There are many different styles of trees and trees made from different materials. All have their own benefits.
Here are some examples of the different types:
“Spring trees are constructed from laminated wood (often beech or birch) and reinforced with spring steel bars (hence the term, “spring” tree). The spring steel bars reinforce the tree and so that the wood in the tree can be thinner, making it lighter and more flexible.”
They are made entirely out of wood. Depending on the type of wood, some can be rigid and some flexible. They are generally a little heavier than other trees. Passier used bamboo in their trees for example, to offer some flexibility.
Injection molded trees (plastic)
Injection-molded trees are made in a mould and are light weight. Depending on the type of material used to make them they can be flexible or rigid, some can be adjusted and some can’t.
Carbon fibre trees
The carbon fiber trees are strong and flexible and are super light (especially compared to the traditional wooden and metal tree). Similar to the injection moulded trees, they too are made in a mould meaning the dimensions can be precice. They also offer closer contact to the horse due to the material being much thinner.
Styles of Trees
There are also different styles of trees to suit different shaped horses. Here is some info on the 2 main styles you will see:
These saddles are built with an A frame/’V’ shaped head and a slight curve in the tree. These saddles are best suited to the majority of horses that have a fairly standard sized wither and back shape.
These trees are broader and have a ‘U’ shaped head. The gullet is usually wider and the rails are flatter to suit horses with little to no wither and a broad flat back.