The Cantilevered Tree
Martin Ryan, equestrian and designer of the award winning Bua saddle, saw the common issues that arose from the traditional, single tree design of equestrian saddles, and sought to design a new saddle concept that would allow for a more comfortable and harmonious connection between horse and rider. After endless hours tucked away in the University of Dublin’s Veterinary library researching the anatomy and biomechanics of the horse and its natural movement, two key conclusions were most notable: for the rider, the saddle is necessary to provide support and balance, central to achieving this is the tree design; for the horse, the saddle must distribute the rider’s weight evenly across its back while at the same time offer flexibly so as to minimise any restriction to horse stretch and freedom.
The solution: the cantilevered tree. By its natural shape, it affords a separate and customised shape specific to the horse and the rider, ultimately leading to better comfort for both. By the natural c-shaped structure of the saddle it further offers dynamic flexibility which moves with the horse while still supporting the rider in a balanced position.
Acting almost as two trees in one, the saddle offers a seat customised for the rider, while at the same time a seat customised for the horse’s back. This means the tree already conforms to the shape of horse and rider before it is padded with foams. This is also due to the dynamic flexibility within the tree, because of the carbon fiber material used. Carbon fiber offers natural flexion allowing the tree to move freely with the horse’s natural movement. The dynamic flexibility of the cantilevered tree, we refer to as ‘dynamic flexion’. The saddle in material and form offers a natural flexion which ensures the horse can move and extend freely during riding.
Because the saddle also expands and contracts naturally with the horse’s movement, it accommodates many horses ranging between broad and narrow, and accommodates a horse transitioning through different stages of fitness, as well as creating a better connection, allowing for the pressure to be more evenly distributed with less concussion on the horse’s back compared to a traditional single saddle tree.