THIS PAGE IS TO EDUCATE ON LEN'S BLACK MESA SADDLETREES. It is also to show regular trees &
the problems that are often encountered. SELECTION OF OUR HORNS FOR ORDERING YOUR SADDLE ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.
We have the widest variety you'll find anywhere because we have our horns cast from our own matchplates & don't
just purchase from other suppliers. Roper horns are either heavy aluminum or solid brass. Stirrup Loops are another exclusive
that we have cast for use in Brown's Custom Black Mesa Saddles. They leave the tree bars thick at the normal weak spots
in other saddletrees. The loops give freer swing of the stirrup straps. Third: they make for a narrow waist by not having
to build thick bars for the strap grooves top & bottom. Most other trees only have a groove in the top of the bars to
keep from having breakage at the weak spot in normal trees. That is why all of today's saddles have the set of knuckles
from the straps under the tree bars. Once the skirts are broken in those strap bumps cause performance & behavior problems.
WHEN A HORSE REACHES WITH THE HINDQUARTERS THE BACK COMES UP 2" OR MORE RIGHT AT THAT STRAP BUMP &
THEY SOON STOP REACHING.
|UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS WHAT MANY SADDLES LOOK LIKE
|THIS IS WHY NO PICTURES OF TREES ARE SHOWN BY SADDLEMAKERS OR TREEMAKERS !
|THESE PRINCIPLES APPLY TO ALL SADDLE TREES!
|PUT YOUR SADDLE ON: NO PAD, BACK OF SHOULDERS, CHECK THIS OUT ?
|FUTURITY CUTTER BARS, 8.0" GULLET, FORWARD SEAT
|PERFECT WADE, GRIP, COWBOY DRESSAGE, FUTURITY CUTTER>ALL SHARE THE SAME BAR
|THE BULL DERM before I STARTED USING STRAP LOOPS
|SAFE & SECURE IT IS GREAT ON ABOUT ANY HORSE. I ALSO MAKE ON MULE BARS
BLACK MESA ID TREES (Intelligent Design Trees) by Len Brown
DESIGNED TO WORK FOR YOUR HORSE AND MAKE YOU A BETTER & MORE COMFORTABLE RIDER!
The HAPPY BACKS & BOTTOMS SADDLECLUB that was formed in Houston years ago, says it all, they rode my saddles exclusively.
TODAY'S SADDLE INDUSTRY IS BASED ON trees with angles TOO
FLAT. The R&D Manager of CACTUS SADDLERY told me, we don't want the bars interfering with the horse's shoulders,
that's why they are turned out at the bottom in front. I told him that was the problem with saddles today, they are all
turned out at the foot in front & called Quarterhorse or Full Q/Horse. Even the Semi Q/Horse bars are too flat
in angle & too curved front to rear. Gaited horse trees add extra bar flare to the above problems and are some
of the worst for function on a horse. (fifty yrs ago Arizona Bars were made this way too) Didn't work too well
then and some saddlemakers are still using them.
What the treemakers and saddlemakers don't realize is: these flat angles put extra curve in the
saddle front to rear. This causes: pinching at the top half of the bars in front, it sores the mid-back,
and as the horse reaches with the hindquarters the back rounds & tree works up and down in the front. Then
it pinches and rubs every stride. That is where your horse's patches of white hair come from.
My Black Mesa trees are not made that way and neither were my ORTHO-FLEX SADDLETREES MADE THAT WAY. I changed the way my ORTHO
trees were made in 1986 to help remedy this problem. I opened the gullet at the top and brought the bars together at the bottom
in the front. That is called adding TWIST to the bars. As they open to stop pinch at the top, they come together to support
the saddle at the bottom on the upper rib cage in front. (the only way to stop pinching of the withers) This TWIST
ALSO STRAIGHTENS A TREE FRONT TO REAR. I then dish out the bars in the WAIST of the seat for a narrow close contact feel for
the rider. Extra TWIST also flattens the angles in the rear of the BARS. Then the horse can bend and turn without the
sharp outside edge of a bar BITING HIM IN THE OUTER LOIN. Now take a a look at some of the exclusive
trees my saddles are made on. Regards, Len
|LOW>CLOSE>SECURE & COMFORTABLE, The GET-DOWN ROPER
|The GET-DOWN ROPER & 240# LEN> UGLY BETTY BARS & NO PINCH TWIST MAKE IT WORK LIKE NO OTHER BRAND!
|THE GET DOWN ROPER IS BUILT ON THIS TREE
|IT ISWIDE 8,5" gullet BUT DOESN'T PINCH WITHERS ON MY 20yr old T/BRED
|MY PERFECT WADE TREE ON A ROPING HORSE
|MY FUTURITY CUTTER BARS WORK ON ALL TYPES OF BACKS, CLOSE CONTACT TOO !
|NO PINCH TWIST BAR, NO STRAP BUMP W/ STIRRUP LOOPS
|MY TREES HAVE NO PINCH AT THE UPPER BAR ON ANY HORSE!
|The TRAPEZOID LOOP REVERSED FOR LEGS UNDER RIDING!
|TURNED THE OTHER WAY FOR CUTTING OR SLIDING STOPS THEY'RE REVOLUTIONARY.
