Measuring Treeless Trail Saddles?

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Measuring Treeless Trail Saddles?

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    07-31-2009, 12:51 PM
Question Measuring Treeless Trail Saddles?

I was looking at a treeless trail saddle...the kind that look like the Western saddles (w/ pommel and cantle). I would be using it also for mounted patrol, and so that's why it has to look like a western saddle (requirement of our uniform). I saw one that I thought I might like, but when I read the measurements it talked about measuring the circumference of the thigh. Then I Googled it and found that this is how they're measured. But then I also saw that when it says 16", it's not really a 16", but more like a 14".

So how are you supposed to measure these things to make sure you're butt fits in them and compare them to other saddles' measurements? Is there a conversion chart they go by or something? Is there a reason you can't measure the seat the old fashioned way? It sounds like an attempt to be "hip" if you ask me...but what I would really like to know if what's under my "hip" is going to fit in the darned thing.
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    07-31-2009, 01:07 PM
Green Broke
The only treeless western saddles that are worth buying (and still look like western saddles) are Bob Marshall, Ansur, and Barefoot. Do NOT buy Hilason, Maya, or no-name saddles. They are cheap imports that are not well made, not comfortable, and may fall apart relatively quickly.

If you're looking at a Bob Marshall (I have one and LOVE it!) then you usually go up a size from your regular western saddle. I ride in a 17" Circle Y trail saddle and my BMSS saddle is an 18". The thigh measurement is important because the thigh openings are a tad smaller than most traditional western saddles, so, if you have a smaller rear/hips and ride in a 15" saddle, but your thighs have their own zip code (as mine do, lol, but then again, so does my rear! ), then a 15 or 16" BMSS may not fit well.
    07-31-2009, 01:29 PM
Oh, I see...Thanks.

I know not to buy the no-name saddles. I've not read good things about the Hilason saddles, either, although people say that the newer ones are better than the ones they were making a few years ago (but still, I read one word about them that still makes me walk away... "India")
    07-31-2009, 01:39 PM
Green Broke
You might join the treeless group on yahoo. Go to and search for treeless saddles. Someone in your area might have some saddles for you to try. The members there are very nice and helpful.
    07-31-2009, 01:40 PM
See, now why do they do that?. That's just like some of the newer labels on women's clothing...where now when I grab a shirt that says "Large", it's 2 sizes too small and I have to hang my head and go find a 2x (and I am nowhere NEAR a 2x).

Isn't it enough that I've graduated to a 16" I have to "go up a size or two" and measure my thighs, too??
    07-31-2009, 01:42 PM
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
You might join the treeless group on yahoo. Go to and search for treeless saddles. Someone in your area might have some saddles for you to try. The members there are very nice and helpful.
Oh cool! I'll have to do that. I have 2 friends that ride treeless, but they ride english. I ride english, too, but I prefer western because outside of mounted patrol, I trail ride a lot.

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