To order and find out all about options and size selection, please visit our dedicated Kuda Saddles website. Scroll down for information on the Kuda Flex Tree and we've also listed some FAQ's which you may find helpful.
Hand made in the USA
KUDA FLEX SADDLES
With years of expertise and experience, Holistic Equine Saddlery & Tack is proud to be the sole Australian distributor of Kuda Flex Saddles. Every decision is inspired by our main mission, which is to provide the highest standard of product and services to both riders and horses.
In this rapidly changing industry, we’ve realised the importance of continually updating our approach to stay relevant in the market, and are committed to just that. We invite you to browse through our inventory and contact us with any questions.
We feel it is important to provide as much information as possible on the trees inside the saddles that we recommend and sell, as the tree is, no doubt, the most important aspect of any saddle - flexible or not.
The following is from Steele Saddle Tree LLC USA...the makers of Equi-Fit Flexible Trees.
"As with every manufacturer who depends on selling a product to consumers, we aim to please the customer. However, we face the question of which customer: Saddlers, our direct customer; riders, our indirect customers; or horses, our incidental customers? Displeasing any of the three is not an option. Therefore we aim to please the ‘customer’ we have identified as an equal partnership between the saddlers who build the saddles, the riders who buy and ride them, and the horses who wear them. Our goal is to enhance and improve the experience of all three. We achieve this by providing timely delivery of consistent and accurate saddle trees; by developing and offering the variety of fits and styles necessary for today’s broad spectrum of horses, riders and disciplines; and by continuing to apply and utilize new technologies and materials as they become available. Our commitment to serving the partnership is the sustaining force enabling us to remain at the forefront of the western saddle tree industry for the past 160 years."
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You Asked, We Answered
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND ADVANTAGES OF A FLEXIBLE SADDLE COMPARED TO A RIGID TREE SADDLE?
Have you ever watched a horse cantering and playing with his buddies in a paddock or field? Then if you are an observant person, you would have perhaps also noticed the rippling muscles in his back, flexing and relaxing, with each and every stride. Now imagine a curved but rigid piece of wood strapped to the back of this dynamically shifting and rippling being. Can you picture it? If you can, you would most likely be knitting your brow and internally cringing with this uncomfortable image in your head! It makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever, to strap an unyielding, rigid frame (i.e. a wooden inflexible tree) to a warm, supple, changing landscape that is the horses back! It's really that simple and should be quite obvious really. The flexible internal structure of the saddle, should move WITH the movement of the horses body and get out of the way of the working muscles and ALLOW the horse to move as nature intended.
DO I NEED TO PURCHASE OR USE A SPECIAL SADDLE PAD WITH THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES?
No. The Kuda Flex Saddles are very supportive and distribute the riders weight exceptionally well so there is no need for special saddle pads with inserts. All the Kuda Flex Saddles provide good spinal clearance and have sufficient padding along the entire length of the bars either side of the horses spine. We are however recommending the MATTES CORRECTION System Pads and shims for horses which are going through rehabilitative riding or training due to muscle wastage and soreness caused by previous saddles or past injuries.
ARE THERE WEIGHT LIMITATIONS WITH THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES AS THERE ARE WITH TREELESS SADDLES?
The short answer is no, the Kuda Flex Saddles can take a much heavier rider than treeless saddles. Generally 85kgs is max weight for treeless WITH a quality treeless saddle pad with rubber/foam inserts - or at least it should be! However, we are firm believers in the rider/horse weight ratio of 20%. This means that you AND your tack should not weigh more than 20% of your horses weight. So if your horse is 550 kgs, (fairly average weight for a stocky 15.2hh horse or a finer framed 16hh) you and your saddle should be no more than 110 kgs combined. The average weight of a Kuda Flexible Bar Saddle is 10 kgs so that still allows you, the rider, to be around 100 kgs for a 550 kg horse. Obviously this ratio increases as the horses weight increases.
WHAT IS THE RIDING POSITION LIKE IN THE KUDA WESTERN FLEX SADDLES? DRESSAGE POSITION OR "CHAIR SEAT" ?
I find I get asked this question mainly by riders that have been riding in Stock saddles, and I understand why. Most traditional Western or Stock saddles have the stirrup bar placed too far forward which causes the rider to sit with her feet out in front of her which forces the rider to sit to the rear of the saddle. This creates the dreaded "chair seat"! This is very bad for horses because the riders weight, being displaced to the rear of the saddle, places too much pressure on the horses sensitive loins. Not to mention what it does for the riders balance! The Kuda Western Flex Saddles offer a perfectly balanced seat which is more closely aligned to a good dressage postion: perfectly centred over the horses centre of gravity.