The ignorance of today's tree & saddlemakers is best illustrated with this picture of
his kid's old saddle. This customer has 2 custom made Wade saddles. They both pinch this horse severely at the top of
the bars. This is one of his Quarter horses that gets worked a lot. With almost 10 grand down the tubes on his saddles, he
can't work without the Protector Pad. The Wade still pinches but it lets him ride full time & do his job with less
horse/saddle problems than his buddies on the job.
|KID'S OLD NARROW ANGLE SADDLE WORKS ON HORSES
|HIS NEW FULL Q/H BAR WADES STILL PINCH THRU PROTECTOR PAD ON THIS HORSE.
Our TREES ARE MADE WITH VERY DRY
WOOD. IT IS FIRST CUT TO OUR SPEC'S, STACKED & DRIED IN COLORADO & HAULED TO OUR SHOP TO CURE EVEN MORE.
"IT MAKES A LIGHTER STRONGER SADDLE & DOESN'T ROT FROM THE INSIDE AS MOST ALL TREES DO."
This leaves around 7% moisture content about half of kiln dried wood;
The wood is put into duplicators
and cut into the shape of the pattern;
The wood is then hand sanded to finished shaped;
It is then assembled in to specifications of the saddletree from width (front and back) height, bar angle, and symmetry;
The bars of the tree are leveled on a level
set-up table before fork and cantle are attached;
The tree is then hand sanded again, horn is installed and attached with heavy duty screws;
Our quality control starts before glassing because Fiberglass
can be used as bondo on car to fill defects and hide problems;
We then attached a ground seat mold with fully finished shape;
The shape of the seat takes into
account not only confront but position of the rider in the seat for each given riding application;
From this point, fiberglass is
layered on the bottom of the saddletree with the thickness varying where strength is necessary;
Once the bottom side of the saddletree
has cured the ground seat mold is removed and the bottom side of the tree is cleaned of excess fiberglass and hand sanded
The fiberglass is applied to the top side and wrapped around to the bottom to make a fully encased unit that is as strong
as can possibly be made;
roping applications the horn and fork are reinforced with extra glass due to the extra stress that it incurs;
During the glassing process there is no bondo
used to fill gaps and smooth transitions.We use a special mixture of filler and glass that is mixed with the same resin that
our tree is covered with;
resin “Sun Rez” is highly attractive to fiberglass work of this nature because it has an unlimited work time before
The curing process is
activated by sunlight rather than a hardening agent;
This extended work time allows the resin to penetrate deep into the wood so that bonds the layers of fiberglass to the wood
itself creating a product that becomes a unified structure;
The resulting product is long lasting due
to the fact that our resin is activated by UV light and does not out gas or become britle as polyester resins can over time.
A great saddle is a collaborative effort.
It goes thru a series of interpreters: The Rider who explains what he wants the saddle to do> the Saddlemaker who listens
and says to the Treemaker, "if I had a tree like this.... I can make what he wants", the Treemaker then listens
& interprets to blend the right SHAPE for the horse.... the Rider.... and gives the Saddlemaker the right foundation
to make their Dreams a reality. You are buying "THE SHAPE OF DREAMS", that's all.
SHAPE IS EVERYTHING IN A SADDLETREE. WITHOUT A GREAT TREE YOU CAN'T
BUILD A GREAT SADDLE. Len Brown
PS. I'm proud of the work Derek Brown and Dave Walkley did on The Shooter
Tree below. Dave was the interpreter for this job. It's an outstanding tree to build a GREAT SADDLE on.
| THIS IS HOW MUCH GLASS MAT WE USE ON YOUR TREE.
|IT'S DECEIVING THAT OUR CLEAR RESIN HAS 3 + LAYERS OF HEAVY FIBERGLASS MAT.
|GEOMETRY IS FACTUAL, THESE BARS ARE IN 5 SADDLES
|ALL MY BARS USE THE SAME BASIC GEOMETRY TO MAKE THEM WORK ON ALMOST ANY ANIMAL.