I believe that my saddle has a broken tree. I will be taking it to the tack shop I bought it from tomorrow for farther evaluation.
However in the between time has any one else had a Toulouse with a tree problem? It's an Annice and 3.5 years old. I ride A LOT and it has seen MANY horses so it's not a ride twice a week saddle. However I did not expect this to happen. It has never been in a fall is always stored properly and is never put on the ground.
Their website states that they have a 10 year warranty on their trees, I hope they hold up to that!
It is not a Genesis tree! I have loved my saddle up until this point.
Last week I was riding ( Thursday maybe?) and I heard a creaking noise. (Last time a tree broke that is how I found it was I heard the creak) I got off and inspected the saddle did the "Squeeze" test (pommel on hip pull cantle gently to pommel) there was no major give maybe a little wiggle.I also checked the gullet and there were no abnormalities there. I was gone for the weekend in which time a student used the saddle ( I do not think she caused it she is 19 and been riding with me since she was 8-9) I rode Monday and commented that I couldn't get comfortable, I also noticed slight bulging in the stitching on each side of the pommel. Last night my student used it again and she commented that she couldn't get comfortable either. I told her to dismount and I took the saddle off. When she found out what I was doing she told me she heard a "pop" over the weekend but assumed it was her hip. This time there are two bulges in the gullet directly opposite each other. There is still not much give with the "squeeze" test. I'm taking it in this afternoon.
I'll keep you all posted farther!
Other then riding there is nothing else that should have caused this that I am aware of. Never been fallen on, flipped on, dropped, stepped on etc.
I did go through a period with my Annice where it was squeaking horribly. I just cleaned and conditioned it really well and did the baby powder trick. It has been great since. But I didn't have a popping issue or the inability to get comfy. Mine was just bad squeaking.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
¯ Oscar Wilde
So I took it to the Saddlery and they were great. the gril did a few more and far more complicated "squeeze" tests. She got it to "Creak" a few times, she agreed that it wasn't over flexing though. Her and the shop owner looked it over very carefully and agreed that the bulging in the pommel and the sharp edges in the gullet were not normal.
They are sending it to the manufacture where they will take it apart to check the tree. If it is not broken it will me sent back, if it is they will be sending a brand new saddle back to me. They even asked if I wanted the same saddle or an up grade. I decided on the same saddle since I was having to pay no money period for it. Worse case is it could take a few weeks...
I will have to give a shout out to Sporthorse Saddlery in New Hudson MI for their help. I was panicking trying to figure out where I was going to get the money to replace my saddle with ( sadly I was going to have to sell my old Western Show tack....)
Last edited by nlk; Aug. 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM.
Reason: added info
So Toulouse sent my saddle back saying that the tree was NOT broken but rather "softened". They felt they fix the problem and sent it back to the tack shop for me to try. I couldn't see any changes and while riding it felt like the saddle was flattening like a pancake. So I took I called to say I was not happy. The tack shop called Toulouse and the shipped me a new saddle no questions asked!
I went and picked it up today! Same model, seat size, and tree size. The leather is light colored ( mine was darker but in the grand scheme of things that is minor. ) and I think the seat and the knee roll leather is actually nicer than my old one.
All in all happy with my tack shop and happy with the manufacturer for sticking by their warranty!