WHY ARE YOUR PRICES HIGHER THAN THE PRICES LISTED ON THE KUDA US WEBSITE?
Yes, customers have asked this question, and it's fair enough. Not everyone has purchased items form overseas valued at more than $1000 AUD. When this threshold (freight included) is reached, you must pay 5% customs duty and 10% GST on the FULL VALUE of the item INCLUSIVE OF SHIPPING. Let's work through an example. If you were to purchase a saddle from the US valued at $1695 US, the freight would be around $500-600 AUD, then you would have to pay customs duty of 5% on this combined value in Australian dollars, which currently the AUD/US is $1AUD = 0.75c US so the saddle including customs and shipping would be around $3020 AUD and then you have to pay GST on top of that so add another 10% and the saddle is now costing around $3320 AUD. Plus there are "Customs Processing Charges" which are around $100 AUD. So then the total price is $3420 AUD. The saddle used in this example is the Kuda Aussie Flex which we sell for $3390 AUD including GST. Also any returns are handled within Australia, unless there is a warranty issue and the saddle must be returned for assessment. Out of respect of our business agreement, Kuda USA will ONLY supply their saddles via Kuda Saddles Australia. All emails sent to Kuda USA are sent back to us here in Australia.
DO YOU HAVE A PAYMENT PLAN?
Yes, there are payment plans available. Saddles do have to be paid for in full before delivery as it is an 'in-house' payment plan. The saddle is ordered once 50% deposit has been paid, you can get to this point quickly by paying 50% up front, or you can get to this point by making regular payments that you are comfortable with. For example, I have one customer who set up a direct debit from her account to ours and paid $100 per week until the saddle is paid for in full. We ordered the saddle for her once she reached the half way mark. There are no fees or interest involved.
MY HORSE HAS MINIMAL TOP LINE AND/OR UNEVEN MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT. WILL THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES WORK FOR MY HORSE?
Yes. Most horses do have some asymmetry anyway, depending on the degree of asymmetry we may recommend the Leather Tree Saddles over the Flexible Bar saddles. HOWEVER clever use of saddle pads with inserts (Mattes Saddle Pads with the Correction System address this very well), can also offer tremendous help here. Missing top line and some cases of muscle atrophy can easily be accommodated by both types for Kuda Flex Saddles, and incorporating a Mattes Correction System saddle pad can be very beneficial until the horse has re-built some muscle. Best to give us a call to discuss your personal situation.
DO THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES FIT HIGH WITHERED HORSES?
Absolutely! All of the models can accommodate high withers with no trouble at all. Only in extreme cases where there is extensive muscle atrophy or the horse is very underweight, will there be some fit issues. Best to discuss with us over the phone.
WHAT IS THE EXPECTED LIFESPAN OF THE KUDA FLEX SADDLES?
If you take care of your Kuda Flex Saddle properly: store it well, clean it regularly and oil and condition it using only quality leather conditioners then there is no reason why your saddle won't out last you! Kuda Saddles are a saddle for a lifetime, make no mistake :)
DO YOU ACCEPT RETURNS?
From when your new Kuda Flex saddle arrives at your door, you have 10 days in which to decide if the saddle works for you and your horse. If you decide it isn't the right fit for your horse, please call us to discuss. If it is agreed that the saddle does not fit when you follow our instructions, then you may exchange the saddle for another one. Please note that the saddle must be in as new condition. The replacement saddle may need to be made, so there may be a waiting period. The 10 day return does not apply to custom orders. Custom Saddles cannot be returned even if it does not fit you or your horse. Please choose carefully when ordering a Customised saddle. Full details can be read on our Return Policy Page. See link below.
…When I started my mare (under instruction) and got on her for the very first time my trainer said I had a ‘grin like a split watermelon’ which always amused me… I suspect that grin returned this morning as I got on my new Kuda Saddle! I LOVE it! It doesn’t feel new, it feels like I have always had it, and the leather is so soft, even adjusting the fenders wasn’t a battle like I am used to! I am so happy! Thank you so much! We did arena work today and will trail ride tomorrow… my gorgeous boy liked it too! Although, now his working life will actually pick up as he has a proper saddle that we both like! Thank you so much, thrilled to bits!