ROTATING STIRRUP BAR DESIGNED BY TREVOR JAMES ENSURES FREE MOVING FRICTION FREE RIDE.
With the ever increasing popularity of fender saddles an emphasis has been placed on the ability of the fender to "swing" as the name "swing fender saddle" implies.
The American style rawhide covered tree is a true work of art and there are many Australian style fender saddles available built on rawhide covered trees. Their trees are carved from pine timber, rawhide covered and are very strong. However, they do not contain the steel gullet used in Australian saddles in order to support a stirrup bar.
The fender strap passes around the side rail of the tree. Once again this is very strong but has certain disadvantages.
Firstly the fender is there for life, it cannot slip off like an Australian Stirrup leather can. Secondly it cannot swing freely. Because it passes around the side rail and runs through a recess in the underside of the tree so no lump is created by the fender strap, it is locked down tight when the saddle is girthed up.
Trevor James of James Saddlery has recognised that these features are totally alien to the Australian rider who demands the safety aspect of the fender or stirrup leather to come off the saddle should the rider fall and be dragged. With this in mind all fender saddles made by James Saddlery have the fender mounted on a conventional stirrup bar, which also allows a foot forward position if the rider prefers that style or is simply galloping downhill.
This type of fender mounted on a stirrup bar such as in the Santa MK III has proven enormously popular with the safety conscious Australian market and of course the stirrup bar is recognised world wide as a distinctly Australian feature.
The stirrup bar has remained essentially unchanged since its conception a couple of century's ago. However, with the increasing popularity of fender saddles Trevor James has seen the need to improve the stirrup bar. He has designed a stirrup bar, which is mounted on a sealed roller bearing and the whole stirrup bar rotates in unison with the fender. This bearing mounted fender ensures the ultimate free movement but still allows the fender to slip off as with a conventional stirrup bar.
This rotating stirrup bar can be disassembled to service or replace the bearings very easily and the assembly has a lock off point so that at a certain point no more rotation is possible and the fender cannot come off during normal riding but has the ability to slide off if the rider is being dragged. The new device can be fitted to any of the James brand swing fender saddles. These saddles are designed with strength, safety and the ultimate in a free moving friction free ride provided by the new bearing mounted fender designed by Trevor James and available exclusively from James Saddlery.
It has, for many years been a concept that to fit a saddle to a horse, measurements and angles must be taken with the horse standing upright with its weight evenly distributed on four legs. It is true that this is the best position.
Where this theory fails is that when riding, the horses shape changes as it goes through its various gaits. Perhaps you have experienced a saddle that raises or back slaps at the canter. It has proven pretty well impossible to make a saddle that will conform to these changes in shape a horse undergoes. It has also been difficult to make a saddle that will fit different shaped horses without some dismantling or alteration.
The new Flexafit tree does address some of these problems. The area known as the side rails and ground seat (the part of the saddle that contacts and distributes the rider weight on to the horses back) in the new Flexafit tree is fully flexible. This enables the rider weight to alter the tree shape to the horse it is on. It also allows the tree to change shape as the horse changes shape. It allows for the tree to flex to fit different shaped horses within reason i.e approximately 90 to 100 degrees. This eliminates many situations where multiple saddles are needed to fit all your horses.
The trees can flex in their length to conform to the horses shape and the kneepad section can flex to accommodate the horses shoulder movement when there is one leg forward and one leg back.