I am wondering if anyone out there uses a Treeless saddle?
My 6 yr. old Arab/KY Mountain horse mare is extremely hard to fit since she has a short back due to her Arab ancestry, but rather high withers since she is also gaited. Poorly fitting saddles have caused back problems for her in the past, and it has proven nearly impossible to find a saddle that fits her properly, off the rack. I cannot afford to drop a few thousand dollars on a custom fitted saddle for her right now. I switched to using a suede bareback pad for a while, but she is still rather green and I would feel more comfortable in a saddle since we are trail riding on moderately rugged terrain. I am considering going to a Treeless Saddle or perhaps even a Cashel Soft Saddle. Does anyone use one? How do you like it?
Thanks for the input.. Happy Trails! :-)
Horse Care and Comfort
Monty and You...
Subscribe to Equus Online University and become a part of Monty's worldwide mission to leave the world a better place for horses and for people too.
Students automatically gain access to special rewards, such as exclusive discounts at the Monty Roberts Online Shop. Visit Monty Roberts Online Shop.
I own a Bob Marshall treeless endurance saddle and LOVE it. I figured endurance saddle had to be comfortable on both the horse and the rider, did a lot of research on what others using a treeless saddle had to say and ended up riding my horse on a borrowed one before purchasing it. It is light, sturdy and fits my horse like it was a custom fitted saddle. I purchased mine from ebay and consider that purchase the best purchase of mine ever! Hope this helps you in making your decision.
I don't own one, but I am considering it since my horse is of a shape (small but barrelshaped, overbuilt and big shoulderblades) that gives her a sore back/shoulder under normal saddles every now and then.
Heard lots of good things about the treeless saddles, esp. how comfortable they are.
BUT! If you go for a treeless saddle just make sure you get one of really good quality, even if it costs a bit more. You don't want a saddle that will twist, or feel unbalanced and/or "flabby".
A good treeless saddle will give you a better distribution of weight on the horse's back, but you will also sit that much more closer to its back, so a young horse with little muscletone might need extra padding underneath.
I have got a 4 year old arab gelding and i use a Treeless saddle.I bought it second hand from a tack shop and it works really nicely because it shapes to the horses back, which is really helpfull if you have a young horse that is growing.I bought it at a affordable price,including the numnah, stirrups, stirrup leathers and the girth! So i deffinitely reccomend it! :)
hope it works out.
I have been doing research on treeless saddles as well. I've heard several places that they don't always fit high withered horses. From what you describe, I would recommend trying an Australian stock saddle. It is built like a western (some have horns some don't) but feels even more secure. They are made to sit covering the back of the withers so they are shorter than your average western saddle. Lots of trail riders are turning to australian saddles because they are more comfortable and they don't twist your knees. You can normally find them for very reasonable prices second hand.
I am thinking of buying a treeless saddle in a few months, because I am riding a Freiberger mare 3 to 4 times per week, and she has a REALLY round belly, with "no" spine at all. I do not like her saddle, it is turning each time I mount her without using the mouting block :-s I think a treeless saddle would be more adapted, but I would like to get more input :)
I have an 11 yo Criollo gelding and he changes shape over the year several times. I bought a Barefoot Arizona and have found it to be great and not just for him. It fits him no matter what shape he is and is very comfy for me. Being slim with not much "padding" all english saddles and even some western ones made me very uncomfortable, not any more!
Thank you all for your input, it has been very helpful. I am still looking around for the right Treeless for us, but in the meantime purchased a Cashel Soft Saddle for half off and will be trying it out tommorow. Hopefully, it will work in til I find the right saddle for us. :-)
Don't make the mistake of thinking that just because a saddle is treeless it doesn't need to be fitted and adjusted correctly - particularly with a high withered horse. I have an 8 year old warmblood who is now in a treeless but we needed to fit shims and a subapad to lift it over her high withers. She now loves it and I use it for dressage but not jumping. However the total cost of a good treeless plus the fitting and shims was not any less than a good tree'd saddle!
Oh - and mounting from the ground in a treeless is not recommended except in an emergency :0
i have a treeless saddle for my mare as she changes shape dramatically through the year and is very difficult to fit a treed saddle. i have a barefoot make.it is so comfortable for me and my mare never has marks on her after a ride.but i am a little concerned about if it is good for her long term. what does monty think?
I have a Barefoot saddle and found that it slipped over on my roundish gelding ... a non slip pad can help and of course breastplate and even a crupper, as I don't want to have to cut him in half with the girth .... I like the australian stock saddle idea someone mentioned already ..still need an expert fitting however .The other thing is to have a correctly padded numnah underneath saddle to lift it clear of whithers, a lot of people do that.Happy riding !:)
P.S. there are always a lot of treeless saddles on ebay!In the UK anyway ..happy hunting !
Returning to say that I have tested a treeless saddle for a week now and I really like it.
More importantly; my horse likes it! :)
Once I got it fitted properly (built it up more in front with the panels) it stayed still on her back, and not many saddles do that. The most drastic difference is the way they move more freely and how you feel their every move through the saddle. Takes some getting used to!
This is a a handmade in Sweden saddle, called Charisma, so I have no way of comparing it with saddles of other brands, but if the saddle is well made, I can recommend trying treeless.