Looking for a good soft saddle - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-09-2012, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for a good soft saddle

Hey! I so love this tack forum
Lately I've been getting pretty bored riding bareback all the time and I think it's time I invest in a freaking saddle! I have a mare who's as round as an egg with really low withers - and I'll be getting a belgian who's tall and leaner built for a belgian, high withers. I'd prefer to buy only one saddle, obviously that's not possible with a saddle with a tree.

Then I discovered the magical world of Soft Saddles!! And Treeless saddles. But I don't know the first thing about them honestly. I really enjoy riding bareback and considered just getting a bareback pad with stirrups... then I looked at a picture of them and can't imagine why they're even legal. They look SO dangerous! Every review says they slip and slide and I imagine it'd be near impossible not to get hung up in a stirrup if you fell! Which you'd be likely to do if the pad's under the horse's belly!!

So I guess I'm looking for suggestions for a treeless or soft saddle that's firm enough to not kill me, has stirrups or a place to hang stirrups, and could fit both my horses. I've seen some where the stirrups are attached closer to the bottom of the pad and can't decide whether that's better or worse o.o? I don't care if it's english or western style - I just glomp around for fun - but I like realllllly close contact.

Thanks so much
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-09-2012, 10:11 PM
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I had a Cashel Softsaddle. Rode in it ONCE. I sold it. I did not like the way the flaps would roll up under you when you bareback mounted, you know, flopping your tummy onto the back, then shimmying around to be astride.

Also, the "handle" ends up under your special parts and that feels bad!

A good treeless saddle will cost you. I have seen some nice looking Bob Marshall western saddles, and the Ansur seems nice. I would not use a treeless saddle for riding if gong long, long distances but for putzing around I think they would be fine. They do, however, usually requiree special pads to create relief for the spinal column.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-09-2012, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I had a Cashel Softsaddle. Rode in it ONCE. I sold it. I did not like the way the flaps would roll up under you when you bareback mounted, you know, flopping your tummy onto the back, then shimmying around to be astride.

Also, the "handle" ends up under your special parts and that feels bad!

A good treeless saddle will cost you. I have seen some nice looking Bob Marshall western saddles, and the Ansur seems nice. I would not use a treeless saddle for riding if gong long, long distances but for putzing around I think they would be fine. They do, however, usually requiree special pads to create relief for the spinal column.
Ansurs are nice, but pricey. A new saddle will run you a few thousand, but you can find very good used ones for $1500 and under. Freeform, Barefoot, Black Forest and Torsion are all popular treeless brands. Personally, I'm saving up for a Barefoot Tahoe Classic.

MANY endurance riders ride competitively and win in treeless saddles - so they can clearly be good for "long, long distances" (I'm talking about 50 and 100 milers).

Treeless saddles do have to be fitted.

They don't all require a special saddle pad - it depends on how the saddle is built. Some dealers will recommend what pad to us with the saddle. SKito, Toklat and HAF pads are the ones I hear most about, but there's others out there.

Another option to consider are fursaddles, but those are more popular in Europe than in the US. Good ones will cost you every bit as much as a nice treeless saddle though.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-09-2012, 10:50 PM
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I recently (past day or so) saw an Ansur jump saddle for pretty cheap on eBay-you might want to check there...

Here: (not mine) Ansur Konklusion Treeless Jumping or Endurance Saddle Junior Petite NR! | eBay
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-09-2012, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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I just checked ebay and saw Stallion Riders Branded 16",17",18" Synthetic treeless all purpose saddles tack | eBay :O this looks wonderful? Am I swayed by the pretty colors or is a decent piece of tack? It seems too cheap to really be any good. But I just need it for plodding xD
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-09-2012, 10:56 PM
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That is a GREAT deal. I think those are $3-4k new.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-09-2012, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Tiny - with the cashel, what if you mounted from a block? Did the saddle slip at all? Or twist around?
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-10-2012, 12:02 AM
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You cannot mount using the stirrups, you have to mount as if you are mounting a bareback horse, from a block or a fence or such.

The D rings to which the stirrups attach were right under my thigh and hurt. I disliked everything about it.
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