat® and Legacy Saddle, and also hand-build a special ground seat into the saddle to allow the tree to perform its best.
The tree is designed so that the front edges of the bars of the tree cup around the shoulder with little to no contact. This allows complete freedom of movement for full shoulder rotation without uncomfortable contact with the front edges of the bars of the tree. This unique placement also moves the saddle more forward, preventing interference with the loins (another common area to see pressure points from saddles).
The placement is also designed so that it places the rider directly behind the withers, in what we refer to as the bare-back riding position. This is the position that most rider’s naturally assume when riding bare-back, which is the strongest point of your horse’s back and also where the rider is most naturally in-balance with their horse. (Read more about the rider position in the Imus 4-Beat® and Legacy Saddle HERE)
The foundation of the tree of the Imus 4-Beat® and Legacy Saddle is molded of a specially developed elastomer. This state-of-the-art material has a precisely calculated resilience for ideal weight distribution without pressure points. It has memory to maintain correct shape and retains nails better than wood. The molding process ensures that every part is uniform and symmetrical. Trees are always square, level, and without twist.
Our saddle craftsmen then build in a leather suspended ground seat that is vital to the proper function of the tree. We craft a hand-made leather ground seat with the webbing underneath the ground seat. The leather ground seat allows an even distribution of the rider’s weight over the bars of the tree and allows the tree to flex without collapsing under the rider's weight.
Some companies will put in a hard fiberglass or polymer ground seat to prevent collapsing but doing that interferes with the function and effectiveness of a flexible tree. Also, many suspended seats are built right under the seat leather, which can push you away from your horse's movement, but we place ours so it sits between the ground seat leather and the tree, so your weight causes the seat (and you) to move closer towards your horse. It’s not too thick so ensures a nice close contact with the horse.